David Miller innings of 101* against Bangalore in 2014 edition of IPL © PTI
David Miller innings of 101* against Bangalore in 2014 edition of IPL © PTI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) is one of the most talked about Indian Premier League (IPL) teams since it inception in the year 2008. KXIP was purchased by Dabur group Mohit Burman (46%) in deliberation with the Wadia group’s Ness Wadia (23%), Bollywood actress Preity Zinta (23%) and Apeejay Surendera group’s Karan Paul to represent the state of Punjab, for a total sum of USD 76 million. PCA Stadium at Mohali was chosen as the home ground for the franchise. India’s talismanic Yuvraj Singh was their icon player, and led KXIP in their first season. In IPL 2008 the team faulted in the semi-final stage losing out to eventual runners-up Chennai Super Kings (CSK). KXIP had players of the caliber of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakarra, Simon Katich , Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Sreesanth, and Irfan Pathan. The first season of IPL will be remember for the ugly spat between Mumbai Indians’ Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth in what came to be known as the ‘slap-gate’ incident. ALSO READ: IPL 2016 Royal Challengers Bangalore Team and Squad: List of players retained by RCB team before Indian Premier League 9 auction

Moving into next season, KXIP was captained by Sangakkara, where they ended at fifth place. However, arguably their most disappointing season yet was IPL 2010, where they ended the competition at the bottom of the table having lost as many as 10 out of their 14 matches. The 2011 season of IPL was a rough ride for KXIP, following their exclusion from the league following allegations of wrongdoing in its financial dealings. They managed to get a good verdict from the High Court, which helped them play the 2011 season. Australia’s Adam Gilchrist took over the reigns, and KXIP lost out on a final-four finish by a margin of just 2 points. KXIP could not qualify in 2012 or 2013 either. The 2013 season will be remembered as the edition where South Africa’s David Miller showcased his batting prowess to the whole world, as he scored a fantastic 101 not out off 38 deliveries to stun Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). ALSO READ: IPL 2016 auction: Complete list of IPL teams with funds before Indian Premier League (IPL) 9 auction

IPL season 2014 was by far the best season for KXIP as they finished runners-up after losing to winners Kolkata Knight Riders by 3 wickets in a nail-biting final-over finish. KXIP was applauded for it’s aggressive approach under the captaincy of Australia’s George Bailey, who had players like Virender Sehwag, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, and David Miller to boast of. However, despite having virtually the same side, season 2015 was a nightmare for KXIP, who finished at the bottom of the league.

Australia’s Shaun Marsh has been the corner stone of KXIP since the first season, leading the race for most runs for the team. He has scored 2,054 runs in 56 matches at an impressive average of 41.91 and a strike rate of 133.55. He is one of the few players to have been with the same side for every single edition of IPL yet. The next-highest run-scorer for KXIP is David Miller with 1,319 runs at 42.54. Their most successful bowler has been Piyush Chawla — who now plays for Kolkata Knight Riders — with 84 wickets at an average of 26.63. Chawla played for the franchise from 2008-2013. KXIP’s highest margin of victory in terms of has runs been against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), which came when they won by 111 runs at Dharamsala in the 2011 season. KXIP’s closest defeat came in the inaugural season where they lost out to Mumbai Indian by just 1 run chasing 190 at Mumbai.

Coming into the ninth edition of IPL, KXIP will want to do away with the horrors of last year and look get up their winnings ways in what seems like a cricket-loaded year. KXIP so far have retained international players such as Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, and David Miller; each of whom can on their day turn the match on its head. Leading the domestic talent are players such as Murali Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha, Manan Vohra, Rishi Dhawan, Akshar Patel, and Gurkeerat Singh. Going into the auction on February 6 KXIP will have a purse ₹23,00,00,000 to play around with. Former KXIP player Virender Sehwag has also been appointed by Kings XI Punjab as the mentor, and will work along side head coach Sanjay Bangar.

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry, who enjoys his weekly dose of anime, and plays cricket once a white moon. His twitter handle is @vishal_oxyjinn)