This is the second and concluding part of this series. The first part can be viewed here.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Another very consistent outfit; sadly for them, they’ve been consistently bad! Their squad this year looks depleted than ever with limited international recruits. Looks like the management have already given-up and are just waiting for the Season 4 auctions. Somehow, I’ll still go with them as my dark horse for the semis spot.
Upside: Saurav’s Dadagiri being back in place – one leader and their best leader!
Watch out for: David Hussey and Brad Hodge who seem like the sliver lining in this very dark cloud. Rohan Gavaskar – we haven’t heard of him in a longwhile and chances are we wouldn’t if he doesn’t do much. He’ll definitely want to prove and make an impact.
Downside: McCullum and Gayle, their big guns, are on national duty and out of form respectively.
Mumbai Indians: They have a dream opening pair in Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar, but success has eluded this highly potent team. Sachin the captain sadly never enjoyed the success that Sachin the cricketer enjoys and this seems to have rubbed on here as well. Irrespective of what’s happened in the past, this team would want to prove more than just a point, more than any other outfit.
Upside: With Sachin and Sanath in one team opening the batting, magic is just waiting to happen.
Watch out for: Kieron Pollard – they payed a bomb for him so he better have their moneys worth!
Downside: Sachin the captain!
Rajasthan Royals: The fairy tale team of the IPL, who had a dream run in season one and fought tooth-and-nail in season 2 with their very limited resources. May give the impression that they are the weakest team on paper, but they’re not; and definitely one of the highest on team spirit. Their batting was aweful last year but with Martyn, Voges and Lumb, they’re looking better set this year.
Upside: Warne; they say he’s probably the best captain that Australia never had and I’d say he’s the best captain that the IPL has!
Watch out for: Yusuf Pathan – not too long ago he cracked a 40-ball hundred and there’s seems no reason why he can’t repeat. Shaun Tait – who’s in prolific pace and form in this format of the game.
Downside: Shane Watson not being around – their hero is in the form of his life but will miss half the IPL due to national duty!
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Mr Mallya promised to turn this team around after the first year and so he did. From a test team to near Season 2 champions, RCB have come along a long way. Captain Kumble leads a formidable line-up that’s capable of ousting any team on most days.
Upside: Kumble proved two huge points last reason – T20 isn’t really a young man’s game and nor is it just a bowler’s nightmare.
Watch out for: Cameron White – he’s in great touch and has been making big runs down in Australia and New Zealand, and should be immediately after the NZL ODI series. Virat Kohli is so much more matured than last year should be a great plus at the top of the order.
Downside: Kevin Pietersen is their biggest buy and is in the worse form of his life!
Well, these are my views based on what the IPL site said on the squad. Injuries and availability can further ruin my analysis and worse, make it worse for the teams!
Anyways, the bottom line is…
Eyes – will watch
Pay – people will for sure
All – will be happy!