Hello and warmly welcome to the daily match review about every game of this year’s IPL. Today I will be writing on the match between the Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Capitals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. So to make things clear, the first paragraph will be a general review of the game, mainly the important highlights for people who have not watched the game. The second paragraph will be about a deeper analysis of the game, and where the game changed. So the readers who have already seen the game can skip the first paragraph and directly move onto the second paragraph. This will be the structure of every daily blog on the IPL hereafter and secondly, the website is updated and users can check the latest blog and the previous blogs on the home page itself. The blog will be present on this website at 9 pm IST every day, so keep your reminders and have a break with a nice 10-15-minute read. I hope I have clarified the major updates and let’s start with the review.

Rishabh won the toss at the SMS and chose to field first, with the Royals again going with just 7 batters. But their batting started rusty as Jaiswal, Buttler and Samson fell cheaply, leaving the Royals in dire straits. But then came Ravi Ashwin, who was promoted and played a good hand alongside Parag but once even he fell for a quick 29, the run rate was still below 7. But then the carnage started as Parag started whacking almost every ball to the boundary supported by Jurel and Hetmyer to give the Royals a massive total of 185. Now speaking of the chase, the openers started well but both Marsh and Bhui were removed by Nandre Burger in the same over. But Warner was on song and Pant played a second fiddle to him and it looked at one stage the Capitals could finally break the jinx by becoming the first away team to win a game. But both Warner and Pant were removed and the chase slowed down completely. But Tristan Stubbs, alongside Axar Patel, started giving the Capitals hope with needing 17 runs in the last over but Avesh Khan bowled brilliantly to give the Royals a hard-fought win of 12 runs, keeping the jinx alive.

Now speaking about the tactical aspects, I would first say it was a superb ploy to use Ashwin as a batter when the team needed more stability and to give good company to Parag, who had the time to settle. And even when Ash did get out when the rate was still below 7, he had done his job completely, giving a good platform to Jurel and Hetmyer. So the settled Parag then started blasting almost every ball, increasing the run rate for the Royals to about 8 an over. Here I think the Capitals missed a trick of not using the 2-bouncer rule and rather they just went for the Yorkers, in which some were full-tosses but the others were just slot balls, easy for the RR batters, especially Parag to hit and thus the last over, where Nortje, blessed with pace could have bowled more pacers and instead went for the Yorker, and the result being 25 runs off the last and giving RR 10-15 runs extra and also not impacting their plans of their impact player, because at some stage, because of their precarious start Sanju would have forced to use Rovman Powell and not use Nandre Burger but because of Ash and Parag, I would say the Royals were lucky to not comprise on their foreign bowler. Speaking of the DC innings, I would say Mitchell Marsh played a rash shot and Bhui was just done by the sheer bouncer by Burger. But still, Warner was on song but just threw his wicket and so did Pant, chasing a wide ball outside off. But huge credit to Stubbs and Axar for making a game out of that as the Capitals needed 60 off the last 4 overs and the drop catch by Boult, who I guess lost it in the lights proved to be 15-20 runs extra but that last over by Avesh Khan was absolutely pin-point, where he backed his Yorkers and his captain giving his team the victory. So overall, a chaotic game, with the batters not capitalising on the middle overs but the only difference I would say is between the last overs bowled by Nortje, who backed his Yorkers and after the first 3 balls, since he already he went for 14 runs should be gone for the short ball ploy, but ended up giving 25 runs and the last over bowled by Avesh Khan, who also backed his Yorkers and when it worked initially, stuck to it and ended up giving just 4 runs.


Hello and a warm welcome to the daily match review about every game of this year’s IPL. In this blog, I will write about one of the most insane games ever played in the history of this sport, which was between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Mumbai Indians at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium where again the trend continued where the home game once again emerged victorious. But to put all of these aside, the fans did witness a match which maybe comes once in a decade or a century because there were records broken for fun by both teams, especially SRH posting the highest score ever in the IPL, surpassing RCB’s 263. So let’s get started with the review!
Hardik Pandya won the toss and unsurprisingly chose to bowl first but even in his wildest dreams he and his team wouldn’t imagine the carnage they were about to witness. The chase started quickly as Travis Head got his SRH debut but soon after Mayank Agarwal. But with Abhishek Sharma joining Head, the bombardment of that innocent leather ball started where they were hitting sixes for fun, getting the 100 in just 7 overs and hitting 148 in the first 10, and were even looking at 300 at this point. Still, when Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma departed for their bullet-style 63, Aiden Markram and the spin-feaster Heinrich Klassen smoked everything into the stands, breaking RCB’s 263 in the last over but falling 1 run short of the biggest T20 total of 278, but still they posted a mammoth 277/3. At this point, the chasing team would just put their hands up and surrender but not the Mumbai Indians. Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma started attacking from ball one and got fifty in just 3 overs. Soon, Kishan and Rohit departed but they did ensure the run rate was in check, so the local boy, Tilak Varma had some time to settle. Then even he started tonking all the balls out the ground, supported by the promising Naman Dhir and from nowhere, MI were 141/2 at the halfway mark, above the required run rate, which just shows the intent of the Mumbai batters. But Naman Dhir fell and soon even Tilak Varma fell right after the break and the innings slowed down, which MI couldn’t afford to do because the run rate was touching 20 an over. Even as Tim David and Shepheard hit some boundaries, 277 was too many for MI as they still fell 31 runs short but they did post 246 in the end, which is also a commendable effort and ensured their NRR doesn’t go off for a toss. But as I said in the beginning, the fans got their money total worth it to watch a game of all the big guns in full form, smoking a total of 38 sixes into the stands and a total of 69 boundaries. More number of records broken in this game are mentioned in this cricbuzz article: Stats Highlights: SRH break 11-year record to post highest IPL total | Cricbuzz.com

But one would imagine that maybe the Eden Gardens, or the Chinnaswamy, or the Wankhede could be the grounds where the record of 263 would be broken but it was surprisingly at Hyderabad. The reasons I can pick for this are some poor bowling by MI, giving just too many balls to hit especially Kwena Maphaka, who just got the player of the series award in the U-19 World Cup recently held in South Africa and made his IPL debut in this game, but yes he still a young champ and sure he will come back. But when SRH hit 277, their eyes would be on an easy 80-100 runs win, boosting their NRR, but allowed even MI to hit 246, which is also a huge total and in fact, MI possibly could chase it down. So the bowling by both teams was under-par but the standout performance for me, which made the difference in the two teams was by captain Pat Cummins, cool as a cucumber picking up 2 wickets below 9 an over but the game-changing over was bowled by Bhuvi, who didn’t pick a wicket and was hit for 53 in his 4 overs which is bad, but the 13th over which he bowled, he conceded just 5 runs, which as cricbuzz mentioned in their commentary, was “gold dust” considering the number of runs and boundaries hit in this game. But MI needed 96 off the last 6 overs, still chasable and even when Tilak Varma got out, Hardik and Tim David could get MI home. But Hardik played a rather slower innings, just 24 of the 20 balls he faced, in a chase where a batter at least needed a strike rate of 180+ and struggled to muscle anything over the fence after initially scoring a four and a six in his first 4 balls. So generally even in a high-scoring chase, say about 180-200, there are just 3 phases in the game, powerplay, middle overs and the death overs. But in this case, these phases are shortened and are just about 3-4 overs and winning almost every phase, if not every phase is necessary to be alive in the chase and MI did dominate a huge amount of the chase, but the overs between the 3rd over and the 6th over, where the 18 balls bowled went for just 26 with the fall of the aggressive Mumbai openers but more importantly the phase, which was between the 12th over and the 16th over, where again just 25 runs in 4 overs were given. In the SRH innings, they dominated every phase and so ended up handing a heavy defeat to MI by 31 runs. I did write this extended paragraph, especially for this match to emphasise how SRH won those small phases of the game, where they didn’t get many wickets but these overs were very economical and these small differences accumulated into a big difference and the result was SRH winning by over 30 runs, but huge credit to the MI batters for hitting 246 in the chase but they will still feel they could have chased it.
So, hope you enjoyed this rather, long review of one of the most incredible games played in the history of the sport as I thought it was necessary to explain these small things which play a huge factor in a game.


Hello and a warm welcome to another blog where I will write a short preview of the 6th match, between RCB and PBKS, and the 7th match, between CSK and GT. Similar to the first 5 games, the home side emerged victorious even in these games. So let’s get started!

  1. Royal Challengers Bengaluru VS Punjab Kings | M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
    Faf du Plessis won the toss and opted to field first, a no-brainer for a captain at the Chinnaswamy, where chasing is the best option and a high-scoring game was expected in front of a packed RCB crowd. The Kings lost Bairstow early but a stable partnership between Dhawan and Prabhsimran started taking the game away from RCB but Maxwell removed Prabhsimran in the 9th over and soon after removed Dhawan as well. There were small cameos from Livingstone, Sam Curran and Jitesh Sharma but RCB kept pecking the Kings with regular wickets and it looked like the Kings were going to finish on a below-par total. But a crucial knock from Shashank Singh gave the Kings a respectable 176. The chase started with Kohli getting dropped the second ball, then hitting 3 more boundaries in the first over itself. But Faf and Green fell shortly after keeping the Kings at the top. But Kohli was on song and Patidar played a second fiddle before getting bowled by Harpreet Brar, who even removed Maxwell shortly after and ended up giving just 13 runs in his 4 overs, which is almost impossible at the Chinnaswamy. But Kohli still kept playing, keeping RCB in the hunt, but once he and Rawat fell, it looked like PBKS were going to break the jinx and become the first away team to win a game. But DK had other ideas and a smart ploy of having an extra batter in the form of Lomror, who came in as an impact sub, proved to be effective as DK and Lomror won RCB their first game and more importantly, a win at the Chinnaswamy, and also giving the RCB fans a proper Monday night entertainer and a King Kohli special.
  2. Chennai Super Kings VS Gujarat Titans | M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
    Shubman Gill won the toss and opted to field first as CSK played even their second game of the season at their fortress. CSK were off to a blast with Rachin Ravindra never putting the brakes and playing a superb 46. But soon after Rahane and Ruturaj, after playing a handy 46, departed, GT thought of clawing back into the game. But Shivam Dube went berserk with an explosive 51, consisting of 5 sixes and showed why he is that X-Factor for CSK. He was supported by Mitchell for a while and short cameos from Rizvi and Jadeja propelled the Super Kings to a massive 206, and perhaps here itself, the game was done and dusted. The chase started well with Saha picking up boundaries but when Gill fell, the Titans slowed down and soon after Vijay Shankar fell, courtesy of a brilliant diving catch by MS Dhoni, which was followed by a huge roar by the Chennai crowd. Even as Sai Sudarshan played anchor, it was very slow and the others also failed to contribute as wickets were falling almost every over, supported by good catching, especially by Rachin Ravindra, who picked up 3 catches but the standout was Rahane’s catch of Miller. When even Sudarshan fell, it was imminent that the Titans would crumble to a huge loss. And this proved to be true as the Super Kings decimated the Titans with a massive all-round win by 63 runs.


Hello all and welcome to this short review of the first five matches of this year’s IPL, where the home team has always won. So let’s get started!

  1. Chennai Super Kings VS Royal Challengers Bengaluru | At Chepauk, Chennai
    CSK always started as favourites coming into this encounter as they returned to their fortress at Chepauk, with a new, exciting and potential long-term captain, Ruturaj Gaikwad. The game started with Faf smoking Chahar and Deshpande to the fence for the first four overs, before the Fizz, Mustafizur Rahman, with his slower ones, got Faf and Rajat Patidar for a duck. The procession continued as even Maxwell was edged for a duck. But Virat and Green briefly brought back RCB with some timely boundaries but a spectacular fielding effort from Rahane and a superb slower ball from the Fizz got Green and RCB were in dire straits. But a superb counter-attack from Anuj Rawat and Dinesh Karthik brought RCB to a total of 173, still under-par. The chase started off to a flyer with some luck, but Rachin Ravindra was hitting boundaries all over the park. RCB kept pegging CSK with the wickets of Ruturaj, Ravindra and Rahane at regular intervals before a superb short-ball ploy got even Daryl Mitchell. Also, Shivam Dube was struggling with the short-ball ploy and RCB were still in the game. But a masterful tactic by CSK, sending in Jadeja instead of Rizvi, which effectively brought down the left-arm spinner, Mayank Dagar who kept Mitchell quiet and when Dube and Jadeja got accustomed to the ruthless short-ball ploy, they started whacking the RCB bowlers around the park and comfortably won it for CSK with 6 wickets in hand and 9 balls spare.
  2. Punjab Kings VS Delhi Capitals | Mullanpur, Mohali
    With the emotional return of Rishabh Pant in a newly built ground, the Delhi Capitals got off to a flyer courtesy of the big Australians, Marsh and Warner, before both shortly after getting out. After this Shai Hope showed a lot of promise out there but was outdone by Rabada. After Hope got out. Rishabh Pant had to carry on but failed to after cheaply getting out for a quick 18 and the innings completely stumbled after this but a fine knock by impact sub-Abhishek Porel propelled DC to a below-par total of 174. The Kings also were off to a flyer before both openers departed but a well-composed knock by Sam Curran, who just bowled 1 over and a useful contribution from Prabhsimran Singh in the middle, who was the impact sub for the Kings and a strong finish by Livingstone got the Kings home comfortably in the end with 3 balls spare. But a special mention to Rishabh Pant, on his return to professional cricket after a long time, had a superb day behind the stumps by even stumping Jitesh Sharma.
  3. Kolkata Knight Riders VS Sunrisers Hyderabad | Eden Gardens, Kolkata
    After 2 one-sided games, this year’s TATA IPL had its first thriller at the iconic Eden Gardens, packed with a KKR crowd. KKR were put into bat, and except for Phil Salt, the KKR top-order was blown away cheaply before a good supporting hand from Ramandeep Singh gave Salt some support before both Ramandeep and Salt departed leaving KKR precariously placed. But Russell showed his muscles and tonked everything he saw, giving KKR 208 a good total of 208 on board. The Sunrisers innings started well with Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma sensibly placing and timing the ball to the boundary, but Sunil Narine came in and completely restricted the scoring as the Sunrisers had a tough time getting some handy runs. This proved so instrumental that the equation came to 61 of 18 balls, which was nearly impossible. But then came an absolute carnage from Heinrich Klassen, supported by Shahbaz Ahmed, and out of nowhere, they brought the game to 7 runs of 5 balls. But the talented Harshit Rana, through excellent execution, woke up the depleted KKR fans and KKR won a thrilling game by 4 runs.
  4. Rajasthan Royals VS Lucknow Super Giants | Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
    Sanju Samson won the toss and opted to bat first in the pink city with an aggressive approach, keeping just 7 batters. Buttler departed early as Jaiswal followed soon with a quick 24. But then Sanju Samson and Parag came to the party and RR were looking for 200-210. But when Parag fell, the innings fell briefly but a quick cameo powered the Royals to a huge 193, with Sanju not out for a brilliant 82. The chase started with Rahul opening, not Padikkal with De Kock but soon after De Kock, Padikkal and Badoni fell by 4 overs, leaving KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda to play a catch-up act as the latter played aggressively. But Chahal removed him and kept RR on top but a fine partnership between Rahul, who looked KLassy and knocked up his 50 and an aggressive Pooran. As they both were running away with the game, RR’s death over specialist, Sandeep Sharma picked Rahul’s wicket, and soon after Stoinis and Pooran fell due to immense pressure building up on the Super Giants, leaving Pooran all alone, to give RR quite a comfortable victory by 20 runs.
  5. Gujarat Titans VS Mumbai Indians | Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad Hardik Pandya won the toss and opted to field as there would be a good amount of dew in Ahmedabad. The Titans were off to a steady start but once Bumrah removed Saha and Gill fell for Chawla, MI were on top but Sai Sudarshan anchored well through and eventually fell in the 17th century and useful cameos from Omarzai, David Miller and Rahul Tewatia gave the Titans a respectable total of 168 on board, but was 10-20 runs short. But the chase started with Ishan Kishan getting out for a four-ball duck but Rohit Sharma was looking impressive and an aggressive Naman Dhir played a quick-fire 20 on debut giving MI the perfect start even though Kishan got out. When Naman got out, Rohit and Brevis stitched a brilliant partnership and at the 10th over, it looked like MI were going to win for all the money. But after Rohit fell to some disciplined bowling from Sai Kishore, the innings slowed down, building some pressure on the MI batters. But even when Brevis fell, the rate started to soar higher and wickets started stumbling, leaving MI needing 19 off the last over. But after two boundaries Hardik fell, which was followed by a massive roar from the crowd and some boos as well for the MI skipper as the Titans staged an incredible comeback win to start Shubman Gill’s reign as captain and also the first win of their IPL campaign.

RCBW- The Tribute

RCBW lift their maiden WPL trophy

Hello and a warm welcome to everyone for this exceptional blog where I will be writing on the complete campaign of the RCBW’s team, focusing on the spirited performances by an individual who inspired a team effort during crucial stages of this year’s WPL. Also, there is a perfect read on how this time around RCBW did vigorous planning and secret meetings well before the tournament and I will post it at the end of the blog. So enjoy this read and let’s get started!

Before we start with the 8 games, I would want to talk about the team bonding which has played a huge role for RCBW this time. This wasn’t possible last year because it was the inaugural season of the WPL and the auction was kept in late December or January. But this time around many members of the team were retained which gave the luxury for the management to organize many camps even 3-4 months before the season and so all the players knew each other very well, which played a huge part in forming out a team performance till the final and winning it.

Now coming to the matches, the first match was against the UP Warriorz and our batters managed to post 157 in the first innings put into bat which was about 10-20 runs under par even when the innings was with a lot of struggle in the beginning but some late flourishes by Richa Ghosh and Meghana got us about 160. Also, Chinnaswamy is a chasing ground historically but still, we defended 157 against a strong batting unit. There are two reasons for this. First I had mentioned in my previous blog that the bowlers won the game for RCBW and this was also just a normal day for them at the office. Asha Sobhana, who had played a lot of domestic cricket and attended the camps, picked up a stunning five fer and this did enough damage to the Warriorz as they fell short by 2 runs in a chase they were cruising. The second reason is simple, the crazy RCB fanbase. Honestly before the match not only the players and the management, including me expected about 20-25 thousand people coming but 40000 fans coming in, almost all seats were sold out and everyone cheering the famous “Aaaaaaar Ceeeeee Beeeee” did encourage the team to hit a 10-15 runs extra and a much bigger support this year from the fans also played a big part in their campaign. The second game was a little easier as we won the toss and opted to bowl, a no-brainer for a captain at the Chinnaswamy, got the Giants only to just 107 and chased it comfortably with 7 overs spare, giving a dream start to the season, and for a point, we were on the top of the table

Asha Sobhana

But things started to change as consecutive losses with DCW and MIW dented our chances to directly move into the finals by finishing on the top of the table and ended up with a tussle with the Warriorz and Giants for the 3rd playoff spot (In WPL, the team which finishes at top qualifies directly to the final and the 2nd and 3rd team play the eliminator, and there is no 4th team which qualifies because only 5 teams exist).

Our next game and our last game at home was with the Warriorz for round two, an important clash where the teams wanted to dent each other’s chances of coming 3rd. This time around, the batting fired as the heavyweights Smriti Mandhana and Ellyse Perry completely smashed the entire ground, the latter famously smashing the glass of the car present in the stadium and a finishing touch by Richa Ghosh provided RCBW a mammoth 198 on board. Even though the bowling was a little average, this time the batting helped, helping RCBW back on track and our playoff chances became better.

Smriti Mandhanna, the captain, with the WPL trophy

Then we came to the Delhi leg where we had a disappointing start by conceding a huge defeat to the Giants as they finally got their first win. But even in this game as the Giants were aiming even 220 at one point, the death bowling was superb as we restricted them to 199 which was still very high. We should have easily lost the game by about 40-50 runs but Georgia Wareham’s quick-fire 48 reduced the margin to 19 runs, which was crucial for our net run-rate (NRR).

The next game with the DCW also started in a similar fashion as the Delhi top-order just ran away with the game but again the bowling restricted the Capitals to 181. In this case, Shreyanka Patil, who had just come from an injury just casually picked up 4 wickets and just gave 5 runs in the last over. This time around the batting looked much more organised and they did feel to chase the target but even after Richa’s incredible hitting, due to some poor running in the end, we fell short by 1 run, which was a heartbreaking loss against the team which was going to well even this season.

Richa Ghosh

At this stage, the situation was 3 wins and 4 losses, and we had only one do-or-die encounter against the MIW, a team which we had never beaten last season and also at the Chinnaswamy. Again the same situation followed as the previous matches as we had to bowl first and MIW were on fire with Sajana, leading the charge. But then came a performance that completely blew out a star-studded batting line-up. It was Ellyse Perry, who had not yet picked up a wicket and bowled very little. Her first over went normally but the second, third and fourth, nipping the ball in almost like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and in her spell, in no time, she picked up 6 wickets for 15 runs, the best-ever figures in the WPL. This was one of those matches I was watching live and was stunned by her performance, in a do-or-die game and that too against the defending champions. This was all enough for RCBW as MIW were bundled out for 113. But MIW kept pecking wickets and they had 3 for just 39 runs and they felt they were coming in the game. But if we all thought it was all enough from Perry, it wasn’t. Again playing a typical rearguard with Richa Ghosh and she hit a match-winning 40 as well. Taking 6 wickets and hitting 40 runs is impressive in ODI cricket where you do get 10 overs to bowl. But having just 4 overs in a T20 game, this was one of the best all-round performances I have ever seen and the world has seen. And then, the playoffs emerged and the eliminator was with the same team which we had beaten a couple of nights ago.

Ellyse Perry

But this time we chose to bat, the top-order collapsed and again Ellyse Perry, the superwoman played rearguard for her 66 of 50 balls as some flourishes from Wareham somehow managed to get just 135, where at a point even 120 looked tough and this was a shocker of a start in the Eliminator and a good batting side chasing 136 is going to be very tough to defend. However, the bowlers started bowling tight lines, not giving away easy runs and after the halfway mark, there was little hope to defend it even though they were just 2 down. But the in-form pair of Harmanpreet Kaur and Amelia Kerr kept getting those runs as I had spoken briefly in my previous blog. Now coming to the most important point of the match, the equation was 20 runs to win in 3 overs with Kaur and Kerr still out there. At this point, even I started thinking that it was typical RCB stuff, coming into the playoffs and losing the eliminator and so were all the fans. But the only person who I think had some belief was Shreyanka Patil. In the 18th over, she just gave 4 runs and the massive wicket of Kaur who was stumped. Still, 16 of 12 is going to be difficult to defend but another astonishing over from Molineux who even picked up the impressive Sajana brought down the equation to 13 of 7. And from here the whole team had the belief including the fans that we could pull this game out of nowhere. And then another spinner, Asha Sobhana came to bowl the 20th over as Perry bowled out and Mandhana had no option. Using her experience, she even got Pooja Vastrakar stumped as well and brought the equation to 7 of 1 with Kerr on strike. Even at this point, being a typical RCB fan I thought Kerr would hit a six somehow and tie the game but she did swing her bat but just went as far as to third man and from nowhere, a stunning performance where one individual, Patil encouraged the others to believe and it was hard to believe we were in the finals.

Shreyanka Patil

Now coming to the big day, playing the DCW was a very big challenge as we had never beaten them in the history of the WPL. DCW opted to bat first and got off to a flyer with Shafali Verma smoking almost everything and Meg Lanning was supporting her beautifully. At one point, they were 64/0 after 7 overs. Then came Sophie Molineux, who just ran through the batting aided with bad shot selection by the Delhi batters and then Patil joined the fun and they 4 down in no time. Again this inspired performance did more than enough damage as the batting collapsed suddenly and again a team was bowled out for 113 with Patil again taking a four-fer. Unlike the MIW game, this time around Smriti and Devine chose a patient approach where they did not give their wickets easily and were going at about 6 an over but the DCW bowlers were outstanding and they were always in the game. But again Perry with a rearguard with Richa Ghosh for the like the 7th time this season and they brought the game down to 5 of 6. Still, DCW did believe a little bit as they got it to 3 of 4. I was already angry that we took the game till the final over and it was very tense but finally, Richa lofted the ball over cover and finally, the dream came true and I felt like the world ended, RCB had their first ever trophy and the whole of Karnataka went wild after this win, as with hard work, belief and determination, Smriti Mandhana with her absolutely brilliant captaincy and planning and also credit to head coach Luke Williams as we lifted the trophy for the very first time. And the words from Smriti Mandhana, which I guess she would have prepared for about 15 minutes before she told it, “One statement that always comes up is Ee Sala Cup Namde. Now it’s Ee Sala Cup Namdu.” will forever be etched in the hearts of RCB fans all over the world.

This win definitely motivates the men’s team, who do have a depleted spin bowling attack and Kohli also said “This is RCB’s new chapter” in the UNBOX event at the Chinnaswamy makes this season a very interesting season for the men in red and blue this time and also changing their name from Bangalore to Bengaluru perhaps for a change of fortunes. But again a big congratulations to the Women’s team for finally winning a trophy for the franchise and the fanbase with Smriti, superwoman Perry who deservedly got the orange cap (most runs in the season), Patil who was injured for a couple of games and still won the purple cap (most wickets), Asha Sobhana, Richa Ghosh, Georgia Wareham, Sophie Molineux, Meghana who all have marked their names in the history books for RCBW and fittingly were the “Queens of 2024”

Here we come to the end of the blog and I will be posting soon after this on the review of the CSK RCB clash and will be posting almost every day if not every day till the IPL ends. So stay tuned and let’s meet soon The article which I mentioned earlier in the blog… https://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/129915/of-secret-meetings-and-meticulous-planning-how-rcb-built-queens-2024

TATA WPL 2024- The Review

Hello, and a warm welcome to another blog on cricket about the historical season of the WPL. I am using the word “historical” here because the words “Ee Saala Cup Namde have changed to Ee Saala Cup Namdu” as the RCBW won their first ever WPL trophy as RCB fans finally receive the trophy they deserve after 16 years. In this blog I will be reviewing all 5 teams (hence the title), what were their positives, what were their drawbacks and much more. So enjoy the read and stay tuned!

1. Gujarat Giants (GG)

The Gujarat Giants again finished at the bottom of the points table after the group stages so far in the 2 seasons of this tournament. Like last time, they were unable to have a good start by starting with 4 losses this year but they had a great flourish towards the end and they could have had another win with MIW but captain Harmanpreet Kaur’s unbelievable finish denied them an important win.
The Gujarat Giants did try various opening combinations alongside Beth Mooney, their skipper with Veda Krishnamoorthy and Harleen Deol, but the only combination which worked was with Laura Wolvaardt, which worked for them, especially in their first win of the season with RCBW. Even their bowling attack didn’t perform well and only Ashleigh Gardner did perform consistently with the ball and the others rarely had a good day with the ball. But the main department they would love to improve is a proper middle-order in their batting as they were completely under par this season and they did let many games slip even when the top-order contributed.
Speaking about the positives, they would be happy with their performance in the Delhi leg. After losing all their matches at the Chinnaswamy (Bengaluru), they came fighting back with their first win with RCBW and they had the game within grasp against a strong MIW team but as I mentioned earlier, Harmanpreet Kaur snatched the game completely from them. I will talk about this in the MIW section a bit more. But again they held their nerves against the UP Warriorz and won their 2nd game. Also, Dayalan Hemalatha played some important flourishes for her team in a couple of games, the standout being the one with MIW. But other than these, they had an even more disappointing tournament than last year, where they did only win 2 matches but looked a promising side.
But they can turn the tide with some good scouting and organize camps about 3-4 months before the tournament to roar next season.

Beth Mooney would want to keep more number of camps, and want an improved team before the next season
Beth Mooney and Laura Wolvaardt

2. UP Warriorz (UPW)

The UP Warriorz had a topsy-turvy season but failed to qualify to the playoffs, unlike last time due to heavy defeats caused by DCW (By 9 wickets) and MIW (By 42 runs) which dented their chances this time. Their top order looked solid in the start with the likes of star Australian keeper Alyssa Healy and one of the rising stars for India, Kiran Navgire also they had a decent start of 2 wins out of 4 games. But a loss in their final game in the Chinnaswamy with RCBW started a phase of downfall for the UPW and just one game out of their 3 games played in Delhi.
The only rising force of the UPW team this time was Deepti Sharma as she had the season of her life with bat and ball. She did everything right, from hitting a sensational 59 with DCW, picking up 4 wickets in the same game and almost single-handedly winning the game for her team in the fixture against the Gujarat Giants and unsurprisingly, for her efforts won the Player of the Series Award for this season, which is personally the biggest achievement for her and the Indian team.

Deepti Sharma

But the only problem for the UPW was the lack of a complete team performance. Some players did contribute in a couple of games but they weren’t consistent enough and also Deepti Sharma had absolutely no support from the other end to help her team to victory. So this cost them big time, even when having a very good team, next year they would want a few more individuals to step up and like I said, a complete team performance next year as well and if they do follow these, they have the potential to even win the WPL next year.

3. Mumbai Indians Women (MIW)

The MIW were favourites to defend their title this year with their strong batting and bowling and they cruised through to the playoffs and had a good Bengaluru and Delhi leg in the group stages but their campaign ended with a shock defeat with RCBW in the Eliminator where they just needed 20 of 18 balls but still fell 5 runs short.
Their openers, Yastika Bhatia and Hayley Matthews, regularly gave them good starts to the batting which was followed up by a strong middle order with the likes of Nat-Sciver Brunt, Amelia Kerr and India captain Harmanpreet Kaur and their wildcard, S Sajana gave them formidable totals with the bat. Speaking about the bowling, Shabnam Ismail was top-notch hitting the right lengths and even bowled her four overs quota by the 7th over, Pooja Vastrakar who runs in and beats the batter through her pace and also Saika Ishaque, Hayley Matthews and Amelia Kerr were fantastic spinners, restricting the runs and giving the already formidable batting order a great chance to finish it early
Like last year, MIW also had a tremendous season but consecutive losses with RCBW, one in their last group match and also in the Eliminator spoiled their title defence. The latter would sting them as they were unable to even chase 136. At a point, Harmanpreet Kaur was in complete control and Kerr was getting that odd boundary almost every over but a spirited performance by the RCBW spinners changed the game completely handing MIW a big upset as they could not make it to the final for the second time.
But the two most remarkable moments MIW would have this season were S Sajana, on her first ball hit a last-ball six to clinch victory for her team in the tournament opener and the second was captain Kaur’s unbelievable and extraordinary 95 not out with the Giants to clinch a win where they needed 91 of just 6 overs and her knock amassed a total of 15 boundaries, of which 5 went over the fence.
So overall they would want to regroup and would want to work a bit more on how to handle those key moments in a game a bit better and not throw games away in the middle or at the end while completely cruising away with it as they did with RCBW twice.

Harmanpreet Kaur

4. Delhi Capitals Women (DCW)

The DCW had a near-dominant season except for their horror show with the bat in the final. Like last year they completely dominated the group stages by topping the table twice in two years and reaching the finals directly twice. But still, they were unable to cross the line to win their first WPL title or I can say a first title for the franchise which has also lasted for 17 years.
The Delhi openers, India’s young star and opener, Shafali Verma and one of the most successful Aussie captains followed by a star-studded middle order with Jemimah Rodrigues and Alice Capsey, and the finish with power hitters Marizanne Kapp and Jess Jonassen every time provided DCW with a good finish with the bat and while chasing as well. Notice that they just have 6 batters but due to their quality, they never really needed to bat deeply and then the bowlers, Shikha Pandey had an outstanding season and was economic regularly and even Jonassen and Kapp had a great season with the ball while the latter picking up a 5 wicket haul with the Giants at the Chinnaswamy. Even Radha Yadav and later Minnu Mani were really effective with the ball, who didn’t take many wickets but did control the runs.
Speaking about their season, absolutely nothing went wrong for them in the group stages as their two losses were inflicted one by the MIW courtesy of a last ball six by Sajana and the other by just one run due to a brilliant performance by Deepti Sharma as I had mentioned earlier. But the only match where they were completely dominated was in the final against RCBW. Even here, Shafali Verma and Meg Lanning played superbly, giving DCW 61 runs in the powerplay and were looking all set for a 180+ total but suddenly just lost 3 wickets in an over and bundled out for 113, which did haunt some memories of Adelaide 2020 for them. I cannot say it was complete overconfidence but their shot selection especially Alice Capsey going for a scoop first ball, not covering her stumps was completely unnecessary like Washi’s reverse-sweep during the famous Gabba test.
Overall I can just say they need to keep their heads high and come back with the same intent next year just need to pray and grasp the important moments in the season, especially the final to avoid future heartbreaks

Meg Lanning

5. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCBW)

RCBW didn’t have a smooth-going season in the group stages but they completely turned it around during the playoffs and gifted their most loyal fans a heartwarming title finally after 16 years. On paper, they never looked like a title-winning team at all after seeing the quality of players in DCW and MIW. But spirited performances from certain individuals when the situation seemed dead, inspired the others to turn the tide completely, which lacked quite a bit in the other 4 teams.
The team did have many changes to their opening combination as the skipper Smriti Mandhana was accompanied by Sophie Devine, Sabbhineni Meghana and Sophie Molineux and it never looked threatening. But the middle order with Ellyse Perry and Richa Ghosh mostly played a rearguard to give a respectful total, and they had to hit from ball 1 for a couple of times. But the bowling won it this year for them as the Australians, Ellyse Perry, Sophie Molineux and Georgia Wareham, just kept pecking wickets and also controlling the runs. Renuka Singh Thakur, Asha Sobhana and also the local girl Shreyanka Patil bowled beautifully even in the shorter boundaries of the Chinnaswamy, which continues to be a burden for the men’s team for 17 years!
But by overcoming all these challenges, a superb fight back into the tournament and the trophy in the hands of Smriti Mandhana just cumulated a fairy-take season for the franchise but still, there will be a lot of work ahead for defending the WPL for the franchise as they need to look mainly on the batting side especially Sophie Devine, who did play a defining knock in the finals was not in form in the group stages and also trying to avoid any top-order collapses next year.

The RCBW team lifting the trophy

So here we come to an end to the review of one of the most prestigious cricket leagues for Women’s cricket, which has taken Women’s cricket to greater heights this year with many thrilling games and performances. And as an RCB fan, winning the trophy was like a dream. Also, you might wonder why the content on the RCBW’s team is a little lesser than the other 4 teams since even I have disclosed that I am an RCB fan. The answer to your question is that I will be writing a tribute blog for RCBW for their commendable achievement this year, which will be on the website a few hours after I post this blog. So stay tuned for that, and hope you all enjoyed an in-depth analysis of this year’s WPL.

TATA IPL 2024- The Preview

Hello and welcome to this blockbuster blog about the Indian Premier League,
which will take place this year from the 22nd of March until the 26th of May. After a couple of blogs on history, I am welcoming cricket after a long time in this website as well! In this blog I will be writing about all the 10 teams, what are the advantages, what are the flaws and much more. Also please read it till the end for a very exciting announcement I would make at the end of the blog. So stay tuned!

  1. Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
    The reigning champions of one the best, if not the best finish to a topsy-turvy final, they would want to win this season, especially for their spearhead, Thala Dhoni at Chepauk for finally giving a fitting end to his glorious career, in front of the Chennai crowd (But still won’t rule him out next season yet…) and for making this possible, CSK have most or all areas covered from their point of view.
    In the auction, the Super Kings had a Kiwi fest by buying Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra, who both are in sublime form and the middle order also is very strong with the likes of, Shivam Dube and Moeen Ali. CSK do have Ravindra Jadeja, Maheesh Theekshana and Mitchell Santner who are three quality spinners who are suited for the Chepauk track, which does allow the ball to turn well. Even Shardul Thakur, the man who tends to get a wicket with
    whatever ball he bowls and gets most of his wickets in the crucial stages of the match, a fit and swinging Deepak Chahar and the death over specialist who usually begins to bowl from the 14th over till the 20th over, Matheesha Pathirana are all back and this line-up looks completely balanced from all sides and an extra motivation to win for their Thala at Chepauk would make Chennai undoubtedly the favourites to win this year. But the only drawback I reckon is that Devon Conway, who had a blast with Ruturaj and both looked completely fluent together as the opening pair but CSK have the likes of Rachin and Mitchell to replace, so it’s not a huge problem. Ajinkya Rahane’s form in the recently concluded Ranji Trophy which he ultimately won, but except for the final, his average was just about 10 with the bat
    but one would say he would come back roaring like the way he did last year at the Wankhede.

    Probable XI: Rachin Ravindra/Devon Conway (Second leg if available), Ruturaj Gaikwad(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Moeen Ali, Sameer Rizvi, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Matheesha Pathirana, Maheesh Theekshana
    Impacts: Daryl Mitchell, Shivam Dube, Tushar Deshpande, Mustafizur Rahman
  2. Gujarat Titans (GT)
    The Gujarat Titans had a fantastic season last year as they just fell short
    due to Jadeja’s brilliance in the final. Also, they did win the IPL with ease
    during their inaugural season. But now things have changed as Hardik
    Pandya, their skipper was taken by MI and they have a brand new
    captain, Shubman Gill, India’s extremely young talent. So this year it will
    be very interesting to see how he captains the side in the massive
    Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, where they will play their home
    Still, the team looks solid as Gill and Saha should continue to open the
    innings and the latter being one of the finest keepers in India. The
    powerful and heavy middle-order comprises of Indian talents, Sai
    Sudharshan and Vijay Shankar and also the vastly experienced
    Williamson is also there. Speaking about the finishers, GT have Shahrukh
    Khan (not actor), Rahul Tewatia, Abhinav Manohar, David Miller and
    also Rashid Khan, who are absolutely lethal in the death overs and can
    power the Titans to a good total.
    Now coming to the bowling, GT have a massive set-back by not having
    Shami due to injury but they do have Umesh Yadav, Kartik Tyagi,
    Sandeep Warrier, Spencer Johnson, Joshua Little and Mohit Sharma as
    their pace bowling options. But to make this up, they have 2 of the
    Afghan spinners, Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed and also Sai Kishore,
    Jayant Yadav and Tewatia who both had an impressive domestic season.
    So overall the only drawback for the Giants is the pace-bowling attack as
    they will miss the services of their former captain, Hardik Pandya and
    also Mohammad Shami. Other than that, the squad is very strong and they
    have a good chance to make it to the playoffs.
    Probable XI: Shubman Gill (c), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Kane Williamson, Sai
    Sudharsan, Vijay Shankar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma
    Impacts: Shahrukh Khan, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Kishore, Azmatullah Omarzai.
  1. Lucknow Super Giants (LSG)
    The Lucknow Super Giants have also been consist in the short stint in the
    IPL so far coming to the Eliminator and losing it twice in the two seasons
    they have played. But a new coach, in the form of Australia’s former
    coach, Justin Langer and KL Rahul coming in, mostly not as an opener
    after injury is a big news and they will be hopeful that he plays the entire
    season unlike last time. Their home ground is the Ekana Cricket Stadium,
    which has some of the slowest pitches in India where last year, even 120
    130 were easily defendable so I would say anything above 150 is a very
    good score on board.
    So the openers should be Devdutt Padikkal either accompanied by Kyle
    Mayers or Quinton De Kock. The middle-order will comprise of captain
    KL Rahul, the impressive Deepak Hooda, Ayush Badoni and Krunal
    Pandya, who just keep ticking those singles of doubles, which is very
    important at the Ekana. The finishers comprise of a power-packed
    combination with the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Marcus Stoinis and Ashton
    Turner and David Willey who all can deposit bad balls into the stands and
    provide valuable runs as well. Coming to the bowling, the West Indian
    prodigy, Shamar Joseph, Yash Thakur, Kyle Mayers, Marcus Stoinis,
    Mohsin Khan, Naveen ul Haq and David Willey comprise a strong pace
    attack and also comprise of world-class spinners in the form of Ravi
    Bishnoi, Amit Mishra, Krishnappa Gowtham.
    So overall the team combination is very good but the only disadvantage I
    would say is their homeground itself. If the bowling goes wrong on a bad
    day and the opposition manages to hit about 170-180, it will be very
    difficult as the middle-order, especially Krunal Pandya and Ayush Badoni
    are generally not power-hitters and tend to throw their wicket away. Other
    than that they are a very solid team and in my opinion should comfortably
    go to the playoffs, for which making Ekana a fortress is very important.
    Probable XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Kyle Mayers, Krunal Pandya, Deepak
    Hooda, KL Rahul (c/wk), Nicholas Pooran, Ayush Badoni, Marcus Stoinis,
    Shamar Joseph, Ravi Bishnoi, Amit Mishra
    Impacts: Yash Thakur, Mohsin Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Krishnappa
    Gowtham, David Willey
  2. Mumbai Indians (MI)
    After their triumph in 2020, MI had very bad seasons in 2021 and 2022
    but with a depleted squad last time, they managed to come as far as the
    second Qualifier before losing to the Titans. But with a new captain, in the
    form of Hardik Pandya and a well-improved team, they would want to go
    the distance this time. Their home ground is at the Wankhede, which is
    quite similar to Chinnaswamy but the dimensions are just a little bigger.
    So the defend a target, a team at least needs to hit about 210-220.
    Speaking about their team, their former captain, Rohit Sharma and Ishan
    Kishan should open the innings like last year. The middle order consists of
    Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Dewald Brevis, Nehal Wadhera and
    Hardik Pandya make MI very stable in their batting and the finish by Tim
    David and Mohammad Nabi. Now to their bowlers, they do have Boom
    Boom-Bumrah, the impressive Gerald Coetzee, Hardik Pandya, Arjun
    Tendulkar, Akash Madhwal, Nuwan Thushara which comprise of a superb
    pace attack, much improved than last year. The vastly experienced Piyush
    Chawla, one of the Afghan spinners, Mohammad Nabi, Kumar Katikeya
    and Shreyas Gopal make an impressive spin-attack so even MI have all
    areas covered.
    The disadvantage will be the availability of Suryakumar Yadav, who is
    not available for their first game and is yet to get clearance from the NCA,
    who played a super-important role and entertained the fans with the fancy
    and eye-catching shots. Other than this, the Wankhede is not an easy
    stadium to bowl as 200 is a par-score here. So the bowlers are crucial this
    time for MI to finally turn the tide and win their 6th title.
    Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan (wk), Dewald Brevis, Tilak
    Verma, Nehal Wadhera/Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (c), Tim David,
    Mohammad Nabi, Gerald Coetzee, Akash Madhwal, Jasprit Bumrah
    Impacts: Piyush Chawla, Shreyas Gopal, Nuwan Thushara, Arjun
    Tendulkar, Romario Shepheard
  3. Rajasthan Royals (RR)
    For the past three years, including this one, RR have the strongest team on
    paper and they are a completely balanced squad. Last year I was surprised
    that they were unable to qualify to the playoffs with such a time and they
    would look to turn things around this year to get their 2nd IPL title, the first
    coming way back in 2008. Their home ground is Jaipur, which I am
    completely not sure about the pitch, but last year 190 in one pitch looked
    easily above-par while in another pitch, about 220 was easily chased by
    the Sunrisers. But this is nothing to worry for the Royals as they have a
    star-studded team, in my view the second strongest team after CSK.
    The openers are the man who is playing like Kohli in 2016-2017, Yashasvi
    Jaiswal and Jos Buttler and rip through the bowling in the powerplay. The
    star-studded middle order comprises of Sanju Samson, Shubman Dubey
    Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, Dhruv Jurel and Rovman Powell, as even
    the last three are superb finishers as well and can power the Royals to a
    big total. Now coming to the bowling, the pace is world-class, comprising
    of Trent Boult, Kuldeep Sen, Nandre Burger, Sandeep Sharma, Avesh
    Khan and if all thought this was enough, Ravichandran Ashwin, the cricket
    brain and Chahal, the smart-brain are the best spinners in the India and one
    of the best in the world also are with the Royals.
    So overall I would say there is almost no disadvantage with the squad but
    RR need to convert this squad into something big, which is first coming to
    the playoffs and the title and are clear favourites to be in the top-2 in my
    Probable XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (c/wk),
    Shubham Dubey, Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, Dhruv Jurel,
    Ravichandran Ashwin, Nandre Burger, Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal.
    Impacts: Kuldeep Sen, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Rovman Powell,
    Tom Kohler-Cadmore
  4. Royal Challengers Bengaluru(RCB)
    With a WPL win for the franchise, a new logo, a new name changing the
    “Bangalore” to Bengaluru, and also a jersey with red and blue, with these
    changes, RCB would look to change their fortunes as well and get inspired
    by the Women’s team to lift their first ever IPL trophy. Their homeground
    is at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, which is a playground for the batting side
    and the average score would be around 200-220, similar to the Wankhede.
    On paper, RCB have the strongest batting line-up among all the teams with
    Virat Kohli coming in after not playing the England series due to personal
    reasons and Faf du Plessis, make a blockbuster opening combination. The
    middle order comprises of Rajat Patidar, Cameron Green, Mahipal
    Lomror, Anuj Rawat, Suyash Prabhudesai, Glenn Maxwell and also
    quality finishers in the form of Manoj Bhandage and Dinesh Karthik.
    Coming to the bowlers, Mohammad Siraj, sizzling hot Alzarri Joseph and
    Lockie Ferguson, Akash Deep, Vijaykumar Vyshak Reece Topley, Yash
    Dayal and Tom Curran as their pacers. Will Jacks, Mayank Dagar,
    Himanshu Sharma, Karn Sharma, are the spinners available.
    But the massive disadvantage is the bowling, which has been a problem
    for RCB at the Chinnaswamy for 17 years and still this year the bowling
    looks depleted in a ground where batters hit the bowlers all around the
    park. They do have quick pacers in the form of Joseph and Ferguson but
    with the pace they bowl, with the same pace the bowl will disappear in the
    stands. So the playoff chances for RCB look depleted but with the support
    they have, they can come into the top-4.
    Playing XI: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis (c), Cameron Green, Rajat Patidar,
    Glenn Maxwell, Suyash Prabhudesai, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Reece
    Topley/Alzarri Joseph/Lockie Ferguson*, Mayank Dagar, Karn Sharma
    Mohammad Siraj
    (In Chinnaswamy I would go with Reece Topley as he tends to swing the ball
    well but in away games, I would go with Alzarri Joseph or Ferguson. Also
    if RCB feel to strengthen their batting, they can go with Will Jacks, and go
    with an extra Indian pacer, say Akash Deep)
    Impacts: Anuj Rawat, Mahipal Lomror, Will Jacks, Akash Deep,
    Vijaykumar Vyshak
  5. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
    After the 2021 season, where they entered the playoffs, the Knight Riders
    have had very disappointing seasons for 3 years with only a few
    individuals rising and playing some good knocks. They would want to turn
    the tide as they bring Gautam Gambhir as a mentor and with Shreyas Iyer
    back, they would want to enter the playoffs atleast this year. Their
    homeground is at the Eden Gardens, where the capacity is huge but the
    ground dimensions are short and I would say 200+ would be a confident
    score to defend for the team batting first.
    Speaking about the team, I feel Venkatesh Iyer and the explosive Gurbaz
    or Salt should open the innings for KKR and the middle-order comprises
    of quality batters in the form of Manish Pandey, Nitish Rana and Shreyas
    Iyer and KKR do have Rinku Singh, Rutherford and Andre Russell,who
    are brilliant finishers. The most expensive buy in the auction, Mitchell
    Starc, Harshit Rana, Chetan Sakariya, Dushmantha Chameera, Vaibhav
    Arora and Andre Russell make one of the best pace-attacks among all the
    teams this season and to follow this up, KKR have superb spinners in the
    form of Sunil Narine, Varun Chakaravarthy, Suyash Sharma, Mujeeb Ur
    Rahman and Anukul Roy. So unlike last time KKR are a much improved
    and balanced team and can make it to the playoffs if they keep their
    composure throughout the group stages.
    The only concern I have seen in KKR over the years is that even with a
    good squad, they were lacking to put up a complete team performance,
    which they would love to improve this season.
    Probable XI: Venkatesh Iyer, Rahmanullah Gurbaz/Philip Salt, Nitish
    Rana, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Mitchell
    Starc, Mujeev Ur Rahman, Varun Chakaravarthy, Harshit Rana.
    Impacts: Suyash Sharma, Vaibhav Arora, Chetan Sakariya, Dushmantha
    Chameera, Srikar Bharat
  6. Punjab Kings (PBKS)
    After coming to the finals in 2014, PBKS have had a decade full of very
    bad performances and would look to turn the tide in this year’s IPL. Their
    homeground is at Mullanpur this time, not in Mohali, which is a brand
    new ground and I have no idea about the wicket over there, so will the
    players, so they need a team where both batting and bowling is equally
    balanced, in order to provide a strong show this season as a team.
    I feel Prabhsimran should open with captain Shikhar, who can provide a
    powerful start, followed by Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Atharva Taide, Rilee
    Rossouw, Sikandar Raza, Jonny Bairstow, who comprise of a powerful
    middle order. Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran and Jitesh Sharma can
    provide the perfect finish to the batting. Coming to the bowlers, the pace
    attack looks superb, with the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep, Nathan
    Ellis, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Rishi Dhawan, Harshal Patel and
    Vidhwanth Kaverappa. They also have talented spinners in the form of
    Rahul Chahar, Sikandar Raza, Harpreet Brar and Livingstone.
    Overall the team looks good but a slight disadvantage again is about
    adapting to the conditions in Mullanpur, where as I said, nobody knows
    how the pitch is going to behave and if they quickly adapt to it, then PBKS
    are strong contenders in the playoff race.
    Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prabhsimran Singh, Harpreet Singh
    Bhatia, Sikandar Raza, Jonny Bairstow, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sam
    Curran/Chris Woakes, Harpreet Brar, Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada,
    Arshdeep Singh
    Impacts: Rahul Chahar, Rishi Dhawan Rilee Rossouw, Vidhwanth
    Kaverappa, Atharva Taide,
  7. Delhi Capitals (DC)
    The Delhi Capitals are one of the 3 teams to never win a title and had a
    disastrous season last time as a late finish to the season avoided a wooden
    spoon finish for them. But with Rishabh Pant back, like KKR, PBKS, they
    would also want a change of fortunes in this year’s IPL. Their home
    ground is at Visakhapatnam for maybe the first half of the tournament this
    time, because the Delhi was used in the final leg of the WPL, which
    recently concluded. Typically the pitch is a little fat and there are no
    demons out there, and for a start I would say 170-190 is a good score
    batting first.
    So speaking about their combinations, David Warner and Prithvi Shaw
    should open the batting, followed by a good middle-order, which
    comprises of Mitchell Marsh, Rishabh Pant, Tristan Stubbs, Shai Hope and
    Ricky Bhui. And for the finish DC have Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav.
    Coming to the bowling, the pace bowling looks lethal with Anrich Nortje,
    Khaleel Ahmed, Ishant Sharma, Mukesh Kumar, Mitchell Marsh and Jhye
    Richardson there in the team. Kuldeep Yadav, Praveen Dubey, Axar Patel,
    Lalit Yadav make a good combination of spinners for DC. But still it is not
    the most balanced team I would say as first Pant is returning after a long
    time and the management would be worrying for Pant not to get any
    injuries and there is a lot of pressure on the young man, who is also the
    captain, not sure whether he will keep or not, but most likely he will keep.
    But they should keep the belief they can win and somehow come into the
    Probable XI: David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Tristan Stubbs,
    Rishabh Pant (c/wk), Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kuldeep
    Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Mukesh Kumar
    Impacts: Khaleel Ahmed, Praveen Dubey, Shai Hope, Ricky Bhui, Yash
  8. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
    Similar to teams like PBKS and KKR, even the Sunrisers had a very bad
    run in the IPL since 2020, especially ones in 2021 and 2023, where
    they ended up being last. But they went big in the auction as they
    picked up the big guns with the likes of Travis Head, Wanindu Hasaranga,
    and the most important, being Pat Cummins, for 20.5 crores and also
    making him the captain, replacing Aiden Markram. Their homeground is
    at the Raji Gandhi International Stadium, a typical Indian T20 ground
    where the batters go big, an average first innings score being about 160
    So it will be a blast of a game when they play here and also for the
    Speaking about their team, Travis Head should open with Mayank
    Agarwal. Coming to the middle-order, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram,
    Glenn Phillips, Heinrich Klassen, who is considered the best player in the
    world to play spin bowling, Abhishek Sharma and the finish by Glenn
    Phillips, Marco Jansen, Shahbaz Ahmed, Abdul Samad and Hasaranga
    make them a power-packed team. The pace bowling attack comprises of
    Pat Cummins, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Natarajan, Umran Malik, Umran
    Malik, Unadkat, Nitish Reddy, Marco Jansen and Marco Jansen, which is
    a very dangerous attack followed by Hasaranga, Shahbaz, Abhishek
    Sharma, Sundar and Mayank Markande is a very talented spin-bowling
    attack as well.
    This time SRH have everything covered and the squad is perfect even for
    home conditions. But the only issue I feel is in the selection process, that
    they did pick many foreign players who are superb but only four play in
    the 11, so there will be a selection gamble and if they are ready to deal
    with this, I would say there would be no challenge for the Orange Army to
    storm into the playoffs this time with the team they have.
    Probable XI: Travis Head, Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden
    Markram, Heinrich Klassen (wk), Abdul Samad, Washington Sundar,
    Wanindu Hasaranga, Pat Cummins (c), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran
    Impacts: T Natarajan, Mayank Markande, Shahbaz Ahmad, Marco Jansen,
    Nitish Kumar Reddy.
    So hope you all enjoyed this long, in-depth preview of this year’s IPL.
    And about the announcement I had mentioned in the beginning, it is that I
    would writing a blog on every match of this year’s IPL. But
    please excuse me if I am not able to write the review even after a day of
    the match as I am travelling and also am going to Class XI. But by the end
    of the final, I will have covered all 74 games before putting a compilation
    of all the games. Even a WPL Review blog will come right after this, so
    stay tuned!