Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will not have an explosive opening batsman in the form of Virender Sehwag in the IPL 2016. Nor will they have George Bailey as skipper.
David Miller will lead the KXIP charge in the upcoming edition of the IPL. This is a team that depends a lot on its Indian talents. Miller and Co have just seven overseas players in their squad. Choices will be hard, and he has got to get his combination right as soon as he can.
At the IPL 2016 players' auction, the KXIP management picked up a number of raw and uncapped talents. They do have a lot of firepower in their line-up, but the question remains: Can Miller help this side bounce back after an awful IPL 2015?
We will have to wait and watch. For the time being, let us take a closer look at the KXIP squad for the IPL 2016:
Batsmen: KXIP have an array of batting option, and they bat pretty deep down the order. But at the top, it looks like Murali Vijay, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Manan Vohra and Miller himself will try and light things up. Miller will be in a dilemma about the opening pair. Vijay and Marsh are the likely option but Stoinis and Vohra can also make a difference at the top of the order. The Western Australian cricketer was brilliant for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League.
All-rounders: Glenn Maxwell, Stoinis, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Axar Patel and Swapnil Singh will be the all-round options for Miller. Maxwell was the star of IPL 2014, when KXIP reached the final. He was in both the wickets and the most number of runs columns. The team management and fans will expect him to repeat the feat in the forthcoming season of the IPL.
Wicket-keepers: Wriddhiman Saha and Nikhil Naik are the wicket-keepers in this KXIP squad. Saha, who has been the KXIP for three seasons (including the upcoming one), is a handy batsman who can hit the ball hard. Naik was picked up as an uncapped option during the players' auction.
Bowlers: KXIP do have plenty of bowling options as well. Mitchell Johnson will spearhead the attack, likely assisted by Sandeep Sharma, Anureet Singh, Axar Patel and Swapnil Singh. Miller will have other option in his bench, but has to make the right choices before the tournament starts.
KXIP will kickstart their IPL 2016 campaign against Gujarat Lions at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
Complete squad of Kings XI Punjab for IPL 2016: David Miller (C), Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Manan Vohra, Murali Vijay, Nikhil Naik, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Johnson, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Kyle Abbott, KC Cariappa, Marcus Stoinis, Farhaan Behardien, Pradeep Sahu, Armaan Jaffer, Swapnil Singh.