With a new captain and coaching staff, a lot was expected of Kings XI Punjab in Indian Premier League 2020. They had built a promising squad in the auction and were looked at as strong contenders for a spot in the playoffs.
However, the one word that sums up Kings XI Punjab’s IPL 2020 campaign is: heartbreaking.
KXIP have competed in all 13 editions of the T20 tournament but have reached the playoffs just twice, the last of which was way back in 2014 when they topped the league stage but lost in the final. And in IPL 2020, they had a rollercoaster of a run and finished in sixth position.
KXIP's results in every IPL season
|Season||League stage finish||Playoff result|
|IPL 2008||2nd||Lost in semi-final|
|IPL 2011||5th out of 10||––|
|IPL 2012||6th out of 9||––|
|IPL 2013||6th out of 9||––|
|IPL 2014||1st||Lost in final|
The real damage to Punjab’s campaign happened in the first couple of weeks. In their opening match, they failed to get one run off the last three balls and went on to lose the Super Over. Then, in their third game, Rajasthan Royals notched-up the highest-ever chase in IPL history to hand them a crushing defeat in a match they had no business losing. These two losses took Punjab’s confidence away and they went on to lose four more matches consecutively.
However, there was more heartache in store for KL Rahul and Co. A sensational run of five straight victories brought them back in contention for a playoff spot. They would have made it had they won their last two matches but sadly, they suffered two more defeats to cap off a frustrating season.
KXIP's match results in IPL 2020
|DC vs KXIP||Dubai||KXIP lost in Super Over|
|KXIP vs RCB||Dubai||KXIP won by 97 runs|
|RR vs KXIP||Sharjah||KXIP lost by 4 wickets|
|KXIP vs MI||Abu Dhabi||KXIP lost by 48 runs|
|KXIP vs CSK||Dubai||KXIP lost by 10 wickets|
|SRH vs KXIP||Dubai||KXIP lost by 69 runs|
|KXIP vs KKR||Abu Dhabi||KXIP lost by 2 runs|
|RCB vs KXIP||Sharjah||KXIP won by 8 wickets|
|MI vs KXIP||Dubai||KXIP won after 2 Super Overs|
|KXIP vs DC||Dubai||KXIP won by 5 wickets|
|KXIP vs SRH||Dubai||KXIP won by 12 runs|
|KKR vs KXIP||Sharjah||KXIP won by 8 wickets|
|KXIP vs RR||Abu Dhabi||KXIP lost by 7 wickets|
|CSK vs KXIP||Abu Dhabi||KXIP lost by 9 wickets|
The thing that will sting KXIP the most is the fact that they had a number of consistent individual performers right through the season. But even then, they just couldn’t close out games.
Captain Rahul won the Orange Cap after yet another 600+ tally and, despite having a not-so-great strike-rate, was dependable at the top of the order. His opening partner Mayank Agarwal, too, was mighty impressive and gave the team a number of flying starts.
And then there was the great Chris Gayle, who was brought in for the second half of the season and set the tournament alight with some vintage strokeplay. The left-hander was shifted to No 3 but that didn’t stop him from having a big impact.
And in Nicholas Pooran, they had another batsman who produced moments of magic.
Most runs for KXIP in IPL 2020
In terms of bowling. Mohammed Shami led the way with 20 wickets in the season. The right-arm quick was expensive at times but provided key breakthroughs on most occasions.
Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi was one of the finds of the season. Playing his first IPL, he bowled with great confidence and troubled the best in the business. KXIP surely have a future star in their ranks with Bishnoi.
Murugan Ashwin was impressive in parts too but the rest of the KXIP bowling attack did lack spark. The likes of Chris Jordan and Arshdeep Singh played regularly but failed to make consistent impact while the chopping and changing did not help their cause.
Most wickets for KXIP in IPL 2020
KL Rahul and Co were arguably the most entertaining side of IPL 2020 but in the end, the results matter. KXIP had only themselves to blame for the number of times they did not cross the finish line.
Video highlights of all KXIP matches in IPL 2020
Highlights videos courtesy: iplt20.com