With cricket fever rising to elevated temperatures as the ongoing World Cup tournament enters the knock-out stage, the Indian sub-continent gears up for a summer full of cricket fun as the 8th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to kick-start on 8th April 2015.
The reigning champions, Kolkata Knight Riders will host Mumbai Indians in the opening match and thereafter the league matches will continue for a month and a half, which will see 8 teams participating to fight it out for the title. Teams have undergone many changes this time around with six players being transferred across the squads before the IPL auction, which saw some massive buys. We bring to you the individual team compositions and what would click for them in the upcoming season of T20 carnival.
Losing to Kings XI Punjab in the second qualifier of season 7, the Chennai Super Kings had failed to make it to the finals last year. The team is blessed with star batsmen like captain cool MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Michael Hussey, Faf du Plessis, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith and Ravindra Jadeja, who have been in superb form with their hard-hitting skills seen in the recent world cup series. Bowlers like Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Samuel Badree, Kyle Abbott and Rahul Sharma make up the squad and bring in lot of variety to the attack. There are many all-rounders and young talent in the team who will give a range of combinations for Dhoni to experiment with.
Players to watch out for: Brendon McCullum, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina.
Outright Win Odds: 4.00 @ Bet365
Yuvraj Singh was the centre of attraction as he was grabbed by Delhi Daredevils for the latest IPL edition, which became one of the most talked about topics this year. He will be supported by other star batsmen like Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy and Angelo Mathews while youngsters like Saurabh Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav and Mayank Agarwal will feature in the batting line-up. Zaheer Khan will spearhead the attack with bowlers like Mohammad Shami, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Imran Tahir, Amit Mishra, Gurinder Sandhu, Jaydev Unadkat and others. The team has a well-balanced side of experience and youth, who will be eager to do well here.
Players to watch out for: Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan.
Outright Win Odds: 15.00 @ Bet365
It was heartbreak for the team to lose in the finals of the IPL last year but they will surely be eager to start with a clean slate this season. George Bailey will lead the side and his capabilities will help the team massively; batsmen like Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Virender Sehwag, Murali Vijay, Shaun Marsh and Wriddhiman Saha will form the batting line-up along with many capable youngsters. The team has many all-rounders like Thisara Perera, Beuran Hendricks, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Karanveer Singh and Mandeep Singh among others. Mitchell Johnson will provide the frontal attack while Axar Patel, Karanveer Singh, Nikhil Naik, Manan Vohra and Thisara Perera will bring variety with their spin and pace.
Players to watch out for: Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller.
Outright Win Odds: 7.00 @ Bet365
Claiming the title second time last year, KKR makes it all look very easy every time and this time too they have a great team composition with players like Shakib Al Hasan, Gautam Gambhir, Ryan ten Doeschate, Robin Uthappa, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell and Manish Pandey, making up the batting line-up. Bowlers Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins and Piyush Chawla will bring out their skills with the ball and provide the depth to the attack. All-rounders are aplenty with James Neesham, Sumit Narwal, Russell, Shakib and Doeschate, who will support with their match-winning tactics.
Players to watch out for: Gautam Gambhir, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan.
Outright Win Odds: 6.50 @ Bet365
Having been eliminated last time, Mumbai made some changes to its squad though they retained players like Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu and Keiron Pollard. Parthiv Patel, Unmukt Chand and R. Vinay Kumar have been the latest additions to the team, which features overseas players like Corey Anderson, Aaron Finch, Marchant de Lange, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell McClenaghan and Lendl Simmons. Finch, Anderson, Simmons, Rayudu and Pollard have been in good form with the bat whereas the bowling attack looks good with Malinga, Hazlewood, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan and Anderson.
Players to watch out for: Rohit Sharma, Corey Anderson.
Outright Win Odds: 6.00 @ Bet365
Engulfed with controversy, the team will be eager to let their skills do the talking this time around; Shane Watson has been retained and will lead the side that will feature star players like James Faulkner, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny and Sanju Samson, who went all guns blazing last time. Steven Smith, Kane Richardson, Abhishek Nayar, Rajat Bhatia, Watson and other youngsters will need to click with the bat while bowlers like Tim Southee, Pravin Tambe, Richardson, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ben Cutting, Ankit Sharma and James Faulkner will make life difficult for the opposition.
Players to watch out for: Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson.
Outright Win Odds: 9.00 @ Bet365
Virat Kohli has been stupendous in the ongoing world cup tournament and will look to lead the side with equal enthusiasm here; the team has several match-winners like Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Rilee Rossouw, Dinesh Karthik and the captain himself to name a few. Bowlers like Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Adam Milne, Darren Sammy, Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron, Sean Abbott and Abu Nechim will bring about the attack with pace and variety while all-rounders like Iqbal Abdulla, Sarfaraz Khan, Vijay Zol, Sandeep Warrier, Rossouw and Sammy will give them the required depth.
Players to watch out for: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle.
Outright Win Odds: 5.50 @ Bet365
It will be runs galore with Shikhar Dhawan being in great form with the bat along with overseas players like Kevin Pietersen, Kane Williamson and David Warner along with the likes of all-rounders Moises Henriques, Ashish Reddy, Karn Sharma and Laxmi Shukla. Dale Steyn will continue to spearhead the pace attack along with Trent Boult, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Praveen Kumar, Parvez Rasool and Ishant Sharma. Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara will also try to grab this opportunity and contribute with their skills while youngsters like Naman Ojha, Chama Milind and Ricky Bhui will be eager to step up to the limelight.
Players to watch out for: Shikhar Dhawan, Kevin Pietersen, David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Outright Win Odds: 9.00 @ Bet365
After an event as big as world cup, we’ll move onto the T20 carnival which arguably is loved as much in India. We’ve seen unpredictable results plenty of times in cricket and even more so in shortest format of the game. KXIP was thumped by Kolkata Knight Riders despite playing flawless cricket in league stage in last IPL.
Teams have shuffled in this season and we expect a tough competition from all the teams. With some big names joining the teams which underperformed the teams last year, all the teams are now much better balanced. Though the competition is tough, there are definitely favorites and underdogs. With explosive and players like Virender Sehwag and Glenn Maxwell. KXIP have proved their steel time and again. Chennai Super Kings have always made it to final stages. Although all the teams have good chance of getting the trophy, but I think betting on KXIP has the best risk-reward ratio and I’d place my money on them.