Mumbai Indians ended as runners-up in last season after wonderful run through the league phase where they hardly lost the game. Mumbai Indians retained their key players Sachin Tendulkar, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard and Harbhajan Singh. Although they failed to retain Zaheer Khan and lost him to Royal Challengers Bangalore. They bought Andrew Symonds this year which will add spice to this IPL edition because both Harbhajan and Symonds are team-mates now and will cheer each other. Monkey Gate saga is still fresh in the memory of cricket lovers when Symonds alleged Harbajan for making racial remarks against him in India – Australia series and matter got worse. Sachin also supported Harbhajan in that event and now Sachin will be captaining the Symonds. So interesting team formation.
The team sailed to the finals with spirited performances from Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo as well. But a mockery of a decision to hold back Pollard and inability to provide support to Sachin's lone fight cost the team badly and the trophy slipped from a sniffing distance in the final against Chennai Super Kings.his edition should be the time to bury the ghosts of past mishaps. But the loss of important players like Jayasuriya, Bravo, Saurabh Tiwary, Jean Paul Duminy and Zaheer Khan might be hard to cope with.The batting will revolve around Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, newly bought Aiden Blizzard, promising domestic players and a bunch of all-rounders.The Mumbai bowling has Lasith Malinga, Munaf Patel, Clint Mckay and Harbhajan Singh. Going through the list, if you thought this barrel was insufficient for mass consumption, think again!Move your eyes over their list of all-rounders. This team revels in its versatility. James Franklin, Moise Henriques, Symonds, Pollard, etc. can bat and bowl with equal ease while the likes of Rayudu and South African recruit David Jacobs are equally efficient both in front of the wicket and behind it.
Sachin Tendulkar (c), Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Aditya Tare, Ali Murtuza, Ambati Rayudu, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pawan Suyal, Rajagopal Sathish, Surul Kanwar, Surya Kumar Yadav, T Suman, Yazvendra Singh Chahal, (Foreign) Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Andrew Symonds, Davy Jacobs, James Franklin, Moises Henriques, Alden Blizzard, Dilhara Fernando
Talking about Delhi Daredevils, on paper they were best team of the IPL for last 3 seasons. They had players like Dilhshan, Sehwag, Gambhir , Warner, Ab DeVilliers, Glen McGrath and list continues yet they failed to win the trophy. They didn’t even reached the finals in any of the 3 editions. So owners decided to revamp the team. They retained only Virender Sehwag wen bought new players in auction.The batting looks lackluster without their star players who played for DD in last 3 seasons. Except Virender Sehwag and David Warner, they have no famed face. Players like Unmukt Chand, Colin Ingram and Aaron Finch come with promise and dwell on hype but walking down the ramp will be an altogether different affair.The bowling seems shoddier with only Morne Morkel, Irfan Pathan and Roelof van der Merwe to talk about. The likes of Ashok Dinda and Ajit Agarkar will make things rosier but how wise would it be to rest hopes on them is a question every fan would ask.
The all-round skills of the team, however, is something to cheer for. Robert Frylink, another South African, is a hero back home. Van der Merwe and Irfan Pathan are good enough to be depended upon for a few good knocks and wickets here and there.For a pleasant thought, the wicket-keeper batsmen Mathew Wade and Naman Ojha should add smiles to the faces who know how important bits-and-pieces players are in this version of the game. This season of IPL is also important of player like Irfan Pathan who lost somewhere due to injuries and poor performance after wonderful start to his career against Australia in 2003-2004 season.
Virender Sehwag (Captain), Irfan Pathan, Naman Ojha(Wicket-Keeper), Ajit Agarkar, Ashok Dinda, Umesh Yadav, Venugopal Rao, Aavishkar Salvi, Prashant Naik, Rajesh Pawar, Robin Bist, S Sriram, Tejashwi Yadav, Unmukt Chand, Varun Aaron, Vikash Mishra, Vivek Yadav, Yogesh Nagar, Shahbaz Nadeem (Foreign) David Warner, James Hopes, Morne Morkel, Aaron Finch, Mathew Wade, Roloef van der Merwe, Andrew McDonald, Travis Birt, Collin Ingram, Robert Frylinck.. Greg Shipperd(Coach
On paper Mumbai Indians looks much better team and Delhi Daredevils largely banks on heroics of Sehwag and Warner. Feroze Shah Kotla in Delhi will witness this cracker of the contest.
Yuvraj’s boys will take on Adam’s boys.
Under Yuvraj’s captaincy Sahara Pune Warriors could definitely be a force to reckon with if they play up to their potential during the six week event. They have Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala and Mohnish Mishra in their ranks, Pune Warriors is one of the strongest squad participating in the IPL 4. Their bowling also seems to be well balanced as Ashish Nehra and Jerome Taylor will share the new ball. Injury to Sri Lankan Angelo Mathews could have affected team's strategy, but the availability of young all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will give balance to the side.They have also got specialist spinners in form of experienced Murali Kartik and Kiwi Nathan McCullum.As far as foreigners in the batting department are concerned, aggressive New Zealander Jesse Ryder can be used up in the batting order, while South African former skipper Graeme Smith is sure to take the opening slot with young Pandey.But the biggest asset that the Pune side carries into the tournament is skipper Yuvraj Singh, who has had a phenomenal World Cup leading up to the IPL.The southpaw was the player of the tournament in the World Cup won by India and playing against his former club could be an experience in itself for the all-rounder.
Sahara Pune Warriors
Yuvraj Singh(Captain), Robin Uthappa(Wicket-Keeper), Ashish Nehra, Murali Kartik, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Bhuvenshwar Kumar, Dheeraj Jadhav, Ekalavya Dwivedi, Ganesh Gaikwad, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Harshad Khadiwale, Kamran Khan, Manish Pandey, Mithun Manhas, Mohnish MIshra, Rahul Sharma, Sachin Rana, Shrikant Wagh, Shrikant Mundhe, Imtiyaz Ahmed (Foreign) Graeme Smith, Tim Paine, Angelo Mathews, Nathan McCullum, Callum Ferguson, Wayne Parnell, Mitchell Marsh, Jerome Taylor, Alfonso Thomas, Jesse Ryder.Geoff Marsh(Coach)
Punjab, on the other hand, also have revamped their side. With former Deccan Chargers skipper Adam Gilchrist as their captain, Kings although short of star power which was very much present till last season.They very much depend on heroics of Gilchrist to provide them a quick start that can be carried forward by Shaun Marsh, David Hussey, Dinesh Karthik and Paras Dogra. All-round abilities of Ryan McLaren and Hussey give their side the much-needed stability. Punjab's bowling can be a surprise factor as they have a good combination of swing and pace upfront. Praveen Kumar's ability to swing the ball while Australian quickie Ryan Harris can bowl with incredible pace is known to everybody. Another Australian Nathan Remmington will add variety to the Kings XI Punjab attack with his accurate medium pace.Piyush Chawla and Bipul Sharma could be the spinners team management can opt for, while Abhishek Nayar may also be useful with his gentle medium pacers.
Kings XI Punjab
Dinesh Karthik(Wicket-Keeper), Abhishek Nayar, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Love Ablish, Mandeep Singh, Nitin Saini, Paras Dogra, Paul Valthaty, Shalabh Srivastava, Siddharth Chitnis, Sunny Singh, Vikramjeet Malik, Amit Yadav, (Foreign) Adam Gilchrist (Captain/Wicket-Keeper), Shaun Marsh, David Hussey, Stuart Broad, Ryan Harris, Dimitri Masceranhas, Nathan Remington.Michael Bevan(Coach)
In all, an exciting contest is on the cards as both teams would like to start their campaigns with wins under their belts.