Preview of eight teams of IPL

ipl 2015


TIDU’s Gaurav Joshi is in India as he previews IPL teams competing in  Pepsi IPL 2015 that kicks off today and predicts Chennai as the winners…


The current IPL champions have boasted a simply game plan over the past two years. It is based around variety of spinners and a home pitch that is slow and low. Last year the batting exploits of Robin Uttappa propelled them right to the top and then allowed the likes of Narine, Chawla and Shakib to spin their magic.   It will be much similar this time around, but if Uttappa cannot match his high standards from last year can Kolkata find another batsmen to accompany Gambhir to accumulate those runs? Sunil Narine action was cleared by the BCCI committee which is huge boost for the regaining champions. The fast bowling stocks are enriched with Morkel, Yadav and Cummins but still feel they rely too heavily on Gambhir and Uttappa with the bat.   Prediction:   4th

Likely X1: Gambhir, Uttappa, Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shaik Ul Hasan, Surya Kumar Yadav, Ten Doeschate, Narine, Umesh Yadav, Hogg, Morkel


The greatest challenge for the finalist from last year is the 2nd year syndrome. The men from the North lit up the IPL last year with care free attitude. It was largely due to the Australian contingent in Bailey, Maxwell and Johnson. This year opponents will know what is coming their way when facing Punjab and how the Kings confront it, will decide on the way they go during the IPL.   One of the advantages is that Sanjay Bangar, is a great thinker of the game and will ensure his team adjusts as per the expectations. The batting will be boosted by Murali Vijay but can their young bowlers such as Sandeep Sharma, Aaxar Patel, Shardul Thakur prevent leaking runs, if they can Kings will be once again up the top of the mountain. Prediction: 3rd

Likely X1: Vijay, Sehwag, Vohra, Maxwell, Bailey, Miller, Saha, Axar, Johnson, Sandeep, Thakur


In terms of matches won in the IPL, the Dhoni led team is the most successful in the IPL having made the finals on each of the past 7 versions.   The core of the team has remained the same and the return of the favourite son, Mike Hussey will only enhance their batting.   The batting is all overseas players while the bowling is all Indians. Importantly they have a winning culture instilled in the team and with the inclusion of Irfan Pathan, the all-rounder, it just makes the men in yellow even more formidable this year. Prediction: Winners

Likely X1: Hussey, McCullum, Raina, Du Plessis, Bravo, Dhoni, Jadeja, Pathan, Ashwin, Mohit, Panday


How on earth this team has not even participated in the final in the last couple of years is beyond imagination.   Seasonal campaigners that seem to collapse in the crunch semi-final matches. They have youth, all-rounders, batting depth, experience but just lack the finishing touch. But one sense with Steve Smith has the peak of his powers, Rahane with 12 months of international experience and Watson leadership this has to be the year for the Royals to stamp their authority. The bowling is slightly on the weaker side and they need Pravin Tambe to have another golden season and need Tim Southee to deliver with the ball. Prediction: Runners-Up

Likely X1: Rahane, Nair, Samson, Watson, Smith, Binny, Faulkner, Bhatia, Kulkarni, Tambe, Southee,


Should never have qualified for the finals last year but manage to scrape through by virtue of net-run rate. Apart from Rohit Sharma and the upcoming star, Josh Hazelwood, the Mumbai Indians have team that seems to be on decline.   Rayudu, Harbhajan and Malinga look past their best and the young brigade of Chand, Gopal and Anderson are yet to perform on consistent manner. Mumbai have an irresistible record at home and if it continues they could surprise a few team. Malinga fitness and the ageing warriors form will dictate their fortunes. Predictions: 5th

Likely X1: Chand, Finch, Rohit, Rayudu, Pollard, Tare, Anderson, Vinay Kumar, Harbhajan, Malinga, Bumrah


Similar to Hyderabad, the Royal Challengers have the elite players such as Gayle, Kohli, AB De Villers, Starc but in between the top and the bottom are cravases.   Leg spinner, Chalal stood up out of the crop of the young guys but can the likes of Aaron and Dinda on a consistent manner.   Bangalore are such a batting dominant team that despite score totals of 200, opposition feel they are still a huge chance because of their fragile bowling. With Starc missing in the 1st half of the season, it will be up to the batsmen to score that extra 20 runs, a big ask in each match.   Prediction 6th

Likely X1: Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Kohli, Kartik, De Villers, Sammy, Iqbal Abdulla, Starc, Chalal, Aaron, Abu Nechim


The Sunrisers are built on reputations but have failed to be successful on the pitch.   Similar to Kolkata their success has come on pitches that have been on slower side allowing their fast bowlers and spinners to cut the ball. Steyn, Ishant, Bhuvenshwar and Boult is an armoury which looks brilliant on paper but they can they live up to the expectations. Batting is slightly fragile and their is plenty of pressure on Dhawan and Warner. The issue is majority of their players such as Ishant, Bhuvenshwar, Morgan and even Steyn are out of form or have injury concerns. Sunrisers have nice combination of the elite players but the gap between them and the tier 2 is far too great for success in this version of the IPL.   Prediction:   7th

Likely X1: Warner, Dhawan, KL Rahul, Ojha, Morgan, Henriques, Rasool, Ishant, B. Kumar, Karn Sharma, Steyn


The much talked about ”˜Garry Kirsten’ influence seemed to be lacking last year but once again Delhi biggest scalp Yuvraj Singh has talked about it.   If that is the case, the Delhi will be hoping Yuvraj has a breakout season, something he has struggled with in the IPL.   The batting is full of domestic run machines but lack a couple of high class international players. The bowling also has no standout bowler from international cricket. Perhaps too much emphasis has been based around the coach. After all it is the players that play and the Delhi roster looks frail compared to the others.   Predictions: 8th

Likely X1: Iyer, De Kock, Manoj Tiwary, Duminy, Yuvraj, Jadav, Matthews, Sandhu, Mishra, Shami, Zaheer






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