The 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League is set to arrive soon as the teams have now finalized their squads after the auction. The 16th edition of the IPL is expected to begin in April with the Final to be scheduled in May. With no restrictions due to COVID-19, the tournament is expected to return to its original home and away games format.
The Gujurat Titans are the defending champions, and they will be eager to defend their title. They clearly had one of the best squads last year and they have had timely additions to their squad. But the other teams have also tweaked their teams and some of them have made big splurges in the market. However, it remains to see if that is enough to stop the Titans from repeating again this year.
The Gujurat Titans were one of the two teams who made their inaugural appearance in the league last year. And they immediately hit the ground running by winning the title in their first season. The team led by the newly appointed Indian T20 team captain Hardik Pandya finished as the table toppers and made no mistakes in the playoffs.
The team is loaded with superstars in all its departments with Pandya, Shubman Gill, David Miller, Rashid Khan, and so on. They had very little weakness across all fronts and they have several matchwinners loaded in their squad with Rahul Tewatia, Mohammed Shami, Wridhiman Saha, and others coming up in crucial situations. The Pandya-led Titans will be one of the favourites to win it this year and the other teams will have to put up a herculean effort to take the title away from them.
One of the biggest stories in IPL history has been the case of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and their search for the elusive title. The team from garden city is one of the most loved teams but despite 15 years, they are yet to win their first title. But this time, it's a different story. That's because, for the first time in their history, the Royal Challengers have seemed to solve their biggest concern, their bowling attack. Their squad is well-balanced with some of the best bowlers in the world in their lineup.
RCB will also be boosted by Virat Kohli's recent uptick in form. The King had one of his worst seasons last time around, but he has been in superb touch in the last few months. With the amount of talent and the perfect balance in the squad, RCB will have its best chance to date. They will hope that history does not repeat itself and they fall short of expectations again.
The two of the most successful sides in IPL history, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings both had terrible outings last time around. Last year, the two teams finished at the bottom of the table and they were nowhere close to being competitive. Even though they seemed to have retained a majority of their squad, both teams went big in the auction to address their core issues.
CSK went all in on the England skipper, Ben Stokes. One of the best players in the world, Stokes has produced countless match-winning performances time and time again. He has performed on the biggest occasions and CSK broke the bank for him as they bought him for a whopping INR 16.25 crore. The MS Dhoni-led side will be looking to forget last season and start a new chapter in their illustrious history.
The Mumbai Indians also had a miserable campaign last time around. Their superstars failed to produce consistently last time out. Their squad is deep and loaded but MI failed to find the right balance and strategy. Like CSK, the Mumbai Indians also went big in the auction as they bought Cameron Green for INR 17.5 crore. Green has been rising through the Australian ranks over the last few years, and MI felt he was the answer to their puzzle.
Both these teams will be keen to forget last season and you can bet that one or both of these sides will have massive outings this time around. As history has told us, it would be very unwise to bet against these two giants. And if you decide to and want to use crypto as your preferred mode of payment, here is the best site for sports betting using crypto. With the IPL fast approaching, you would be wise to get your bets in early as things are expected to heat up soon.
Last year's runners-up, Rajasthan Royals will have been disappointed to fall short at the biggest stage. Like several other teams, the Royals have retained a large part of their squad with Jos Butler leading from the front. The England star has been in tremendous form and RR will hope they can bank on him again. They also made a smart addition as they went out and bought Jason Holder in the auction.
Punjab Kings broke the IPL record as bought England all-rounder Sam Curran for INR 18.5 Crore. They came very close to making the playoffs last time around and they will hope that Curran takes them to the promised land. The Kings are one of the three teams who are yet to win a title in 15 years. They have been the most disappointing team in IPL history and they will be keen to make a statement and break their curse.
Meanwhile, the Sunrisers Hyderabad made the most of the auction as they bought as many as 13 players in the auction. SRH have been in rebuild mode for the last few years and they went big on Harrk Brook and Mayank Agarwal. They have a bunch of promising talent and they seem to have the right amount of proven veterans. But the key for them will be to find the right balance in their squad.
The other new team in the league, Lucknow Super Giants also made the playoffs last year. But they were too reliant on their top order and this seemed to cost them quite a few games. In order to fix this, they went out and got Nicolas Pooran for INR 16 Crore. Despite no significant new signings, LSG has a strong team and they will definitely be a force to reckon with.
The Delhi Capitals are the other team that is yet to win a title in 15 years. The loss of Rishabh Pant to injury is a massive blow to the team. They did manage to get Manish Pandey and Rilee Rossouw in the auction. But they still are yet to name a captain and they just don't seem to have enough in their squad to take them all the way.
The Kolkata Knight Riders, the third most successful team in IPL history had a terrible start last time around but they made a massive push during the end. However, that wasn't quite enough to overcome their poor start. They still have a strong team and they have a few nice additions to the squad. It will be interesting to how the two-time winners will fare this season.