The Season Preview - IPL 2014

17th April 2014

The seventh edition of the IPL has begun where eight teams will battle it out for the Trophy. The first leg of the IPL will be played in the UAE, while the rest of the tournament will be held in India. Here is how the teams stand just before the season starts:

Mumbai Indians, the defending champions, will be looking to retain their Trophy with the help of star power in their squad. Rohit Sharma, their trophies-winning captain, is in full form and ready to take on the responsibility of preserving the coveted title.

The openers' slot, which was rendered vacant by the retirement of their icon player Sachin Tendulkar, has been filled by none other than Mr. Cricket, Mike Hussey. The burly Kieron Pollard along with the addition of players like Corey Anderson will provide grand entertainment on field. The bowling attack, led by Lasith Malinga, including Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha, has become stronger this season with addition of Zaheer Khan, Josh Hazlewood and Krismar Santokie.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Michael Hussey, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha, Corey Anderson, Josh Hazlewood, CM Gautam, Aditya Tare, Apoorv Wankhade, Marchant de Lange, Krishmar Santokie, Ben Dunk, Pawan Suyal, Sushant Marathe, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, Jalaj Saxena.

Coach: John Wright

Over all IPL stats:
Matches won: 60
Total matches played: 101
Win percentage: 59.4

Last season standing: Winners

Kolkata Knight Riders, winners of IPL 2012, will be looking to repeat their heroics from a couple of seasons ago with a newer squad that promises to magnify their strengths in all departments. As Harsha Bhogle tweeted, "just looking at #kkr at #PepsiIPL . Look to have all bases covered, very good choice of overseas cricketers and solid Indian contingent".

KKR's batting may not their strongest suit and a lot will depend on their old warhorses Jacques Kallis and captain Gautam Gambhir, who look well in form to take up the responsibility. The middle-order looks compelling with the players like Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell. Their spinning trio of Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Piyush Chawla make them a potent bowling unit especially in the U.A.E and Eden Gardens. Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel and Vinay Kumar together will manage the pace attack for the team.

Squad: Gautam Gambhir (C), Sunil Narine, Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Umesh Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Morne Morkel, Piyush Chawla, Manish Pandey, Veer Pratap Singh, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, SS Mandal, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Suryakumar Yadav, Manvinder Bisla, Ryan ten Doeschate, Kuldeep Yadav.

Coach: Trevor Bayliss

Player to watch out for: Chris Lynn - In his last three matches (first class and others), Lynn has scored a half century each. Looking at his recent form, Lynn is in full control of his bat and will be the player to watch out for KKR in IPL 2014.

Over all IPL stats:
Matches won: 45
Total matches played: 88
Win percentage: 51.1

Last season standing: Seventh

Delhi Daredevils can be termed as the Dark Horse of the tournament! Led by the charismatic Kevin Pieterson, they have revamped their squad by having no retention before this year's Auctions.

They have a strong batting line-up, with names like JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock and Dinesh Karthik. Their bowling line-up looks a little weak though. Nathan Coulter-Nile will play a key role in a weakened bowling line-up with help from Wayne Parnell & Mohammed Shami.

Squad: M Vijay, Kevin Pietersen (C), Dinesh Karthik, JP Duminy, Manoj Tiwary, Quinton de Kock, Mohammed Shami, Rahul Sharma, Saurabh Tiwary, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Shahbaz Nadeem, Ross Taylor, Milind Kumar, Wayne Parnell, HS Sharath, Jayant Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, James Neesham, Kedar Jadhav, Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Shukla, Siddharth Kaul.

Coach: Gary Kirsten

Player to watch out for: Mayank Agarwal - He has be an aggressive hitter when to comes to shortest format of the game. Agarwal has scored consistently in previous editions of IPL and he is the player to look out for in this IPL for DD.

Over all IPL stats:
Matches won: 47
Total matches played: 91
Win percentage: 51.6

Last season standing: Ninth

Royal Challengers Bangalore, synonymous to the trio - Gayle, AB and Kohli - have built a team which matches the amount of hype that usually surrounds this team. Their batting line-up is fearsome and their Indian middle-order batsman problem might be solved with the inclusion of Yuvraj Singh; but he is undergoing a tough period of late, so it remains to be seen how he fares for RCB. Chris Gayle's performance in T20 World Cup for West Indies wasn't his best and so, it will be interesting to see how he contributes in IPL. Also their bowling unit does not match up the batting strength. Muralitharan, M Starc and Dinda are the only big bowlers in the squad.

Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Yuvraj Singh, Parthiv Patel, Albie Morkel, Mitchell Starc, Ashok Dinda, Ravi Rampaul, Muttiah Muralitharan, Nic Maddinson, Varun Aaron, Vijay, Sachin Rana, Yogesh Takawale, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shadab Jakati, Sandeep Warrier, Harshal Patel, Tanmay Mishra.

Player to watch out for: Shadab Jakati - In a team loaded with star batsmen, Jakati will play a crucial role in picking up wickets and stopping outflow of runs for the opponents with his orthodox spin.

Coach: Daniel Vettori

Over all IPL stats:
Matches won: 47
Total matches played: 94
Win percentage: 50.0

Last season standing: Fifth

Rajasthan Royals, famously known as the 'Money-Ball' team, have once again gotten smart buys in their squad. Their new captain Shane Watson, who is also their key batsman, is all set to make a mark with his leadership. With Rahul Dravid as the mentor, the team is a balanced combination of experience and enthusiasm. Their batting will heavily rely on Watson, Rahane and Chand at the top, and Hodge, Samson and Binny in the middle order.

The bowling unit looks strong with players like Pravin Tambe, James Faulkner, Dhawal Kulkarni. Addition of Australians like Steve Smith, Ben Cutting and Kane Richardson will definitely boost up squad's strength for an all-round performance.

Squad: Shane Watson (C), Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Brad Hodge, Steven Smith, Abhishek Nayar, Ben Cutting, Kane Richardson, Tim Southee, Unmukt Chand, Ankush Bains, Vikramjeet Malik, Rahul Tewatia, Ankit Sharma, Amit Mishra, Deepak Hooda, Rajat Bhatia, Kevon Cooper, Iqbal Abdulla, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe, Karun Nair, Dishant Yagnik.

Coach: Paddy Upton

Player to watch out for: Ben Cutting - This tall, athletic all-rounder from Australia has created a big impression at the practice sessions with his bat. Big-hitter Cutsy will not only strengthen the lower batting order but will also play a key role in picking up wickets.

Over all IPL stats:
Matches won: 48
Total matches played: 90
Win percentage: 53.3

Last season standing: Third

As many experts say, Kings XI Punjab is a team who has done well in the auctions. With players like Virender Sehwag, Shaun Marsh, David Miller and Glenn Maxwell, KXIP has arguably the strongest batting line-up. KXIP's performance over last few years has been inconsistent and hence, captain George Bailey has an upward task ahead to prove his mettle and help his team reach the top of the points table.

Squad: David Miller, Manan Vohra, Virender Sehwag, Mitchell Johnson, George Bailey (C), Cheteshwar Pujara, Shaun Marsh, Wriddhaman Saha, Thisara Perera, Glenn Maxwell, Rishi Dhawan, Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Akshar Patel, Beuran Hendricks, Karanveer Singh, Murali Kartik, Shivam Sharma, Shardul Thakur, L Balaji, Parvinder Awana, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Mandeep Singh.

Coach: Sanjay Bangar

Player to watch out for: Glenn Maxwell - His rise in his consistency levels of late augurs well for KXIP's batting line-up.

Over all IPL stats:
Matches won: 43
Total matches played: 89
Win percentage: 48.3

Last season standing: Sixth

Even though they were an average team in last year's IPL, Sunrisers Hyderbad punched way above their weight by reaching the playoffs. This time at least, they are not the weakest team of the tournament but they are still not amongst the strongest teams. They did well with the capture of Aaron Finch and David Warner in the auction but they lack a high impact Indian batsman in their line-up other than Shikhar Dhawan. They are poor when it comes to most of the batting parameters.

But their bowling attack is led by none other than Dale Steyn, the best bowler in the cricketing arena as on today. Along with Steyn, SRH has quality bowlers like Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra and the uncapped Karn Sharma.

Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Dale Steyn, David Warner, Darren Sammy, Amit Mishra, Aaron Finch, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Brendan Taylor, Moises Henriques, Venugopala Rao, Jason Holder, S Aniruddha, Manprit Juneja, KL Rahul, Amit Paunikar, Naman Ojha, Ricky Bhui, Ashish Reddy, Chama Milind, Parveez Rasool, Prashanth Parameshwaran, Karn Sharma.

Coach: Tom Moody

Player to watch out for: Karn Sharma - This player from Meerut had caught eyeballs of every IPL watcher last year with his splendid performance. This year, at Auction, he commanded attention from many teams. But SRH finally bagged him making him the most sought after uncapped player in IPL 2014.

Over all IPL stats:
Matches won: 9
Total matches played: 17
Win percentage: 52.9

Last season standing: Fourth

Chennai Super Kings are the strongest team of the tournament mainly because of the strong core of Indian players that they have retained. CSK comprises of players like Dhoni, Raina, Faf and Smith - all of them are big-match players in the tournament. Composition-wise they lack a high impact pace bowler and only Ben Hilfenhaus is world class amongst the resources. But they do have all-rounders like Jadeja and Ashwin who have played a key-role in team's victories in past editions of IPL. CSK's strengths lie mainly in how the team handles the pressure situations, the players' consistency and their big-match experiences.

Squad: MS Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Samuel Badree, Ben Hilfenhaus, Matt Henry, B Aparajith, Mithun Manhas, Ishwar Pandey, Pawan Negi, Vijay Shankar, Ronit More, John Hastings.

Coach: Stephan Flemming

Player to watch out for: John Hastings - This tall all-rounder from Australia is in good form and will play a key role in the lower order batting. With the ball, he will be helpful in picking up wickets and stop leaking runs.

 

Over all IPL stats:
Matches won: 59
Total matches played: 99
Win percentage: 59.9

Last season standing: Second

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