#3 Virat Kohli (Captain)
The de-facto choice for the No.3 spot in the side is captain Virat Kohli.
An immaculate game-sense and astounding running between the wickets remains his prime arsenal while he can shift gears with ease as and when the situation demands.
#4 AB de Villiers
With an intrinsic quality to play shots all around the ground, de Villiers on his day can reduce the bowlers to a mere machine.
With Kohli at No.3, de Villers at five remains a perfect foil as both batsmen enjoy batting with each other, evident from numerous century partnerships, the highest being a 229-run assault of Gujarat Lions bowlers in the 2016 season of the IPL.
#5 Mandeep Singh
At No.5 comes the recipient of ‘Rising Star of the tournament’ in 2012, where he ended up as KXIP’s highest run-getter, Mandeep Singh.
Mandeep has been in good form in the domestic season, having accumulated 313 runs for Punjab at a strike rate of 149.76. Mandeep, with the kind of form he has displayed, can give stability to a batting order who has overwhelmingly revolved around the top four over the years.
#6 Colin de Grandhomme
A marauding, broad-shouldered batsman, and a handy medium-pace bowler, Colin de Grandhomme has all the requisite ingredients of a handy all-rounder.
With the Banglore pitch having shown signs of being slow and sluggish ever since it was re-laid in late 2016, Grandhomme’s subtle variations can come in handy for Kohli in case one of his main bowlers suffers an off day.
Apart from his bowling, Grandhomme can hit the ball a fair distance and can the role of a finisher as well.
#7 Chris Woakes
His red-ball game may have gone off the boiler in the past few months but there’s no doubt that Chris Woakes is one of the most improved all-rounders in limited overs cricket.
With his ability to bowl the death overs, a skill he so brilliantly displayed in the recently concluded ODI series against New Zealand, coupled with handy batting at the backend of the innings, Woakes might just turn out to be the go-to player for captain Kohli.
#8 Yuzvendra Chahal
While bowling on a ground as small as the Chinnaswamy stadium, Yuzvendra Chahal has developed into a wicket-taking bowler.
The guile and loop that he gives to the bowl have proceeded to fox batsmen all around the world especially against the power hitters.
#9 Washington Sundar
The teenage sensation has made heads turn with his consistent performances both in domestic as well as International cricket.
A classical off-spinner, Sundar’s biggest strength is his penchant for bowling the dirty (Read: Powerplay and death) overs. Sundar will resume his partnership with Chahal, a pair that had proceeded to create a stranglehold on the opposition in the recently concluded Nidahas Trophy.
#10 Umesh Yadav
The Vidarbha pacer has found himself on the sidelines from India’s limited overs scheme of things for good 12-15 months now and he’d have realized that the slide started when he went unsold in last year’s IPL.This IPL will be extremely important for Yadav This IPL will be extremely important for Yadav The Vidarbha pacer has found himself on the sidelines from India’s limited overs scheme of things for good 12-15 months now and he’d have realized that the slide started when he went unsold in last year’s IPL.
When on the song, Yadav with his smooth rhythm, beautiful action and an incisive base coupled with reverse+swing, is a treat to watch.
The 2018 edition of IPL promises to bring different challenges along the way for Yadav.
He will play under his national team’s skipper Virat Kohli, and in the absence of experienced Indian fast bowlers in the squad, he’d have to step up as the leader of the attack, adherence to which may pave way for a comeback into the white-ball setup again.
#11 Mohammed Siraj
The leading wicket-taker (23 at an average of 15.65) in the 2017-18 Vijay Hazare Trophy, Siraj has endured an abysmal start to his International career having been taken for plenty by the opposition batsman.
Having faced adversity, this IPL will be a test of the youngster’s temperament as a string of good performances would go a long way in establishing his credentials as a top-level bowler.