Tomorrow the new IPL season will start. 76 matches from the 3rd of April to the 26th of May.
As it should be, the IPL have already had its fair share of controversies, even before it has started. First it was the termination of Deccan Chargers, the winner of the 2009 season (or edition as they call it in India). Due to financial problems the team got terminated from the league. The team has now got new owners and will this season play under the name of Sunrises Hyderabad. The other controversy is regarding players from Sri Lanka. Due to growing political tension concerning ethical conflicts between the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils all Sri Lankan players have been prohibited to play matches in Chennai. There is still some suggestion going on that these players will refuse to play in IPL this season (sorry, edition).
Do you wonder how IPL will end this season? Well, just read on and you will know:
Kolkata Knight Riders: The defending champions of IPL. There have been a lot of talk about “We can do a CSK” in Kolkata, which means that the team feel they are ready to dominate IPL for a number of seasons. Last year the team brought in Sunil Narine. He was the best wicket taker in the tournament. My Indian colleagues think that other teams now know Narine better and that he will not have the same impact. However, Kolkata still have a strong bowling attack with Narine, Brett Lee, Balaji, Kallis and others. When it comes to batting, the team relies a lot on Gautam Gambhir and ManojTiwary.
Verdict: Was last year a fluke or will Kolkata be the team to beat even this year? I think they should make it to the play-off but doubt if they will make it to the final
Chennai Super Kings: The power house of IPL (and my favorite team).They have been in the play-off every season and reached the final four out of five times. Lead by Indian captain MS Dhoni this team has been consistent in the top. Last year they weren’t really good enough in bowling. In the auction this year Dirk Nannes was added to the team. He will join Hilfenhaus and Ashwin in the attack. The strength of this team is that they have a huge number of all-rounder’s who can do well with both bat and ball. Players like Raina, Jadeja, Bravo, Morkel and others will be players to look out for
Verdict: Anything less than the play-off will be a disaster. The question is of the team is hungry for revenge after last year’s loss in the final or not.
Delhi Daredevils: The winner of last year’s point series. The team has had two huge setbacks already before the tournament have started. Star player Kevin Pietersen is injured and is not expected to participate in the tournament at all. Just before departure to India Jesse Ryder got attacked and severely injured back in New Zealand. They still have a strong team, but is it really good enough?
Verdict: Play-off is possible, but it will require that some of the less known players step up
Mumbai Indians: Maybe the most famous of all the IPL teams? They at least have the most famous player in Sachin Tendulkar. He is joined by expert bowlers Lasith Mallinga and Harbhajan Singh. The addition of Ricky Ponting as the new captain has raised the expectations to unlimited heights. There are rumors that Mumbai MUS win this season as it might be Sachin’s last season.
Verdict: Play-off for sure. But will they manage to go the whole way? Will there be too many strong voices in the dressing room?
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Maybe the most interesting team to watch? With heavy hitter Chris Gayle joined by Virat Kholi, Daniel Vettori, AB de Villiers, Mayank Agarwal and others the batting power is formidable. Legendary Sri Lankan bowler Murali is also there. All together an extremely talented and formidable team
Verdict: Play-off yes. If Gayle can hit it big they should manage to go all the way to the final.
Kings XI Punjab: This team I’m absolutely not convinced about. They do have Adam Gilchrist as captain and David Hussey is a decent batting vallah. But except from that I’m not sure. And I’m not even sure if Gilchrist is the right person to be a captain.
Verdict: Can’t see this team in the play-off
Rajasthan Royals: A team with the “Indian wall” Rahul Dravid as captain will always get a lot of respect. But you can’t play as a defensive wall in T20. They have all-rounder Shane Watson and bowler Shaun Tait who can produce well. If the Indian bowler Sreesanth and some of the local players can step up, then maybe play-off.
Verdict: If everything goes well for them and other teams slip up them maybe play-off. But I doubt.
Pune Warriors India: Pune is one of the teams that changed their line-up most during the latest IPL auction. A lot of new players came to the team. But most interesting will be the comeback to IPL for Yuvraj Singh. He’s the Indian cricketer who won the fight against cancer. Will this be good enough for play-off? Probably not.
Verdict: An almost new team will be there in Pune this year. I think too much pressure is put on Yuvraj Singh and can’t see the team in play-off
Sunrises Hyderabad: A new team built on the former Deccan Chargers. Some decent players are there, but nothing more.
Verdict: Bottom of the table?
That’s it. Hope you will enjoy watching. Now you don’t need to worry about who will win or not as I have already told you that J
Talk to you soon