Prediction: Who Will Win IPL 2018?

With the completion of Indian Premier League auction 2018, the fans now have the list of all teams with their members. And as gradually as April is arriving, the only buzz to hear everywhere around is just this one-million-dollar question – who is going to bag the IPL trophy this time? Before we conclude on that debate, let us go through the teams and their evaluation.

  1. Rajasthan Royals

Squad – Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, D’Arcy Short, Steven Smith (C), Aryaman Birla, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gautam, Jatin Saxena, Mahipal Lomror, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dushmantha Chameera, Ben Laughlin, Anureet Singh, Ankit Sharma, Shreyas Gopal, Zahir Khan, Sudhesan Midhun

Evaluation – With the total of 5 batsmen, 3 wicket-keepers, 9 bowlers and 6 all-rounders, Rajasthan Royals are all set for the mood of ‘back with a bang’. With the two of the most expensive buys of the auction, Ben Stokes for 12.5 Cr. and Jaydev Unadkat for 11.5 Cr. and many highlighted overseas players, Rajasthan Royals have put together quite a tough team for the other franchisees and executed a smart business plan.
The only weakness that can arrive for this team is in the spin department where the bowling pressure might just fall on the shoulders of Unadkat singlehandedly.

  1. Royal Challengers Bangalore

Squad – Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra, Pavan Deshpande, Quinton de Kock, Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Aniruddha Joshi, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Tim Southee, Aniket Choudhary, Kulwant Khejroliya, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Murugan Ashwin

Evaluation – Arguably the most glamorous franchisee of the league with a strong batting as well bowling department, can only face a hard time if Virat Kohli makes any wrong move in choosing his super XI. With players like AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum and Kohli himself as batsmen and Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav and Nathan Coulter-Nile as bowlers, Royal Challengers Bangalore definitely can give the other teams a run for their money.

  1. Kolkata Knight Riders

Squad – Chris Lynn, Cameron Delport, Ishank Jaggi, Nitish Rana, Apporv Wankhade, Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Vinay Kumar, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Andre Russell, Javon Searles

Evaluation – Even with strong players like Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn as batsmen, Sunil Narine, Mitchell Starc and Kuldeep Yadav as bowler, Russell as an all-rounder and Dinesh Karthik as wicket keeper, Kolkata Knight Riders may face a hard time in the season. With no strong captain material and injuries to some players, the franchisee may feel a little weak in the knees.

  1. Kings XI Punjab

Squad – Lokesh Rahul, Aaron Finch, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, David Miller, Manoj Tiwary, Akshdeep Nath, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Manzoor Dar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Ankit Rajpoot, Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye, Ben Dwarshuis, Mayank Dagar, Mujeeb Zadran, Pardeep Sahu

Evaluation – Though Kings XI Punjab made some audacious decisions in the auction and pickep up brilliant players in the batting department like Yuvraj Singh, Chris Gayle and Aaron Finch, the team lacks players in bowling department. The unbalance can prove to be a negative aspect in their series to come.

  1. Sunrisers Hyderabad

Squad – David Warner (C), Manish Pandey, Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Ricky Bhui, Tanmay Agarwal, Sachin Baby, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Shakib Al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite, Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Nabi, Yusuf Pathan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Thangarasu Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Chris Jordan, Billy Stanlake, Basil Thampi, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan

Evaluation – Probably one of the most sorted teams of the IPL this year with great openers like David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan as well as consistent players like Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Manish Pandey, Sunrisers Hyderabad have high chances of giving some ground-breaking performance this year as well.

  1. Delhi Daredevils

Squad – Colin Munro, Jason Roy, Gautam Gambhir (likely captain), Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Glenn Maxwell, Manjot Kalra Rishabh Pant, Naman Ojha Vijay Shankar, Chris Morris, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Daniel Christian, Abhishek SharmaTrent Boult, Kagiso Rabada, Mohammed Shami, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Sayan Ghosh, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shahbaz Nadeem

Evaluation – Delhi Daredevils made some very conventional bidding this year and safe to say the auction this year was in their favour. All in all, they have managed a great team on papers. With really strong batting as well as bowling department, the team can only fall short in the middle-order when young players like Rishabh Pant & Shreyas Iyer do not hold a consistent performance throughout.

  1. Mumbai Indians

Squad – Evin Lewis, Rohit Sharma (C), Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav, Jean-Paul Duminy, Siddhesh Lad, Sharad LumbaIshan Kishan, Aditya Tare, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Tajinder Singh, Ben Cutting, Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman, Patrick Cummins, Pradeep Sangwan, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Anukul Roy, Akila Dananjaya, Rahul Chahar, Mayank Markande

Evaluation – The team is highly dependent on their captain Rohit Sharma but all eyes will be on the performances of Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya as if they fail to deliver outstanding performance consistently, the team can be in huge mess. The strong bowling team would be of not much use if the lack of strength in the batting department overshadows the team.

  1. Chennai Super Kings

Squad – Murali Vijay, Faf du Plessis, Suresh RainaKedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Dhruv Shorey, MS Dhoni (C), Ambati Rayudu, Jagadeesan Narayanan, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Monu Kumar Singh, Kshitiz Sharma, Mark Wood, Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Mitchell Santner, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, and Kanishk Seth

Evaluation – The team saved the most amount of money by the end of the auction and also made some unconventional biddings. Overall a decent package, Chennai Super Kings can perform well if the experiences of well renowned players like Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson and M.S. Dhoni as well as the consistency of new players like Kedar Jadhav and Ambati Rayudu stays intact.

Conclusion:

With one of the most interesting auctions this year, we can conclude that Sunrisers Hyderabad & Delhi Daredevils have come up with really strong teams and have all eyes on them for the trophy.  Whereas the experiences of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals can make them strong competitors as well.