The Indian Premier League was inaugurated on April 18, 2008, in Bangalore and its 7th edition will commence on April 16, 2014, at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. The current champions, Mumbai Indians, will take over Kolkata Knight Riders in the opener and the final game will be played on June 1, 2014, at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. A total of eight teams participated in the first IPL and the same no will appear in the forthcoming tournament.
The Indian Premier League 2013 – Final, was played between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians on May 26, 2013, at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The latter smashed 148 runs for the loss of nine wickets in the allocated 20 overs and the first managed 125 with one wicket remaining. Mumbai Indians grabbed the important game by a margin of 23 runs and the coveted cup was lifted by their skipper Rohit Sharma.
Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad will be contesting for the title. The event will be co-hosted by the United Arab Emirates and India and will consist of a double round-robin and playoffs, comprising 60 matches in all. The initial 20 encounters will take place in the U.A.E while the remaining ones will be staged in India.
Chennai Super Kings is the supreme side which has clinched the title twice under the leadership of MS Dhoni whereas Deccan Chargers, Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders have grabbed it once each.
Chennai Super Kings –Stephen Felming (Coach), MS Dhoni (C), Baba Aparajith, Ravichandran Ashwin, Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, John Hastings, Matt Henry, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, Mithun Manhas, Ronit More, Pawan Negi, Ashish Nehra, Ishwar Pandey, Suresh Raina, Vijay Shankar, Mohit Sharma, Dwayne Smith.
Suresh Raina is the highest run getter in the IPL from 2008-2013. He smashed 2802 runs at an average of 35.02, the highest of unbeaten 100 with 1 hundred and 18 fifties. MS Dhoni led his squad from the front by scoring 2243 runs at an average of 38.01, the best of unbeaten 70 with 13 fifties while Brendon McCullum is hungry for runs in the T20 format.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Dwayne Bravo are among the top wicket takers with 64 and 53 wickets in the IPL so far and Samuel Badree along with Ravindra Jadeja will be hard to tackle.
CSK is one of the most balanced sides and their track record is better than any team’s. They reached the finals five times, won it twice and MS Dhoni looks confident to clinch the third one.
Delhi Daredevils – Gary Kirsten (Coach), Kevin Pietersen (C), Mayank Agarwal, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Siddarth Kaul, Milind Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jimmy Neesham, Wayne Parnell, HS Sharath, Rahul Sharma, Laxmi Shukla, Rahul Shukla, Ross Taylor, Manoj Tiwary, Saurabh Tiwary, Jaydev Unadkat, Murali Vijay, Jayant Yadav.
Kevin Pietersen is the most attacking player in the shortest version of the game and Jean-Paul Duminy is one of the most successful run getters in T20 for South Africa whereas Quinton de Kock can be a brilliant batsman on his day. Mohammed Shami, Shahbaz Nadeem and Nathan Coulter-Nile will assist their team to defend their score.
The new look team has very slim chances to reach the top spot and they will find themselves somewhere in the bottom.
Kings XI Punjab – Sanjay Bangar (Coach), George Bailey (C), Anureet Singh, Parvinder Awana, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeet Singh Mann, Beuran Hendricks, Mitchell Johnson, Karanveer Singh, Murali Kartik, Mandeep Singh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Akshar Patel, Thisara Perera, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Sandeep Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Shivam Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Manan Vohra.
Virender Sehwag has posted 2174 runs on board (2008-2013) averaging 29.37 with the best of 119 including 1 hundred and 15 fifties. George Bailey and Gelnn Maxwell carry the power to throw the ball out of the fence at will. The seasoned campaigners, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Thisara Perera and Mitchell Johnson, can turn the tables with their fierce bowling.
George Bailey is struggling with his form and was unable to leave any mark in the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup 2014. Virender Sehwag is gone past his best and the team will end up somewhere in the middle of the table.
Kolkata Knight Riders – Trevor Bayliss (Coach), Gautam Gambhir (C), Manvinder Bisla, Piyush Chawla, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Jacques Kallis, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Sayan Mondal, Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Veer Pratap Singh, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Robin Uthappa, Vinay Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav.
The skipper Gautam Gambhir is the fourth top scorer in IPL matches of all time with 2471 runs averaging 31.67 and the highest of 93 with 20 half centuries. Jacques Kallis and Manvinder Bisla along with Yusuf Pathan will form a strong batting combination. Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav and Shakib Al Hasan will make life difficult for the rival batsmen.
They will give a tough fight against the rival teams with a few surprising victories but it will be difficult for them to grab the title for the second time.
Mumbai Indians – John Wright (Coach), Rohit Sharma (C), Corey Anderson, Jasprit Burmah, Marchant de Lange, Ben Dunk, Chidhambaram Gautam, Sheryas Gopal, Harbhajan Singh, Josh Hazlewood, Michael Hussey, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga, Sushant Marathe, Pragyan Ojha, Kieron Polard, Ambati Rayudu, Krishmar Santokie, Jalaj Saxena, Pawan Suyal, Aditya Tare, Apoorv Wankhade.
Rohit Sharma powered 538 runs in the previous season while Michael Hussey was the run machine for Chennai Super Kings in 2013 and hammered 733 runs averaging 52.35, the best of 95 with 6 half centuries. Kieron Pollard enjoyed his best form in the sixth edition of IPL and was declared ‘Player of the match’ in the final.
Lasith Malinga is the leading wicket taker (2009-2013) with 103 scalps, averaging just 17.95 runs per wicket and the best of 5-13. Corey Anderson is a useful all rounder and Harbhajan Singh can turn the ball when required.
The Mumbai Indians were in the final twice and can make it for a third time with their determined lot of players. They have to keep their nerve under control and exhibit attacking cricket to maintain the crown.
Rajasthan Royals – Paddy Upton (Coach) – Shane Watson (C), Amit Mishra, Ankit Sharma, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Stuart Binny, Unmukt Chand, Kevon Cooper, Ben Cutting, James Faulkner, Brad Hodge, Deepak Hooda, Iqbal Abdulla, Dhawal Kulkarni, Vikramjeet Malik, Karun Nair, Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Kane Richardson, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Tim Southee, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Dishant Yagnik.
Shane Watson was announced ‘Player of the series’ in the IPL 2013 whereas James Faulkner, Brad Hodge and Ajinkya Rahane will assist their captain with their determined batting. Iqbal Abdulla, Kevon Cooper and Rajat Bhatia know how to stop the flow of runs.
The skipper Shane Watson should lead them from the front again and put his team on the right track. They are attempting to grasp the top position for a second time and will be among the top four units.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Daniel Vettori (Coach), Virat Kohli (C), Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim, Yuzvendra Chahal, AB de Villiers, Ashok Dinda, Chris Gayle, Shadab Jakati, Nic Maddinson, Tanmay Mishra, Albie Morkel, Muttiah Muralitharan, Harshal Patel, Parthiv Patel, Ravi Rampaul, Sachin Rana, Sandeep Warrier, Mitchell Starc, Yogesh Takawale, Yuvraj Singh, Vijay Zol.
Virat Kohli is the most dreadful batsman in all formats of the game and was declared ’Player of the series’ in the recently concluded ICC World T20 World Cup 2014. Chris Gayle has plundered 2512 runs (2009-2013) at an awesome average of 52.33, the best of unbeaten 175 comprising 4 centuries and 16 fifties while AB de Villiers will make his presence felt.
Albie Morkel has secured 76 wickets (2008-2013) in the IPL at an average of 27.07 with the best of 4-32. Mitchell Starc and Muttiah Muralitharan will strengthen the bowling power of their side.
RCB were in the finals twice but have yet to lead the chart and the performance of Virat Kohli along with Chris Gayle’s will be important for them. The formidable team has the power and flames which can bring them towards the top two for a third time.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – Tom Moody (Coach), Shikhar Dhawan (C), Srikkanth Anirudha, Ashish Reddy, Ricky Bhui, Aaron Finch, Moises Henriques, Jason Holder, Manpreet Juneja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chama Milind, Amit Mishra, Naman Ojha, Prasant Parameswaran, Parvez Rasool, Irfan Pathan, Amit Paunikar, Lokesh Rahul, Darren Sammy, Ishant Sharma, Karn Sharma, Dale Steyn, Brendan Taylor, Venugopal Rao, David Warner.
The batting will revolve around Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner, Moises Henriques and Aaron Finch whereas Dale Steyn, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Amit Mishra will lead their team’s bowling.
It will be an exciting squad which will fight until the end while the big guns such as David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan and Dale Steyn have to fire at the proper time that could enable them for the top two sides of the tournament.