As it has been in the past, Kings XI have some very good players on the list and it starts from skipper Rahul. The Karnataka man opens the innings and can take the game away from opponents in a jiffy. They have destructive forces in Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell while Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham merge class and power. Karnataka all-rounder K Gowtham, whom they bought from Rajasthan Royals, too can be dangerous on his day. They have a potent bowling unit too comprising Mohammed Shami, Mujib ur Rahman, M Ashwin, Sheldon Cottrell and Chris Jordan. In the slow UAE pitches, Mujib and Ashwin could come into play and they have a good record in that venue too. In 2014, Kings XI had won all the five matches there. It will give them some good vibes.
While the Kings XI have a largely impressive first line-up, their back-up does not inspire that much confidence. They have good young players but untested in the trying environs of the IPL. If there is an engine failure with the front line, then Kings XI can go down very quickly as we had seen in the past two seasons, a hit or miss case in short. Even among the premier stars, Karun had a lean domestic season in 2019 and had since then played little cricket. Gayle is still a force to reckon with because of his playing style but at 41 can he bring in the same intensity that too after staying away from the field for a long time. Gayle had also pulled out of the CPL 2020.
KL Rahul, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Darshan Nalkande, K Gowtham, Hardus Vilojen, Harpreet Brar, J Suchith, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb ur Rahman, M Ashwin, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Jimmy Neesham, Chris Jordan, Tajinder Singh, Simran Singh.
4. Stars to watch
KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami.
5. IPL Prediction
At this stage, they will need to produce consistent, hard cricket to challenge the likes of Mumbai Indians or Chennai Super Kings and enter the play-offs. It will be tough but they have no other option. But don't be surprised even if they end in the bottom-half of the list.