IPL 2019 starts in a week, next Saturday the 23rd March 2019. Its a bit early start this year considering the World Cup 2019. So which team can win it this year? As is the case every year, the team that peaks too early never either makes it through finals or never wins it. Only Chennai Super Kings is exception to this. So this year, will they be able to defend their title?
Consider some facts about the players of Chennai Super Kings, Dhoni the captain is always great as we have known (still good at keeping and leading at least). Shane Watson had a great season last year and right now is having a great time in PSL. He will surely be transferring his post-retirement purple patch to this year IPL. Sam Billings & David Wiley, both had a great T20I time in the Caribbean few days back so they are also all set for the IPL. Dwayne Bravo still remains a good death bowler and capable batsman. Faf du Plessis is in great consistent form on some “made for bowlers” pitches back in South Africa so IPL pitches pose no challenge for him at least on paper. Even if we leave to talk about Lungi Ngidi, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadega, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh etc. there is enough reason that Chennai Super Kings will again be a strong contender for the title this IPL.
A new management, a new like squad, new support staff and even a new team name – Delhi Capitals will be staking their claim for the first time in this year IPL. They are leaving no stone unturned for giving the IPL title a shot this year with Ricky Ponting the coach, Sourav Ganguly the advisor and a squad consisting of good mix of experience and youth in Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Ingram, Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Sandeep Lamichhane, Prithvi Shaw, Trent Boult & Ishant Sharma to name a few of their squad.
With Chris Gayle at top and in good form as experience by England in latest ODI’s, Kings XI Punjab will be no push overs this IPL. They have a good squad too which if fire on all cylinders can go all the way. To back up Gayle, they have KL Rahul, David Miller, Mayank Agarwal, Moises Henriques, Sam Curran and bowling will be led by Ravichandran Ashwin.
The SRK owned
King Khan Riders Kolkata Knight Riders will again be a title contender this year having a settled powerful team under leadership of Dinesh Karthik as compared to the last year. Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Andre Russel and Kuldeep Yadav are few names that can win you games on their own so KKR may yet again prove to be a good fight for all the teams in this year’s IPL.
The slow starters of every year, Mumbai Indians will once again look to finish on top in IPL 2019. With Rohit Sharma as captain, in Jasprit Bumrah, Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard & Australian Ben Cutting, they have more than enough match winners.
Rajasthan Royals is a name in IPL one cannot overlook for title race considering they won the first IPL when nobody gave them a chance. With efficient use of players they can give all others teams a run for their money. Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson & Steven Smith are some of the biggest names they have in their squad this year.
RCB or Royal Challengers Bangalore, led by Indian Captain Virat Kohli always gives an impression that they are the team to beat at the IPL. With AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis & Yuzvendra Chahal they sure have the fire power. It all depends on how fast they can find their consistency and maintain it throughout the tournament.
Last but not least, Sunrisers Hyderbad is a team in last few years that consistently keeps on winning without fuss and finds itself in the finals. With David Warner back to prove a point, they can again count themselves to be in hunt for the title.
No matter which teams win it, this year’s IPL should be a great tournament with most of the teams strong on paper and closely matched.