Indian Cricket Carnival

The eighth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is underway and this summer has been brilliant with 8 teams competing for the title. The tournament will see the teams playing 60 matches in 11 venues for 47 days. The teams have restructured after the auction and this is how they look:

Chennai Super Kings

Current squad – MS Dhoni, Ashish Nehra, Baba Aparajith, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis, Ishwar Pandey, Matt Henry, Mithun Manhas, Mohit Sharma, Pawan Negi, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Samuel Badree, Suresh Raina, Ronit More, Michael Hussey, Rahul Sharma, Kyle Abbott, Irfan Pathan, Pratyush Singh, Ankush Bains, Eklavya Dwivedi, Andrew Tye

Delhi Daredevils

Current squad – Jean-Paul Duminy, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Mohammed Shami, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Quinton De Kock, Saurabh Tiwary, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mayank Agarwal, Imran Tahir, Jayant Yadav, Angelo Mathews, Yuvraj Singh, Amit Mishra, Jaydev Unadkat, Gurinder Sandhu, Shreyas Iyer, CM Gautam, Dominic Muthuswamy, Albie Morkel, Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis, Kona Srikar Bharat, KK Jiyaz, Zaheer Khan

Kings XI Punjab

Current squad – Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Beuran Hendricks, David Miller, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Karanveer Singh, Manan Vora, Mitchell Johnson, Parvinder Awana, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Shaun Marsh, Shivam Sharma, Thisara Perera, Virender Sehwag, Wriddhiman Saha,Murali Vijay, Nikhil Naik, Yogesh Golwalkar

Kolkata Knight Riders

Current squad – Gautam Gambhir, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Morne Morkel, Patrick Cummins, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Veer Pratap Singh, Yusuf Pathan, James Neesham, Brad Hogg, Aditya Garhwal, Sumit Narwal, KC Cariappa, Vaibhav Rawal, Sheldon Jackson

Mumbai Indians

Current squad – Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Ambati Rayudu, Corey Anderson, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Josh Hazlewood, Keiron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Marchant de Lange, Pawan Suyal, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Unmukt Chand, R Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel, Aaron Finch, Pragyan Ojha, Mitchell McClenaghan, Akshay Wakhare, Aiden Blizzard, Hardik Pandya, Siddhesh Lad, J Suchith, Nitish Rana, Abhimanyu Mithun

Rajasthan Royals

Current squad – Shane Watson, Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson, Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Current squad – Virat Kohli, AB de Villers, Chris Gayle, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, Rilee Rossouw, Vijay Zol, Yogesh Takawale, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Ashoke Dinda, Sandeep Warrier, Manvinder Bisla, Iqbal Abdullah, Dinesh Karthik, Subramaniam Badrinath, Darren Sammy, Sean Abbott, Adam Milne, David Wiese, Jalaj Saxena, Sarfaraz Naushad Khan, Shishir Bhavane

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Current squad – Shikhar Dhawan, Ashish Reddy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chama Milind, Dale Steyn, David Warner, Ishant Sharma, Karn Sharma, KL Rahul, Moises Henriques, Naman Ojha, Parveez Rasool, Ricky Bhui, Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan, Kane Williamson, Ravi Bopara, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Praveen Kumar, Trent Boult, Hanuma Vihari, Prasanth Padmanabhan, Siddarth Kaul

*All the players marked in bold are the new additions to the teams in this auction.

The tournament opener, on April 8th, saw the Defending Champions Kolkata Knight Riders take on the Mumbai Indians and KKR had it easy against MI. The batting order of MI is not set and stable. Mumbai’s batting woes have masked the problems of their bowling unit. The promotion of Harbhajan Singh up the order has certainly shown that the Mumbai Indians lack depth in their batting order. MI lost Aaron Finch and Corey Anderson due to injuries and has signed up Hilfenhaus and Munro as replacements. Captain Rohit Sharma made a 98 in the first match, but has failed to fire thereafter. Meanwhile, Sunil Narine, after being cleared to play IPL a few weeks back has been reported for suspect bowling action again. He has to undergo a test again in Chennai. Andre Russell and Suryakumar Yadav have been good down the order but they failed to deliver when it mattered the most, against CSK in their last match. KKR replaced Narine with Brad Hogg and the Australian bowled well and kept it tight against the Super Kings. KKR will be playing the Super Kings again on 30th at Kolkata. With their last match at home against RR being washed out, the Knight will look to turn the tables and get a win over CSK at home.

In a thrilling encounter between the Chennai Super Kings and the Delhi Daredevils at Chepauk, CSK saw its former player Albie Morkel almost winning the game for the Daredevils. For six seasons, Chennai had cheered Albie Morkel as one of their own. On the last ball, by the narrowest of margins, Morkel missed out on a six as the ball bounced just inside the rope. CSK is riding high, standing second in the points table, and looks the most stable team. CSK is also the most consistent and most successful team in this format. The opening pair, McCullum and Smith have fared well for the franchise. McCullum’s century against SRH ensured a huge win for CSK. CSK made a mockery of 184 chase against the MI, chasing down the score in 16.4 overs at Wankhede. Ashish Nehra, with his incisive bowling has picked up crucial wickets and has provided crucial breakthroughs for his team. His comeback has yielded good results for CSK and the leftie is the current Purple Cap holder, for the most number of wickets (13). The match against KXIP showed a clinical performance by CSK. CSK’s bowlers did a very good job against DD is their opener and also against KKR, defending a low total of 134 in Chennai. Ashwin was injured in the match against KKR and he’ll be missing a couple of matches. CSK will be missing one of its key bowlers. This gives a chance for Irfan Pathan or Samuel Badree or Rahul Sharma to be a part of the playing XI. CSK has lost only one match out of the seven played so far. They will try to keep the momentum going and will look to repeat the Chepauk victory at Eden Gardens when they take on KKR on 30th.

Rajasthan Royals have been consistent and they seem to have found the right combinations. Rahane has been brilliant with the bat. His technique has been lauded by experts and he is currently the leading run-scorer in the tournament. All-rounder Deepak Hooda has caught people’s eyes. Chris Morris is doing a decent job with the ball. The Royals came good against CSK as the openers Shane Watson and Rahane made the chase easy for their team. RR has been clinical, with first four matches under the captaincy of Steve Smith. The summer against India was good for him and so was the World Cup campaign. The return of Shane Watson saw him take his team home against CSK. KXIP ended RR’s unbeaten run in the super-over thriller.

Royals Challengers Bangalore started the tournament with a few hiccups, but with the return of Mitchell Starc, RCB is back to winning ways. Starc and RCB’s pace attack led their team to a comprehensive victory against RR and DD. RCB seamers routed DD for 95 for a big win in their last match. Adam Milne has been ruled out of IPL and that would be a loss to the RCB. Dinesh Karthick has not come good with the bat. Being the most expensive buy for RCB in this year’s auction, RCB fans expect him to produce some match winning performances in the upcoming matches. The batting order has also been a problem for RCB. They experimented by making Bisla or Kohli open with Gayle. In the absence of Gayle, Bisla opened the innings with South African Rousseau. RCB will have to bring some stability to their batting order to win more matches.