The 7th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is upon us and all the teams are geared up once again for the “Cricket Ka Karmayudh”. The teams are fresh off the auctions and the landscape of most of the teams has changed to a considerable extent. Players who have been part of a team for 6 straight years will be seen playing against their franchise in this edition of the IPL. Lots of money was spent on various star players and lot of hopes and hearts would depend on their success. (Read: Meet the star mentors of IPL 2014)
Talking about players, T20 traditionally has been a very non-traditional game of cricket. Teams prefer picking up unorthodox and dazzling stroke makers in their sides rather than the more orthodox batsmen, a bowler who is smart and has good amount of variations is preferred to a more technical off spinner or leggie. Let’s take a look at all the teams and the players who will make a difference to their team’s performance:
1- Mumbai Indians: The Mumbai Indians team will miss the services of the veteran and star batsmen Sachin Tendulkar this year. But the owners have smartly replaced the master with another great batsman in the form of Michael Hussey. The team has retained four of their previous players and the balance of the team looks good even though they will miss the services of some of their stars from the previous editions. (Read: Mumbai Indians decides against bid for Indian Super League football franchise)
Players to look forward to: Rohit Sharma, Michael Hussey, Lasith Malinga, Keiron Pollard, Corey Andersen.
2- Kings XI Punjab: The kings XI team looks a very strong team on the paper and the whole team has undergone a transition this year. It’s filled with star T20 players from top to bottom and might very well be the most exciting team in this year’s competition.
Players to look forward to: Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, David Miller, Shaun Marsh, Virendra Sehwag. (Read: List of KXIP Players Bought for IPL 7)
3- Royal challengers Bangalore: The RCB team has the most explosive batting lineup that any team will ever have in a T20 tournament. It’s almost a dream batting line up for what it’s worth. If the batting line up plays up to their potential, you can simply consider the challengers as the favorites this year. Although the form of southpaw Yuvraj Singh is still a question, the team has enough explosives in their batting to get the job done. (Read: List of RCB Players Bought for IPL 7)
Players to look forward to: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Ab de Villiers, Mitchell stark, Yuvraj Singh.
4- Delhi Daredevils: The Daredevils didn’t retain a single player last year and has changed their entire team. They spent money smartly at this year’s auction and preferred buying players who would give them most amount of time for the course of the tournament. It would be really intriguing to look at the progress of the daredevils in the tournament as the team has a good mix of all round players the they lack the star names excluding a few. (Read: List of DD Players Bought for IPL 7)
Players to look forward to: Kevin Pietersen, Dinesh Karthik, James Neesham, Quinton de Kock, Mohammad Shami.
5- Sunrisers Hyderabad: The Hyderabad franchise saw resurgence in respect to their owners and their performance in the last IPL. The team has bought some good T20 specialist for this year’s IPL and has also retained 2 of their main heroes for last year’s success in the face of Dale Steyn and Shikhar Dhawan. With the Support staff almost the same as the previous year; it would be really fascinating to see their campaign in this year’s IPL. (Read: List of SRH Players Bought for IPL 7)
Players to look out for: David Warner, Dale Steyn, Shikhar Dhawan, Aaron Finch, Amit Mishra, Darren Sammy.
6- Chennai Super Kings: Chennai has by far been the most consistent and the most powerful team in the IPL so far. They have made it to the Semis of each and every edition of the IPL and barring the second edition, they have made it to the finals of every IPL. The two times champions will have a huge mountain to climb this year around. They have lost some of their most Reliable players in this year’s IPL and it would be interesting to see the mood in the camp after all the fixing and ownership Issues. (Read: IPL 7: 5 Overseas All-rounders to watch out for)
Players to watch out for: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf Du Plessis, Brendon McCullum, Ravindra Jadeja.
7- Kolkata Knight Riders: The Knight Riders had a very disappointing season last time around after winning the trophy in 2012. They have done a very smart thing and have retained some of their valuable players at a very low price. Most of the star players from the previous editions have been retained and the balance of the team looks very good as almost the same amount of money was spent to strengthen both the batting and the bowling line ups. Also the team has a good number of world class all rounders on their side.
Players to watch out for: Sunil Narine, Ryan ten doeschate, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Utthapa, Yusuf Pathan.
8- Rajasthan Royals: After four years of strong but inconsistent performances by the Jaipur Franchise, the team was finally able to redeliver their First edition performance in the 6th edition of the IPL. The team will be minus the services of Rahul Dravid in the role of the Captain but Rahul will be present with the team in mentors’ role. The team owners have build up a very strong team and made arguably the best buy of the year when they retained the upcoming youngster Sanju Samson after his amazing performance in the last Edition. (Read: List of RR Players Bought for IPL 7)
Players to watch out for: Steven Smith, Shane Watson, Sanju Samson, Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner.