The Indian Premier League (IPL) starts today after the opening ceremony that is expected to be amazing. This is by far the biggest event organised and should bring a new edge to the way cricket is perceived by the world. It would be crazy to think the bowlers will have any assistance with the pitches, the focus of the series will be as many runs as possible. The sides with mediocre bowling attacks will be slaughtered, the spinners will pick up most of the wickets from good balls or bad shots by the batsman, and will also be heavily targeted.
There are eight different sides and below is a brief review of each team.
Bangalore Royal Challengers
The second most expensive in the IPL, coached by Venkatesh Prasad has acquired 3 South Africans, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn and Mark Boucher. They have picked a squad full of devastating bowlers, Steyn, Khan, Kumble and Bracken are where their fortunes will lie. Good performances here and they will be a handful.
Squad: Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Jacques Kallis, Zaheer Khan, Cameron White, Wasim Jaffer, Dale Steyn, Nathan Bracken, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mark Boucher, Misbah-ul-Haq, Ross Taylor, Abdur Razzak, KP Appanna, Balachandra Akhil, Jagadeesh Arunkumar, Bharat Chipli, Shreevats Goswami, Sunil Joshi, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Devraj Patil, Vinay Kumar.
Chennai Super Kings
Coached by Kepler Wessels, the side has some great entertainers in the form of Dhoni, Hayden, Oram and Morkel should have the crowds going. Their bowling line-up looks a little weak, but Muralitharan could be a handful.
Squad: MS Dhoni, Matthew Hayden, Stephen Fleming, Mike Hussey, Jacob Oram, Makhaya Ntini, Muttiah Muralitharan, Albie Morkel, Joginder Sharma, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Abhinav Mukund, Suresh Kumar, Arun Karthik, Shadab Jakati, Napoleon Einstein, Subramaniam Badrinath, Lakshmipathy Balaji, R Ashwin, Srikkanth Anirudha, Viraj Vilas Kadbe, Palani Amarnath, Manpreet Gony.
Kings XI Punjab
Tom moody is the coach. The side is full on India’s stars, but have the pace of Brett Lee and the experience of Simon Katich. The side should get a lot of supporters.
Squad: Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Ramesh Powar, Sreesanth, James Hopes, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Luke Pomersbach, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Kyle Mills, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Ajitesh Argal, Piyush Chawla, Pankaj Dharmani, Rishi Dhawan, Karan Goel, Uday Kaul, Sahil Kukreja, Wilkin Mota, Nitin Saini, Vikram Singh, Sunny Sohal, Tanmay Srivastava
Robin Singh is the coach. Possibly the most explosive batting side, with Symonds, Afridi, Gilchrist and Gibbs in the side they can beat any side if the batters fire. The bowling side is looking a bit light, but should be strong contenders for the title.
Squad: VVS Laxman, Sanjay Bangar, Halhadar Das, Herschelle Gibbs, Adam Gilchrist, Doddapaneni Kalyankrishna, Pragyan Ojha, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Sarvesh Kumar, Shahid Afridi, Rohit Sharma, Chamara Silva, RP Singh, Scott Styris, Andrew Symonds, Chaminda Vaas, Venugopal Rao, Paidikalva Vijaykumar, Arjun Yadav, Nuwan Zoysa.
Coached and captained by Shane Warne. The cheapest purchase out of all the teams costing $67 million, has picked up some great players in the form of Sohail Tanvir and Morne Morkel. Both players can hit some big shots and will be vital at the end of the innings. Certainly a side that can surprise with Warne in charge. When Graeme Smith joins the side he could improve their chances.
Squad: Shane Warne, Aditya Angle, Swapnil Asnodkar, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Kaif, Kamran Akmal, Sumit Khatri, Taruwar Kohli, Darren Lehmann, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Parag More, Morne Morkel, Pankaj Singh, Munaf Patel, Niraj Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Mahesh Rawat, Anup Revandkar, Dinesh Salunke, Jaydev Shah, Graeme Smith, Sohail Tanvir, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Younis Khan.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Coached by John Buchanan who has had great success with the Australian national side. More exciting players – with a very aggressive top order, but looks like they are lacking in quality players when the international commitments rob them of their star players.
Squad: Sourav Ganguly, Ishant Sharma, Murali Kartik, Ajit Agarkar, Chris Gayle, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Brendon McCullum, Mohammad Hafeez, Salman Butt, Umar Gul, Tatenda Taibu, Laxmi Shukla, Saurasish Lahiri, Siddarth Kaul, Iqbal Abdulla, Wriddhiman Prasanta Saha, Rohan Banerjee, Yashpal Singh, Aakash Chopra, Debabrata Das, Cheteshwar Pujara.
Coached by Lalchand Rajput. The most expensive side in the competition, bought for $111.9 million. They have players that will attract fans and certainly one of the strongest sides on paper.
Squad: Sachin Tendulkar, Loots Bosman, Ankeet Chavan, Siddharth Chitnis, Gaurav Dhiman, Dilhara Fernando, Harbhajan Singh, Sanath Jayasuriya, Musavir Khote, Dhawal Kulkarni, Lasith Malinga Abhishek Nayar, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Rajesh Pawar, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohan Raje, Luke Ronchi, Pinal Shah, Swapnil Singh, Yogesh Vijay Takawale, Dominic Thornely, Saurabh Tiwary, Robin Uthappa, Vikrant Yeligati.
Coached by Greg Shipperd. Glenn McGrath should be a good acquisition and the amount of all rounders could prove interesting
Squad: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary, Mohammad Asif, Daniel Vettori, Dinesh Karthik, Shoaib Malik, Glenn McGrath, AB de Villiers, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof, Rajat Bhatia, Shikhar Dhawan, Brett Geeves, Yo Mahesh, Mithun Manhas, Pradeep Sangwan, Mayank Tehlan.