Cricket fans in India are getting ready for another exciting cricket season as the much-awaited 2019 Vivo Indian Premier League is about to commence on March 23, 2019 and will be held entirely in India. And the hype continues to build up after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCC) announced the first 17 matches on February 19, 2019 while the rest of the schedules will be released after the announcement of the Lok Sabha 2019 election dates.
But while everyone is still waiting for the opening games of the 2019 Vivo Indian Premier League, let’s look at the teams that will be playing this year—and maybe start making predictions on where to put our bets:
Chennai Super Kings
The defending champions Chennai Super Kings will be making a comeback this year with one mission: to win a back-to-back title. Being one of the teams in the IPL that prefer experience over age, the Super Kings is ready to defend their title with a strong roster of players under head coach Stephen Fleming who said: “I’m not here to develop young players, I’m here to try and win the competition for the franchise.” CSK bought two players at this year’s auction: Mohit Sharma and Ruturaj Gaikwad. MS Dhoni will still play a vital role in CSK’s journey this year along with his squad of eight overseas and 17 Indian players.
Formerly known as the Delhi Daredevils, the Delhi Capitals unveiled their new jersey that featured their signature read and blue colours a few days ago. The newly named team will fight for a place in the IPL final, which the franchise never achieved before and they last qualified for the playoffs in 2012. Headed by coach Ricky Ponting, the Delhi Capitals will have 10 new players this season including Colin Ingram and Axar Patel.
Kings XI Punjab
Making their 12th appearance this year is Kings XI Punjab, which made some surprising buys at the 2019 IPL Auction held last December 18, 2018. The team made headlines when they bought English all-rounder Sam Curran for a staggering £800,000 deal, the highest paid for an overseas signing. Together with 12 other buys from that auction and 10 retained players, Kings XI Punjab is on a mission to get the IPL cricket crown this year.
Kolkata Knight Riders
While they were highly underrated by experts last year, Kolkata pulled off a stellar performance, which they hope to exceed this IPL season. The team bought eight players at last year’s auction including Lockie Ferguson and Joe Denly who will work together with retained players under the wings of head coach Jacques Kallis to try and win the title this year.
Three-time champions Mumbai Indians didn’t have a good finish in last year’s IPL season, but this year, the team will make sure that they will have a good shot at the title headed by regular skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Mahela Jayawardene. Mumbai Indians acquired six new playes including Barinder Singh Sran and Lasith Malinga, and its lineup will be composed of eight overseas and 16 local players.
With Rs13.80 crore spent on acquiring nine new players that include Jaydev Unadkat and Varun Aaron, Rajasthan Royals is definitely set on getting the win this season. Aside from announcing its new pink jersey color, the team also announced the return of Shane Warne. The Australian legend will be the Royal Brand Ambassador of the franchise.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore may be considered underachievers, but their nine buys from the last auction including Shivam Dube, Akshdeep Nath and Prayas Barman are proof that the team has its eyes on the prize this season. With a total strength of 24 players, Royal Challengers Bangalore will rely on key players headed by Virat Kholi for its run in the IPL 2019.
Runner-ups Sunrisers Hyderabad may have bought only three players in last year’s auction, but the team made sure to grab only the strongest ones including Jonny Bairstow. Sunrisers Hyderabad is trying to make a comeback this year after losing the title against the Chennai Super Kings in last year’s IPL season.
What team are you betting on for the 2019 Vivo Indian Premier League?