At just over the mid-way point of IPL 9, three teams are languishing at the bottom of the table- the Rising Pune Supergiants, the Royal Challengers Bengaluru, and the Kings XI Punjab (“KXIP”).
Expectations wise, the least surprising of the three to be at the bottom are the KXIP. Entering the season with relatively low expectations despite past success at the IPL, the KXIP have performed below par for much of the season. In large part this is due to the poor form of its expected performers- Australian Glenn Maxwell, recently demoted KXIP captain South African David Miller, and newly appointed captain India’s Murali Vijay. KXIP is also feeling the loss to injury of the usually reliable Shaun Marsh.
The KXIP may find themselves relegated to the bottom half of the standings this season in large part because of the lack of depth in batting and bowling, and especially because they seem to now lack the confidence to turn things around. An expected loss to the Kolkata Knight Riders would put the KXIP in a must-win situation for every remaining match that they play this season.
Unless Vijay, Maxwell and Miller reclaim past form and string together match-winning performances consistently, this season is only going to get worse from here on out. What the KXIP can use as motivation however is that they are coming off an impressive win against the league topping Gujarat Lions, and if such performances become the norm this season, then a reversal is within reach.
After all, anything is possible in a format like the IPL’s, but more of the same from the KXIP will see that window for reversal slam shut as early as in the coming week of play at IPL 2016.