After records were broken in the 2018 IPL Player Auctions, the squads for the eight Indian T20 franchises have been finalised.
With play in cricket’s most expensive and glamorous limited-overs tournament scheduled to start on April 7, we’ve had a look at the big winners and losers from the auction, as well as the updated odds for the title contenders.
Now it’s time to look at the playing squads and review each team’s chances.
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Royal Challengers Bangalore
With the plethora of explosive players at their disposal, Bangalore might turn out to be serious contenders for the crown this time around. The acquisition of batsmen like Quinton de Kock, Brendon McCullum and Moeen Ali will increase the side’s chances of going one step further to lift their maiden crown. Captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are the premier players in the batting lineup and would be keen to produce their best with the bat in this year’s competition.
Squad: Virat Kohli, Sarfaraz Khan, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Anirudha Joshi, Parthiv Patel, Tim Southee, Pavan Deshapnde, Moeen Ali, Manan Vohra, Kulwant Khejroliya, Nandeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Mandeep Singh, Pawan Negi, Mohammad Siraj, Quinton de Kock, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Prediction: 3rd place
Royals spent of a lot of money during the IPL auction after retaining only Steven Smith for this year’s competition. The franchise made all the headlines as they bagged Ben Stokes for a whopping price. Jaydev Unadkat was also picked up as the second most expensive player during the auction by Rajasthan. The squad is a strong one as the Royals can certainly go the distance with Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi in their lineup. Big Bash League sensation D’Arcy Short and pace bowler Jofra Archer will certainly bolster the side’s chances of doing something special this season.
Squad: Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Krishnappa Gowtham, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh, Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane, Darcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Aryaman Vikram Birla, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror
Prediction: 2nd place
Daredevils managed to get Gautam Gambhir at a fair price of $440,000 in the auction. The side has good chances to do well but the odds are stacked against them due to a string of poor performances in previous editions of the league. Jason Roy, Glenn Maxwell and Colin Munro are some explosive players signed by franchise this season to turn things around in this year’s competition. The bowling department looks decent with Kagiso Rabada, Mohammad Shami and Trent Boult as three front-line seamers for the side. However, the overall look of the squad is not that strong which means they might ultimately end up in the second half of the points table once again.
Squad: Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Amit Mishra, Shahbaz Nadeem, Vijay Shankar, Jason Roy, Naman Ojha, Prithvi Shaw, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Avesh Khan, Abhishek Sharma, Rahul,Tewatia, Mohammad Shami, Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, Kagiso Rabada Gautam Gambhir, Trent Boult, Colin Munro, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Harshal Patel, Manjot Kalra, Sandeep Lamichhane, Sayan Ghos
Prediction: 7th place.
Chennai Super Kings
Two-time IPL champions Chennai will be keen to put up a good show with bat and ball. Super Kings adopted a conservative approach in the auction process as they went for experience rather than in-form young players. Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni have played for Super Kings in previous editions. Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh were picked up during the auction. The one good move was Super Kings getting hold of South Africa’s new pace sensation Lungi Ngidi for the coming season. The overall squad is not that strong and fails to stand out in comparison to the likes of Rajasthan and Bangalore.
Squad: MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Mark Wood, Sam Billings, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Kedar Jadhav, Dwayne Bravo. Karn Sharma, Shane Watson, Shardul Thakur, Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Faf Du Plessis, Mitchell Santner, Lungi Ngidi, Asif K M, N Jagadeesan, Kanishk Seth, Monu Singh, Dhruv Shorey, Kshitiz Sharma, Chaitanya Bishnoi
Prediction: 8th place
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI went all out in the IPL auction to pick in-form players for the coming season who can change the fortunes of the franchise after failures in previous editions. Lokesh Rahul turned out to be biggest acquisition in the event followed by Australian all-rounder Andrew Tye. The squad has good players with Aaron Finch, David Miller and Marcus Stoinis included in the setup for this year’s competition. Ravi Ashwin, Barindar Sran and Mujeeb Zadran are prominent names in the bowling department. The overall squad is not that strong and we might see Kings XI finish the competition in the second half of the table in terms of points.
Squad: Axar Patel, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, Akshdeep Nath, Manoj Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Manzoor Dar, David Miller, KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Karun Nair, Mujeeb Zadran, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Singh Sran, Yuvraj Singh, Christopher Gayle, Ben Dwarshuis, Pardeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar
Prediction: 6th place
The Sunrisers have made some interesting picks for the IPL auction by buying Shakib Al Hasan and Carlos Brathwaite for the coming season. The batting department will not see new faces as David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson will make up the top order for the side. Chris Jordan, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are prominent names in the bowling lineup. Sunrisers Hyderabad have the potential to surprise as they play an attacking brand of cricket under the leadership of David Warner. The squad looks good and Hyderabad is well positioned to finish the league in the top 4.
Squad: David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Deepak Hooda, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, , Carlos Brathwaite, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Rashid Khan, Sachin Baby, Bipul Sharma, Syed Mehdi Hasan, Ricky Bhui, Shakib Al Hasan, Sandeep Sharma, Kane Williamson, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami, Mohammad Nabi, Chris Jordan, Tanmay Agarwal.
Prediction: 4th place
Kolkata Knight Riders
The two-time champions failed to qualify for the finals of the competition last year. Sunil Narine and Andre Russell were retained for this year’s competition. Shubman Gill was picked by the Knight Riders as the youngster has made quite a name for himself by producing big runs for India in the U-19 Cricket World Cup. On the batting front, Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa are prominent names for the side. Australia’s T20 star Chris Lynn was bagged at a big price of $1.86 million by Kolkata Knight Riders.
Knight Riders possess the best bowling lineup in this year’s competition with Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson picked during the auction. The side also has top quality spinners as Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav will certainly cause a lot of problems to the opposition batsmen in the coming season. However, the Kolkata Knight Riders might not be title contenders this time around as the batting department lacks one or two big players.
Squad: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Mitchell Starc, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Singh Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Vijay Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi
Prediction: 5th place
The reigning champions will certainly be looking to start on a positive note. The side has quality players from top to bottom. Rohit Sharma, JP Duminy, Saurabh Tiwary and Evin Lewis are quality players who can certainly win the game on their own. Mumbai have top-notch all-rounders with the Pandya brothers (Krunal and Hardik) and Kieron Pollard in the squad for this year’s competition. Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendroff, Akila Dhananjaya were good picks made by the franchise for the upcoming season. Mumbai seems to have their bases covered and can win the league this year as well.
Squad: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jason Behrendroff, Jean-Paul Duminy, Saurabh Tiwary, Tajinder Dhillon, Akila Dhananjaya, Nidheesh M D Dinesan, Jaspreet Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Pat Cummins, Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Ben Cutting, Mustafizur Rahman, Rahul Chahar, Pradeep Sangwan, Aditya Tare, Siddhesh Dinesh Lad, Mayank Markande, Sharad Lumba, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan
Prediction: 1st place.
Updated 2018 Indian Premier League betting odds
|IPL Team||2018 IPL Sportsbet.com.au odds|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||+450|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||+550|
|Kings XI Punjab||+600|
|Chennai Super Kings||+800|