IPL is on the horizon. This time around, there is an increased enthusiasm among cricket enthusiasts, thanks to the sizeable reshuffle and also the return of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals to the fore.
Winning an event like IPL takes a lot. Most time, the contribution of inspired performances from players that are overlooked or are underrated. Let's take a look at these IPL X-factors that can give their team an edge this IPL season.
Gayle struggled big time last season and was later dropped from the team. But, that does not mean it will happen again. He is still such a hostile player to have in your line-up. RCB didn't retain him but KXIP believe that Gayle Storm is not over yet.
Given the form the New Zealander is in, he fits the bill. Most likely to partner Gautam Gambhir at the top of the DD batting, he's going to be exciting. He could be the favorite breakout player this season.
India's lead spinner in the Test format had below-par seasons in the IPL the last couple of years. He has already demonstrated his all-round abilities. He is back at CSK and can unleash playing for the franchise setup he has spent most time at.
The man who put brakes on unstoppable in South Africa all by himself is the latest inclusion to the RR squad. In one of his whirlwind knocks, he targeted Yuzvendra Chahal to deposit five of his 12 balls in the stands, scoring 41 runs off them. Sure, he is one to watch out.
The stellar form of opener Chris Lynn was one of the major talking points of IPL 10. Let's hope Lynn comes out all guns blazing once again.
Like Gayle, Lewis has made a name for himself in the T20 circuit. The big-hitting West Indian has 2 Twenty 20 International hundreds in only 14 games. He could be a big deal this season.
RCB retaining uncapped Sarfaraz Khan for Rs 1.75 crore seems like a gamble, but he is identified as a player of high potential. He is another confident modern-day stroke player who doesn't shy away from playing unorthodox cricket. Sure, he can repay the faith RCB have shown in him.
For a complete and consistent cricketer he is, he should not be on this list. For strange reasons, KKR did not retain him but Shakib would want to prove his worth for his new IPL franchise.