When we look back at the last decade, none then would have thought that the Indian Premier League would turn out to become the most visited and watched cricket league in the world. So much that, for the first time a match had to be streamed live on the YouTube, for ones who couldn’t get their hands on the ticket. The players are auctioned at astronomical prices and have a big star celebrity attraction due to the players as well as the high profile team owners. The audience is excited to watch them play, and the teams are formed under the auctioneers head, who represents an Indian city.
Having a brand value of approximately US$4.5 billion, Indian Premier League still occupies a citadel in the hearts of the cricket lovers with the spot names these represent. You surely must have had selected your chocolate team, which makes it a must to read the strengths and weaknesses of the other teams, what if some day there would be a face-off ?
Sun rises when they bowl (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Strengths: At this year’s auction, spinner Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan supplemented to the band of splendid bowlers like Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Aashish Nehra, Barinder Srana and Mustafizur Rahman.
Weakness: Sunrisers Hyderabad would just hope the Indian middle order of Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha would give in their best, unlike scoring just 20% of Hyderabad’s runs collectively last time.
The Capital City (Delhi Daredevils)
Strengths: They would dare the other with their devilish bowling attacks, Chriss Morris, Pat Cummin, Kagio R., Mohammad Shami, and Amit Mishra presenting a great mixture of Indian as well as the overseas players.
Weakness: Withdrawal of Quinto de Kock & SP Dumia would leave the bowling side a bit weaker. Jim Billing to enter the inexperience squad would hopefully keep the bowlers sinking.
The Roaring Lions (Gujarat Lions)
Strengths: Gujarat, undoubtedly, has the highest run rate with players like Brendon McCullum, Aron Finch, Dwayne, Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik with the newly joined Jason Roy.
Weakness: This team lacks spinners, with only one entry during the auction. Tejas Baroka, the leg spinner would play along the existing inexperienced slot, as Ravindra Jadega is said to return 3 weeks later.
Kings will dominate the Kingdom (Kings II Punjab)
Strengths: The overseas batting options of Shawn Marsh, Hashim, Glenn Maxwell, Martin, Eoin and David Miller will supplement these 11, ruling Punjab as a King.
Weakness: The news of Murli Vijay, not being able to contribute, will surely serve added benefits for the other rival teams.
Kolkata can toss its strengths (Kolkatta Knight Riders)
Strengths: Sooner did Venky Mysore take up the post of the Managing Director, stability has been the awestruck factor for this team. Familiarity in the roles, in the ever-passing seasons of the IPL has been the growing strength of Kolkata Knight Riders.
Weakness: This season Woakes replaces Russell, which will not match the expected scoring rates and will need more power to sustain the team standards. Lynn could be an option, but his entry would unbalance the overseas proportion.
Amchi Mumbai-Amchya India (Mumbai Indians)
Strengths: With Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Jos Buttler and Krunal Pandya likely to bat as top six and Lendl Simmons, Nicholas Pooran and Asela Gunaratne to have settled in reserve, Mumbai has one of the most powerful batting line-ups in the Indian Premier League. If they maintain their historical preference for two overseas bowlers, their bowling line-up could well be enviable.
Weakness: Mumbai signed no new players at the auction to partner Rohit and unless they lose an overseas bowler to accommodate Simmons at the top of the order, Mumbai will have to choose from the same Indian crop as last year.
Ready with its Warriors (Pune Warriors)
Strengths: A likely top six of Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Faf du Plessis, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and MS Dhoni have a clear crescendo-like structure, in which roles are well-defined.
Weakness: Pune’s bowling attack is arguably the weakest in the IPL. Before Ravichandran Ashwin was ruled out with injury, their spin attack, with Imran Tahir and Adam Zampa, was their saving grace. But with only one of the wrist spinners likely to play, the team will have a hard time supporting a seam attack likely to comprise three of the stokes, Ashok Dinda, Ishwar Pandey and Jaydev Unadkat.
Challenging Challengers (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Strengths: Highest batting average, highest run rate, 2nd highest powerplay, highest middle ever run rate, highest death over rate are some of the credits already accounted by the team last season. Their powerplay has been the best, with efficient players like Chris Gayle, Virat Kolhi, Ab de Villers and Shane Watson.
Weakness: While it may seem obvious that Bangalore’s bowling, is their weakness, the truth is altogether more complex. Bangalore’s home ground, the M. Chinnaswamy stadium is such a good venue for batting – perhaps the best in world cricket; that it brings even weak batting teams to an unexpected pedestal. With this bowling standard, the team would reconsider their strategies while playing at the home ground.