As the 13th edition of IPL is all set to kick off on 19th September, the entire cricket fraternity and fans across the world are bouncing off the walls. With all the 59 games to take place across three venues viz. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, this year's IPL will be the most intense one, as no team will have the home advantage. In today's piece, we will be analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of all the eight teams.
Let us begin the comprehensive analysis with the defending champions.
|Mumbai Indians||Chennai Super Kings|
|Delhi Capitals||Sunrisers Hyderabad|
|Kolkata knight Riders||King 11 Punjab|
|Rajasthan Royal||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Kieron Pollard, Anmolpreet Singh, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Nathan Coulter Nile, Quinton de Kock, Digvijay Deshmukh, Ishan Kishan, Dhawal Kulkarni, Chris Lynn, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Anukul Roy
Strengths: Mumbai Indians are a team full of match-winning batsmen starting from the top-order to the lower-middle order. Thus, batting is their strength. Moreover, although Lasith Malinga has pulled out of IPL, the team has a strong bowling core. With the inclusion of Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile, the team management will expect the best in the first half of the tournament.
Weakness: The one thing which will affect the team most is spin bowling. Apart from Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya, there are no experienced spinners. Krunal Pandya will have added responsibility of leading the spin bowling. In the second half of the tournament, the pitches will go slow because there are only three venues. Consequently, there will be more requirements for spinners than fast bowlers.
Chennai Super Kings
Squad: M.S. Dhoni (C), KM Asif, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Sam Curran, Faf du Plessis, Rituraj Gaikwad, Josh Hazlewood, Imran Tahir, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Narayan Jagadeesan, Monu Kumar, Lungi Ngidi, Ambati Rayudu, R sai Kishore, Mitchell Santner, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Shane Watson
Strength: Since Chepauk is a spin-friendly ground, CSK always picks fantastic and threatening spinners. Spin-bowling has always been the strength of the team and it will be this year too. Their frontline spinners are Ravindra Jadeja and Imran Tahir while Piyush Chawla, Mitchell Santner, Karn Sharma, and U19 sensation R Sai Kishore will be the backups.
Weakness: CSK is a team where there aren't many weaknesses. Given the fact that there wasn't any cricket for the last six months and many of CSK's players like MS Dhoni, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Imran Tahir, etc. were out of their country's squad, the lack of match practice might turn out to be a weakness.
Squad: Shreyas Iyer (C), Ravichandran Ashwin, Avesh Khan, Alex Carey, Tushar Deshpande, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Sandeep Lamichanne, Amit Mishra, Anrich Nortje, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Keemo Paul, Kagiso Rabada, Ajinkya Rahane, Jason Roy, Ishant Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav
Strengths: Delhi Capitals foremost strength is the strong Indian batting core which consists of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishab Pant, and Ajinkya Rahane. This is the only team in the IPL that can go ahead without any overseas batsman. Since they've invested money for Shimron Hetmyer, he will contribute in the middle order. Furthermore, the appointment of Ricky Ponting as the head coach, the team can come up with flying colors this season.
Weakness: If they play Rishab Pant at four and Shimron Hetmyer at five, then they lack a proper finisher. Thus the team will heavily rely upon Pant and Hetmyer when it comes to finishing the games.
Squad: David Warner (C), Rashid Khan, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Fabian Allen, Jonny Bairstow, Basil Thampi, Priyam Garg, Shreevats Goswami, Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mitchell Marsh, Mohammad Nabi, Shahbaz Nadeem, T Natarajan, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Bavanka Sandeep, Sandeep Sharma, Sanjay Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Billy Stanlake, Virat Singh, Kane Williamson
Strengths: SRH has one of the best opening pairs in the IPL of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. While Warner scored 692 runs in 12 matches at an astonishing average of 69.20, Jonny Bairstow, in his debut IPL, scored 445 runs in 10 matches at an average of 55.62. Besides, Rashid Khan, who was bought as a spinner, has emerged as a potential finisher.
Weakness: The one aspect in which SRH is weak is the middle order which comprises Vijay Shankar and Wriddhiman Saha, who are not proper T20 batsmen.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Squad: Dinesh Kartik (C), Tom Banton, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Chris Green, Kuldeep Yadav, Siddhesh Lad, Eoin Morgan, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Nikhil Naik, Sunil Narine, Prasidh Krishna, Nitish Rana, Andre Russel, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Manimaran Siddharth, Rinku Singh, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy
Strength: The Dinesh Karthik led side emerged as favorites last season but unfortunately failed to qualify for the playoffs. The powerful West Indian players like Andre Russell and Sunil Narine contribute to the strengths. Both Russell and the flexible batsman Narine, who are all-rounders can turn any match in their favor.
Weakness: The lack of experienced fast-bowlers might haunt them. Although they bought Pat Cummins at 15.5 crores, the majority of fast-bowlers are Indian youngsters like Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, and Sandeep Warrier who lack experience. Moreover, the worrying form of Kuldeep Yadav who had a devastating last season will only add to the team management's worries.
Kings XI Punjab
Squad: KL Rahul (C), Mayank Agarwal, Arshdeep Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Krishnappa Gowtham, Harpreet Brar, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, Darshan Nalkande, Jimmy Neesham, Nicholas Pooran, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, Simran Singh, Jagdeesha Suchith, Tajinder Singh, Hardus Viljoen
Strengths: A strong leadership group comprising KL Rahul as the skipper, Glen Maxwell, who led his BBL team into two consecutive finals, and the experience of Anil Kumble as the coach forms a star-studded leadership core. Moreover, the presence of experienced West Indies players like Nicholas Pooran and Sheldon Cottrel is surely going to boost the side.
Weakness: KXIP is also a team with hardly any weaknesses. The unreliable form of Chris Gayle might haunt them. Apart from that, there is no weakness. They are a team that has high chances of qualifying for the playoffs.
Squad: Steve Smith (C), Varun Aaron, Akash Singh, Anuj Rawat, Jofra Archer, Jos Butler, Tom Curran, Shreyas Gopal, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Aniruddha Joshi, Kartik Tyagi, Mahipal Lomror, Mayank Markande, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Ankit Rajpoot, Sanju Samson, Shashank Singh, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tewatia, Oshane Thomas, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Robin Uthappa, Manan Vohra
Strengths: They have England's best white-ball batsman, Jos Buttler, and future best white-ball bowler, Jofra Archer. With the inclusion of Yashasvi Jaiswal as the opener, RR forms a strong opening pair. Furthermore, the availability of Shreyas Gopal as the frontline spinner in the UAE gives the team a morale boost ahead of the IPL.
Weakness: Despite having some of the best batsmen, the Rajasthan Royals lack a proper finisher. With the entire finishing responsibility thrown on the young Riyan Parag, this might become a worry.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Moeen Ali, Yuzvendra Chahal, Pavan Deshpande, AB de Villiers, Shivam Dube, Aaron Finch, Gurkeerat Mann, Mohammed Siraj, Chris Morris, Pawan Negi, Devdutt Padikal, Parthiv Patel, Joshua Philippe, Shahbaz Ahmad, Navdeep Saini, Dale Steyn, Isuru Udana, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Adam Zampa
Strengths: RCB might have overcome their biggest hurdle over the years, i.e. death bowling. With a variety of bowlers available like Chris Morris, Navdeep Saini, and Isuru Udana, their biggest hurdle might become their biggest strength. Along with that, the inclusion of Aaron Finch as the opening batsman will let Virat Kohli bat at his favorite position, i.e. number three.
Weakness: If Virat Kohli bats at three, Moeen and ABD at four or five, RCB don't have an experienced finisher. Shivam Dubey and Parthiv Patel or Gurkeerat at six and seven do not form a powerful lower middle order.
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