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IPL Preview

In Cricket on March 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm

This season’s edition of the IPL returns to the shores of India, as
the eight teams face off for the 3rd time to decide who are the kings
of Indian cricket.

Last year, Adam Gilchrist fired his Deccan Chargers from last place in
the table to the top of the heap, but other teams have splashed the
cash to take their crown.

Here’s a run-down of each team, starting with the defending champs:




Deccan Chargers


Coach: Darren Lehmann
Captain: Adam Gilchrist

2008: 8th
2009: 4th, Champions

New Signings: Azhar Bilakhia, Anirudh Singh, Bodapati Sumanth, Ashish
Reddy, Kemar Roach (West Indies), Mohnish Mishra, Mitchell Marsh
(Australia)

Not Returning: Chamara Silva (Sri Lanka) Abhinav Kumar , Nuwan Zoysa
(Sri Lanka), Fidel Edwards (West Indies), P. Vijay Kumar,
D.Kalyankrishna, Jaskarandeep Singh, M Sarveesh Kumar, S.M.Shoaib,
M.S.Bisla, Halhadar Das

Squad:

Batsmen:- Rohit Sharma, V.V.S.Laxman, Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa)
Venugopal Rao,
Arjun Yadav,
T.Suman, D.B.Ravi Teja,
Anirudh Singh, Azhar Bilakhia, Rahul Sharma

Bowlers:- Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka)
R.P.Singh,
Pragyan Ojha,
Kemar
Roach (West Indies), Harmeet Singh

All Rounders:- Andrew Symonds (Australia),
Ryan Harris (Australia),
Dwayne Smith (West Indies), Mitchell Marsh (Australia), Monish Mishra,
Ashish Reddy, Bodapati Sumanth

Wicket Keepers:- Adam Gilchrist (Australia) CAPT


Last year’s champions have lost a number of players from their
IPL winning season, but have managed to keep most of their key personnel
in place. The loss of Fidel Edwards robs them of some pace, but they
have tried to address this by signing international team-mate Kemar
Roach. They’ve also snapped up some talented Indians to add to their
solid homegrown base.

Indian talent:
With only four overseas players allowed to take to the
field each game, the strength of each team’s Indian core will be key
to their hopes. In this respect, the Chargers are in good shape.
Rohit Sharma has been one of the stars of the IPL in the last few
years, and with the extravagantly talented Laxman and the dangerous
Rao, their batting line up is fairly well set. They also possess last
year’s leading wicket taker in RP Singh, Harmeet Singh, and up and
coming spinner Pragyan Ojha, to complement their array of overseas
talents.

Overseas players:
Gilchrist is captain and the sole wicket-keeper
in the squad, so the Chargers effectively have only three spots open for
non-Indians. They may have overspent here, with seven players
competing for those spots. Herschelle Gibbs can be a match-winner, but
is just as likely to throw his wicket away early, while Andrew Symonds
could also be one of the players of the tournament should he find some
form. Kemar Roach was signed to bolster the bowling, but is still
unproven. Chaminda Vaas adds valuable experience, while at the other
end of the spectrum, it will be very interesting to see how the 18
year old Mitchell Marsh gets on. Ryan Harris should be a solid
performer, and Dwayne Smith is another X factor who could win them the
odd match.

Outlook: Overall, they look to have strengthened since last year. Last
year though, they got very lucky. Scraping into the semi-finals on run
rate, a blistering knock from Adam Gilchrist won them the semi final
before they got out of jail against Bangalore in an epic final.

Selection is the issue. Juggling their overseas players and
getting the balance right will be very difficult. It looks like a
tricky task trying to keep the side balanced, and this may be their
downfall.


Royal Challengers Bangalore


Coach: Ray Jennings
Captain: Anil Kumble

2008: 7th
2009: 3rd, RU


New Signings:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Eoin Morgan (England), Abhimanyu
Mithun, S Sriram, KP Appanna, Steven Smith (Australia)

Not Returning: Nathan Bracken (Australia), Jesse Ryder (New Zealand),
Wasim Jaffer

Squad:

Batsmen:- Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
Rahul Dravid,
Kevin
Pietersen (England)
Robin Uthappa,
Manish Pandey, S Sriram, Eoin
Morgan (England)

Bowlers:- Dale Steyn (South Africa),
Anil Kumble CAPT,
Vinay Kumar,
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, KP Appanna, Abhimanyu Mithun

All Rounders:- Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
Virat Kohli,
Cameron
White (Australia)
Praveen Kumar,
Roelof van der Merwe (South Africa),
Balachandra Akhil,
Dillon du Preez (South Africa), Steven Smith
(Australia)

Wicket Keepers:- Mark Boucher (South Africa)
, Shreevats Goswami (India)


Last year, the Royal Challengers were the team to beat. They were
hugely impressive on their way to the final, where they got themselves
into a great position against the Chargers. Unfortunately, it was not
to be.

This year, they’re without Wasim Jaffer and overseas stars Nathan
Bracken and Jesse Ryder. They have signed England’s Eoin Morgan and
young Aussie Steve Smith to compensate.

Indian talent: With Rahul Dravid, Robin Uthappa, Anil Kumble and Virat
Kohli, among others, they have a solid base. Uthappa and Kohli can be
devastating on their day, while Kumble and Praveen Kumar will lead the
bowling attack. Another one to watch out for will be young talent
Manish Pandey, who comes into this year’s IPL in great form and with a
growing reputation.

Overseas players:
Defined by their South African spine, the
Challengers have once again gone all out with their signings. Jaques
Kallis, Mark Boucher and Dale Steyn should start the majority of their
matches, and with Roelof van der Merwe and Dillon du Preez adding some
all round know how, they once again have a strong Saffa contingent.

They didn’t stop there though, and in addition to Morgan, they also
spent big on Kevin Pietersen, Cameron White, Ross Taylor and Steve
Smith to assemble one of the more impressive groups in the
competition.

Outlook:
With so many overseas talents to try and shoehorn into the
line-up, finding the right mix will be essential if they want to reach
another final. There is so much one day expertise in the squad though,
they should be contenders once again.


Mumbai Indians


Coach: Robin Singh
Captain: Sachin Tendulkar

2008: 5th
2009: 7th


New Signings:
Kieron Pollard (West Indies), Ambati Rayudu, Chandan Madan,
Syed Sahabuddin, Graham Napier (England), Dwayne Bravo (West Indies),
Ali Murtaza, R Sathish, Aditya Tare, Ishan Malhotra, Rahul Shukla,
Abhishek Nayar, Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka), Ryan McLaren (South
Africa)

Not Returning: Mohammad Ashraful (Bangladesh), Jaydev Shah, Ajinkya Rahane,
Rahil Sheikh, Rohan Raje, Chetanya Nanda, Luke Ronchi (Australia),
Pinal Shah, Yogesh Takawale

Squad:

Batsmen:- Sachin Tendulkar, CAPT
, Jean-Paul Duminy (South Africa),
Saurabh Tiwary, 
Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul Shukla,
R Sathish, Ambati Rayudu

Bowlers:- Harbhajan Singh,
 Zaheer Khan,
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
Dhawal Kulkarni,
 Dilhara Fernando (Sri Lanka), Ishan Malhotra, Syed
Sahabuddin, Ryan McLaren (South Africa)

All Rounders: Keiron Pollard (West Indies), Abishek Nayar,
Graham Napier (England), Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka), Dwayne Bravo
(West Indies), Ali Murtaza

Wicket Keepers:- Chandan Madan, Aditya Tare



Led by the evergreen Sachin Tendulkar, Mumbai will be desperate
to atone for their disappointing IPL performances so far, as they are
one of only two teams, along with the Knight Riders, yet to make a semi final appearance.
They have one of the more dangerous bowling attacks in the
competition, but despite signing a battery of international talent,
they still look a bit short in the batting department.

Indian talent: Along with Tendulkar, the Indians have two of the
country’s best bowlers in Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan. Shikhar Dhawan is one of the young players to watch out for, but beyond that, they rely far too heavily on
their expensive signings.

Overseas players: To bolster their underpowered batting line-up,
they’ve held on to JP Duminy and Sanath Jayasuriya. Unfortunately,
both are woefully out of form, which could really damage his side’s
chances. Lasith Malinga will add some real fire to the attack aswell. After that, they’ll be relying on some young Indian players
and all-rounders like Bravo, Pollard and Napier. This could easily
backfire.

Outlook: Not too promising. Tendulkar is still one of the best bats on
the planet, and if Duminy and Jayasuriya fire, along with young
talents like Dhawan and Tiwary, they could set up a nice platform for
their big-hitting all-rounders. Relying on out of form players for big
performances is a dangerous game though, and it’s unlikely that
they’ll win too many games, even with the magnificent bowlers they can
call on.


Kolkata Knight Riders

Coach: Dav Whatmore
Captain: Sourav Ganguly

2008: 6th
2009: 8th

New Signings: Chirag Pathak, G Vignesh, Manoj Tiwary, Rohan Gavaskar,
Harshad Khadiwale, Varun Aaron, Eklakh Ahmed, Owais Shah (England)

Not Returning: Morne van Wyk (South Africa), Debabrata Das, Aakash
Chopra, Mohnish Parmar, David Hussey (Australia), Moises Henriques
(South Africa), Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (Bangladesh)


Squad:

Batsmen:- Brad Hodge (Australia)
Cheteshwar Pujara, Owais Shah
(England), Manoj Tiwary, Harshad Khadiwale, Chirag Pathak, Rohan
Gavaskar

Bowlers:- Ajantha Mendis (Sri Lanka),
Ishant Sharma,
Murali Kartik,
Ashoke Dinda,
Charl Langeveldt (South Africa), Varun Aaron, Eklakh
Ahmed

All Rounders:- Sourav Ganguly CAPT
,Chris Gayle (West Indies),
Ajit
Agarkar,
Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)
Laxmi Ratan Shukla,
Iqbal
Abdullah, Ganapathy Vignesh

Wicket Keepers:- Brendon McCullum (New Zealand), 
Wriddhiman Saha


The only other team yet to make a semi final, Sourav Ganguly’s
Knight Riders have been a bit of a disappointment thus far. With a
rock solid base and some cracking overseas talent though, there’s no
reason why this squad can’t compete.

Indian talent:
Ganguly leads the side, but despite being joined in the
batting line-up by internationals Manoj Tiwary and Rohan Gavaskar, the
overseas players will probably shoulder most of the batting burden.
Bowling is where the team’s real homegrown strength lies. Ishant
Sharma, Ajit Agarkar and the economical Ashok Dinda will lead the
line, with Murali Kartik and Laxmi Shukla also providing some
variation.

Overseas players: To bolster the batting line-up, big hitters Chris
Gayle and Brendon McCullum return, and will play most games along with
Owais Shah and Brad Hodge. Ajantha Mendis will get plenty of wickets
with the ball, while Sri Lankan Angelo Mathews is also a real talent.
South African Charl Langeveldt is a steady performer with the ball
too, and gives Ganguly and the selectors even more options.

Outlook: Depending on who they choose, they could have a really
dangerous batting line-up to go with their excellent bowling attack.
Should they pick Mendis, Langeveldt and Mathews in the same team
though, the batting will look very weak. This could be their downfall,
and they will be doing well to reach a first semi final.


Delhi Daredevils

Coach: Greg Shipperd
Captain: Gautam Gambhir

2008: SF
2009: 1st, SF

New Signings: Umesh Yadav, Kedar Jadhav, Wayne Parnell (South Africa),
Shashi Ranjan, Joginder Singh, Moises Henriques (South Africa),
Sarandeep Singh, Sarabjit Ladda, Aavishkar Salvi,

Not Returning:
Owais Shah (England) Manoj Tiwary, Daniel Vettori (New Zealand), Glenn McGrath (Australia) Vijaykumar Yo Mahesh, Paul Collingwood (England)

Squad:
Batsmen:- David Warner (Australia),
Gautam Gambhir CAPT,
Virender
Sehwag, Joginder Singh, Kedar Jadhav,

Bowlers:- Ashish Nehra,
Pradeep Sangwan,
Amit Mishra,
Dirk Nannes
(Australia), Umesh Yadav, Wayne Parnell (South Africa), Sarandeep
Singh, Aavishkar Salvi, Sarabjit Ladda

All Rounders:- Farveez Maharoof (Sri Lanka),
Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri
Lanka),
Rajat Bhatia,
Andrew McDonald (Australia),
Mithun Manhas,
Shashi Ranjan, Moises Henriques (South Africa)

Wicket Keepers:- Dinesh Karthik,
 AB de Villiers (South Africa)


The Dare Devils have come agonisingly close to the big one the
last two years, falling at the semi final stage in both of the
previous tournaments. Last year’s defeat to the Chargers will have
been especially hard to swallow, as their table topping efforts were
all voided by one tornado knock from the incomparable Adam Gilchrist.

They’ve had a bit of a reshuffle this year, but should still be well
in contention for another semi final appearance.

Indian talent: With Sehwag and Gambhir opening, they have the capacity
to take a game out of reach before it’s even got going. Beyond those
two though, there’s not an awful lot of batting to rely on. Dinesh
Karthik can be a dangerous customer, but after that, their batting is
quite weak in comparison to the sides around them. Ashish Nehra and
Amit Mishra will lead the bowling attack, but a lot will rest on that
opening pair.

Overseas players: AB de Villiers, David Warner and Tillekaratne
Dilshan should should add steel to the fragile middle order which was
their undoing in the last IPL, and their bowling will be immeasurably
strengthened by the addition of Wayne Parnell. He and Dirk Nannes will
form one of the more formidable opening pairs around.

Backing up these five players will be all-rounders Andrew McDonald,
Farveez Maharoof and Moises Henriques, who should be able to do a
professional job when the others are rested.

Outlook: They have some explosive talents, and could rip apart any
team in the world, but you feel they could be really vulnerable if a
few early wickets fall. They should have enough to make the semis
again, but might find it difficult when the pressure is on.


Chennai Super Kings

Coach: Stephen Fleming
Captain: MS Dhoni

2008: RU
2009: 2nd, SF

New Signings: Thissara Perera (Sri Lanka), C Ganapathy, Justin Kemp
(South Africa), Hemang Badani, Jacob Oram (New Zealand)

Not Returning: Ankit Gupta, Abhinav Mukund, Palani Amarnath, Joginder Sharma,
Selvam Suresh Kumar, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Ravichandran Ashwin,
Napoleon Einstein, Viraj Kadbe

Squad:
Batsmen:- Matthew Hayden (Australia)
Suresh Raina,
Michael Hussey
(Australia)
Murali Vijay,
George Bailey (Australia)
Arun Karthik,
Subramaniam Badrinath, Hemang Badani,

Bowlers:- Manpreet Gony,
Lakshmipathy Balaji,
Makhaya Ntini (South
Africa)
Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)
Sudeep Tyagi,
Shadab Jakati, Ravichandran Ashwin, Thissara Perera (Sri Lanka),
Ganapathy Chandrashekhar

All Rounders:-
Thilan Thushara (Sri Lanka),
Albie Morkel (South Africa),
Justin Kemp (South Africa), Jacob Oram (New Zealand)

Wicket Keeper:- Mahendra Singh Dhoni CAPT,
 Parthiv Patel

The Super Kings came 2nd in the table last year, but fell to
the Royal Challengers in the semi final as the top four were turned on
their head. They missed out on their first choice overseas players
this year, in Bond, Morgan, Pollard and Roach, but they have one of
the strongest squads in the competition, and should be real contenders
again this year.

Indian talent: Marshalled by international captain MS Dhoni, they
possess a well balanced squad, with Parthiv Patel, Subramaniam
Badrinath and Suresh Raina giving them a strong backbone in the
batting line up.

Their bowling is slightly less impressive, but with rising stars
Manpreet Gony and Lakshmipathy Balaji returning this year, they have a
good template to work with.

Overseas players: Already top-heavy with overseas talent, the Super
Kings signed another three international stars in Justin Kemp, Jacob
Oram and Thissara Perera. They possess some serious players, with
Matthew Hayden the top run scorer last year. They also have Michael
Hussey and Albie Morkel, who are capable of taking over a game at any
point, while their bowling attack has been supplemented by the return
of spin king Muttiah Muralitharan and Makhaya Ntini. Aussie George
Bailey and Thilan Thushara round out an awesome array of signings.

Outlook: With arguably the most impressive signings out of anyone in
the IPL, the Super Kings mean business. The best team ever to be named
after a pack of smokes have the ability to destroy any team in the
world, and if they can get the right chemistry in the squad, they will
take some stopping.


Rajasthan Royals

Coach/Captain: Shane Warne

2008:
Champions
2009: 6th

New Signings: Damien Martyn (Australia), Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Abhishek Raut, Faiz Fazal, Amit Paunikar, Amit Singh, Naman Ojha, Johan Botha (South Africa), Michael Lumb (England), Shrikant Wagh, Sumit Narwal, Syed Quadri, Kamran Khan,

Not Returning:
Ravindra Jadeja, Robert Quiney (Australia), Mohammad Kaif, Dinesh Salunkhe, Raiphi Gomez, Niraj Patel, Lee Carseldine, Shane
Harwood (Australia), Sumeet Khatri, Anup Revandkar, Shane Watson
(Australia), Tyron Henderson (South Africa), Mahesh Rawat

Squad:

Batsmen:- Graeme Smith (South Africa)
Yusuf Pathan,
Swapnil Asnodkar,
Michael Lumb (England), Abishek JhunJhunwala, Amit Paunikar, Abhishek
Raut, Sumit Narwal, Faiz Fazal, Syed Quadri

Bowlers:- Shaun Tait (Australia)
Munaf Patel,
Shane Warne (Australia)
CAPT,
 Morné Morkel (South Africa), Shrikant Wagh, Kamran Khan, Amit
Singh

All Rounders:-
Siddharth Trivedi,
Dimitri Mascarenhas (England)
Johan Botha (South Africa), Morne Morkel (South Africa)

WicketKeeper:- Naman Ojha

The inaugural IPL champs struggled last year, limping into 6th
place. This year, they look even weaker, with Mohammed Kaif, Ravindra
Jadeja and Shane Watson huge losses for the team.

Indian talent: Precious little, unfortunately. Yusuf Pathan is a
quality player, while Siddarth Trivedi and Swapnil Asnodkar are
capable of producing, but probably not with the consistency required.
Munaf Patel will add pace to the attack, but beyond that, the Royals
are forced to rely on youngsters and journeymen to carry them through,
which will probably not be enough in this year’s supercharged
tournament.

Overseas players:
Shane Warne leads the team, and despite their
relative weakness, they will always compete with the Aussie master
at the helm. They’ve gone all out with the signings, snapping up
Damien Martyn, Johan Botha and Michael Lumb to add to an already
strong contingent that consists of Morne Morkel, Dmitri Mascarenhas,
Graeme Smith, Shaun Tait and the aforementioned Warne.

Outlook: Smith and Pathan will be relied on heavily for runs, and if they can
cobble together some good scores, then Munaf, Morkel, Tait and Warne
could terrorise the opposition batsmen. They will struggle for
consistency though, and will be doing well to secure a top half
finish.




Kings X1 Punjab

Coach: Tom Moody
Captain: Kumar Sangakkara

2008: SF
2009: 5th

New Signings: Adrian Barath (West Indies), Vikramjeet Malik, Bipul
Sharma, Manvinder Bisla, Shalabh Srivastava, Mohammad Kaif, Love
Ablish, Amanpreet Singh, Reetinder Singh Sodhi,

Not Returning:
Simon Katich (Australia), Sunny Sohal, Sahil Kukreja, Yash
Gandhi, Luke Pomersbach (Australia), Vikram Raj Vir Singh, Burt
Cockley (Australia), Ajitesh Argal, Wilkin Mota, Ryan Ninan

Squad:

Batsmen:- Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka)
Shawn Marsh (Australia)
Karan
Goel, Mohammed Kaif, Adrian Barath (West Indies), Tanmay Srivastava,
Bipul Sharma, Manvinder Bisla

Bowlers:- Yusuf Abdulla (South Africa)
Sreesanth,
Brett Lee
(Australia), Shalabh Srivastava, Love Ablish, Vikramjeet Singh,
Amanpreet Singh

All Rounders:-
Yuvraj Singh,
Irfan Pathan,
James Hopes (Australia),
Piyush Chawla,
Ramesh Powar,
Ravi Bopara (England)
Reetinger Singh Sodhi

Wicket Keepers:- Kumar Sangakkara (SriLanka) CAPT

The King’s XI looked like the team to beat in 2008, before a
semi final collapse put paid to their hopes, and their soft centre
cost them again last year as they missed out on a semi final spot on
run rate. They have one of the more well-balanced squads in the
competition though, and won’t be short of the motivation needed to set
the record straight.

Indian talent: The King’s XI have some of the best Indian talent
available, with Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif and the mercurial Karan
Goel capable of putting up some big runs. They also have the kind of
all-rounders which are essential in this form of the game. Irfan
Pathan, Piyush Chawla and Ramesh Powar should all contribute with both
bat and ball, while Sree Santh can be a fiery competitor, provided
he’s learnt to curb his childish tendencies.

Overseas players:
Captain Kumar Sangakarra will take the gloves and
shoulder most of the run-scoring responsibility for this team, but
he’ll have plenty of back up. International tem mate Mahela
Jayawardene is a steadying influence in the middle order, and if Shaun
Marsh can recapture his devastating form of 2008, then this team will
take some serious stopping. Young West Indian Adrian Barath will also
be aiming to make his mark on the competition.

Brett Lee will provide the pace with the ball, with Yusuf Abdulla,
James Hopes and Ravi Bopara all battling for a starting spot.

Outlook: Real contenders. A semi final place is well within their grasp, and if they can play to their frightening potential, then they should be among the favourites.

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