“India ka tauhaar” a.k.a. IPL 2017 is a go.
The season is an open platform for the youngsters to make a mark. This year, an injury hit IPL makes it more valuable for the emerging talent to showcase their skills. The tenth edition of the IPL will be spread over 47 days and will be played at 10 venues. The schedule means that each team will play 14 matches (7 Home – 7 Away). Few of the key players have already withdrawn from the tournament including R. Ashwin, Q. De Kock, J.P. Duminy, K.L. Rahul, M. Guptill and various others either due to the injury, fatigue or personal reasons, which is a slight setback for the followers. And some of the players like V. Kohli, R. Jadeja, M. Vijay, AB deVilliers, U. Yadav will play when they are 100% fit. Teams have already started practicing and are focusing more on the winning combination.
The team on paper has always looked hazardous but still couldn’t find themselves winning even a single title. The teams looks promising under the guidance of D. Vettori with few injury concerns being the limitation for the side.
The super strength of the team is its batting lineup and especially on the pitch of Bangalore where they will play half their matches. The team’s bowling unit is not as spectacular as its batting side. T. Mills is considered an excellent T20 bowler but it is still uncertain how he will be exposed in the tournament as it is his first outing. ABD might end up playing just the first half, so hopefully Kohli is fit by then.
Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (C), AB deVilliers, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Y. Chahal, T.Mills, Aniket Choudhary, Sreenath Aravind
Last Year’s Rank: 2
Prediction for IPL 2017: 6
Kings 11 Punjab
The team has a good winning combination but lacks maturity. With a very good IPL auction this year, Punjab has potential to turn the tables. The main concern for the management is the winning team combination. Guptill is out due to an injury, while Morgan and Miller will not be available for the later half. The strength of the team is the power house batting lineup while the weakness being that they heavily rely on their foreign players.
Shaun Marsh, Manan Vohra, W. Saha (wk), Maxwell (C), Miller, Gurkeerat, Axar Patel, Stoinis, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma
Last Year’s Rank: 8
Prediction for IPL 2017: 5
The team is built up around the finest youngsters and with Rahul Dravid as mentor, they are strong contenders for the trophy. The team has few issues regarding their foreign playing as Duminy and De Kock are injured and few others will be unavailable during the later half of the tournament. The strength of the team is they have few promising youngsters who have the potential to outperform anyone and the weakness is the unavailability of their foreign players.
Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson (wk), Corey Anderson, Karun Nair, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Zaheer Khan (C), Mohammed Shami
Last Year’s Rank: 6
Prediction for IPL 2017: 3
Rising Pune Supergiants
The team is full of leaders that will favor the other players in the side. The team looks pretty balanced but the unavailability of Ashwin will be a huge loss for them. Smith adjudged as a captain might allow Dhoni to bat freely is a big boost for the team. The strength of the team is that they have the experience lineup of the game and weakness being their bowling department. Last year the team lost most of their matches due to the weak bowling they possessed.
Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Faf Du Plessis, Steve Smith (C), M.S. Dhoni (wk), Ben Stokes, Rajat Bhatia, Jaidev Unadkat, Ishwar Pandey, Ashok Dinda, Adam Zampa
Last Year’s Rank: 7
Prediction for IPL 2017: 7
The team has the most destructive T20 squad pertaining to all the departments of the sport. It is the team to watch out for and it has quality backup options too. Key players are Raina and Dinesh Karthik who have been in red-hot form this domestic season and the weaknesses are that Bravo is yet to recover from a hamstring injury and Jadeja who will miss first two matches.
Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina (C), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ishan Kishan, James Faulkner, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Shivil Kaushik, Munaf Patel
Last Year’s Rank: 3
Prediction for IPL 2017: 1
The team looks promising on paper with the best mix of players. Rohit Sharma will be back in action after a long injury break, while the concern being his touch. The strength of the team is their death bowling comprising Bumrah and Malinga who are fine ambassadors of finishing the game while the weakness being the form of their prime batsmen.
Rohit Sharma (C), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ambati Rayudu, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Jaspreet Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga
Last Year’s Rank: 5
Prediction for IPL 2017: 8
The team has a fine combination of young and experienced players which is valuable for the format. Sunrisers Hyderabad had a great outing in the IPL auction by picking emergent talents. The strength of the team is the form of Yuvraj Singh, performing well against England and also in the domestic circuit and the weakness of the team is their lower middle order, none of the players has the capability to finish the game. If the Bangladesh Cricket Board allows Mustafizur to play the IPL, he will definitely find a place in the playing 11 by replacing Ben Cutting.
David Warner (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Naman Ojha (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Nabi, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Siraj, Ashish Nehra
Last Year’s Rank: 1
Prediction for IPL 2017: 2
Kolkata Knight Riders
The team is a balanced side and is known to play their players strategically. They have won the tournament twice while not being the best team on paper. The strength lies in the deep batting unit, even Piyush Chawla is handy with the bat and the weakness is that they are heavily dependent on spinners, if the surface is non turning, they are likely to be exposed.
Gautam Gambhir (C), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Chris Lynn, Shakib Al Hasan, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Woakes, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav
Last Year’s Rank: 4
Prediction for IPL 2017: 4
Picture credits: Indian Express