IPL 2018: Superkings & Royals Return for 11th Edition7 min read
The biggest show in town starts on Saturday with the return of the IPL for its 11th edition and it promises. The action kicks off with last year’s winners Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Superkings at 3pm BST.
This year sees the return of the Chennai Superkings and the Rajasthan Royals are serving two years of suspension from the tournament.
The tournament lasts for almost two months with the final taking place on 27th May in Mumbai. The format of the tournament is the same as in previous years with each of the eight teams playing every other team twice in a home and away round-robin group stage. The top four teams then qualify for the play-offs with the top two teams competing with each other in the first Qualifier – the winner of this match goes straight through to the final. The third and fourth placed teams play each other in an eliminator – the winner of which then plays the loser of the first Qualifier and the winner of that goes through to the final.
This year will see the use of the Decision Review System for the first time.
Mumbai Indians, the most successful team in the tournament having won it three times, are the current joint favourites to hold on to the trophy largely because of their excellently balanced bowling attack which contains the pace attack of Pat Cummins, Mustafizar Rahman and Jasprit Bumrah. With the bat they have explosive power at the top of the order in the shape of Evin Lewis but they don’t have quite the impressive batting line up they did last year.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – rightly RCB are also at short odds to lift the trophy given the array of world class stars they have in their midst. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock and Umesh Yadav means their squad list makes for impressive reading. They’ll be hard to beat and are also to lift the trophy
Sunrisers Hyderabad – They’ve lost the services of David Warner after the recent ball-tampering scandal which means not only have they lost the weight of runs he usually brings to the tournament but he was due to be their captain instead. They’ve picked up Alex Hales as Warner’s replacement for some top order runs although he hasn’t been in tip-top form for England over the winter. Jane Williamson replaces Warner as captain. SH are to lift the trophy.
Chennai Superkings – a wealth of experience in their ranks and captained by the MS Dhoni. Before their suspension they won two titles and have brought in some decent signings in the shape of Imran Tahir and Mark Wood. They are to win their third title.
Delhi Daredevils – DD are a relatively young side compared to some of the others but have a decent looking top order provided Jason Roy can find some form. With the ball, Trent Boult and Mohammed Shami in the death overs are a class pair. They are in at .
Kolkata Knight Riders – Worth looking at for a longer odds bet to win the title at . They’ve lost Mitchell Starc to injury and have brought in Tom Curran but with big hitting Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill and Dinesh Karthik in their top four they look strong with the bat.
Rajasthan Royals – Steve Smith is a huge loss to the Royals in terms of experience but they have more than enough depth in their batting to make up for it. RR should be the team of choice for English fans with their squad containing Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Sussex sensation Jofra Archer. D’Arcy Short will come in at the top of the order and he’s known for his high strike rate to get them off to a flier.
Kings XI Punjab – Look strong with the ball with a balanced attack that includes Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma and Ravi Ashwin (who’s also their captain). They are at long odds to win though because Chris Gayle is very hit and miss – more miss than hit these days and their middle order looks very shaky.
Top Batsmen betting
With David Warner out of the picture having lost his place due to the ball tampering scandal, it’s worth looking at one of the Indian stars to be top batsman in the tournament. It’s hard to look past Virat Kohli because of his ability to score big runs in games that matter and under pressure. But Shikhar Dhawan (Sunrisers Hyderabad) at is a decent looking bet – Dhawan is hard hitting and innovative. For slightly longer odds, it’s worth a look at Australia’s Chris Lynn (Kolkata Knight Riders) at or Ajkinkya Rahane (Rajasthan Royals) also at .
Top Bowler betting
Definitely worth having a look at Jofra Archer – – who took the Big Bash league by storm. He is good both with the new ball and at the death and is relatively new to the scene so won’t have been worked out yet.
For a spin option, it’s hard to look past Rashid Khan at – he is a handful for any batsman but particularly in these conditions.