With the sixth edition of the league just four days away, it is time to begin this annual extravaganza with a post that explains everything (or most of everything). There have been plenty of changes, as well as injuries, accidents and pullouts- leaving the league licking its wounds already. This won’t affect the crowd turnout, but will definitely reduce the star quotient of the starriest T20 league in the world.
With the Sri Lankans banned to play in Tamil Nadu due to the typical absurd Indian tendencies of combining politics and sports (and hence, all of Chennai’s games at home), the equations seem to have changed a bit. That said, our thoughts remain with big man Jesse Ryder and his family- an immensely talented cricketer in a coma after an attack in Christchurch, just days before he was supposed to fly in to join his new team Delhi Daredevils.
Defending Champions: Kolkata Knight Riders (believe it)
Defending Wooden Spooners: Pune Warriors
Previous Champions: Rajasthan Royals (2008), Deccan Chargers (2009), Chennai SuperKings (2010), Chennai SuperKings (2011), Kolkata Knight Riders (2012)
Most consistent team over 2 years: Pune Warriors India (Second-last in 2011, Last in 2012) and Chennai SuperKings (Winners in 2011, Finalists in 2012)
Captains for 2013: Mahela Jayawardene (Delhi Daredevils), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Chennai SuperKings), Ricky Ponting (Mumbai Indians), Angela Mathews (Pune Warriors), Adam Gilchrist (Kings XI Punjab), Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders), Rahul Dravid (Rajasthan Royals), Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Kumar Sangakkara (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
High profile retirements: Kevin Pieterson (DD), Michael Clarke (PWI), Jesse Ryder (DD)
Key Players for each team
Sunrisers Hyderabad- Sangakkara, Dhawan (on current form), Duminy, Perera, Darren Sammy (X-Factor), Dale Steyn. Ishant Sharma is a spy used by Team India in order to deconstruct Steyn. Nothing more.
Royal Challengers- Kohli, Gayle, De Villiers, Dilshan, Pujara (yes), Murali Kartik, Muralitharan, Rampaul (It will be a wonder if they continue to fail to win the league)
Rajasthan Royals- Cooper, Dravid, Harmeet Singh, Menaria, Hodge, Watson, Badree (if used smartly)
Kolkata Knight Riders- Gambhir, Bisla, Abdulla, McCullum, Kallis, McLaren (X-factor), Narine, Pathan, Morgan, Pattinson, Shakib, Tiwary (and a few more. In fact, even SRK)
Kings XI Punjab- Mahmood (X Factor), Awana, David Hussey, Shaun Marsh
Mumbai Indians- Ponting, Franklin, Hughes, Malinga, Maxwell (X-factor…or so they wish), Munaf, Pollard, Smith, Rohit
Pune Warriors- Angelo, Bhuvaneshwar, Mendis, Nayar, Samuels (X-Factor), Ross Taylor, Yuvraj Singh, Luke Wright
Delhi Daredevils- Jayawardene, Chand, Botha, Morkel, Russell (X factor), Sehwag, Irfan Pathan, Warner, Umesh
CSK- Dhoni, Raina, Faf, Ashwin, Bravo, Hussey, Jadeja (X Y Z factor), Albie, Vijay