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    Team profile: Kings XI Punjab cannot be underestimated

    Can Adam Gilchrist lead Punjab to their first IPL title?

    Can Adam Gilchrist lead Punjab to their first IPL title?

    New Delhi: The unfancied Kings XI Punjab team put up a spirited performance in the 2012 IPL season but fell marginally short of qualifying for the play-offs. Mandeep Singh and Parvinder Awana grabbed the opportunity to showcase their talent on the big stage and emerged as the highest run-getter and wicket-taker for their side in the tournament.

    This year KXIP bought Luke Pomersbach and Manpreet Gony in the February auction and also signed Sandeep Sharma, Manan Vohra and Aniket Choudhary. This year the team has a good mix of overseas and Indian players who are utility cricketers but they lack a star player in their squad. However, KXIP cannot be underestimated.

    Their skipper Adam Gilchrist will have to step up and deliver in order to galvanize the side. Last year, he came a cropper in the IPL and since then he hasn't played any competitive cricket. Gilchrist apart, the likes of Azhar Mahmood, Dimitri Mascarenhas, David Hussey and Ryan Harris bring plenty of experience to the side. From the Indian contingent, Praveen Kumar and Piyush Chawla are the key players.

    After opening its campaign against Pune Warriors India on April 7 in Pune, KXIP hosts Chennai Super Kings on May 10.

    Key Players: Azhar Mahmood, David Hussey, Mandeep Singh, Praveen Kumar

    Players Dropped: Abhishek Nayar, Love Ablish, Kyle Abbot, Ben Cutting, Paras Dogra, James Faulkner, Vikramjeet Malik, Ramesh Powar, Nathan Rimmington, Shalabh Srivastava, Stuart Broad

    Players Bought: Luke Pomersbach ($300,000), Manpreet Gony ($500,000) (in auction); Sandeep Sharma, Manan Vohra, Aniket Choudhary (through contract)

    Players Retained: Adam Gilchrist, Azhar Mahmood, David Hussey, David Miller, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Shaun Marsh, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Gurkeerat Singh, Harmeet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Nitin Saini, Parwinder Awana, Paul Valthaty, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, R Sathish, Siddharth Chitnis, Sunny Singh

    Overseas Players: Adam Gilchrist, Azhar Mahmood, David Hussey, David Miller, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Shaun Marsh, Luke Pomersbach

    Domestic Players: Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Gurkeerat Singh, Harmeet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Nitin Saini, Parwinder Awana, Paul Valthaty, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, R Sathish, Siddharth Chitnis, Sunny Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Manan Vohra, Aniket Choudhary