CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
Captain: MS Dhoni (India)
Coach: Stephen Fleming (New Zealand)
Owner: Indian Cements Limited
One to watch: Ravindra Jadeja (India)
The rundown: Chennai are one of the IPL’s most successful teams, having taken the title in 2010 and 2011 and falling just short last year. They possess an intimidatingly strong squad, with T20 specialists such as Dirk Nannes and Dwayne Bravo joining genuine superstars like MS Dhoni, Mike Hussey and Ravindra Jadeja. To top things off, they have one of the most astute cricketing brains going round as their coach. Chennai have been in the news recently after the local authorities tried to pressure them into not allowing any Sri Lankan players to take part in matches in the city, owing to political sensitivities. The Super Kings may drop Sri Lankan star Nuwan Kulasekara from their squad as a compromise.
MS Dhoni (c), Srikkanth Anirudha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, George Bailey, Doug Bollinger, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Joginder Sharma, Suraj Randiv, Nuwan Kulasekara, Yo Mahesh, Albie Morkel, Abhinav Mukund, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Scott Styris, Sudeep Tyagi, Kuthethurshri Vasudevadas, Ganapathi Vignesh, Murali Vijay
Captain: Kumar Sangakarra
Coach: Tom Moody
Owner: Sun TV Network
One to watch: Shikhar Dhawan (India)
The rundown: This is Sunrisers Hyderabad’s first season of existence, coming into the IPL in place of Deccan Chargers. They’ve assembled an impressive team for their debut season, featuring international stars like Kumar Sangakarra, Daly Steyn and Darren Sammy to compliment a host of locals headlined by Shikhar Dhawan - current owner of the fastest century on Test debut. That being said, their lack of depth may come back to bite them.
Kumar Sangakkara (c), Akshath Reddy, Amit Mishra, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Biplab Samantray, Cameron White, Chris Lynn, Clint McKay, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Hanuma Vihari, Ishant Sharma, Jean-Paul Duminy, Karan Sharma, Nathan McCullum, Parthiv Patel, Quinton de Kock, Sachin Rana, Shikhar Dhawan, Sudeep Tyagi, Thalaivan Sargunam, Thisara Perera, Veer Pratap Singh.
Captain: Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka)
Coach: Eric Simons (South Africa)
Owner: GMR Sports Pvt Ltd
One to watch: Jeevan Mendis (Sri Lanka)
The rundown: The main thoughts of the Daredevils at this stage are probably with Jesse Ryder, who was due to link up with his new team before being brutally assaulted in New Zealand. That issue aside, Delhi boast a very strong batting line-up, even though they also won’t have the services of Kevin Pietersen as he recovers from injury. Their bowling stocks look a bit thin.
Mahela Jayawardene (c), Ajit Agarkar, Andre Russell, Arisht Singhvi, Ashish Nehra, CM Gautam, David Warner, Gulam Bodi, Irfan Pathan, Jeevan Mendis, Jesse Ryder, Johan Botha, Kedar Jadhav, Kevin Pietersen, Manpreet Juneja, Morne Morkel, Naman Ojha, Pawan Negi, Roelof Van Der Merwe, Royston Dias, Siddarth Kaul, Sujit Nayak, Shahbaz Nadeem, Umesh Yadav, Unmukt Chand, Varun Aaron, Venugopal Rao, Virender Sehwag, Yogesh Nagar.
KINGS PUNJAB XI
Captain: Adam Gilchrist (Australia)
Coach: Darren Lehmann (Australia)
Owner: KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited
One to watch: David Miller (South Africa)
The rundown: Given their strong Australian connections, fans Down Under are likely to pick Kings XI Punjab as their sentimental favourites. Unfortunately for Lehmann and Gilchrist, they don’t have the strongest squad at their disposal, with the side dominated by players who have failed to crack India’s national team, or have had a crack and failed to hold their spot. Punjab have recruited well though, picking up Big Bash League star Luke Pomersbach for a bargain.
Adam Gilchrist (c), Aniket Choudhary, Azhar Mahmood, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, David Hussey, David Miller, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Harmeet Singh Bansal, Luke Pomersbach, Manan Vohra, Mandeep Singh, Manpreet Gony, Nitin Saini, Parvinder Awana, Paul Valthaty, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, R Sathish, Ryan Harris, Sandeep Sharma, Shaun Marsh, Siddharth Chitnis, Sunny Singh.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Captain: Gautam Gambhir (India)
Coach: Trevor Bayliss (Australia)
Owner: Knight Riders Sports Private Ltd
One to watch: Sachithra Senanayake (Sri Lanka)
The rundown: Kolkata are last year’s champions, and would fancy their chances of going back-to-back with the strong squad they’ve got this year. The team has a mix of wise old heads (Jacques Kallis, Brett Lee, Brad Haddin) and exciting youngsters (India’s Manoj Tiwary, Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan) combined with a captain who has a point to prove to his national selectors.
Gautam Gambhir (c), Brad Haddin, Brendon McCullum, Brett Lee, Debabrata Das, Eoin Morgan, Iqbal Abdulla, Jacques Kallis, James Pattinson, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Manoj Tiwary, Manvinder Bisla, Mohammad Shami, Pradeep Sangwan, Rajat Bhatia, Ryan McLaren, Ryan ten Doeschate, Sachithra Senanayake, Sarabjit Singh Ladda, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Yusuf Pathan.
Captain: Ricky Ponting (Australia)
Coach: John Wright (New Zealand)
Owner: Indiawin Sports Pvt Ltd
One to watch: Kieron Pollard (West Indies)
The rundown: You might have heard about Mumbai Indians recently – they’re the team that splashed $1 million on Glenn Maxwell. They also have a couple of guys by the name of Tendulkar and Ponting in their side. Throw in the world’s undisputed best T20 bowler (Lasith Malinga) and one of the most valuable all-rounders (Kieron Pollard) and you start to see why Mumbai are confident of improving on their third place from last season.
Ricky Ponting (c), Abu Nechim Ahmed, Akshar Patel, Aditya Tare, Aiden Blizzard, Ambati Rayudu, Amitoze Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Harbhajan Singh, Jacob Oram, Jalaj Saxena, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Munaf Patel, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Phil Hughes, Pawan Suyal, Pragyan Ojha, Rishi Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Suryakumar Yadav, Sushant Marathe, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal.
PUNE WARRIORS INDIA
Captain: Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka)
Coach: Allan Donald (South Africa)
Owner: Sahara Adventure Sports Limited
One to watch: Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India)
The rundown: Pune have been hit hard by the loss of Australia captain Michael Clarke through injury, although they still boast a decent batting line-up featuring Yuvraj Singh, Luke Wright and Ross Taylor. But the Warriors are likely to rely heavily on their bowling stocks, with a lot resting on the shoulders of Indian young gun Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who Australian audiences got to know over the past month, along with South Australia bowler Kane Richardson, West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels and Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis. Luckily for them, they’re coached by one of the best bowlers of the past 20 years in Allan Donald.
Angelo Mathews (c), Abhishek Nayar, Ajantha Mendis, Ali Murtaza, Anustup Majumdar, Ashoke Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dheeraj Jadhav, Eklavya Dwivedi, Harpreet Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Kane Richardson, Krishnakant Upadhyay Luke Wright, Mahesh Rawat, Manish Pandey, Marlon Samuels, Michael Clarke, Mitchell Marsh, Mithun Manhas, Parveez Rasool, Rahul Sharma, Raiphi Gomez, Robin Uthappa, Ross Taylor, Shrikant Wagh, Steve Smith, Tirumalasetti Suman, Tamim Iqbal, Udit Birla, Yuvraj Singh, Wayne Parnell.
Captain: Rahul Dravid (India)
Coach: Paddy Upton (South Africa)
Owner: Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Ltd
One to watch: James Faulkner (Australia)
The rundown: The Royals have never challenged for the trophy since Shane Warne led them to the inaugural IPL title in 2008, so they won’t be lacking for motivation this season. They have a squad that could pose a lot of problems for opposition teams, particularly their fast bowling stocks which feature frightening pacemen Fidel Edwards and Shaun Tait. However the most problems they’re likely to cause are for commentators, given they have both Brad Hogg and Brad Hodge in their side, as well as the curiously-named Sachin Baby.
Rahul Dravid (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan, Amit Singh, Ashok Menaria, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Dishant Yagnik, Fidel Edwards, Harmeet Singh, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Kusal Janith Perera, Owais Shah, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Shukla, S Sreesanth, Sachin Baby, Samuel Badree, Sanju Samson, Shane Watson, Shaun Tait, Shreevats Goswami, Siddharth Trivedi, Stuart Binny.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Captain: Virat Kohli (India)
Coach: Ray Jennings (South Africa)
Owner: Royal Challengers Sports Private Ltd
One to watch: Cheteshwar Pujara (India)
The rundown: The RCB, as they like to be called, have a point to prove after just missing out on the semi-finals last year. They’ve recruited well – or more specifically, they’ve recruited Australian all-rounders well. Just like Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, Bangalore will rely heavily on big-hitting opener Chris Gayle. Hopefully for their sake he’s in a bit better form now.
Virat Kohli (c), AB De Villiers, Abhimanyu Mithun, Abhinav Mukund, Andrew McDonald, Arun Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Chris Gayle, Christopher Barnwell, Daniel Christian, Daniel Vettori, Harshal Patel, Jaidev Unadkat, K P Appanna, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Moises Henriques, Murali Kartik, Muttiah Muralitharan, Pankaj Singh, Prasanth Parameswaran, R Vinay Kumar, Ravi Rampaul, Rudra Pratap Singh, S Aravind, Sandeep Warrier, Saurabh Tiwary, Sheldon Jackson, Sunny Sohal, Syed Mohammad, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Vijay Zol, Zaheer Khan.