Who will win IPL 2012 champions

The last four editions of Indian Premier League passed by and 5th Edition is about to begin. The founder of IPL has absconded and almost bankrupt. Kochi Tuskers Kerala fans have lost their team thanks to non Keralite owners who jumped into the IPL bandwagon without a bank balance.

1PL 2012 logo 586x467 Who will win IPL 2012 champions

But cricket is a religion in India and fans are smart enough to choose the best teams they are support. Finally cricket is a medium that unites diverse nation like India. So who do you think will be the winner of IPL 2012.

With Australia , West Indies, Sri Lanka and England busy in their international teams, some of the IPL players will be joining late, but that gives opportunity for other IPL players to impress their pay master. Also with the T20 World Cup about to begin, all the players get good practice in subcontinent wickets.

Chennai Super Kings

Indian Cricket Team Captain , Mahendra Singh Dhoni, leads the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Last year CSK was on roll.Under the captain Indian Won the ODI world cup and then CSK won the IPL title . What a roller coaster ride. Among the previous editions the teams in last tournament looked in good shape and the topper chart always remained going up and down.

CSK logo team Who will win IPL 2012 champions

In each addition of IPL, CSK have crossed the initial hurdles. Runners-up, semi-finalists, champions, champions reads CSK track record across the first four seasons of the IPL. CSK play the IPL 2012 opener against Mumbai Indians(MI).

  • MS Dhoni (Captain, who had a bad outing against national team)
  • Srikkanth Anirudha (Son of Indian Cricket Team selector)
  • Ravichandran Ashwin (Indian National Squad Player who delivers. Definitely good choice on subcontinent pitches)
  • Subramaniam Badrinath (Experienced local Chennai lad. Good Player)
  • George Bailey
  • Doug Bollinger
  • Dwayne Bravo (West Indies all rounder)
  • Faf du Plessis
  • Ben Hilfenhaus(led the wicket-takers’ charts in the Australia-India Test series. Good Australian Fast bowler)
  • Michael Hussey
  • Ravindra Jadeja(He better perform. Costliest buy in auction)
  • Shadab Jakati
  • Joginder Sharma
  • Suraj Randiv
  • Nuwan Kulasekara
  • Yo Mahesh
  • Albie Morkel
  • Abhinav Mukund
  • Suresh Raina (Leading run-getter in the IPL’s short history and plays well)
  • Wriddhiman Saha
  • Scott Styris
  • Sudeep Tyagi
  • Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas
  • Ganapathi Vignesh
  • Murali Vijay (Experienced local Chennai player)

With all Team’s strong on paper and looking for better return on Investments, this season is going to be challenging for CSK who have tasted few setbacks. Will CSK be the first team to win hat tricks IPL trophy needs to be seen.

Deccan Chargers

Deccan Chargers(DC) are a strong squad on paper. But they have not been able to put a credible performance that will delight their fans. In this season Ishant Sharma will not be playing due to Ankle injury. Parthiv Patel joins the squad and some changes are there. But the team management will have to work out on how to utilize the best from all individuals and deliver a performance that can bust the opponents.

DC logo team Who will win IPL 2012 champions

Having won the 2009 IPL season and reaching the semi-finals of IPL 2010. Sangakkara will have to lead the way in setting up the wins in this season.

  • Kumar Sangakkara (former SL captain leading DC. Lot of responsibilities to turn around a team filled with players but team work needed)
  • Ashish Reddy
  • Anand Rajan
  • Ankit Sharma
  • Tekkami Atchuta Rao
  • Akash Bhandari
  • Darren Bravo(Not a costly purchase for DC, but WI batsmen is a strong off side plater. Definitely an asset for DC batting lineup)
  • Bharat Chipli
  • Daniel Christian (the Australian all rounder brings his experience to the DC squad which has more new faces)
  • Kedar Devdhar
  • Shikhar Dhawan
  • Jean-Paul Duminy
  • Manpreet Gony
  • Daniel Harris
  • Ishank Jaggi
  • Abhishek Jhunjhunwala
  • Chris Lynn
  • Amit Mishra
  • Tanmay Mishra
  • Parthiv Patel
  • Veer Pratap Singh
  • Syed Quadri
  • Dwaraka Ravi Teja
  • Akshath Reddy
  • Biplab Samantray
  • Ishant Sharma (ruled out due to IPL injury)
  • Sneha Kishore
  • Sunny Sohal
  • Tanmay Srivastava
  • Dale Steyn
  • TP Sudhindra
  • Rusty Theron
  • Cameron White (The former Australian Twenty20 captain is a powerful middle order batsman and right-arm leg-spin bowler)
  • Arjun Yadav

Will DC perform this season. It can. A good day on ground can turn around the fortunes and charge up for the remaining season. Rajasthan Royals(RR) showed that in Initial season. It is up to the individuals to give their best and hope for the best.

Delhi Daredevils

With the like of Sehwag, Sri Lankan Captain Mahela Jayawardene, David Warner and the newly acquired Kevin Pietersen in the list of Delhi Daredevils (DD) arsenal, DD has one of the most formidable lines of big hitting batsmen. Sehwag lead team hopefully leaves the inconsistency of last season behind them in the present season.

DD logo team Who will win IPL 2012 champions

It time for DD players to be on the same page and enjoy the roller coaster ride of IPL with consistency.

  • Virender Sehwag(Captain. Was in news for sitting out of national team due to injury but declared fit for IPL. Dangerous player to be watched. When he hits ballers are helpless)
  • Manprit Juneja
  • Varun Aaron
  • Ajit Agarkar(An experienced bowler who can do well with the bat too)
  • Puneet Bisht
  • Robin Bist
  • Gulam Bodi
  • Doug Bracewell
  • Unmukt Chand
  • Aaron Finch
  • Mahela Jayawardene(New Recruit from closed Kochi franchise is a good addition. His form and performance speak about his abilities. Definitely a good buy by DD management)
  • Glenn Maxwell
  • Morne Morkel(The south african right-arm fast bowler will have to adjust to subcontinent conditions. Also his international experience will be asset to local players)
  • Shahbaz Nadeem
  • Yogesh Nagar
  • Prashant Naik
  • Pawan Negi
  • Naman Ojha(With one eye on national squad, its time to perform)
  • Irfan Pathan(With one eye on national squad, its time to perform)
  • Kevin Pietersen(the new addition to DD. His IPL stint and his innings do not need any description. Has done well for RCB)
  • Kuldeep Raval
  • Andre Russell
  • Aavishkar Salvi
  • Ross Taylor
  • Roelof van der Merwe
  • Venugopal Rao
  • Vikas Mishra
  • David Warner
  • Tejashwi Yadav
  • Umesh Yadav
  • Zafir Patel
  • Travis Birt
  • Colin Ingram

DD have been inspiring by their play every time IPL season begins. But as the season progress , somewhere the whole unit is not able to click. It is time for Sehwag to be a role model and show the Indian Team Management what he is capable off. His form has been questioned and also his selection of shorts. But IPL gives him a chance to prove his leadership skills also. Can DD make it to the next around. It is tough to tell. But they have the potential which if utilized properly can entertain IPL fans.

Kings XI Punjab

Bollywood actress Preity Zinta and leading industrialist Ness Wadia supported, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), is lead and coached by Australian Adam Gilchrist. Gilchrist opened his season with KXIP last season and he has been source of inspiration to the team. Probably for the same he was awarded the coaching role in addition to leading the Punjab team. KXIP has managed to remain in IPL though their contract were terminated along with RR in previous editions.

KP logo team Who will win IPL 2012 champions

Gilchrist has been commended for this ability to identify and bring about the best from each individual. Out of the 14 games in last season they lost their first match and then won three matches back to back. After that they lost their next 5 matches in a row. Then they won 4 matches and lost their next match to the Deccan Chargers which crashed their dream to make it the playoffs and gave the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders a chance.

  • Adam Gilchrist (former DC Captain and Australian player has been an inspiring leader)
  • Parvinder Awana
  • Love Ablish
  • Amit Yadav
  • Azhar Mahmood
  • Bhargav Bhatt
  • Bipul Sharma
  • Stuart Broad (Injured Stuart Broad uncertain for IPL 5)
  • Piyush Chawla(It was his good performance in IPL3 that paved the way for his selection in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies. Time to impress again to make it to Indian Team)
  • Siddharth Chitnis
  • Paras Dogra
  • James Faulkner
  • Gurkeerat Singh
  • Harmeet Singh (Returning after having a three-year stint with Deccan Chargers)
  • Ryan Harris
  • David Hussey(Younger brother of Australian cricketer Michael Hussey, he is a right-handed batsman and can also bowl right-arm offbreaks)
  • Praveen Kumar
  • Vikramjeet Malik
  • Mandeep Singh
  • Shaun Marsh
  • David Miller
  • Abhishek Nayar(formely playing for Mumbai Indians, come in the middle order and is a good addition)
  • Ramesh Powar
  • Nathan Rimmington
  • Nitin Saini
  • Rajagopal Sathish
  • Shalabh Srivastava
  • Sunny Singh
  • Paul Valthaty(outstanding game in the 2011 Indian Premier League against the reigning champions Chennai Super Kings. Valthaty raced to 120 not out in 63 balls as the Kings XI Punjab chased down the mammoth 189-run target with six wickets and five balls to spare at Mohali. It was the first hundred of IPL 2011 and 13th overall and this century is his first fastest century)

Can KXIP deliver the much-needed break to Punjab fans depends on the magic of Gilchrist. Unfortunately it is too much for Wicketkeeper batsmen. But Gilchrist has handled pressure and knows how to deliver in tight situations. Wishing KXIP all the best.

Mumbai Indians

Owned by India’s richest industrialist Mukesh Ambani, Mumbai Indians (MI) has the crickets biggest name in dressing room. Little Master ‘Sachin Tendulkar‘ is part of the MI squad. Tendulkar though voluntarily opted out of Indian National T20 squad, has been the integral part of MI squad. Despite Injuries he has been a big influence. This season he handed over his captaincy to Harbajan Singh. A move which has raised eyebrows but justified given that he can focus on his batting and mentoring the young players.

MI logo team Who will win IPL 2012 champions

  • Harbhajan Singh(Captain who has supported by little master. Chance to prove. Last season he proved his abilities. Bowling form is a concern)
  • Richard Levi (Hero of the first game and definitely bright prospects for MI and South African team)
  • Abu Nechim
  • Amitoze Singh
  • Aiden Blizzard (Australian batsman is an explosive batsman at the top of the innings)
  • Yuzvendra Chahal
  • James Franklin (New Zealand Cricket who joined MI in 4th season of IPL. Played well in the Champions League)
  • Herschelle Gibbs (New to MI team but experienced player. Previous season was part of Deccan Chargers. Combined with Aiden they are dynamic on the field and good purchase by MI management. )
  • Davy Jacobs
  • Mitchell Johnson (the Australian cricketer is a left-arm fast bowler and left-handed batsman
  • Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper batsman, has been in good form in IPL)
  • Kuldeep Yadav
  • Dhawal Kulkarni
  • Richard Levi
  • Clint McKay
  • Lasith Malinga (Batsmen are surely wary of him. Great bowler who brings great experience)
  • Sushant Marathe
  • Sujit Nayak
  • Pragyan Ojha
  • Munaf Patel
  • Thisara Perera
  • Robin Peterson
  • Kieron Pollard ( Explosive performance in IPL helped him in increasing his price in IPL and also making it back to West Indies team)
  • Ambati Rayudu (played a pivotal role in Mumbai reaching the finals in 2010. Has been one of the good run getters for MI team)
  • Jaydev Shah
  • Rohit Sharma (most exciting player who has delivered in IPL whenever needed)
  • Rahul Shukla
  • RP Singh
  • Tirumalasetti Suman
  • Pawan Suyal
  • Aditya Tare
  • Sachin Tendulkar (Any team will feel great to have his presence in team)
  • Apoorv Wankhade
  • Suryakumar Yadav

Harbajan Singh, who led Mumbai to the Champions League T20 title last year, was the automatic choice to take over the leadership mantle from tendulkar. Can MI deliver in this season needed to be see. But for sure they have the ammunition has shown in today’s opening match and definitely one of the strongest contender for grabbing IPL 5.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders have been a team who have been struggling to come up to mark in previous IPL outings but last season they performer better. Sharukh Khan sponsored team, is relying on Gautam Ghambir captaincy to revive the franchise and deliver some good blows to opponents.

KKR logo team Who will win IPL 2012 champions

KKR management gamble to drop Kolkata lad ‘Sourav Ganguly’ created uproars among kolkata fans. But the performance of KKR team in last season silenced the fans as their team. KKR finished amongst the top teams after the completion of the mid season game-play. The final match against Mumbai Indians played at Eden Garden witnessed, for the first time, an overcapacity with over 80.000 tickets sold.

  • Gautam Gambhir (His captaincy bought around the turn which Sharukh was looking for. 2012 season he will be watched)
  • Sarabjit Ladda
  • Lakshmipathy Balaji
  • Rajat Bhatia
  • Manvinder Bisla
  • Debabrata Das
  • Marchant de Lange (a South African cricketer is a tail-end right-handed batsman and a right-arm fast bowler. bought for $50,000)
  • Brad Haddin
  • Iqbal Abdulla
  • Chirag Jani
  • Jacques Kallis (south african all rounder has been in good form with the bat. In recent T20 against india his performance was too good with bat)
  • Brett Lee
  • Brendon McCullum (the New Zealand international cricketer was bought for $900,000 by KKR management in 2012)
  • Eoin Morgan
  • Sunil Narine (the young West Indian cricketer was bought for $700,000. had good outing against indian team during India-West Indies one-day series in 2011. Was also in demand during auction process)
  • Yusuf Pathan (a big hitter, who will be watched on how he performs)
  • James Pattinson
  • Sanju Samson
  • Pradeep Sangwan
  • Iresh Saxena
  • Shami Ahmed
  • Shakib Al Hasan
  • Laxmi Shukla
  • Ryan ten Doeschate
  • Manoj Tiwary
  • Jaydev Unadkat

Kolkata Knight Riders was led by Sourav Ganguly in IPL 1 and IPL 3 and Brendon McCullum in IPL 2. Gautam Gambhir has been captaining the team since 2011 and the owner seems to have lot of hopes on him. Having finished previous edition on 4th place, this time KKR will try it to make to champions league and definitely move close to the title fight.

Rajasthan Royals

The winner of the initial IPL edition team has change in guards. The wall of Indian Cricket team ‘Rahul Dravid’ is leading the team. With a stronger batting line up, Rajasthan Royals will have to perform consistently. Last season they started strongly and were in contention for a place in the playoffs before fading towards the end.

RR logo team Who will win IPL 2012 champions

  • Rahul Dravid (Having retired from International Cricket, he is stepping in Shane Warne Shoes.
  • Stuart Binny (Karnataka’s batsmen played well in the Ranji Trophy last season. If he can get this Ranji performance in IPL, then definitely it will be worth watching)
  • Johan Botha (his form with the bat was crucial to the Royals’ early success. The team will need more of the same from him to compete this year).
  • Deepak Chahar
  • Dinesh Chandimal (Sri Lanka batsmen has been in good form and has been bought by royals for $50,000.He is a wicketkeeper who can bat )
  • Ankeet Chavan
  • Aakash Chopra
  • Paul Collingwood (The all rounder Englishmen will be a good choice)
  • Kevon Cooper
  • Aditya Dole
  • Samad Fallah
  • Faiz Fazal
  • Shreevats Goswami
  • Brad Hodge (Performed well in the Big Bash and the Bangladesh Premier League)
  • Ashok Menaria
  • Sumit Narwal
  • Pankaj Singh
  • Amit Paunikar
  • Ajinkya Rahane
  • Abhishek Raut
  • Owais Shah
  • Pinal Shah
  • Amit Singh
  • Sreesanth(Former kochi player, will have to control his temperament and deliver the goodies if RR team management gives him a chance to play)
  • Shaun Tait
  • Siddharth Trivedi
  • Shane Watson (The Australia allrounder will arrive at the end of April but has been consistent with the bat)
  • Dishant Yagnik

In Recent past Rajasthan Royals has been in news for the change in hands of Owners. But for all of us it is players who deliver. It will be interesting to watch Rahul Dravid play and see if RR can change their fortunes on the points table.

Pune Warriors

Pune Warriors India is a franchise cricket team that plays in the Indian Premier League (IPL) representing the city of Pune, Maharashtra.

PW logo team Who will win IPL 2012 champions

Pune Warriors India Squad 2012

Batsmen
Sourav Ganguly (Captain), Mohnish Mishra, Callum Ferguson, Mithun Manhas, Manish Pandey, Michael Clarke, Tamim Iqbal, Marlon Samuels, Dheeraj Jadhav, Harshad Khadiwale, Anustup Majumdar, Harpreet Singh

All Rounders
Yuvraj Singh, Jesse Ryder, Angelo Mathews, Luke Wright, Steve Smith, Sachin Rana, Raiphi Gomez

Wicket Keepers
Robin Uthappa, Mahesh Rawat, Eklavya Dwivedi

Bowlers
Rahul Sharma, Alfonso Thomas, Murali Kartik, Ashish Nehra, Kamran Khan, Wayne Parnell, Shrikant Wagh, Ashok Dinda, Ali Murtaza, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Krishnakant Upadhyay

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Last year’s runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore open their IPL 5 campaign against a confident Delhi Daredevils side that crushed Kolkata Knight Riders in their lung-opener.

RCB logo team Who will win IPL 2012 champions

For the Daniel Vettori-led Bangalore, it would be their first outing of the season and with an explosive line-up of batsmen, West Indian swashbuckler Chris Gayle being their biggest star, the almost-there team of 2011 would look to go the whole hog this time.

Bangalore would hope that Vettori can carry forward the legacy of Anil Kumble and bring the same zest that he brought to his national team while at the helm of perennial underdogs but proven giant-killers New Zealand.

Besides Gayle, Bangalore would also expect fireworks from the Indian national team’s in-form batsman Virat Kohli.

The Delhiite, whose sensational run with the bat in the tour of Australia and the Asia Cup made as many headlines as India’s wretched run in both the outings, will look to continue the fine form.

Daredevils, on the other hand, have got the perfect start to their campaign after Irfan Pathan scored a brisk unbeaten 42 to guide them to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a rain-curtailed 12-overs-a-side lung-opener Thursday night.

Their bowling was the key as Morne Morkel scalped three wickets 3 for 18 runs, while Umesh Yadav and Roelof van der Merwe bagged two apiece to restrict the Knight Riders to 97 for nine.

Chasing the small total, Aaron Finch (30 from 27 balls) and skipper Virender Sehwag (20 off 13) gave the Daredevils a solid start putting on 49 for the opening wicket.

The Daredevils, however, will be without the services of big names like Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen and David Warner in as they are busy playing for their respective countries.

Besides, Kiwi Ross Taylor is also unavailable after he broke his hand during the third Test against South Africa recently.

With key players missing for the first half of the event, Sehwag will have to take the extra load in along with Naman Ojha and Venugopal Rao. A lot of hopes are also pinned on their new signing, West Indies’ Andre Russell who would like to make an impact with the bat at the big stage.

The spin line-up, however, looks a bit raw with left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem leading the attack and which will also have Roelf van der Merwe.

Teams (from):

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (Capt.), Mayank Agarwal, KP Appanna, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, Raju Bhatkal, AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Muralidharen Gautam, Chris Gayle, Mohammad Kaif, Abrar Kazi, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Charl Langeveldt, Andrew McDonald, Abhimanyu Mithun, Muttiah Muralitharan, Karun Nair, Dirk Nannes, Ryan Ninan, Harshal Patel, Asad Pathan, Luke Pomersbach, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rilee Rossouw, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Vijay Zol.

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Comments

  1. Arun says

    IPL 5 teams review

    Chennai Super Kings:

    In: Ravindra Jadeja ($2 million plus tie-breaker)

    Out: No one yet

    Transfer in: No one yet

    After their extremely expensive purchase of Ravindra Jadeja at a $ 2 million tie-breaker (Deccan Chargers), it will be a surprise if they have any money left over to fill the empty slot for one foreign player!!

    Mumbai Indians

    In: Thisara Perera ($650,000), RP Singh ($600,000), Mitchell Johnson ($300,000), Robin Peterson ($100,000), Herschelle Gibbs ($50,000)

    Out: R.Satish

    Transfer in: Pragyan Ojha, Dinesh Karthik

    The MI team has struck some really good deals to strengthen their already strong team. Their wicket-keeping department has come up to the mark with the addition of Dinesh Karthik while their spin-bowling department will have a strong player in Pragyan Ojha.

    Deccan Chargers

    In: Darren Bravo ($100,000), Daniel Harris ($70,000), Parthiv Patel ($650,000)

    Out: Kevin Pietersen, Pragyan Ojha, Harmeet Singh

    Transfer in: No one yet

    At first glance it seems as if the Chargers team has lost too much by losing some of their star players and then the bid to win Jadeja, but with the newest additions and a shakeup of the existing team the DC team might yet charge ahead and win the IPL trophy.

    Royal Challengers Bangalore

    In: Chris Gayle (retained with $550,000), Vinay Kumar ($1 million), Muttiah Muralitharan ($220,000)

    Out: No one yet

    Transfer: Andrew McDonald (transfer),

    After last year’s superb performance by Chris Gayle, it seems that the RCB team did not want to leave things to chance and he was retained even before the trading window began. The addition of Muralitharan also seems to be a carefully planned move to form a strong team.

    Delhi Daredevils

    In: Mahela Jayawardene ($1,400,000), Andre Russell ($450,000), Doug Bracewell ($50,000), Pawan Negi (local signing), Manprit Juneja (local signing), Kuldeep Raval (local signing)

    Out: Andrew McDonald, Robert Frylinck, S Sriram, Vivek Yadav, Rajesh Pawar

    Transfer: Kevin Pietersen (transfer)

    The DD team seems to have done a lot of player shuffling this year. They even incorporated some new talent in the hopes of winning this IPL.

    Kolkata Knight Riders

    In: Brendon McCullum ($900,000), Sunil Narine ($700,000), Marchant de Lange ($50,000)

    Out: Mark Boucher

    Transfer: No one yet

    With purchases like McCullum and Narine in their kitty, it won’t be too surprising to see the KKR walk off with the coveted trophy this year.

    Kings XI Punjab

    In: Azhar Mahmood ($200,000), James Faulkner (190,000), Ramesh Powar ($180,000), David Miller (retained)

    Out: Dinesh Karthik

    Transfer: No one

    Speculations are rife that the KXIP team may have weakened their position by losing Dinesh Karthik, but it remains to be seen whether this will actually affect their game in this season of the IPL.

    Rajasthan Royals

    In: Dinesh Chandimal ($50,000), Brad Hodge ($475,000), Sreesanth ($400,000), Brad Hogg ($180,000), Kevon Cooper ($50,000)

    Out: Jacob Oram

    Transfer: No one yet

    With a new Captain – Rahul Dravid and a revamped team, the Royals seem to be all set to fly high on the wings of success this IPL season.

    Pune Warriors

    In: Sourav Ganguly (retained)

    Out: No news

    Transfer: No news

    Due to an ongoing spat with the BCCI, regarding a request for the release of extra funds for the auction, the Pune Warriors team did not participate in the auction. However, they did recruit Sourav Ganguly as team player and mentor before the auctions so we can only wait to see the final line-up, i.e, if the team is still on the IPL train.

  2. KSR says

    Chennai Super Kings Eyes for More Win in IPL 5

    Chennai Super Kings which had a great first four IPL season by being the runner ups, semi-finalists, champions are now eyeing for more wins in the upcoming IPL 5. CSK are the most consistent team off all powered under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. This year, team was willing to spend their entire purse in single acquisition with Ravindra Jadeja, having stiff competition with Deccan Chargers, and eventually beat them in tie-breaker.

    In 2011, CSK had a solid batting line up with MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Michael Hussey, S. Badrinath and M. Vijay all allocating in the vicinity of 400 runs and R. Ashwin was the leading bowler with 20 wickets at 19.40 apiece. The only weakness which super kings have is the fast bowler line up.

    Off-field, the team owners India Cement are going through a wrong patch with BCCI President N Srinivasan, under conflict of interest-but on-field the team has a strong hold in IPL and this year too they are looking forward to settle with good score.

    Key players and new inclusion:

    Big names like MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina are the backbone of the super kings and are being successful partner in the battling line up. Raina is the leading run scorer in the IPL history with having 1813 in his pocket at the run rate of 32.26. Add to that, Dhoni’s fielding tactics and Raina’s fiery fielding adds fuel to the team’s success.

    New Inclusion like Ravindra Jadega and Ben Hilfenhaus have got the potential to take the team to a success level. Both have got an equal responsibility to their talent in this fast pace game format.

    Opening batsman Abhinav Mukund will be out of the action for 10 days due to his twisted left ankle happened during Sunday training camp. Moreover, offspinner Suraj Randiv and Sri Lankan seamer are expected to join the squad April 18 and April 10 respectively.

  3. says

    Pune Warriors profile:

    One of the two new teams that made its debut in the 4th season of the IPL, team Pune almost pulled out of the cash rich tournament after several disagreements with the BCCI which they termed as victims being denied ‘natural justice’. Extensive negotiations with the BCCI resulted in the team back for the fifth edition of the tournament albeit compromises from both parties. Pune, without their star player, Yuvraj Singh, will have to play out of their skins to entertain hopes of making it to the knock-out stages of the competition.

    STRENGTHS:
    A well knit team having a fair share of national as well as international stars, Pune will be led by a man who was one of the most successful skippers ever to lead India. Sourav Ganguly has had a miserable time as far as leading teams in the IPL is concerned and he will be keen for one last shot at glory. Robin Uthappa provides the flair at the top of the order and can be the show stealer if utilized properly by the team management. Pune made handy additions to bolster their batting with Michael Clarke and Angelo Mathews expected to propel their middle order. The fresh blood in the form of Tamim Iqbal and Marlon Samuels have only provided the team with a host of choices to build a balanced outfit.

    The transfer of Ashok Dinda from Delhi Daredevils has lent balance to the bowling unit. Alfonso Thomas is a proven performer especially in the death overs while Ashish Nehra will hope for a good season as he recuperates from injury. Rahul Sharma and Murali Kartik provide the necessary boost in the spinners department.

    WEAKNESSES:
    The absence of star batsman, Yuvraj Singh who is currently undergoing treatment after being detected with cancer has left a big hole in the middle order. Pune have made amends for his absence with a host of talented foriegn players but the absence of the all-round skills of their 2011 skipper will be felt. The differences and the subsequent drama with the BCCI ensured that Pune did not participate in the IPL auction in February, a move that resulted in them losing out the top cream of both domestic as well as international players. Pune also lack many impact players in its squad unlike its opponents which may be a telling factor as the tournament moves on. The success of any franchise lays in the ability of the Indian contingent and by the looks of it, Pune looks very raw. The onus will be on players like Manish Pandey, Mithun Manhas and Mohnish Mishra to compensate for the brittleness of the middle order.

    STAR PLAYER:
    In a team that does not boast of too many impact players, Robin Uthappa stands out. A very capable batsman who can also keep wickets, Uthappa has the experience of playing as a floater in the order. His success in the third season of the IPL where he won several matches for the Banglalore outfit with his big hitting was the cornerstone in the Warriors shelling out USD 2.1m in the 2011 auctions. In the absence of Yuvraj, Uthappa will have to lead the brittle Pune batting line-up.

    PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR:
    Michael Clarke – The Aussie skipper had pulled out of the previous seasons of the IPL stating that his priority was always the national team. He had even quit playing T20 altogether. A change of heart was followed by extensive negotiations with the Pune management has seen the return of one of the prodigal sons of Australia. Will Clarke get along with a format that he last played in 2010? Only time will tell.

    KEY PLAYER TIMELINES:
    Michael Clarke will be available only in the second part of the season as he leads the Australians in the Test series against West Indies. Angelo Mathews is expected to miss the first two matches of the season as he has been named in the squad for the 2nd Test against England. Marlon Samuels will not don Pune’s uniform for a long period of time if he is selected for the Tests against Australia and the tour of England.

    NEW ADDITIONS:
    Marlon Samuels, Steven Smith, Michael Clarke, Ashok Dinda, Tamim Iqbal, Luke Wright.

    ABSENTEES:
    Yuvraj Singh, James Hopes, Graeme Smith, Mitchell Marsh.

  4. says

    Royal Challengers Bangalore profile:

    It requires talent, consistency and commitment to obliterate the first impression. The Royal Challengers from Bangalore were deemed as a Test side in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League where they finished second from bottom. Plausibly, there was a second wind in the waiting. The guileless display in the opening edition was followed by a complete turnaround the next year which was spurred by fearless and astounding cricket by Ross Taylor and Anil Kumble in particular. They came second to the Deccan Chargers in the final.

    In the third edition, Royal Challengers’ juggernaut was halted by the Mumbai Indians in the semi-final and Dr. Mallya’s team ended up finishing third. Post IPL 3, the teams were allowed to retain 4 players before the fresh set of auctions. However, Virat Kohli was the only player retained. The Royal Challengers had to bid goodbye to key players like Dale Steyn, Ross Taylor, Rahul Dravid, Kevin Pietersen, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey in the auctions. Though AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Zaheer Khan, Dirk Nannes and Daniel Vettori were roped in, the team looked less threatening on paper than it did a couple of years earlier.

    An injury to Nannes in the last edition of the tournament proved to be Bangalore’s biggest blessing in disguise. Chris Gayle who was Nannes’ replacement was nothing short of an one man army scoring 608 runs in just 12 matches which included 2 hundreds. Much to the delight of RCB fans, Gayle was retained by the Royal Challengers for the 5th edition of the Indian Premier League.

    STRENGTHS
    Top-heavy and plenty of experience: Chris Gayle, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers form a formidable top order, perhaps one which most other teams would fail to match. Gayle’s reputation and recent T20 form would cause jitters for any bowler while Kohli’s form in the last couple of years would suggest that he has the talent to destroy any opposition. Going with this is the experience of Muttiah Muralitharan, Daniel Vettori and Zaheer Khan – the most precious weapon in the Challengers’ armoury. The inclusion of Vinay Kumar further strengthens the bowling unit that looked dodgy last year.

    WEAKNESSES
    Dicey middle order and lack of all-rounders: The opponents would be wary of the fact that once they make early inroads into the Royal Challengers’ batting, the team is bound to dismantle. With Saurabh Tiwary, Daniel Vettori and either Mayank Agarwal or Asad Pathan forming the middle order, one can’t see any ominous signs of danger for the opponents. Also, the lack of all-rounders would be one of the concerns for Dr. Mallya’s brigade. Dilshan and Gayle are known to be handy with the ball and Vettori can chip in with the bat as well, but the team certainly lacks quality all-rounders.

    STAR PLAYER:
    Chris Gayle: No ground is too big for the Caribbean lad who once scored 36 runs off just one over in a match against Kochi. Having scored 6 T20 centuries since the start of 2011 alone, Gayle is the power house of RCB’s batting line-up. His ability to chip in with the ball is also an added advantage.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
    Virat Kohli: Recently promoted as India’s vice-captain for ODIs, Virat Kohli is in the form of his life. With the ability to play every shot in the book and with such fluency, Kohli is quickly turning out to be a nightmare for every opposition. Kohli has scored over 2500 International runs since 2011 alone. His excellent ground fielding and his aggression makes him a fierce competitor.

    Daniel Vettori / Muttiah Muralitharan: The spin wizards bring in plenty of experience to the table and the 4 foreign players rule would mean that, only one of the two might take the field on any given day. Muralitharan has scripted several wins for Chennai Super Kings in the previous editions and Daniel Vettori showed last year, why he’s the best left arm spinner in the world. The batsmen need to watch out for Murali’s ever so famous doosra and Vettori’s threatening arm ball.

    KEY PLAYER TIMELINES:
    Tilakaratne Dilshan will not be available for RCB’s first match against Delhi. He is currently involved in the Test series against England which ends on the 7th of April.

    NEW ADDITIONS:
    Muttiah Muralitharan, Vinay Kumar and Andrew McDonald.

  5. says

    Deccan Chargers profile:

    The champions of the second season hit a slippery rope and finished a woeful seventh in the 2011 version of the IPL. The team’s strategy for this season bordered on the confusion as they let go Pragyan Ojha, their highest wicket taker across four seasons as well as another prize catch in Kevin Pietersen. Led by Kumar Sangakkara, the Chargers will have to dig deep into their resources if they are to repeat the heroics of 2009.

    STRENGTHS:
    Led by the affable Sangakkara, the batting looks to be in good shape despite the absence of Pietersen. Sangakkara will be joined by JP Duminy and Cameron White to bolster a strong looking middle-order. Parthiv Patel was an excellent buy in the 2012 auctions as he can double up as an opener as well as a keeper. Shikhar Dhawan has represented India in the ODI format of the game and will know that a good showing in the IPL will enhance his credentials. Darren Bravo and Daniel Harris are the two exciting new additions to the batting department and both have shown that they can prosper in Indian conditions. Daniel Christian provides the late burst with the bat.

    Despite the absence of Ishant Sharma, the Chargers have the fire-power in the bowling with Dale Steyn as the leader of the pack. Amit Mishra is all set to be the prime spinner and he will need to perform the role of the lead spinner. Deccan has strengthened their bowling arsenal with a host of talented young domestic performers who will look to seek limelight with their on-field performances.

    WEAKNESSES:
    The loss of proven performers like Pietersen and Ojha is bound to hit the Chargers hard. Ojha is one of the leading wicket takers across the four previous seasons and it was inexplicable that they let him go. The Chargers were involved in a fierce battle for the all-round skills of Ravindra Jadeja in the IPL auctions and seemed to lack focus once they lost him to Chennai Super Kings. With very little international quality in their domestic ranks, the team from Hyderabad will be hard-pressed against tougher opponents. To add to their woes, some of their big ticket foreign players are struggling for form while their record at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium is a matter of concern.

    BEST PLAYER:
    Dale Steyn – The world’s best pace bowler, Steyn will need to lead the Chargers bowling line-up almost single-handedly. The lanky south African is a feared name in international circles with even the best of the batsmen unsure against him. His exploits for South Africa and the Bangalore franchisee were enough for the Chargers to bid an astronomical USD 1.2m in the 2011 auctions, easily the highest for a bowler. Deccan Chargers will be hoping that he lives up to expectations as they seek a second title.

    PLAYER to WATCH OUT FOR:
    Cameron White – On his day, White can dispatch any bowler to the cleaners, but unfortunately he has been a pale shadow of himself in the recent past. Bought for USD 1.1m in the 2011 auctions after a bidding war, White had an average time in season four as his form mirrored that of his team. He struggled even in the domestic Big Bash for the Melbourne Stars and promptly was axed as Australia’s T20 captain and lost his place in the squad. With the World T20 tournament looming large, White has the opportunity to present his case with a good showing in the fifth season of the IPL.

    NEW PLAYERS:
    Parthiv Patel, Daniel Harris, Darren Bravo, Tanmay Mishra

    ABSENTEES:
    Pragyan Ojha, Kevin Pietersen and Michael Lumb.

  6. says

    Delhi Daredevils profile:

    A Daredevil is defined as a person who is recklessly bold. None symbolizes this definition better than the skipper of the Delhi team – Virender Sehwag – who fires boldly but can misfire recklessly. During the last four editions of the IPL, the team has lived up to their tag of the Daredevils to a fairly large extent. They reached the semi-finals in 2008 and 2009, missed out on qualifying for the knock-outs in the 2010 edition and wound up with the wooden spoon for the 2011 edition.

    In the 2008 edition, they were thrashed by Rajasthan Royals in the semi-final by 105 runs. In the 2009 edition, they were once again thwarted in the semi-final stage by Deccan Chargers thanks to a blazing knock from Deccan skipper Adam Gilchrist. In the 2010 edition, they failed to reach the knock-out stages when they choked in their last league match against Deccan Chargers as they lost the match by 11 runs. In the 2011 edition, they finished rock-bottom and saw their skipper Sehwag leaving the tournament mid-way due to shoulder surgery. The Daredevils will be hoping to put up a much better show in this edition.

    STRENGTHS:
    The Delhi batting order looks very strong. With the addition of players like Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene and Andre Russell, the Delhi middle order is a mixture of class and aggression. Robin Bist, who had an outstanding Ranji trophy this year, will be the player to watch out for in the Delhi batting. With Virender Sehwag and David Warner at the top, this batting line-up is intimidating.

    Umesh Yadav, who had a good tour of Australia, will be the key to Delhi’s bowling fortunes. Varun Aaron, who missed the entire Australian tour due to a stress fracture on the back, will be keen to make a good impression. Morne Morkel had an outstanding tour of New Zealand and he will look to continue his good form in this tournament. Backed up by Roelof van der Merwe, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar and Doug Bracewell, the Delhi team will be hoping that their bowling clicks along with the batting.

    WEAKNESSES:
    There is a saying that once Sehwag goes cheaply, the entire Delhi team folds up. The over-reliance on Sehwag is something that the Delhi team have to overcome. The bowling is too pace heavy and it lacks variety. The inability to perform under pressure in the knock-out situations is something that the Delhi team have to work on. With only four foreign players allowed in the playing XI, the availability of so many foreign players will pose a challenge to the Delhi team with regards to their team composition.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
    Glenn Maxwell: Glenn Maxwell is a dashing batsman who plays for Victoria. He first shot into prominence was during the Emerging players tournament in July 2011 and many in the Delhi management found shades of David Warner in him. He is believed to be a brilliant fielder and he bowls decent off-spin. He is being touted as a future player for Australia and his all-round skills will give Delhi a lot of utility in this tournament.

    Robin Bist: He was one of the stars in the Ranji trophy this year. He was the only player to go past 1000 runs this year in the Ranji Trophy Elite championship, including four centuries as his batting helped Rajasthan secure their second consecutive Ranji trophy. His great form will be a welcome addition to the Delhi team.

    KEY PLAYERS TIMELINES:
    David Warner will miss the first month of the IPL as he is part of the Australian Test squad for the West Indies series. The Test series is expected to end on April 27th and he might play his first match against Rajasthan on 01st May.

    Ross Taylor’s left wrist was broken by his Delhi team-mate Morne Morkel during the 3rd Test between New Zealand and South Africa at Wellington. He has undergone surgery and he is expected to be out of action for close to four weeks. It will be interesting to see whether he immediately starts playing after he has recovered from his injury.

    NEW PLAYERS:
    Kevin Pietersen, Mahela Jayawardene, Andre Russell, Ghulam Bodi, Glenn Maxwell, Doug Bracewell, Ross Taylor

    ABSENTEES:
    Ashok Dinda, James Hopes, Andrew McDonald, Colin Ingram, Travis Birt

  7. says

    Rajasthan Royals profile:

    They started as underdogs in the inaugural edition of the tournament and eventually emerged champions. Since then, Rajasthan Royals’ IPL journey has been a roller-coaster one. Led by the charismatic Shane Warne, the Royals announced themselves in style in 2008, beating a powerful Chennai side in the final. In 2009 though, things did not go all that well for Rajasthan, who failed to make it to the final four stage in the tournament that was held in South Africa. 2010 turned out to be a far worse year for Warne and his boys as they ended up as the second team from the bottom of the points table. They were slightly better in the previous edition of the IPL, although failing to make it to the top 4. 2012 will be a whole new affair for Rajasthan who will looking to start afresh in the absence of Warne. Rahul Dravid will take over as the new skipper and he will be hoping to lift the fortunes of the side which is known to spring a few surprises.

    STRENGTHS:
    All the focus will be on Dravid who retired from international cricket recently. The ever-reliable number 3 master will look to come out with a new vigour and play with all the freedom in the world. The Rajasthan side also have Johan Botha and Brad Hodge, who have proven to be match winners in the past. Hodge and Botha were in fact amongst the top all-rounders in IPL 2011. In Dinesh Chandimal and Ajinkya Rahane, Rajasthan have youngsters who have showcased their talent in the international circuit while the presence of experienced players like Paul Collingwood and Owais Shah lend stability.

    In the bowling department, Rajasthan’s main weapon is Shaun Tait, whose lethal pace and sharp yorkers will trouble many a batsmen. The eccentric Sreesanth is also part of the side and he certainly does have the ability to bowl well. Siddharth Trivedi and Amit Singh have done well for Rajasthan in the past and they too will have a key role to play. Also, the presence of quality spinners like Brad Hogg and Johan Botha adds variety to the bowling line-up.

    WEAKNESSES:
    Rajasthan’s main weak-point lies in the fact that their captain and mentor Shane Warne, who over the years had gelled the team together as an unit, is no longer a part of the Royals setup. Though Dravid will bring his experience into play, Warne’s absence will be felt as he will be missed by many youngsters who have considered him a father figure. Rajasthan will also miss the services of Ross Taylor, who played for the franchise for just one season before moving to the Daredevils team. Taylor’s absence is a big blow for the Royals as the Kiwi is known for his quick-scoring abilities towards the death overs. While the likes of Hodge, Botha and Owais Shah are capable of scoring quick runs, the big hitting that comes with Taylor’s game and his finishing abilities will be missed.

    STAR PLAYER:
    The team’s main star attraction is the burly Australian all-rounder Shane Watson, who will be playing his fifth season of the IPL for the Royals. The hard-hitting opening batsman is just 13 runs short of reaching the 1000 mark in the IPL which will make him only the second Rajasthan player after Yusuf Pathan to achieve that mark. Watson has also done a fair share of bowling in the IPL and has a tally of 29 wickets to show for his efforts. Royals, like always, will look up to Watson to steer the team as the fifth season gets underway.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
    Dinesh Chandimal: In a short time that he has spent with the Sri Lankan team, Dinesh Chandimal has shown immense talent and has also shown that he has the ability to shine in all forms of the game. Some of Chandimal’s best performances for Sri Lanka have come in ODIs while he has not yet made a mark at the T20 level. Despite that, he is capable of coming up with big contributions and the IPL is an ideal stage for the 23-year old, who is still in his formative years, to exhibit his skills.

    Kevon Cooper: A right arm medium bowler, Kevon Cooper has not represented the West Indies team yet, but he has made a name for himself in the T20 arena by doing well for Trinidad & Tobago as well as the Chittagong Kings. His action came under the scanner while he was playing for T&T in the 2010-11 Caribbean T20 tournament, but he worked on it at the University of Western Australia and was eventually cleared to play cricket. His performance in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League made people take notice and Rajasthan will be hoping he delivers in the IPL.

    KEY PLAYER TIMELINES:
    Shane Watson will miss the first part of the IPL as he will be busy performing his duties for Australia at the Caribbean till April 27. This means that he will miss at least 7 matches for Rajasthan and possibly the eighth too if he cannot reach India by the 29th.

    NEW ADDITIONS:
    Brad Hogg, Dinesh Chandimal, Brad Hodge, Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah, S Sreesanth, Shreevats Goswami and Kevon Cooper.

    ABSENTEES:
    Shane Warne, Ross Taylor, Nayan Doshi, Jacob Oram, Swapnil Asnodkar and Dinesh Salunkhe.

  8. says

    Kolkata Knight Riders Profile:

    From the time of the inception of the Indian Premier league, the Kolkata Knight Riders have been proficient in grabbing eyeballs. With a Bollywood superstar as the owner nothing less was expected. Shah Rukh Khan has regularly brought with him his own set of cheerleaders and the fanatic following that Sourav Ganguly enjoyed in his hometown made it one of the most successful franchisees off the field but the on field results were a huge let down in the first three seasons. This however did not dim the interest surrounding the team. From Brendon McCullum’s swashbuckling innings in the first ever IPL game to the raging debates that surrounded John Buchannan’s new age tactics, the Knight Riders were always grabbing headlines.

    The fourth season ushered in a change at the top level. Ganguly made way for another southpaw, Gautam Gambhir and with that their fortunes too changed considerably. They finished fourth which was their highest ever standing in the IPL. With this they also gradually won back some of the home fans who were disgruntled with the ousting of Ganguly. The build up to the fifth season has been low key by KKR standards and if it is a deliberate move then it is one that will benefit the cricketers hugely. The expectations however will continue to peak once the cricket begins.

    STRENGTHS
    The balance between youth and experience is one of the biggest strengths of KKR. One look at the team sheet gives the same impression. In Gambhir, Jacques Kallis and Brett Lee they have some of the most seasoned veterans. The likes of Brendon McCullum, Shakib al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan form a bridge between the veterans and the youngsters like Manoj Tiwary, Pradeep Sangwan and Iqbal Abdulla. It is this balance that will hold the key for KKR if they are to do well throughout the long duration of the tournament.

    WEAKNESS
    While the batting has a settled look about it , the bowling fails to inspire the same confidence. Brett Lee will have to shoulder the responsibility of being the leader of an inexperienced attack. Jacques Kallis, Shakib and Laksmipathy Balaji will have to consistently be at their best too for KKR to strike gold.

    STAR PLAYER
    Yusuf Pathan: The big hitting Yusuf is an instant crowd puller and is capable of winning games single handedly. In familiar conditions in India, he will be the most feared player in the KKR ranks for the opposition but once he turns it on, it will be a feast for anyone watching. Spectators will willingly put aside any parochial reservations to watch this man in full flow.

    Brendon McCullum: A player in a very similar mode to Yusuf, the Kiwi has been in good touch in the recent series against South Africa. He will be desperate to make amends for the poor season he had with KKR previously. His return adds a lot of balance to the team and people are still expecting an encore of his knock against RCB in 2008.

    PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
    Sunil Narine: The wily spinner from the Caribbean has proven to be a tough customer in the shorter formats. His impressive variety has left a lot of big names bamboozled and is one player who has shown all the promise of becoming a superstar in the future.

  9. says

    Kings XI Punjab profile:

    After starting off their IPL sojourn with a promising display, finishing as losing semi-finalists in the inaugural edition, the Kings XI Punjab franchise has gradually become one of the weaker teams in the multi-starrer tournament. The Punjab team has failed to enter the semis in the next 3 seasons and will see an entry into the last 4 in IPL 5 as a major success.

    The Priety Zinta co-owned team went the Rajasthan Royals way by appointing an Australian legend as their coach-cum-captain. Adam Gilchrist who was picked up by the Kings XI Punjab during the player auctions in 2011 will be given the responsibility of both coaching and captaining the side. The team management will hope the team goes on to do what the Rajasthan Royals achieved in the first ever edition.

    Punjab’s main strength lies with their domestic players with a good number of impact players but their strength in foreign players too is quite good. They will be hoping Shaun Marsh show the kind of form he did during the inaugural edition while a lot of hopes will also be tied to experienced legs of their skipper Adam Gilchrist and former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood.

    STRENGTHS
    Punjab’s biggest strength will be the domestic players at their disposal. The likes of Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar, R Satish and Paul Valthaty will be key for them throughout the campaign. Apart from them they can also count on players like Sunny Singh, Bhargav Bhatt, Saulabh Srivastava, who have been playing in the IPL for a while now, to do the job for their team. The fact that David Hussey is in splendid form in recent times is an added boost for the Punjab side.

    WEAKNESSES
    Punjab’s main concern will be their over-dependence on a few key players. They count too heavily on Gilchrist, Valthaty and Marsh to provide them with a rocking start failing which the team could find itself in a terrible position. The bowling line-up is a slightly weak one as it does not possess a quality international pacer.

    STAR PLAYERS
    Adam Gilchrist: All eyes will be Adam Gilchrist and how he inspires his team to defy the odds and make them punch above their weight. Gilchirst will also be a vital cog while batting as his power hitting up front could prove vital for the 2008 semi-finalists.

    Shaun Marsh: Shaun Marsh set the tournament alight in its first season with some breathtaking strokeplay. He has not been able to come up with similar performances since but the opponents will know what the Australian is capable of and if he ticks off Punjab could well prove to be a surprise factor in this edition of the IPL.

    PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
    Praveen Kumar: Praveen Kumar has often been India’s go to bowler in the past. With a good deal of experience behind him, the ability to move the ball both ways and his myriad variations, PK could be the decisive factor for his team.

    Key Player Timelines
    Stuart Broad is nursing a calf strain and could return after 2 weeks. Ryan Harris is on national duty and will join the team late in April to bolster the bowling line up.

  10. says

    Mumbai Indians profile:

    The one thing that was a surety when the concept of icon players was announced, before the start of the IPL, was that Sachin Tendulkar would be the skipper of the Mumbai franchise. However few would have predicted a poor run for the Reliance Industries owned franchise in the first two editions of the competition. Then the costliest team in the competition, they had a bevy of exciting international stars in the side – Harbhajan Singh, Shaun Pollock, Sanath Jayasuriya and Malinga and Jonty Rhodes as their fielding coach. Despite that, Mumbai failed to get the right combination in the first two years. The team remained in the news for their indifferent performance on the field, and thanks to Slapgate, off the field as well. After Sachin’s injury and Harbhajan’s ban, Pollock led the side admirably, but even a six match winning streak did not yield a semi-final slot. The showing in the next edition was even worse as they managed to win only 5 games and finished 7th overall. But as they say, when the worst is behind you, it’s time for the best.

    The administration made a few changes, one of which was to induct Robin Singh as the head coach, and successfully bid for the explosive all-rounder Kieron Pollard. Chucking off their reliance on foreigners, they realized the importance of domestic talent and signed on ex-ICL player Ambati Rayudu and Saurabh Tiwary, a hard hitting batsman in the mould of Dhoni. The perfect mix of youthful exuberance with the experience of Sachin and Harbhajan culminated into a masterly showing and before the end of the league phase, Mumbai had already qualified for the semi-finals. They might have lost the final against Chennai, but clearly, they were the best team on display through the tournament. With the addition of Rohit Sharma in their ranks, the team packed a punch in the 4th edition too, but stuttered at the end and it took a Gayle storm to stop them from getting to a second final in the row.

    Mumbai have been the busiest side in the off-season and auction with players like Dinesh Karthik, Pragyan Ojha, RP Singh and Herschelle Gibbs joining the squad. The variety in their line-up is such that they have the fire-power to field two competent playing XIs. The latest team news has been that Sachin Tendulkar has relinquished his captaincy and Harbhajan Singh, who led the side to victory in the Champions League in 2011, will take over the reins. In a nut-shell, this might be the season where Mumbai’s dreams come true.

    STRENGTHS
    Redoubtable top order: The team think-tank have always preferred explosive batsmen in the top order and hence, it was no surprise when recent T20 centurion, South African opener Richard Levi, was snapped up. Ambati Rayudu has found fame batting at number 3 for Mumbai, and the dangerous top order will surely be a worry for the opponents. Pollard and Sharma will be joined by Karthik and Suryakumar Yadav, power-hitters who have had a great run in the domestic season this year. The bowling has been bolstered by the entry of tearaway quick Mitchell Johnson and left arm spinner Robin Peterson, while young seamer Dhawal Kulkarni will be eager to catch the eye of the selectors.

    WEAKNESSES
    Team combination, once again: While going on a signing spree, it seems like the management looked more at the reputation of the player than the role he would perform. Mumbai currently have no less than five batsmen who can partner Sachin at the start: Davy Jacobs, Gibbs, Richard Levi, Aiden Blizzard and Tirumalasetti Suman. If one of Sharma, Karthik and Pollard were to be injured or out of form, the bench does not have any recognized middle order batsmen. Another worry will be the over-dependence of the bowling attack on Malinga and Harbhajan. Names like Munaf Patel and RP Singh will have to step up and guide the youngsters in the pack.

    STAR PLAYER
    There is no question of any other star in a side which has Sachin Tendulkar. He has just gifted away his captaincy to Harbhajan and with the 100th International hundred in the bag, he is expected to play with abandon. A carefree Tendulkar is the one that bowlers and skippers world over dread seeing on the cricket field.

    PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
    Harbhajan Singh: It has been a while since the Turbanator was seen in national colors. His performance in the domestic ODI and T20 tournament hasn’t exactly been eye-catching, but given his ability to bounce back in trying circumstances, Harbhajan will be the player to watch out for. Moreover, he has proved to be a calm skipper while leading the side to victory in the Champions League and that confidence will surely work wonders for his bowling. At the back of his mind, Harbhajan will know that an improved showing in the IPL might well bring him back on the India team sheet.

    TEAM NEWS
    Thissara Perera was injured during the CB series and will be out of action. Apart from that, most of the foreign players are ones who are either not in reckoning for their sides, or have retired from international cricket.

    NEW ADDITIONS

    Pragyan Ojha, Dinesh Karthik, Herschelle Gibbs, Mitchell Johnson, Richard Levi, RP Singh. One big name out of the side was Andrew Symonds who announced his retirement.

  11. says

    Chennai Super Kings profile:

    6 tournaments. 3 titles. The only team to reach semi finals in all seasons of the IPL. The only team to win the IPL twice. Meet Chennai Super Kings, the most consistent team in the Indian Premier League. Results like the ones mentioned above led to internet jokes like ‘IPL is a tournament where 9 teams compete to meet CSK in the finals’. In a way, it is quite a remarkable achievement to achieve consistency in the format of unpredictability. A glance at the results of the three T20 World Cups gives an idea about how tough it is for a team to remain consistent in this format; the three World Cups saw three different champions – India in 2007, Pakistan in 2009 and England in 2010. The fact that the IPL is contested by 9 (8 in the first 3 editions and 10 in the previous edition) sides of more or less equal strength makes these achievements even more commendable. So how does Chennai do the impossible: consistency in T20?

    CSK’s success dates way back to the very start of the tournament – the inaugural auctions. When other franchises, who did not know what to expect from a league of this sort, went for big stars, India Cements showed their experience and put together a balanced team which had all the bases covered. The results came almost immediately – CSK were runners up in the inaugural edition, qualified for the semi finals in the following season and emerged champions in the next edition. The first three years were successful but the real challenge came before the fourth edition, when the teams had to change to accommodate two new franchises. The owners of the other franchises developed experience in the 3-year period and knew what to do with their teams, which made the 2011 auctions an important event in the tournament’s history. CSK had already established a firm base in the inaugural auctions, and went in with the same strategy. 4 players – Dhoni, Raina, Albie Morkel and Murali Vijay – were retained and most of the others were brought back. The side remained almost the same, and the results followed too. IPL 2011 was a much more competitive tournament than the previous editions, but the Super Kings made it relatively easy to the championship title. A smooth ride through the league stages meant a relatively easy qualification into the last four, unlike the frenetic one in 2010. Even the finals turned out to be a one-sided affair as Chennai coasted to a big win in front of its home fans.

    STRENGTHS
    Chennai’s biggest strength lies in its team composition, which is filled with all-rounders. The likes of Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina are followed by some of the world’s best hitters – Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo and Albie Morkel. Add the calmness of Subramaniam Badrinath to this powerful list and you have one of the best line ups capable of handling any situation. Chennai’s bowling is not as powerful as its batting but they have good balance and variations. The bowling attack depends a lot on off spinner Ashwin and left arm quick Doug Bollinger, and the duo have been consistent performers for the side. Dhoni’s brilliance in handling his resources, especially in the middle overs, adds to CSK’s strengths on the field. The Super Kings have also drafted in Ravindra Jadeja through the auction, which further strengthens all three departments.

    WEAKNESSES
    Chennai Super Kings’ weakness lies in its predictability more than anything else. CSK’s game-plans and strategies are quite easy to understand, especially when they are batting. If the team loses early wickets, the likes of Badrinath or Saha are sent in to consolidate. If the team gets good starts, the likes of Morkel and Dhoni walk in and look to continue the momentum. When it comes to bowling, Dhoni looks to stifle the opposition with spinners in the middle overs. The other teams, by now, will have a clear idea of what to expect from CSK in each situation and the onus is on Dhoni to make sure that his strategies do not become too obvious and predictable.

    STAR PLAYERS
    MS Dhoni: The Super Kings’ captain has become an adopted son for the city of Chennai and adds a lot of star value to the team and franchise. His leadership skills on the field, his big hitting abilities with the bat, and the general aura and charisma associated with Dhoni makes him one of the the biggest crowd pullers.

    Suresh Raina: With a tally of 1813 runs, Suresh Raina is the leading run scorer across all seasons of the IPL. His ability to walk in and maintain a healthy run rate right from the word go makes him one of the best number 3 batsmen in the format. When in form, he owns the mid wicket boundary and takes a liking to left arm spinners. His ability with the ball and brilliance on the field makes him a useful package.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
    The TN trio: Tamil Nadu’s Murali Vijay, Ashwin Ravichandran and Subramaniam Badrinath form the backbone of the Super Kings’ playing eleven. Vijay and Ashwin shot to fame in the third edition of the IPL and the subsequent Champions League, and even made it to the national sides after consistent performances in the IPL. Badrinath has been an unsung hero for the team, often rescuing them from trouble and taking them to safe waters with his calm and solid batting. The fact that the three are from Chennai adds a lot of local flavour to the team and makes it easier for the fans to connect to the side.

    Ravindra Jadeja: The 2 million dollar man will make his debut for the Chennai franchise in the fifth edition. Jadeja’s batting abilities may not be a cause of concern for international teams but he has shown in the past that he has the talent to deliver when it comes to the Indian Premier League. His left arm spin adds to Dhoni’s bowling options and his presence bolsters the fielding as well.

    KEY PLAYER TIMELINES
    Michael Hussey will not be available for the first half of the tournament as he will be playing for Australia in the Test series against West Indies. Abhinav Mukund, who injured himself in practice, will not be fit to play the inaugural match against Mumbai Indians as well.

  12. says

    The Super Kings go in to the tournament as one of the favourites, but will also have the added pressure of being defending champions. Can they make it a hat-trick? Or will law of averages catch up with them?

  13. devaraju says

    csk has lost some close encounters which they should have won, bowling department is lacking, better to have bollinger in place of albie morkel and include mike hussey by sacrificing another foreign player and the part time spiiners can fill in the needed overs, BEST WISHES TO CSK & GOOD LUCK TO MSD TEAM

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