In the 15th Edition of the Indian Premier League kicking off from March 26, 10 franchises will be competing for 65 days. The best 4 teams will get into the play-off for the war of trophy. Check how the IPL management has designed the format this season. The two new teams (Lucknow Supergiants & Gujarat Titans) are added to the list due to the availability of ample talent into the domestic circuit of Indian cricket. In total, 70 games will be played in the whole tournament, while many teams geared up for that in the mega auction where more than 200+ players have been sold to varied franchises.
While teams like Lucknow Supergiants, Punjab Kings & Royal Challengers Bangalore have created strong squads on paper, newly embedded teams like Gujarat Titans have failed to improvise their strategy in the auction. Let’s look at 5 teams who have built solid squads & are prime contestants of winning the trophy.
#1 Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
CSK has created a strong team in the auction under the leadership of captain cool MS Dhoni. The nucleus group of the team is the same as of a couple of previous seasons except the reliable guy Suresh Raina. Chennai has won 4 titles (2010, 2011, 2018, 2021). With a core group of MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja & Deepak Chahar, they have another opportunity to clinch the trophy for the 5th Time, and their trophy numbers will get equal to the reigning Mumbai Indians.
#2 Lucknow Supergiants (LSG)
Lucknow Supergiants are having their first appearance in the world’s biggest domestic tournament (IPL). The auction strategy of Gautam Gambhir has produced the most satisfactory squad for his team. KL Rahul leading Lucknow has picked up overseas star players like Marcus Stoinis, Jason Holder, Quinton de Kock. While in the category of Indian pedigree, they have leggie Ravi Bishnoi and emerging Pacers Avesh Khan & Ankit Rajpoot. They are the 2nd best candidate in the list after Chennai super kings for the trophy. It will be interesting to see the captaincy of KL Rahul this season. Although he led Punjab Kings in two seasons before it, the atmosphere & challenges will be different for him around Lucknow Supergiants.
#3 Mumbai Indians (MI)
Rohit Sharma leading Mumbai Indians have their chances of winning the title as it stays in all the seasons. Hardik Pandya, the hero at the finishing position, is currently not part of playing 11 as Gujarat Titans drafted him as a new skipper of the brand new franchise in the IPL. Rohit Sharma has led Mumbai Indians in 129 matches, including victories in 75 matches with a brilliant win percentage of 40%. Hope he will again spell some magic with his outstanding captaincy tactics & playing strategy.
#4 Delhi Capitals (DC)
Delhi Capitals had been so close to the trophy in 2019 & 2020, and in the last season, KKR played a spoiler with them by eliminating their chances to the play-offs and ultimately to the trophy. Rishabh Pant, the skipper, is in tremendous form as far as the concern of International sphere DC management will look to capitalize & harness his excellent form for their team. But the big blow for Delhi Capitals in the bowling is the exclusion of star South African Pacer Anrich Nortje. He was the key man in the bowling unit till the last season for DC; it will be massive adversity for Rishabh Pant in this season.
#5 Punjab Kings (PBKS)
Mayank Agarwal will lead the Punjab Kings side this season. PBKS management has purchased big T20 names like Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingston, the power hitter Odean Smith, the English wiki Johnny Bairstow. which can provide that proper T20 approach to the team which it was hunting for a long time. Shikhar Dhawan has led Sunrisers Hyderabad for two seasons, and that experience will benefit Mayank in his new leadership role.
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