With two new teams and a radical redistribution of players following the 2011 auction, IPL 4 has a fresh look to it.
BANGALORE ROYAL CHALLENGERS
Key batsmen: AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli(retained), Tillakaratne Dilshan
Key bowlers: Zaheer Khan, Dirk Nannes, Daniel Vettori
Others: Saurabh Tiwary, Cheteshwar Pujara, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mohammed Kaif, Asad Pathan, Ryan Ninan, Abrar Kazi, Muralidharen Gautam, Raju Bhatkal, BN Bharath, Arun Karthik, Sreenath Aravind, Mayank Agarwal, Charl Langeveldt, Luke Pomersbach, Johan van der Wath, Rile Rossouw, Nuwan Pradeep and Jonathan Vandlar.
Best: Runners-up, 2009
Last year: Third
Chances: Any team with De Villiers and Dilshan, whose stock rose as he finished top runscorer in the World Cup, will always be dangerous but a lack of experience could cost them.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
Key batsmen: Suresh Raina(retained), Mike Hussey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni(retained), Scott Styris, Dwayne Bravo
Key bowlers: Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, Albie Morkel(retained)
Others: Murali Vijay(retained), Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, S Badrinath, Joginder sharma, Sudeep Tyagi, Ganapathi Vignesh, Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas, Abhinav Mukund, Yo Mahesh, Shadab Jakati, Srikkanth Anirudha, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suraj Randiv, George Bailey and Francois Du Plessis.
Best: Winners, 2010
Last year: Winners
Chances: Have retained the backbone of last year’s winning squad, including captain Dhoni, whose presence will ensure strong Indian support. Batting depth should take them to the semi-finals at the very least.
Key batsmen: Kumar Sangakkara, Cameron White, JP Duminy
Key bowlers: Ishant Sharma, Dale Steyn
Others: Shikhar Dhawan, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Manpreet Gony, Kevin Pietersen, Daniel Christian, Ashish Reddy, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Akash Bhandari, Bharat Chipli, Kedar Devdhar, Ishank Jaggi, Harmeet Singh, Ishan Malhotra, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Jaydev Shah, Sunny Sohal, Arjun Yadav, Chris Lynn, Juan Theron and Michael Lumb.
Best: Winners, 2009
Last year: Fourth
Chances: Have been hit hard by the withdrawal of Kevin Pietersen because of injury, exposing a possible lack of depth. Will rely heavily on Sri Lanka star Sangakkara and South Africa tearaway Steyn.
Key batsmen: Virender Sehwag(retained), David Warner
Key bowlers: Morne Morkel, Irfan Pathan, Roelof van der Merwe
Others: Naman Ojha, Ajit Agarkar, Ashok Dinda, Umesh Yadav, Venugopal Rao, James Hopes, Aaron Finch, Matthew Wade, Andrew McDonand, Varun Aaron, Robin Bist, Unmukt Chand, Ajit Chandila, Shahbaz Nadeem, Yogesh Nagar, Prashant Naik, Rajesh Pawar, Aavishkar Salvi, Sridharan Sriram, Vikas Mishra, Tejashwi Yadav, Vivek Yadav, Travis Birt, Colin Ingram and Robert Frylinck.
Best: Semi-finalists 2008, 2009
Last year: Fifth (did not progress)
Chances: Boast surely the most destructive opening partnership around in the shape of Sehwag and Warner, but could struggle if those two fail to fire, with not much strength in the middle order. Lack of spin options is also a worry.
KINGS XI PUNJAB
Key batsmen: Shaun Marsh, David Hussey, Adam Gilchrist
Key bowlers: Ryan Harris, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla
Others: Dinesh Karthik, Abhishek Nayar, Stuart Broad, Love Ablish, Amit Yadav, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Siddarth Chitnis, Paras Dogra, Vikramjeet Malik, Mandeep Singh, Nitin Saini, Shalabh Srivastava, Sunny Singh, Paul Valthaty, Ryan McLaren, Dimitri Mascarenhas and Nathan Rimmington.
Best: Semi-finalists 2008
Last year: Eighth, did not progress
Chances: Finished bottom last time out and have not gone all out to improve their squad with big names. Star man Gilchrist is past his peak, while England stars Stuart Broad and Dimitri Mascarenhas have both withdrawn because of injury. Could struggle again.
KOCHI TUSKERS KERALA
Key batsmen: Mahela Jayawardene, VVS Laxman, Brendon McCullum, Brad Hodge
Key bowlers: Muttiah Muralitharan, Shantha Sreesanth, RP Singh
Others: Parthiv Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Ramesh Powar, R Vinay Kumar, Steven Smith, Tisara Perera, Stephen O’Keefe, Owais Shah, Balachandra Akhil, Deepak Chougule, Gnaneswara Rao, Raiphi Gomez, Kedar Jadhav, Chandan Madan, Sushant Marathe, Prasanth, Padmanabhan, Tanmay Srivastava, Yashpal Singh, Michael Klinger and John Hastings.
Last year: N/A
Chances: The new boys spent big on foreigners, including Sri Lankan stars Jayawardene and Muralitharan, although they may be lacking a strong Indian core. Not many will fancy facing an attack including Muralitharan and local boy Sreesanth, so they will have their eyes on the semi-finals.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Key batsmen: Gautam Gambhir, Eoin Morgan, Jacques Kallis, Yusuf Pathan, Brad Haddin
Key bowlers: Brett Lee, Shakib Al Hasan
Others: Manoj Tiwari, L Balaji, Jaidev Unadkat, Sarabjit Ladda, Rajat Bhatia, Manvinder Bisla, Shreevats Goswami, Iqbal Abdulla, Pradeep Sangwan, Shami Ahmed, Laxmi Shukla, Ryan ten Doeschate and James Pattinson
Best: Sixth 2008, 2010
Last year: Sixth (did not progress)
Chances: The IPL’s perennial under-achievers appear to have invested wisely, with stars like Gambhir and Kallis augmented by shrewd buys in Morgan and Shakib. With Lee on fire following the World Cup, could be an outside bet for a surprise final place.
Key batsmen: Sachin Tendulkar(retained), Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard(retained), Andrew Symonds
Key bowlers: Harbhajan Singh(retained), Lasith Malinga(retained), Munaf Patel, James Franklin
Others: David Jacobs, Clint McKay, Abu Nechim, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sarul Kanwar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ali Murtaza, Ambati Rayudu, Rajagopal Sathish, Tirumalasetti Suman, Pawan Suyal, Aditya Tare, Santosh Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Dilhara Fernando, Moises Henriques and Aiden Bllzzard.
Best: Runners-up, 2010
Last year: Runners-up
Chances: Last year’s runners-up have the potential to be fearsome this time, with the likes of Tendulkar, Pollard and Symonds in their team. With World Cup finalists Harbhajan and Malinga also in their side, they could go one better than last year – as long as Symonds and Harbhajan play nice.
Key batsmen: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Graeme Smith, Jesse Ryder
Key bowlers: Ashish Nehra, Murali Kartik, Wayne Parnell
Others: Tim Paine, Angelo Mathews, Nathan McCullum, Callum Ferguson, Mitchell Marsh, Harpreet Singh, Manish Pandey, Eklavya Dwivedi, Imtiyaz Ahmed, Ganesh Gaikwad, Dheeraj Jadhav, Kamran Khan, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Harshad Khadiwale, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mithun Manhas, Shrikant Mundhe, Mohnish Mishra, Sachin Rana, Rahul Sharma, Shrikant Wagh, Jerome Taylor and Alfonson Thomas.
Last year: N/A
Chances: Having recruited Yuvraj, Ryder and Smith, the Warriors certainly will not lack power in their debut season. Parnell is also a shrewd acquisition, but with Angelo Mathews ruled out through injury, they may lack the nous and all-round quality to reach the semi-finals.
Key batsmen: Ross Taylor, Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson(retained)
Key bowlers: Shane Warne(retained), Johan Botha, Shaun Tait
Others: Jacob Oram, Amit Singh, Swapnil Asnodkar, Stuart Binny, Deepak Chahar, Ankeet Chavan, Aakash Chopra, Aditya Dole, Nayan Doshi, Samad Fallah, Faiz Fazal, Ashok Menaria, Sumit Narwal, Amit Paunikar, Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Raut, Dinesh Salunkhe, Pinal Shah, Siddharth Trivedi, Dishant Harendra Yagnik, Pankaj Singh and Paul Collingwood.
Best: Winners 2008
Last year: Seventh (did not progress)
Chances: Taylor could be one of the stars of the tournament, but, with Warne’s powers waning and Collingwood almost certain to miss the whole tournament through injury, the Royals will need Watson to shine with both bat and ball to have a chance of progressing.
ESS & Cricinfo