April 7, 2011

IPL Season 4 - Group A Preview

   Deccan Chargers:
   DC, the only team in Group A to have won the IPL. No players retained but, they did buy Ojha back in the player auction. They spent big  money on key names like Steyn and surprisingly Cam White! They were fairly lucky to loot many players on Sale! like Rusty Theron, Amit Mishra, Shikhar Dhawan, JP Duminy. New look to the team starting with a new captain, King Kumar. Looks slightly brittle on the domestic batting which means the foreign buys will be the key when it comes to batting. KP's absence due to his hernia means Cam White and JP Duminy will have to Charge up quickly. Overall, having Mishra and Ojha will be a great advantage over most teams.
Captain: Kumar Sangakkara
Players Retained: Nil
Key Players: Dale Steyn, Pragyan Ojha, JP Duminy
Dark Horse: Dan Christian, Kedar Devdhar, Ishant Sharma
Group B: Kolkata Knight Riders (to be played home and away)

   Delhi Daredevils:
   Daredvils retained only Virender Sehwag from their previous squad. A trick missed perhaps as they could not manage to buy back most of their key performers like AB De Villiers, Dilshan, Vettori, Nannes. Spent a whooping 1.9 m$ on  Irfan Pathan who's not even sure to be fit. They do not have any big names in their squad barring David Warner and Morne Morkel not even the domestic players. Clearly DD are the dark horse for this season as they have key individuals who are not too popular with the Indian crowd. Names such as Aaron Finch, Mathew Wade and upcoming Indian talent like Umesh Yadav, Dinda, Naman Ojha. And also some ex-fame players like S.Sriram, Venu Rao, Irfan Pathan, Salvi, Ajit Agarkar Geez!! Will be important to see who's their frontline spinner (Yogesh Nagar??). Since they dint pick anyone in the auctions.
Captain: Virender Sehwag
Players Retained: Virender Sehwag
Key Players: Morne Morkel, David Warner, Ajit Agarkar (Duh!)
Dark Horse: Aaron Finch, Irfan Pathan, Naman Ojha
Group B: Kochi Tuskers Kerala

   Kings XI Punjab:
   Zintans have had a rough time both during the IPL and the off-season. From being almost kicked out to running around court rooms they're releaved to be featuring in the IPL. Sadly, it is due to the harakiri they said they couldn't retain their players. But, their auction journey was a sleep walk. They had no clue what was happening. Injuries to Praveen Kumar, Stuart Broad and Dimmi Mascarenhas wont help them either although they have signed Ryan McLaren and David Miller as cover. Australians will be the core in this team with Gilly, Hussey, Marsh, Harris. Familiar Indians in the form of Dinesh Karthik, Piyush chawla will be vital to their fortunes.
Captain: Adam Gilchrist
Players Retained: Nil
Key Players: David Hussey, Praveen Kumar, Dinesh Karthik
Dark Horse: Abhishek Nayar, Ryan Harris, Nathan Rimmington
Group B: Royal Challengers Bangalore

   Mumbai Indians:
   The runner-up in the previous season, the mighty Mumbai Indians have retained the solid core and replaced a few parts here and there. Their auction presence was poor, they didn't put up a fight for most of the auctioning. And then they were clearly unhappy with last minute changes in the auction procedure. Nevertheless, they look a formidable unit with some smart buys during the auction in the form of Symonds, Davy Jacobs, Blizzard, Rohit Sharma and easily getting some of the best domestic crop like T Suman, Rayudu. With SRT in the side and leading them it wasn't too difficult to get some ripe talent from across India. With Pollard, Malinga, Bhajji retained their core strength looks retained!
Captain: Sachin Tendulkar
Players Retained: Sachin Tendulkar, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh
Key Players: Andrew Symonds, Rohit Sharma, see list above.
Dark Horse: Davy Jacobs, Aiden Blizzard, T Suman
Group B: Rajasthan Royals

   Pune Warriors India:
   The newbie in Group A looked very impressive during the players auctioning. They went big but, very cautiously almost similar to the Chargers and found some balance in their squad. They stuck to the plan and got some key names in their franchisee. Along with that some vital domestic players were added outside the auctions that makes them a notable opposition although it is only their IPL debut this season. Injury to Angelo Mathews will keep them hunting for the right balance to their team. As such some big domestic names like Yuraj, Robin, Pandey, Nehra, Murali Kartik, Mithun Manhas and foreign imports like Smith, Nathan McCullum, Tim Paine, Ryder, Parnell, Ferguson and the lesser known Kamran Khan, Jhunjhunwala, Mitch Marsh, Mohnish, Rahul will bring about a solid mix to the franchisee's hopes of making an impact in the IPL.
Captain: Yuvraj Singh
Players Retained: Not Applicable
Key Players: Robin Uthapa, Ashish  Nehra, Graeme Smith
Dark Horse: Nathan McCullum, Tim Paine, Callum Ferguson, Dheeraj Jadhav, Kamran Khan
Group B: Chennai Super Kings

   These were the teams from Group A that will be contesting for the IPL Champions' fame and glory. Not much to choose between them but, MI, DC look formidable and DD the dark horse from this group. But the new addition of Pune Warriors India will be the focus. They look well balanced to upset many experienced oppositions. Wont be surprised if KxiP struggle this season as well. For Group B preview keep tuning in.
p.s. - Who are your key players to watch out for in the IPL4. Share with us in the comments section. Cheers!

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