IPL is set to start on September 19. Eight teams will vie for the title. Mumbai Indians will look to defend their title, and win a fifth title. So, what are the each team's chances this IPL season?
Cricwizz takes a look at the chances of each team of making it to the playoffs this IPL season.
Chennai Super Kings
CSK has been the most competitive team in the IPL history, making it to the final 8 times in 12 seasons, and winning 3 of them. But this time, they have a depleted squad, with Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar out for various reasons. But CSK has a great 'captain cool' in MS Dhoni who can turn any challenges into a victory. Hence, it would be an exercise in futile to rule them out. One can bank on CSK to at least make it to the play-offs with a depleted squad as well.
Chances of playoffs: Dhoni-led CSK, despite a depleted squad, is a favourite for playoffs.
They are the strongest team on paper. But history suggests, they always struggle to put up a good show in their title defence. But they bounce back in the next season to win the title. They have won in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 or every alternate years. So, this year may not be meant for them, if one goes by the trend. But Mumbai would look to change that this time around, and make a successful defence for the first time.
Chances of playoffs: With a team like MI, they should make it to the playoffs.
They did make it to the playoffs last time, and had a great season, with a young bunch of team members. This time around as well, they would look to repeat the last season’s heroics, and may go all the distance if they play as a team. They will be definitely the underdogs this season.
With a confident Shreyas Iyer as captain, and now Shikhar Dhawan as the opener, they have added depth to their squad. They also have R Ashwin, and Ajinkya Rahane this time around and it will add a lot of experience to their young squad.
Chances of playoffs: A favourites for the playoffs, indeed.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Last season, they banked heavily on Andre Russell’s brutal hitting. And it does not look any different this time as well. They have made a few expensive buys in Pat Cummins for Rs 15.5 crore, and would bank heavily on him, and Russell to come good. Dinesh Karthik has to make the best use of his limited resources, and lead from the front to make it to the play-offs.
Chances of playoffs: A little dim again
Royal Challengers Bangalore
They depend heavily once again on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers on the batting front. They have bought Aaron Finch this time. If he comes good, it will shore up RCB batting front. They are better off in the bowling department with Umesh Yadav, YS Chahal, Navdeep Saini in the squad, and with a fit Dale Steyn, they can boast of one of the best bowling line-ups in the season.
But the failure of the two departments to come together has been the bane for them. And unless they sort it out, it won’t be any different story this time around as well.
Chances of playoffs: Again, it could be a game of mathematical calculation.
David Warner is back to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad, and his inspired leadership can make the difference to the end results. Besides, Warner loves to lead from the front, and that could be a big motivation to his players.
With Rashid Khan, Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow, Mohammad Nabi, SRH is spoil for choices in the overseas department. They have also strong local talent in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Siddarth Kaul, and they are backed up in all departments. They are a strong contender for a place in play-offs.
Chances of playoffs: It would be under-achievement for them, if they don’t make it to the playoffs.
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul has been handed the captaincy this time around after his impressive show with the bat in the last couple of seasons as the opener. They have Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell who are match-winners on their day. But they have an under-performing local squad that could hamper their season once again. The likes of Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Deepak Hooda have flattered to deceive in the IPL.
Chances of playoffs: It all depends on KL Rahul this season – how he bats and leads.
They have some of the top talent in Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Sanju Samson, David Miller, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal but can they fire as a team? That’s extremely doubtful. A lot rests on Smith to lead from the front, and show the way for his teammates. And if Stokes is in form, the team could rally on his shoulders to make it to the playoffs. But their playoffs jinx may continue to haunt them.
Chances of playoffs: Yes, if Stokes, Smith fire in unison.
Possible teams for playoffs: MI, CSK, SRH, DC
Cover Credits: CircleofCricket