The biggest domestic tournament extragavanza in the world cricket is coming with its ninth season. Yes, from all such catchy taglines like Jumping Japang, Chalo Bulaava Aaya Hai to Yeh Hai India Ka Tyohaar, Indian Premier League 2016 is scheduled to start on April 8.
From all such match-fixing and betting scandal controversies, on 14 June 2015, it was announced that two-time champions, Chennai Super Kings, and the inaugural season champions, Rajasthan Royals, would be suspended for two seasons. Since currently its an eight teams tournament, IPL Governing Council decided to replace these suspended team with two new franchises. Pune and Rajkot are the two new franchises for the two seasons.
Lets see the full squads of this season IPL teams and their firepowers and weakness :
1. Kolkata Knight Riders
Squad: Gautam Gambhir, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Sheldon Jackson, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Brad Hogg, Chris Lynn, Morne Morkel, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, John Hastings, Jayadev Unadkat, Ankit Rajpoot, Jason Holder, Rajagopal Sathish, Manan Sharma.
The two time Champions are very settled side and they always are the team to beat. Appointing Jacques Kallis as head coach this year would be excellent news for their team.
Strong Point: Addition of hard-hitting batsman like Colin Munro and amazing bench strength.
Weak Link: The away games performance will be something they have to focus on.
2. SunRisers Hyderabad
Squad: Ashish Reddy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Bipul Sharma, Karn Sharma, KL Rahul, Naman Ojha, Parvez Rasool, Ricky Bhui, Shikhar Dhawan, Siddharth Kaul, David Warner, Eoin Morgan, Kane Williamson, Moises Henriques, Trent Boult, Ashish Nehra, Yuvraj Singh, Mustafizur Rahman, Barinder Sran, Abhimanyu Mithun, Aditya Tare, Deepak Hooda, Tirumalsetti Suman, Vijay Shankar, Ben Cutting.
Probably the most underperformed team in ipl. With such power hitters in the squad they have not done justice to their name. But in this year auction Sunrisers went in a smart fashion as they ensured that they got the necessary balance for the side, which was lacking in the past two seasons.
Strong Point: Marquee players and quality pacers.
Weak Link: The win percentage at their home ground is very low. They have to build Hyderabad as their winning fortress.
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore
Squad: Abu Nechim, Harshal Patel, Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Sreenath Arvind, Varun Aaron, Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, AB de Villers, Adam Milne, Chris Gayle, David Wiese, Mitchell Starc,Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Iqbal Abdulla, Akshay Karnewar, Samuel Badree, Kane Richardson, Vikramjeet Malik, Praveen Dubey, Vikas Tokas.
I would say this year RCB possess the strongest team across all seasons in the IPL. Just think they have the world’s best opening pair, world’s best T20 batman, Mr 360* and world’s no.1 T20 bowler. You got to say this IPL will be for namma bengaluru.
Strong Point: Simply Everything.
Weak Link: Perhaps nothing for now.
4. Mumbai Indians
Squad: Akshay Wakhare, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, J Suchitch, Jasprit Bumrah, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel, R Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Gopal, Siddhesh Lad, Unmukt Chand, Corey Anderson, Keiron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Lendl Simmons, Marchant de Lange, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jos Buttler, Tim Southee, Nathu Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Krunal Pandya, Kishore Pramod Kamath, Deepak Punia.
The Defending Champions also have well settled squad. Addition of Tim Southee and Jos Buttler enhance their team Strength.
Strong Point: Wankhede is their winning fortress. Its nearly impossible for the other teams to upset them in Mumbai.
Weak Link: Sometimes the whole bunch of superstars don’t perform as a whole.
5. Kings XI Punjab
Squad: Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Manan Vohra, Murali Vijay, Nikhil Shankar Naik, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Wriddhiman Saha, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis, Kyle Abbott, KC Cariappa, Pardeep Sahu, Armaan Jaffer, Swapnil Singh, Farhaan Behardien.
This team have to play out of their skins to win IPL 9. They lack of a power-hitter at the top of the order in the absence of Virender Sehwag, they do not have adequate strength in the spin department while they also failed to get hold of a back-up wicketkeeper.
Strong Point: Foreign players are their strength. As simple as it gets.
Weak Link: Lack of big names among Indian players.
6. Delhi Daredevils
Squad: Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammad Shami, Saurabh Tiwary, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreyas Iyer, Zaheer Khan, Albie Morkel, Imran Tahir, Jean-Paul Duminy, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton de Kock, Sanju Samson, Chris Morris, Carlos Brathwaite, Karun Nair, Rishabh Pant, Pawan Negi, Sam Billings, Joel Paris, Chama Milind, Pratyush Singh, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, Pawan Suyal, Akhil Herwadkar, Mahipal Lomror.
The double D’s are relying on the bunch of youngsters. Zaheer Khan will lead DD this season and the fans would be hoping of some changes in the fortune of their beloved team.
Strong Point: Like KXIP they have also excellent bunch of foreign players.
Weak Link: Handling of pressure situations by the youngsters which they can make their strength also.
7. Gujarat Lions
Squad: Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, Dwayne Smith, Dale Steyn, Dinesh Karthik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Paras Dogra, Ishan Kishan, Ekalavya Dwivedi, Pradeep Sangwan, Pravin Tambe, Shivil Kaushik, Sarbajeet Ladda, Aaron Finch, Umang Sharma, Jaydev Shah, Andrew Tye, Shadab Jakati, Amit Mishra, Akshdeep Nath.
This newly Rajkot based franchise will be the team to watch out. Accomplished by some great players and T20 specialists will make this team very exciting. Suresh Raina will lead the side and only time will tell his leadership qualities as the tournament progresses.
Strong Point: Having said that their tenure is only for two years so they have nothing to lose. They will be the dark horses of this season of IPL.
Weak Link: Bowling department will be their huge concern as the tournament progresses.
8. Rising Pune SuperGiants
Squad: Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Faf du Plessis, Steven Smith, Kevin Pietersen, Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Mitchell Marsh, RP Singh, Ankit Sharma, Rajat Bhatia, Ishwar Pandey, Murugan Ashwin, Ankush Bains, Peter Handscomb, Baba Aparajith, Deepak Chahar, Thisara Perera, Ashok Dinda, Scott Boland, Adam Zampa, Jaskaran Singh.
This is very first time in span of nine long years that Mr Captain Cool will be playing for other franchise. Pune have build a superb team except their name(Just Joking). Jokes apart, RPS possesses the strong team in this season. The best part is that all their international players are in very good form and what else can you tell about MS, Pune is very fortunate to become a part of MS’s midas touch.
Strong Point: Competition between the foreign players will be huge part which is very good thing. Presence of international captions will also add a strength to this squad.
Weak Link: Form of Indian players will be the only concern for Dhoni.
So get ready for another scintillating season of INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE and after all such match fixing and betting scandals let us hope Cricket may be the right winner at the end of tournament.