Home > Features >

Kings XI Punjab’s local talent gives them an added dimension in IPL 2014

Manan Vohra was lauded by experts for his temperament in the last edition of the IPL © IANS
Manan Vohra was lauded by experts for his temperament in the last edition of the IPL © IANS

With the IPL fever slowly gripping the nation, the spotlight on Indian domestic players has inevitably risen. Shiamak Unwalla looks at the team with the most local players, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).

The Indian Premier League (IPL) was first pitched as the ideal stage for local Indian talent to play with, and against some of the top players in international cricket. While this has been the case for the most part, there have been moments when local players were sidelined for more lucrative international stars. Just ask Subramaniam Badrinath and Munaf Patel.

When one looks at the team sheets in IPL 2014, what stands out is that most teams look more like a Rest-of-India squad than a local franchise. A team like the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) spent copious amounts of money on some players, but has a grand total of zero Karnataka cricketers. This after the small matter of Karnataka winning the Ranji, Irani and Vijay Hazare trophies. Curiously enough, with Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and R Vinay Kumar in their ranks, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) actually look a lot more like a side from the IT capital. Oh, and there is only one player from Bengal in the KKR side.

Now, imagine a scenario in which KKR play RCB in Bengaluru, and Uthappa scores a rapid 80-odd, or Vinay takes a hat-trick. Would the spectators at the Chinnaswamy stadium cheer for their home team or their home cricketers? Which would be fairer to the players? Which would be fairer to the team? Which would be fairer for the fans?

With all this in mind, let us now look at the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) squad. What sticks out immediately is that they have managed to pick up a lot of local talent. The George Bailey-led side has as many as five players from the Punjab domestic team. Two of their other players play for Himachal Pradesh and Railways respectively, both of which have a very strong connection with the franchise. After all, Dharamshala, which is one of the home grounds of KXIP, is in Himachal Pradesh.

Kings XI retained Manan Vohra, a young and upcoming batsman from Punjab whose temperament and timing impressed a lot of people in the sixth edition of the IPL. Apart from him, Mandeep Singh, Gurkeerat Singh, Harmeet Singh Bansal, and Sandeep Sharma are the other domestic players from Punjab to be picked up by KXIP.

Sandeep Sharma (right) made his IPL debut last year © IANS
Sandeep Sharma (right) made his IPL debut last year © IANS

Mandeep was the IPL Under-25 player of the tournament in 2012, and was one of the bright spots on an otherwise disappointing season for KXIP last year. Gurkeerat has been a part of the Kings XI Punjab set-up for a number of years, and has done quite well for them. His outstanding catch to get rid of Ross Taylor in the 2013 edition comes to mind. Harmeet Singh Bansal has been a steady bowler, prone to bowl miserly spells from time to time, first for the Deccan Chargers and now for KXIP. Sandeep Sharma made his IPL debut last year for KXIP and managed a few decent outings, with a best bowling effort of three for 21.

Himachal Pradesh all-rounder Karanveer Singh will be making his IPL debut this year, while Railways medium-pacer Anureet Singh last played in the IPL in 2009 for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Apart from these domestic cricketers, Shaun Marsh has been playing for the KXIP ever since the first edition of the IPL. By this point, he would probably be considered more of a local player than Yuvraj.

In the past, we have seen teams like Rajasthan Royals (RR), Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) build up an aura of impregnability at home. With so much of local flavour and a very strong side on paper, it is quite conceivable that once the IPL shifts to the Indian leg of the tournament, the fan support in home matches might well make them an extremely tough side to beat.

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Shiamak Unwalla is a correspondent with Cricket Country. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Saeed Ajmal’s action to be assessed after two more weeks of remedial work under Saqlain Mushtaq

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Ottis Gibson: I was fired by West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Teams display confidence ahead of the World Cricket League Division 3

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Younis Khan: First Pakistani and 12th overall to score a century against all 9 Test nations

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Diwali special: Check out what gifts Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha, Hrithik Roshan should exchange this Diwali!

Lenovo RocStar music-focused Android KitKat smartphone with Dolby Digital Plus audio launched in India, priced at Rs 6,499

Narendra Modi to celebrate Diwali with soldiers at Siachen Glacier

Google’s new Inbox app is the Google Now of Gmail

इबोला : अंतर्राष्ट्रीय लड़ाई में क्यूबा का साथ देगा अमेरिका

इबोला से संक्रमित अमेरिकी फोटोग्राफर विषाणु मुक्त घोषित

How are Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra and Alia Bhatt celebrating Diwali?

Diwali 2014 Special: Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Sunny Leone – Top 7 Bollywood patakas we love!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here