Unmatched, Untamed and Unbelievable, that's exactly what the Indian Premier League truly stands for. One of the most competitive Twenty 20 tournaments in the world, every season of IPL witnesses eight teams trying to outplay each other for claiming the IPL glory.
As the eleventh edition of IPL is all set to return with its ‘Best vs Best' version, let's have a look at the teams who can lift the IPL trophy this year.
Packed with power-hitters and T20 specialists, Kings XI Punjab stands a strong chance this year. Preity Zinta co-owned Kings XI restructured their team completely retaining only one player Axar Patel from their last year squad.
Chris Gayle was almost gone from the Indian Premier League, but Kings jumped to his rescue and roped him in. The Jamaican has not scored much in the last two editions, but his big hitting capabilities can't be neglected.
Ace India off-spinner who has been appointed as skipper of the team might breathe new life in the strategic structure of Punjab squad. One of the highest wicket-takers of the tournament, R Ashwin brings his experience and out-of-the-box thinking to the table.
Also Read: Kings XI announce R Ashwin as their captain
Punjab lineup boasts T20 giants like Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh and Andrew Tye. Each one of them possess the ability to turn a match in their favour. KL Rahul, their most expensive player and Mayank Agarwal who is in his best form may also prove lethal in the tournament.
Chris Gayle, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, KL Rahul, David Miller, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, Manoj Tiwary, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Zadran, Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye, Akshdeep Nath, Ben Dwarshuis, Pradeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar, Manzoor Dar
Defending champions Mumbai Indians is the most successful franchise of the Indian Premier League in the recent seasons having won the title thrice in space of 5 years. Mumbai retained the core and cautiously added to the squad.
Mumbai Indians have roped in West Indies opening batsman Evin Lewis for the upcoming IPL edition. One of the rising stars of T20 format, Lewis is sure to play some match-winning knocks for Mumbai. Just like his West Indian opening partner Chris Gayle, Lewis is also explosive in the shorter format in the game with a strike rate of 154.97. He might prove to be an asset to the team.
Rohit Sharma's captaincy:
Rohit Sharma is the most successful captain of the Indian Premier League and one of the finest limited-over batsman in the world. Mumbai has won all three finals under Rohit's leadership and the feat might be repeated once again.
All-rounders would play a crucial role in placing Mumbai Indians ahead of their opponents. Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya are the core of the team who can bring glory for their franchise.
Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rehman, Pat Cummins, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, JP Duminy, Jason Behrendoff, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, Sharad Lumba, Siddesh Lad, Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dhananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, Nidheesh
Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the most glamorous and entertaining teams of the tournament but they have failed to lift an IPL trophy. Bangalore boasts the world's finest batsmen in their ranks and they might get lucky this time.
Virat Kohli, one of the most consistent batsmen today, would definitely put all his efforts into adding the IPL winning feather to his cap. The second highest scorer of the tournament who plays risk-free cricket could carry the RCB towards an IPL win on his shoulders this season.
Also Read: 10 batsmen who rule the IPL
Fixing the loopholes:
RCB has always boasted of having the world's best batsmen in their team but their ineffective bowling line-up has always disappointed them.
This season they have made sure to fix the loopholes by including the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes in the squad.
While they have likes of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli who would help the team put runs on the board, the all-rounders Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Washington Sundar would provide the perfect balance to the team.
Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Woakes, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Brendon McCullum, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Quinton De Kock, Mohammed Siraj, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin De-Grandhomme, M. Ashwin, Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Pavan Deshpande, Anirudha Ashok Joshi