Defending champions Mumbai Indians have a fine balance of domestic and overseas players in their squad and their pace bowling resources are some of the strongest in the business. Where they might struggle is the lack of options in the domestic spin bowling department but if Krunal Pandya can carry over his form from the previous season, things could ease out for the champions.
Mumbai could see a new opening pair at the top of the order and a slightly different bowling line-up, what with the inclusion of Evin Lewis, Pat Cummins and Mustafizur Rahman. Rohit Sharma could continue to lead the side and it would be interesting to see if he opens the innings or bats in the middle-order.
Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Keiron Pollard, Mustafizur Rahman, Pat Cummins, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, JP Duminy, Mitchell McClenaghan, T N Dhillon, Sharad Lumba, Aditya Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dananjaya, Anukul Sudhakar Roy, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh.
Lewis, Kishan, Rohit, Suryakumar, Hardik, Krunal, Pollard, Cutting/Rahman, Cummins, Bumrah, Chahar.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Royal Challengers Bangalore, 9/2 with bet365, kick-start the competition as joint-favourites for their first title win but this isn’t the first time they will be favoured to win outright. Unfortunately for them, the team from down south of India has never won the IPL title, with their final appearance in the 2016 edition being their best showing in recent time.
Still, Virat Kohli’s Bangalore will believe they have the team to take on the rest, with the likes of Brendon McCullum and Quinton de Kock added to the batting while AB de Villiers and the skipper himself providing the early fireworks. Where Bangalore have often struggled is with their bowling and to that effect the presence of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Washington Sundar should help the side no end.
Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Quinton de Kock, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manan Vohra, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Mandeep Singh, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Anirudha Joshi, Parthiv Patel, Tim Southee, Pavan Deshpande.
McCullum, de Kock, Kohli, de Villiers, Sarfaraz, Mandeep, Sundar, Chahal, Umesh, Coulter-Nile, Navdeep.
Winners in the 2016 season, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have often relied on their pace bowling resources to get the better of oppositions in the IPL. This has been coach Tom Moody’s strategy across all the teams he manages in domestic T20 cricket, and more often than not, it has reaped rich dividends.
The nucleus of the Hyderabad squad continues to rely on those fast bowlers apart from captain David Warner, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and ace Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Rashid Khan’s presence continues to add to the side’s chances while Kane Williamson, one feels, could be form a part of a rather luxurious bench for the squad.
David Warner (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, T Natarajan, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammad Nabi, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Billy Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan.
Warner, Dhawan, Pandey, Shakib, Hooda, Pathan, Saha, Rashid, Bhuvneshwar, Sandeep, Stanlake.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings can arguably be called the most popular team in the Indian Premier League and the skipper, MS Dhoni’s following could be one of the reasons behind it. They return to the IPL this season after a two-year suspension and at one stage during the auction looked like they were picking a Grand-Daddy’s XI. It was only during the second half of the auction they returned with a few decent picks.
Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo and Murali Vijay reunite for the Chennai Super Kings after having featured in the majority of the seasons for them. They should all make the playing XI along with captain Dhoni, but other than that, they have brought in some good picks in the form of in-form Shane Watson, who had a brilliant PSL season, Kedar Jadhav, who can perform the finishers’ role along with give his skipper a few overs, and English seamer Mark Wood.
At 6/1 with bet365, Chennai Super Kings look attractive odds, but things could get a lot more attractive after their first two games in which they face two, traditionally strong units in the Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders and a couple of defeats in those games could lengthen the Chennai odds even further. It is at this stage we could look at backing an age-old wounded tiger.
MS Dhoni (captain), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagdeesan, Mitchell Santner (injured), Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Lungisani Ngidi, Kanishk Seth, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi.
Watson, Vijay, Raina, Faf, Jadhav, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bravo, Harbhajan/Karn, Wood, Thakur.
King XI Punjab
The Kings XI Punjab start the 2018 IPL tournament 17/2 with bet365 to win it, second-longest outright odds, which I find a big surprise. Not because the odds should have been shorter but they should have been way longer given the team they have assembled. It’s a batting-heavy line-up that will need a lot of luck going their way to get close to the playoffs berth let alone win the title.
Where does the problem lie for Punjab? It’s quite simply their lack of potency in both overseas and domestic bowling. Ravichandran Ashwin leads the side and the bowling and will need to lead by example after having earlier been let go from white ball cricket. Axar Patel is a part of the Indian squad but doesn’t get too many games. Mohit Sharma and Barinder Sran are two Indian pace bowling options along with Ankit Rajpoot but the latter’s lack of experience might weight against him.
It’s then up to the likes of Aussie bowler Andrew Tye and the batting line-up that’s noticeably strong on paper – Gayle, Finch, Rahul and Yuvraj make for a solid four – that might have given them better odds than Delhi.
Ravichandran Ashwin (captain), Axar Patel, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, KL Rahul, David Miller, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Rajpoot, Manoj Tiwary, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Zadran, Barinder Sran, Andrew Tye, Akshdeep Nath, Ben Dwarshuis, Pardeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar, Chris Gayle, Manzoor Dar.
Gayle, Finch, Rahul, Yuvraj, Mayank, Stoinis/Miller, Axar, Ashwin, Mohit, Tye, Sran.
One of the more under-performing teams in the IPL, the Delhi Daredevils did two things before the auction that could hold them in a good stead as far as their results are concerned. One, they brought back Gautam Gambhir to their fold and while age might not be on his side, his captaincy skills with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous seasons have been there to see. Secondly, they have also hired Ricky Ponting as their head coach and his foray into coaching has already seen him garner some excellent results.
Other than that, the team looks well-balanced, with hitters at the top, a middle-order that has a fine blend of youth and experience and bowling that can do a job. Gambhir has Jason Roy or Colin Munro to pick as his opening partner while Glenn Maxwell and the two Indians, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant will be raring to go in the middle. The fast bowling attack will be led by Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult and there are a plethora of Indian spinners they can choose from.
All of this is why I believe 9/1 with bet365 for a Delhi Daredevils 2018 IPL title win is brilliant odds. Our sense is to put your money on them and try and cash-out even before they have gone on to win the title – because with that side they are bound to do well.
Gautam Gambhir (captain), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, Glenn Maxwell, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh.
Gambhir, Roy/Munro, Iyer, Pant, Maxwell, Gurkeerat, Shankar, Mishra, Rabada, Boult, Harshal/Avesh.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders let go of their talisman and captain Gautam Gambhir in a bid to look at the future but their decision to appoint Dinesh Karthik as the skipper came as a surprise to a lot of fans. Karthik looks to have shown his worth with his match-winning eight-ball 29 in the Nidahas Trophy final but does he have it in him to lead the Knight Riders to a win?
The other issue facing the Knight Riders is the possibility of missing out on their key players. Chris Lynn is still nursing a shoulder injury that kept him out of the PSL, Andre Russell injured himself during that very competition and was ruled out of it and Sunil Narine’s bowling action was called into question yet again. This is also probably why Kolkata Knight Riders have moved to 6/1 with bet365 to win the 2018 IPL title.
Dinesh Karthik (captain), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Mitch Starc, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, Ishank Jaggi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Nitish Rana, Vinay Kumar, Apoorv Wankhade, Rinku Singh, Shivam Mavi, Cameron Delport, Mitchell Johnson, Javon Searles.
Lynn, Uthappa, Rana, Karthik, Gill, Russell, Narine, Nagarkoti, Chawla, Kuldeep, Starc.
The Rajasthan Royals are one of two teams that were suspended from the IPL for a two-year period but they are back now and will be led by Steven Smith. Smith will have a few of the same players he had with the Rising Pune Supergiant, the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes and Jaidev Unadkat, not to forget the surprise package from the previous season, Rahul Tripathi.
Also joining ranks for this season are the likes of Stuart Binny and Sanju Samson, both of whom had played for the Royals in previous seasons, while D’Arcy Short, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Ben Laughlin add the overseas firepower to their line-up. Where the Rajasthan Royals might miss out is a high-quality spinner but in Krishnappa Gowtham and Ankit Sharma they have two who might be able to do a job.
Rajasthan’s biggest issue seems to be the number of top-order batsmen who will need to be fit in the top five or six. Buttler, Rahane, Samson, Tripathi and Short are all top three batsmen along with captain Smith and that’s where they might have problems picking their playing XI. For now, I would keep away from the Rajasthan Royals and the odds of 13/2 with bet365offered for them to win the 2018 IPL title.
Steve Smith (captain), Ben Stokes, Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tripathi, D’Arcy Short, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Zahir Khan, Shreyas Gopal, S Midhun, Prashant Chopra, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Jatin Saxena, Dushmantha Chameera.
Buttler, Rahane, Samson, Smith, Stokes, Binny, Gowtham, Dhawal, Unadkat, Ankit.
2018 Indian Premier League Outright Betting Tips
Back the Delhi Daredevils to win the title but look to cash-out after they have had a good run at any point in the competition.
Article and stats from the team at http://www.freesupertips.co.uk/