Kings XI Punjab had come in the IPL 2018 season with renewed energy retaining only one player from their previous squad in Akshar Patel. They went after rebuilding a new team and spent big on some players like KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Andre Tye, Aaron Finch and R Ashwin.
They also bought two players who are well past their prime – Chris Gayle and Yuvraj Singh- for nostalgia sake. They named R Ashwin as their captain, who promised unpredictability in decisions for the KXIP games. KXIP had a very good start to their campaign, winning 6 of their first nine matches and were in the top four of the points table.
However, they lost momentum at a crucial point and lost last 5 straight games to get eliminated from the race to playoffs. The main reason for that was over-dependence on just two batsmen in KL Rahul and Chris Gayle and Andrew Tye being the only outstanding bowler from the team.
Team COC looks at the performance of the KXIP players and presents the player ratings for IPL 2018
KL RAHUL- 10/10
KL Rahul was one of the silver linings in the dark cloud of KXIP’s IPL 11 season. He was bought for INR 11 crores and proved that he was worth every penny. He was safe behind the stumps with the gloves and in front of the stumps, slammed 659 runs in 14 innings with a best of 95* and a strike rate of 158.41 with 32 sixes and 66 fours. He also slammed the fastest fifty off 14 balls in IPL history.
CHRIS GAYLE- 8/10
Chris Gayle was KXIP’s pity pick in the IPL 2018 auction for his base price of Rs. 2 crores. However, with 368 runs in 11 innings with a best of 104* and 3 fifties; Gayle showed that he still had the goods to deliver and couldn’t be written off. However, he failed to perform in the much-needed matches later on, despite being in good form earlier on.
DAVID MILLER- 4/10
David Miller has been with KXIP his entire IPL career and was bought back using the RTM card in the auction. But this time, Miller got to play only 3 innings and he scored 74 runs in them.
KARUN NAIR- 5/10
Karun Nair was also bought by KXIP in hopes of having a very good middle order. He played 12 innings and scored 301 runs with a best of 54. He failed to achieve the consistency he had shown when he played for Delhi Daredevils and it hampered the performance of his team.
MARCUS STOINIS- 3/10
Marcus Stoinis played 7 innings with 99 runs and 3 wickets. Despite a very good season with the same team last time around, Stoinis wasn’t himself this time around with both bat and ball in the tournament.
AARON FINCH- 1/10
Aaron Finch arrived at the KXIP party a bit late due to him getting married. However, the lady luck failed to shine on Finch, who ended up making 134 runs in 10 matches with a best of 46. His failure was a big reason that the KXIP middle order failed to push the score along.
MANOJ TIWARY- 3/10
Manoj Tiwary fought with Yuvraj Singh for a spot in the team. However, even when he got to play, he ended up making 47 runs in 5 matches with a best of 35. The form that saw him become a trusted finisher for RPS in IPL 2017 was nowhere to be found and he kept getting picked and dropped throughout the tournament.
AKSHAR PATEL- 3/10
Akshar Patel had a lot riding on him, as he was the only player to be retained for IPL 2018 by the KXIP team. However, all hopes of a good performance went up in the air, as he played 9 games, picking 3 wickets at an economy of 8.38 and scored 80 runs. KXIP team management has a lot to think about before next year’s auction.
RAVICHANDRAN ASHWIN- 5/10
R Ashwin was bought with lots of amazement by KXIP, as CSK surprised everyone by neither retaining him nor bidding for him. Ashwin was also named the captain of the team and he promised a lot of unpredictability with his captaincy and team strategies. Ashwin picked 10 wickets in 14 games with an economy of 8.09 with best figures of 2/18. Maybe next season, the predictability factor would work a lot better for Ashwin in KXIP.
MAYANK AGARWAL- 1/10
Mayank Agarwal came off a very good domestic season and KXIP showed belief in another Karnataka batsman. But Agarwal failed to capitalize on his good form, with 120 runs from 11 matches with a best of 30. If he gets another chance next year, Agarwal would want to perform a bit better.
YUVRAJ SINGH- 1/10
Yuvraj Singh was in fear of going unsold in the IPL 2018 auction before KXIP came out of nowhere and bought the left-hander for his base price. Yuvraj had a lot to prove as he had stated that he wanted to play till 2019 World Cup and a good IPL would have opened a window for him in the Indian team. But in 8 matches that he played, Yuvraj scored just 65 runs with the highest score of 20 and a strike rate of just 89.04. He has looked a shadow of his past self and way past his prime this IPL season.
MUJEEB UR RAHMAN- 9/10
Afghanistan teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman took the IPL 2018 by storm as he picked 14 wickets in 11 matches before an injury ended his season. Mujeeb was the best bowler of KXIP along with Andrew Tye and him bowling in playoffs was a sight to behold. With Afghanistan ready to play their first Test against India next month, Mujeeb will play a key role in that match.
MOHIT SHARMA- 4/10
Mohit Sharma took 7 wickets in 9 matches with a best of 2/33. Mohit did not pick up wickets but was also expensive with an economy of 10.85. A brilliant bowler for past two seasons with KXIP, Mohit’s IPL 2018 was not fruitful.
AKSHDEEP NATH- 1/10
Akshdeep Nath played a solitary game, making 9 runs and didn’t get another chance in the whole tournament.
ANDREW TYE- 10/10
Andrew Tye ended up as the Purple cap holder with 24 wickets in 14 matches for Kings XI Punjab. His economy was 8.00 and his best was 4/16. He picked up 4 wickets in an innings three times and his wonderful bowling was evident of his ability in T20 format.
ANKIT RAJPOOT- 8/10
Ankit Rajpoot was bought by KXIP after his exploits for KKR in previous seasons. Rajpoot played 8 games and picked up 11 wickets with a best of 5/14. He impressed with pace and movement off the wicket and bowled wonderful bouncers and yorkers at will.
BARINDER SRAN- 2/10
Barinder Sran was amazing for SRH in previous seasons of IPL, but in his first season with KXIP, he managed to pick just 4 wickets in 6 matches and spent runs at an economy of 10.40. He was taken for runs every time he played and lost the confidence of team management to give him consistent chances.