Hemant Brar

Where did they finish?

With six wins and 12 points, Kings XI Punjab ended IPL 2019 at the sixth position.

What went right?

KL Rahul and Chris Gayle's opening combination. The two added 500 runs at an average of 38.46, including two century stands and two half-century stands in 13 innings. Only David Warner and Jonny Bairstow (791 in 10 innings) and Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock (516 in 13) had more runs as an opening pair this season.

What went wrong?

A lot. To start with, it was almost a sense of déjà vu, as Kings XI, much like the last season, squandered another good start. After winning four out of their first six games, they managed just one win in their next seven games and were all but out of the race for the playoffs. The win against Chennai Super Kings in their last league game only ensured they didn't end with the wooden spoon.

There wasn't much support for Gayle and Rahul from the rest of the batting unit. Mayank Agarwal, the next successful batsman after the duo, reached 20 on eight occasions but could convert only two of those starts into the fifties. Too many changes to the team combination didn't help their cause either. Sarfaraz Khan, who started the tournament as one of the key batsmen, was nowhere in the frame by the end of it.

The lack of world-class allrounders was always going to affect Kings XI's combination. And their strategy to field only five specialist bowlers made things even worse. When one of the bowlers' had an off day, their captain R Ashwin didn't have anyone else to fill in the required overs. Injuries to Moises Henriques, Varun Chakravarthy and Mujeeb Ur Rahman at different stages only added to their woes.

R Ashwin reacts in the field BCCI
Key numbers

Kings XI's economy of 9.4 in the Powerplay was the worst among the eight teams. They also took the least number of wickets (12) and, therefore, had the worst strike rate (42) during that phase.

Ashwin registered an excellent economy of 5.5 between overs 16 and 20. But sadly for Kings XI, he bowled only six overs at the death.

Star performers

Who else but Rahul and Gayle? At the end of the league stage, Rahul's 593 runs in 14 innings - at an average of 53.90 - were second only to David Warner (692 in 12 innings). Despite his slow starts, Rahul's runs came at a strike rate of 135.38 and included a hundred and six fifties. Gayle was fifth on the run charts with 490 runs at an average of 40.83 and a strike rate of 153.60. The duo contributed 46.6% of the total bat-runs scored by Kings XI.

Mohammed Shami was the most successful bowler with 19 wickets from 14 games, while R Ashwin was the most economical - the offspinner's 15 wickets came at an economy of 7.27.

What needs immediate fix?

Kings XI desperately need a quality allrounder or two, who can help them solve the team-combination problem. Showing a bit more consistency in picking the playing XIs won't hurt either.