Team analysis for IPL 2023

Indian Premier League 2023

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As the Indian Premier League returns for its 16th season, here’s an analysis on all the ten teams participating in the tournament.  

Gujarat Titans

The reigning champions will have the added advantage of playing their home games at a venue that must hold sweet memories already. The venue could hold additional advantage if they stick to their strength, which has been the ability to chase down games. In the last season they won eight of the nine games they chased, which matches with the overall record at the stadium (5-2 in favour of teams chasing).

While the unit looks tightly composed overall, GT had the advantage of running with the momentum with some key players, the likes of Wriddhiman Saha and Rahul Tewatia, hitting top form with the bat which enabled them to get on the right side of several close finishes. GT would be guarding against the law of averages catching up at some point. And for that, they’d require their bowling strength to carry on as well as they have in the previous season.

It remains Hardik Pandya’s biggest advantage to possess an attack that is capable of challenging oppositions on various fronts. That aside, many of their key players are coming into the season on the back of good form, which should hold them in great stead if they are to play to the reputation they’ve built for themselves now.

Squad: Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Wriddhiman Saha, Matthew Wade, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Abhinav Manohar, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Rashid Khan, Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmad, Jayant Yadav, Alzarri Joseph, Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal, Darshan Nalkande, Pradeep Sangwan, Shivam Mavi, Joshua Little, Kane Williamson, KS Bharat, Odean Smith, Mohit Sharma, Urvil Patel.

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

With the likelihood of starting with four foreigners, who would be integral to their plans across various stages of the game – A top-order batter, a finisher in the middle order, a T20 all-time great in Rashid Khan, and a death overs bowler in Joseph – GT is unlikely to exploit the tactic of naming just three foreigners in their starting eleven. The likes of Jayant Yadav could be used as a match-up option while Yash Dayal brings about a left-arm seam angle, and additionally, two of the many batting options that GT have could be used to bolster that facet of their game.

Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Hardik Pandya, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, R Sai Kishore, Rashid Khan, Alzarri Joseph, Shivam Mavi, Mohammed Shami

Four possible Impact Subs: Jayant Yadav, Abhinav Manohar, Sai Sudarshan/KS Bharat, Yash Dayal.

Chennai Super Kings

The hot and humid air of Chennai has a palpable sense of anticipation. Chepauk, with its new canopies, shiny bucket seats and a gigantic Dhoni mural, is ready for the long-awaited reunion. In the overriding narrative this season of teams playing at their home ground again, no other side will be happier. The venue was their citadel even four seasons ago when they last played there, only breached by the eventual champions.

Chennai’s anticipation could be accompanied by overwhelming emotions at the prospect of the man painted beautifully across the big mural playing his final season. CSK have the added motivation of bringing down the curtains on his illustrious time with the franchise by adding another glory-filled chapter to it. Dhoni’s CSK legacy perhaps stretches beyond the titles won, but to win another would mean walking off having put the team on par with their trophy nemesis, Mumbai Indians.

On the back of last year’s form and an imbalanced squad, title talk could seem outlandish heading into the season. But for a side often indulging in the outlandish, there are no tables that a happy homecoming can’t dramatically flip around.

Squad: MS Dhoni, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Moeen Ali, Subhranshu Senapati, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Dwaine Pretorius, Mitchell Santner, Maheesh Theekshana, Prashant Solanki, Deepak Chahar, Mukesh Choudhary, Simarjeet Singh, Tushar Deshpande, Matheesha Pathirana, Ben Stokes, Sisanda Magala, Ajinkya Rahane, Shaik Rasheed, Nishant Sindhu, Ajay Mandal, Bhagath Varma

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, MS Dhoni, Deepak Chahar, Sisanda Magala, Simarjeet Singh/Mukesh Choudhary, Maheesh Theekshana

With Deepak Chahar only coming back from his long injury layoff and Simarjeet Singh being in just his second season, CSK could look to use the impact player rule to add bowling cushion. Tushar Deshpande comes with loads of domestic experience, and could be brought on from the bench. The impressive U19 star Rajvardhan Hangargekar, who is yet to make his CSK debut, is an all round option who could work as a substitute too. Against right-hander heavy sides, CSK could pack in an extra spinner, particularly at Chepauk, with leggie Prashant Solanki.

Punjab Kings

Punjab Kings broke the bank for Sam Curran, will they break the playoffs jinx? PBKS were the semifinalists in the opening season and runners-up to KKR in 2014 but have been underwhelming in most of the remaining 13 attempts. More so in the last four editions, finishing all at sixth spot, just one win away from progressing to the knockouts, and exiting the league stage with more what-ifs hanging over their head. In naming Shikhar Dhawan as their skipper for IPL 2023, Punjab have made a seventh captaincy switch in the last eight years and would be hoping the southpaw leads from the front despite his tapering numbers. They have also announced a massive reboot of the coaching staff with Brad Haddin and Charl Langeveldt joining new head coach Trevor Bayliss in the club’s desperate bid for that elusive first trophy.

While consistency or stability had been a long-standing issue at Punjab Kings over the past few years, they do have their core set this time which will revolve around their two star Indian retainees – Dhawan and Arshdeep Singh – and a gun overseas contingent of Liam Livingstone, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sam Curran and Kagiso Rabada. In fact, Jonny Bairstow’s injury-forced withdrawal might have actually been a blessing in disguise, sparing them some foreign-player selection headaches. However, for that to be true, the Indian batters have to fire. Dhawan hasn’t had a great year and neither did Shahrukh Khan. This could leave the batting heavily reliant on the foreign players which makes Kings’ go-big-or-go-home approach from last season a double-edged sword.

Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Matthew Short, Sikandar Raza, Shahrukh Khan, Mohit Rathee, Harpeet Brar, Sam Curran, Rishi Dhawan, Baltej Singh, Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Raj Bawa, Kagiso Rabada, Nathan Ellis, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Shivam Singh, Vidhwath Kaverappa

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajpaksa, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Harpreet Brar/Rishi Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar

*Nathan Ellis starts ahead of Rabada due to the latter’s international commitments at the start of IPL 2023

The opening partner of captain Dhawan, if one among the Indian uncapped players, could be the one frequently getting subbed. PBKS could look to use the finisher in Atharva Taide or maybe even top-order batter like Prabhsimran Singh/Harpreet Singh Bhatia if batting first and then replace with Rishi Dhawan or Harpreet Brar (whoever misses out on the first-XI depending on conditions) or one among the pace options of Vidwath Kaverappa and Baltej Singh.

Delhi Capitals

Delhi Capitals — it’s not their Baptismal name. It’s not even the first IPL franchise with the abbreviation DC (which, by the way, actually won an IPL season). And yet, an IPL title still eludes them. In the fifteen years since its inception, the Delhi-based franchise has transitioned from a team of legends like Sehwag, McGrath and de Villiers, to a side that is “developing”; a side that hasn’t hit its full potential yet. And now, as one of the original “Daredevils” returns to a leadership role, Delhi’s hunt for an IPL title continues.

That being said, the Delhi Capitals have gotten agonisingly close to a title in the recent past. Granted, they failed to qualify in the 2022 season, but with 7 wins and 7 losses, it was a close call. However, rewinding further to 2021 shows us a more interesting insight — Delhi Capitals finished top of the table, with 10 wins in 14 games, giving them two chances to qualify for the final, and they managed to squander both, failing to make the final. In 2020, they made their first ever final, but were overpowered by a rampaging Mumbai Indians side, who gave them no chance. Delhi aren’t underachievers, but they have been bullied by the big boys on the big stage. For the Capitals, the test really begins at the play-off stage.

Squad: David Warner (C), Axar Patel, Manish Pandey, Prithvi Shaw, Rilee Rossouw, Ripal Patel, Rovman Powell, Sarfaraz Khan, Yash Dhull, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakariya, Ishant Sharma, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Lungi Ngidi, Mukesh Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman, Pravin Dubey, Vicky Ostwal, Aman Khan, Lalit Yadav, Mitchell Marsh, and Philip Salt.

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

David Warner (C), Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Yash Dhull/Rilee Rossouw, Manish Pandey, Sarfaraz Khan, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Chetan Sakaria, Mustafizur Rehman/Khaleel Ahmed

It is easy to be fooled by Delhi’s powerful batting line-up. On a given day, if there happens to be a batting collapse, they have a bowling all-rounder at seven, and four number elevens to follow. It follows that Delhi’s bowling attack is a lot more complete, and their impact player is more likely to be an Indian batsman or all-rounder — perhaps Lalit Yadav or Yash Dhull, in a bid to extend their batting line-up.

Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals, the first-ever IPL champions, enjoyed their best season since that triumph in 2022. Lot of the work was done at the 2022 auction table and despite not being entirely flawless, the team gelled well to overcome the minor flaws in squad composition.

The batting might of Jos Buttler and effectiveness of their spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin were the major talking points of Royals’ success last year. Their bowling unit in totality worked efficiently. While they seemed a genuine all-rounder short, the think tank’s tactical acumen coupled with Ashwin’s flexibility with bat and ball covered up for most of it.

While he had another middling season with the bat, Sanju Samson’s leadership was both calm and astute. Being back at their home base in Jaipur should only boost the Royals’ confidence. The surfaces at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium should suit their modus operandi with the large dimensions and generally sluggish tracks although dew could be a major factor in their strategies.

Squad: Sanju Samson (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Jos Buttler, Dhruv Jurel, Riyan Parag, Prasidh Krishna, Trent Boult, Obed McCoy, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Sen, Kuldip Yadav, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, KC Cariappa, Jason Holder, Donovan Ferreira, Sandeep Sharma, Kunal Rathore, Adam Zampa, KM Asif, Murugan Ashwin, Akash Vashisht, Abdul P A, Joe Root

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Devdutt Padikkal, Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma/Navdeep Saini/Kuldeep Sen

RR have quite a few options to tinker with as far as the impact player goes. In the second half of the season, clubbing Murugan Ashwin or KC Cariappa along with the Chahal-Ashwin combo is a realistic option as the pitches start to tire. In the initial games, there could be a thought to strengthen the pace attack when needed with Obed McCoy being a workable option. This is where the form of Samson and Parag becomes critical, as they’d need to start with an overseas player less if they are to bring in a foreign option as the impact player.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

The last time Sunrisers Hyderabad played a game at their home turf was in April 2019. Fast forward four years and the XI that will be taking the field against Rajasthan Royals on April 2 will be almost unrecognisable for the local crowd. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Abhishek Sharma are the sole survivors from that contest in 2019 whereas T Natarajan was on the bench. The fortunes for all three have changed in this time frame. Abhishek, who was hardly getting opportunities, is now an opener. Bhuvneshwar’s powers seem to be on the wane but he will still likely lead the side at least in their first game this time. Natarajan is no longer a bench warmer and has become a vital cog in their playing XI.

While four years is indeed a long time, the squad bears a different look even when compared to the 2022 season. Sweeping changes have been made with more than 10 players replaced from the last time they played an IPL fixture. Players who had a huge price tag against their name have been left out and replaced with some in-form players who could well turn the franchise’s fortunes around.

For a side that had gained a reputation back then for their over-reliance on a couple of players, SRH seem to have all bases covered this time around. In fact, this is the strongest they have looked in many years. Consecutive eighth place finishes has led to the management wielding the axe several times including the coaching staff with West Indian great Brian Lara taking over as the head coach this time. Markram’s stocks have risen big time having been named skipper and will hope for a repeat result from the inaugural SA20 where he led Sunrisers to the title.

Squad: Aiden Markram (C), Mayank Agarwal, Abdul Samad, Anmolpreet Singh, Harry Brook, Nitish Reddy, Rahul Tripathi, Samarth Vyas, Sanvir Singh, Vivrant Sharma, Washington Sundar, Abhishek Sharma, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Glenn Phillips, Upendra Yadav, Akeal Hosein, Mayank Dagar, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Kartik Tyagi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Markande, T Natarajan, Adil Rashid, Umran Malik

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

Abhishek Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram (C), Harry Brook, Heinrich Klaasen (WK), Washington Sundar, Adil Rashid, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Umran Malik

Abdul Samad may have had a quiet 2022 but SRH might want to tap into his potential by using the Impact Player rule to good effect. By removing someone like T Natarajan or Umran Malik before a run chase in order to elongate their batting order using Samad or the other uncapped batters is certainly an option. Watch out for Kartik Tyagi as well who might have a role to play this time.

Lucknow Super Giants

A promising maiden journey for Lucknow Super Giants was halted owing to certain shortcomings in the latter stage of IPL 2022. The KL Rahul-led side will be hoping to right the wrongs from the previous season and go the distance this time. But with a plethora of all-round options in their side, it remains to be seen if they can make optimum use of the ‘Impact Player’ concept which will be implemented for the first time in IPL 2023.

Squad: KL Rahul (c), Avesh Khan, Ayush Badoni, Quinton de Kock (wk), K Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Prerak Mankad, Kyle Mayers, Amit Mishra, Mohsin Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Krunal Pandya, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Ravi Bishnoi, Daniel Sams, Karan Sharma, Romario Shepherd, Marcus Stoinis, Swapnil Singh, Jaydev Unadkat, Manan Vohra, Mark Wood, Mayank Yadav, Yash Thakur, Yudhvir Singh.

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni, Marcus Stoinis, Jaydev Unadkat, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Mark Wood.

Depending on whether they are batting first or bowling, and also the conditions, LSG could look at switching among Ayush Badoni, Ravi Bishnoi, Prerak Mankad and K Gowtham as part of their Impact Player tactic.

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians may have finished their campaign last season at the bottom of the 10-team pile, but with four wins from the last six games, there was hope that the team in transition was placed better for 2023, if not the long term necessarily. However, even before the season has started, the five-time champs have been jolted, left with more concerns than solutions as they look to fill the void left by the injured Jasprit Bumrah – who has been ruled out of the tournament.

There is no Indian equal for Bumrah. And those closest to his skill set are not in MI’s squad. Jofra Archer’s availability could fill that gap to a great extent, but that still leaves quite a few concerns in the overall team combination. The Impact Player Rule could prove to aid their efforts, but it remains to be seen if they have enough Indian firepower in their squad to help them out effectively.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Verma, Ramandeep Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Dewald Brevis, Nehal Wadhera, Tim David, Shams Mulani, Piyush Chawla, Cameron Green, Kumar Kartikeya, Hrithik Shokeen, Arjun Tendulkar, Ishan Kishan, Tristan Stubbs, Vishnu Vinod, Jofra Archer, Arshad Khan, Jason Behrendorff, Raghav Goyal, Duan Jansen, Akash Madhwal

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Verma, Cameron Green, Tim David, Ramandeep Singh, Jofra Archer, Piyush Chawla/Akash Madhwal, Kumar Kartikeya, Jason Behrendorff

Mumbai Indians have yet again invested in a lot of players with negligible domestic cricket experience. Unless their fairly successful scouting network has a surprise in store yet again with their new discovery, they are running extremely thin on their Indian resources. They might look to play an extra batter when they are batting first, possibly Vishnu Vinod, Or they might stick to the combination above.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

The rampant lion insignia, smartly painted in the club colours of red, black and gold adorn the periphery of the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Outside on the pedestrian paths, the early hawker is spotted carefully arranging counterfeit versions of last season’s kits with the No. 18 facing up so as to catch the eye of those making optimistic enquiries at the ticket kiosk. Two streets away, an upmarket restobar in the team’s name is readying itself for the thrum of match day once again. All in anticipation of April 2, when the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s three-season exile away from the city they call home will end.

Homecomings are almost always happy affairs. And so it proved to be when players, past and present, indulged in an evening of song, dance and celebration in front of their doting fans a week out from the season. But things will get more serious next week when a certain Mumbai Indians come visiting. For RCB enter IPL 2023 on a rare run of three straight Playoffs finishes, a high bar of consistency they’ll look to meet and then attempt to outjump while playing seven games at a venue they possess a win rate of 48.05% – the second-lowest behind DC’s 44.29% at Delhi [All other teams have won more than they’ve lost at home].

Obviously, this is a very different side to previous squads assembled here, especially with regards to possessing bowlers for each phase of the game. And yet the pitch, the high-altitude and the dimensions of the stadium have incapacitated bowlers and turned contests into bat-v-bat slugfests. It was in evidence in the last two seasons (2018, 2019) here with teams scoring at 9.26 per over – the highest among all venues while fast bowlers conceded at 9.80 per over, the worst amongst all venues. The dynamics of the famous stadium is therefore likely to inescapably frame whatever Faf du Plessis and his squad achieve in the next two months.

Squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Suyash Prabhudesai, Manoj Bhandage, Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Michael Bracewell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Shahbaz Ahmed, David Willey, Finn Allen, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Akash Deep, Avinash Singh, Josh Hazlewood, Siddarth Kaul, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Rajan Kumar, Himanshu Sharma, Karn Sharma, Sonu Yadav, Reece Topley

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Anuj Rawat/Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood/Reece Topley

With Wanindu Hasaranga and Harshal Patel at Nos. 8 and 9, RCB have an enviable batting depth. However, in Patidar’s absence, at least three spots in the middle-order will have to be filled by domestic batters. And it is here RCB might look to use the impact player rule. With a strike-rate of 173.80, Manoj Bhandage served as an excellent finisher for Karnataka at the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament, and could be used by RCB in a similar role in a run chase. With the ball, Siddarth Kaul offers death-overs smarts while Himanshu Sharma and Karn Sharma could be brought in as match-up spin options.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Welcome to yet another season of Kolkata Knight Riders pursuing a trophy that’s evaded them since 2014. This time though, they faced a stiff challenge even before making it to the ground. There was this pressing matter of choosing a captain in the absence of Shreyas Iyer, who remains on the sidelines with a back issue and with no guarantees of a return this season. But now that KKR are past that with the appointment of Nitish Rana, the team can look forward to the comforts of Eden Gardens, their home venue where they win over 60 percent of the games. If that’s what it takes for them to finally end their trophy drought, the hard yards under the Kolkata sun might all be worth it.

Squad: Shreyas Iyer (injured and doubtful), Varun Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Sunil Narine, Harshit Rana, Nitish Rana, Anukul Roy, Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Tim Southee, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Vaibhav Arora, N Jagadeesan, Suyash Sharma, David Wiese, Kulwant Khejroliya, Litton Das, Mandeep Singh, Shakib Al Hasan

Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:

Nitish Rana (c), Venkatesh Iyer, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Mandeep Singh/Shreyas Iyer, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Shardul Thakur, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakaravarthy

With regards to how to use an Impact Player, one possible permutation could be using Umesh Yadav with the new ball, where he is at his most potent, and then bringing in someone like Suyash Sharma with his mystery spin in the middle overs, where the side lacked incision last year. KKR rate Suyash highly and Venky Mysore was “surprised” to get him at his base price, so expect the spinner to play a role in the upcoming season as the team looks to resurrect their spin department.

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