How do the eight IPL teams stack up?

Chennai Super Kings

Total players: 25
Number of overseas players: 8

Openers: Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, M Vijay
Middle-order batsmen: Suresh Raina, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Sam Billings, Dhruv Shorey
Wicketkeepers: MS Dhoni, J Narayan
Allrounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Monu Kumar Singh, Kshitiz Sharma
Wristspinners: Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir
Fingerspinners: Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner
Fast bowlers: Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Mark Wood, Lungi Ngidi

Possible starting XI: 1 Shane Watson/Faf du Plessis, 2 M Vijay, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Kedar Jadhav, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Dwayne Bravo, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Imran Tahir, 11 Lungi Ngidi/Mark Wood

On day one of the auction, Chennai Super Kings bought a lot of old hands, players tried and tested and those their captain MS Dhoni had played with and against. The average age of their squad was 33 and they did not have an uncapped player. On day two, they bought a glut of uncapped players – eight, and most of them at base price – and overseas fast bowlers – Mark Wood and Lungi Ngidi – who don’t have experience of Indian conditions. So on one extreme they seem to have players who have been there and done that, and may be lacking a spark, and on the other extreme a whole host of rookies. Dhoni will need to find a happy mix of both to revive Super Kings after two years on the sidelines.

Total players: 25
Number of overseas players: 8

Openers: Colin Munro, Jason Roy, Gautam Gambhir, Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra
Middle-order batsmen: Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell
Wicketkeeper: Rishabh Pant, Naman Ojha
Allrounders: Chris Morris, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Gurkeerat Singh, Daniel Christian
Wristspinners: Amit Mishra, Rahul Tewatia, Sandeep Lamichhane
Fingerspinners: Jayant Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem
Fast Bowlers: Harshal Patel, Mohammed Shami, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Trent Boult, Sayan Ghosh

Posible starting XI: 1 Colin Munro/Jason Roy, 2 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Shahbaz Nadeem/Jayant Yadav, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Kagiso Rabada/Trent Boult, 11 Mohammed Shami

Delhi Daredevils have a batting line-up full of explosive batsmen and will bank on a couple of them coming good in almost every game. What they lack is an overseas batsman who is reliable in Indian conditions – Munro and Roy are unproven, and Maxwell was hit-or-miss last season – and someone lower down the order who can shore up a bad start. Most of their players have high strike-rates and when it comes off it will be spectacular. Another area of concern is the Indian fast bowling: they have Mohammed Shami, but he is injury-prone and has rarely played a whole IPL season. Their overseas fast bowling is ace.

Kings XI Punjab

Total players: 21
Number of overseas players: 7

Openers: Aaron Finch, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle
Middle-order batsmen: Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, David Miller, Manoj Tiwary
Wicketkeepers: Akshdeep Nath
Allrounders: Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Manzoor Dar
Wristspinners: Mujeeb Zadran, Pardeep Sahu
Fingerspinners: R Ashwin, Mayank Dagar
Fast bowlers: Ankit Rajpoot, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye, Ben Dwarshuis

Possible starting XI: 1 KL Rahul (wk), 2 Aaron Finch/Chris Gayle, 3 Karun Nair, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 David Miller, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin (capt), 9 Mohit Sharma, 10 Andrew Tye, 11 Ankit Rajpoot/Barinder Sran

Kings XI Punjab don’t have a proper wicketkeeper. Akshdeep Nath keeps wicket, but in the XI above, whom could he replace? The keeping duties are likely to fall on KL Rahul, who has done the job for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the past, but he isn’t the most reliable. Of their overseas players, Marcus Stoinis and Andrew Tye are in form, but David Miller and Chris Gayle can be hit-or-miss. Miller didn’t have a good 2017 IPL season, and Gayle is on the wane – Kings XI picked him up in the third round of bidding at base price. There were no other takers for him. They have a similar issue with Yuvraj Singh, who has never had a stellar IPL with the bat and is well past his prime. And their batting bench strength is thin. Also, they have no proven captain.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Total players: 19
Number of overseas players : 7

Openers: Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Cameron Delport
Middle-order batsmen: Shubman Gill, Ishank Jaggi, Nitish Rana, Apoorv Wankhade, Rinku Singh
Wicketkeepers: Dinesh Karthik
Allrounders: Andre Russell, Javon Searles
Wristspinners: Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav
Fingerspinners: Sunil Narine
Fast bowlers: Mitchell Starc, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Vinay Kumar, Mitchell Johnson

Possible starting XI: 1 Chris Lynn, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Robin Uthappa (capt), 4 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 5 Nitish Rana, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Piyush Chawla/Ishank Jaggi, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Kamlesh Nagarkoti/Shivam Mavi/Vinay Kumar

Kolkata Knight Riders have four great first-choice overseas players, but if there are injuries – and two of them are injury-prone – the bench strength is extremely weak. Their Indian batting hinges on Uthappa and Karthik, because the rest are unproven and inexperienced. They don’t have a solid captaincy option either. And they have three Indian fast bowlers, two of whom are Under-19 players and the other being Vinay Kumar. With only 19 players in the squad, their back-up cupboard is bare. How did this happen? They began the auction with INR 59 crore in the purse, but the first four players they bought on Saturday were really expensive, and at the start of bidding on the second day Knight Riders had only INR 7.6 crore to buy at least six players. That meant that most other franchises could outbid them – and that’s what happened whenever Knight Riders tried to buy an Indian fast bowler or quality overseas back-up. Their 2018 season will hinge on whether Russell, Lynn, Narine, Starc and Mitchell Johnson can go through it uninjured.

Mumbai Indians

Total players: 25
Number of overseas players: 8

Openers: Evin Lewis Middle-order batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, JP Duminy, Siddhesh Lad, Sharad Lumba
Wicketkeepers: Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare
Allrounders: Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting, Tajinder Singh
Wristspinners: Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar
Fingerspinners: Anukul Roy, Akila Dananjaya
Fast bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman, Pat Cummins, Pradeep Sangwan, Jason Behrendorff, MD Nidheesh, Mohsin Khan

Possible starting XI: 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Rohit Sharma (capt), 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Krunal Pandya, 8 Ben Cutting/Akila Dananjaya/Mustafizur Rahman, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Rahul Chahar, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Mumbai Indians have a pretty solid first XI: they bat deep and have a lot of bowling options. They are thin on specialist spinners though, only four to choose from in the squad and all rather unproven. The opening slot could also pose a problem because they have only two specialist openers in the squad, unless their captain Rohit Sharma wants to fill in. Jasprit Bumrah is a terrific quick, but beyond him the Indian fast-bowling options are slim. Their all-round options will be the envy of a lot of the other franchises. Mumbai have historically had strong back-ups for all roles, but that isn’t really the case this time around, and a lot will depend on how the first XI goes.

Rajasthan Royals

Total players: 23
Number of overseas players: 8

Openers: Ajinkya Rahane, D’Arcy Short, Rahul Tripathi
Middle-order batsmen: Steven Smith, Aryaman Birla
Wicketkeepers: Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Prashant Chopra
Allrounders: Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, K Gowtham, Jatin Saxena, Mahipal Lomror
Wristspinners: Zahir Khan, Shreyas Gopal, Midhun S
Fingerspinners: Ankit Sharma
Fast bowlers: Anureet Singh, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dushmantha Chameera, Ben Laughlin

Possible starting XI: 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Sanju Samson, 5 Jos Buttler (wk), 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Jofra Archer, 8 K Gowtham, 9 Shreyas Gopal/Ankit Sharma/Mahipal Lomror, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Dhawal Kulkarni

After being known as the ‘Moneyball’ team for years, Rajasthan Royals went and bought the two most expensive players at the 2018 auction – Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat. Their first XI looks pretty great: solid batsmen, big-hitting batsmen, terrific allrounders, really fast bowlers (Jofra Archer comes in with lots expected from him), and two Indian seamers who have good IPL records. Their spin stocks are a bit slim, but they have enough first-XI talent to make up for that. Their bench strength beyond the untested D’Arcy Short, who broke the run-scoring record for a BBL season this year, is not that strong, though, and Royals will hope their Australian and English players stay available for most of the season.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Total players: 24
Number of overseas players: 8

Openers: Brendon McCullum, Manan Vohra
Middle-order batsmen: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Pavan Deshpande
Wicketkeepers: Quinton de Kock, Parthiv Patel
Allrounders: Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Aniruddha Joshi
Wristspinners: Yuzvendra Chahal, M Ashwin
Fingerspinners: Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi
Fast bowlers: Kulwant Khejroliya, Umesh Yadav, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mohammad Siraj, Tim Southee

Possible starting XI: 1 Brendon McCullum/Quinton de Kock, 2 Manan Vohra/Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Sarfaraz Khan, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Moeen Ali/Colin de Grandhomme/Chris Woakes, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Yuzvendra Chahal, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Nathan Coulter-Nile/Tim Southee, 11 Mohammad Siraj/Aniket Choudhary/Navdeep Saini

What a hard XI to pick! Apart from Indian batsmen, who are in short supply at their squad and most others, Royal Challengers Bangalore have so many options for so many slots. Their challenge this season will be to find the right balance for their team, and pick smartly according to the conditions. McCullum or de Kock? One or two out of Moeen, de Grandhomme, and Woakes? Nathan Coulter-Nile or Southee, or neither? And which of the many Indian quicks? The only players who are certain in the XI are Kohli, de Villiers, and Chahal; and perhaps Sundar and Umesh.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Total players: 25
Number of overseas players: 8

Openers: David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan
Middle-order batsmen: Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Sachin Baby, Ricky Bhui, Tanmay Agarwal
Wicketkeepers: Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami
Allrounders: Shakib Al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Nabi
Wristspinners: Rashid Khan
Fingerspinners: Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan
Fast Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Chris Jordan, Billy Stanlake

Possible starting XI: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 David Warner (capt), 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 7 Yusuf Pathan/Deepak Hooda, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 One of the other Indian quicks

Sunrisers went on a shopping spree and ended up with 16 players on the first day of the auction. They had a solid squad that needed a few finishing touches for it to become truly amazing. They did not quite manage that on day two of the auction. Sunrisers would have liked another high-quality Indian batsman – but so would most other teams because they are in short supply – but what they are really missing is a proper finisher, who can take the end overs for more than ten an over. They tried to buy back Ben Cutting but lost him to Mumbai. They do have Carlos Brathwaite as a power-hitter, but playing him in the XI will be tricky for balance, and especially if the opposition have quality spinners to counter Brathwaite. And Yusuf Pathan seems to be past his prime.

Cricinfo

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