The most attended cricket tournament in world is about to get started as the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) unfolds on Saturday, March 23, 2019.
IPL 2019 will feature eight teams representing eight cities and six states of India, with 62 total matches.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the reigning champions, will open the tournament against Royal Challengers (RCB) at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai around 10:30 PM (GMT +8).
Former Indian team skipper M.S. Dhoni will lead the CSK squad, while Indian captain Virat Kohli will head RCB. Chennai Super Kings have qualified 7 times for IPL finals, winning the tournament thrice. They are considered to be the favorites this season too.
Meanwhile, Royal Challengers Bangalore has qualified for the finals 3 times in the past, but they are still searching for their first IPL title.
Without a doubt, the excitement among the fans continues to grow as the event comes closer and closer each day.
Moving forward, let’s take a quick look on the teams that will compete for glory:
Chennai Super Kings
So far, CSK have the most wonderful record in IPL. They have core players like Dhoni, Raina, Jadeja, Bravo, and Rayudu that makes them the dangerous and strongest sides in the league. They are a team to beat as well!
Players: MS Dhoni(c), Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Ambati Rayudu, Dhruv Shorey, N Jagadeesan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, David Willey, Kedar Jadhav, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Harbhajan Singh, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, Mohit Sharma, KM Asif, Monu Kumar
Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB will surely put on a show when they face the defending champions as they have world-class players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Chahal, Negi, and Washington Sundar are likely to lead the spin attack, with Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj heading the pace department. Another key player to watch would be Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis who joins the side this season.
Players: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Heinrich Klaasen, Himmat Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Marcus Stoinis, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Prayas Barman, Akshdeep Nath, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee, Mohammed Siraj, Nathan Coulter-Nile
Watch out as Sri Lankan fast pacer Lasith Malinga is making his comeback in IPL this season. The team failed to qualify for the playoffs last season but they might have a chance here with their top players such as Rohit Sharma, Pandya brothers, Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard.
Players: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Aditya Tare, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Quinton de Kock, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Pankaj Jaiswal, Anukul Roy, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Barinder Sran, Rasikh Salam, Jayant Yadav
Kolkata Knight Riders
Get ready as the Kolkata Knight Riders are all set to play their opening match against Sunrisers Hyderabad at their home ground on March 24. The franchise bagged West Indies’ all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite this year. New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson also joins the squad.
Players: Dinesh Karthik (c), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Anrich Nortje, Harry Gurney, Yarra Prithviraj
Kings XI Punjab
KXIP will start their IPL journey against Rajasthan Royals at Sawai Mansingh Stadium on March 25. The fans love to see the improvement of the team as Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle fantastic performance last 2018 season. Ashwin has been impressive as a captain. Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and all-rounder Sam Curran will provide strength to the team.
Players: Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Lokesh Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Simran Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Andrew Tye, Ankit Rajpoot, Hardus Viljoen, Arshdeep Singh, Moises Henriques, Varun Chakravarthy, Sam Curran, Darshan Nalkande, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar
RR has been struggling to gain momentum since winning their first IPL tournament in 2008. In fact, they returned last season after serving two years of suspension along with Chennai Super Kings. With core players like Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat and Jofra Archer, the team looks balanced.
Players: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Steven Smith, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Prashant Chopra, Manan Vohra, Aryaman Birla, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shashank Singh, Liam Livingstone, Shubham Ranjane, Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas, Sudhesan Midhun
SRH is ready to play their opening game against Kolkata Knight Riders. Bowling has been their strength with great bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, and Rashid Khan. David Warner is back in the team after skipping the last season. Kane Williamson has been great leading the side to the finals in 2018.
Players: Kane Williamson (c), David Warner, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, Ricky Bhui, Shreevats Goswami, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma, Billy Stanlake, K Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan
Formerly known as ‘Delhi Daredevils’, the franchise changed their name to ‘Delhi Capitals’ this season. Shreyas Iyer who was appointed as the skipper in 2018 after Gautam Gambhir stepped down due to a string of bad performances, will lead the team. Fact – DD has never qualified for the finals, but with Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan and pacer Ishant Sharma joining the squad, they will hope to change their fortunes this year.
Players: Shreyas Iyer (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Colin Munro, Ankush Bains, Colin Ingram, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Manjot Kalra, Chris Morris, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Jalaj Saxena, Amit Mishra, Rahul Tewatia, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Ishant Sharma, Nathu Singh, Bandaru Ayyappa
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