The Kings XI Punjab are yet to win their first game in IPL 2016, as they have suffered losses in their first two matches. They have a chance to get their first points on the table, but it will not be easy as they face MS Dhoni's Rising Pune Supergiants at PCA Stadium in Mohali on Sunday.
Kings XI Punjab, who are playing in front of their home crowd, will be keen to impress their fans with their all-round skills. They have the ammunition to deliver in Mohali, but there is a serious need to rethink about their team, and may be, make some changes in their batting order.
David Miller should try to come higher up the order and take more responsibility with the bat, and lead from the front. After which, batsmen like Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, who are brilliant strikers of the ball, can follow. However, one does not see any change in their batting department against Rising Pune Supergiants.
But, if they lose a wicket early, they should not expose their big batsmen, and promote Wriddhiman Shah, to steady the ship.
But, as far as their bowling goes, one could see a change, with Mitchell Johnson not looking too good in IPL 2016 so far. It would be well suited if Mitchell Johnson is rested for this game, and Marcus Stoinis replaces him in the first eleven. If they want to bolster their spin bowling options, they can also play Gurkeerat Singh instead of Pardeep Sahu. Gurkeerat can deliver with the bat as well. But it remains to be seen if they want to stick with their full-time leggie, Pradeep.
On the other hand, Dhoni is not someone who likes to make many changes in the team, and with their batsmen having played brilliantly so far, RPS batting order is not expected to change at all. With players like Kevin Pietersen, Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis and Steve Smith as their core batsmen, they have solid match-winners in their team.
If they are to make any change, we could see RP Singh being dropped. The left-arm pacer has not been too impressive with the new ball in IPL 2016. All-rounder, Irfan Pathan could be a good replacement for RP Singh as he can play an important role with the bat in the lower order as well.
Likely starting XI: Kings XI Punjab: Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra, David Miller (c ) Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, Mitchell Johnson/Marcus Stoinis, Mohit Sharma, Pardeep Sahu/Gurkeerat Singh and Sandeep Sharma.
RPS: Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith, MS Dhoni (c), 6 Mitchell Marsh, Rajat Bhatia, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, M Ashwin and RP Singh/ Irfan Pathan.