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IPL 2018 Preview: A Look At The Contenders This Cricket Bonanza

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| April 6 , 2018 , 18:09 IST

The Indian Premier League (IPL) bonanza makes its return as the eleventh edition of the cash-rich league is about to begin on April 7. Two teams, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals are making their comeback to the IPL after being barred from participating.

MS Dhoni will once again lead CSK and this time, he will be without his star bowler Ravichandran Ashwin. The team looks strong with their clean blend of foreign and domestic players under a captain who knows how to win a tournament, making them perennial contenders as usual. They have an unparalleled record of being in six finals of eight IPL they have competed in.

Rajasthan Royals too, are making their comeback but their return is marred by the ball-tampering controversy.  Their former captain Steve Smith has been banished from participating in this season, so Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has stepped up to take his place. With Ben Stokes, he has the support of one of the best all-rounders in the game.

ALSO READ: IPL 2018: Franchise Captains Of 6 Teams Will Not Attend Opening Ceremony

Mumbai Indians are the defending champions and have strengthened their squad in hopes of retaining their title. Their captain Rohit Sharma is in a good-knick once again. With the help of Pandya brothers, Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah, they are strong enough to beat any team.

Royal Challengers Bangalore are the only team who have reached two finals and have lost both of them. They are led by Indian captain Virat Kohli. Along with AB de Villiers in their ranks, the team has always been strong in their batting prowess. The addition of Tim Southee will be beneficial to them as he will lessen Yuzvendra Chahal’s burden.

SunRisers Hyderabad who had won the IPL in 2016 under the captaincy of another defamed Australian, David Warner, is on the backfoot this season. With their captain not eligible to play, Kane Williamson has been given the role of leading the side. Shikhar Dhawan has been in his explosive best form recently and will be a primary threat to bowlers. Bhuveneshwar Kumar who not only took the most wickets in 2017 but also was one of the most economical bowlers is a gold-dust to his side.

Kings XI Punjab will welcome back their prodigal son in Yuvraj Singh. The skipper cap will be worn by the recently bought Ravichandran Ashwin. KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Glen Maxwell and David Miller, the team boasts the most explosive batting line-up this season.

ALSO READ: IPL 2018: Franchise Captains Of 6 Teams Will Not Attend Opening Ceremony

Kolkata Knight Riders parted ways with their most successful captain in Gautam Gambhir. Chris Lynn, Andre Russel and newly appointed captain Dinesh Karthik form the backbone for the two-time IPL champions.

Delhi Daredevils has a reputation for having one of the most exciting squads but also the most inexperienced one as well. With the two additions of coach Ricky Ponting and captain Gautam Gambhir, the management must assume they’ve solved their lingering issues. Trent Boult, a fired up Mohammed Shami and talented young batsman such as Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw will be looking to make their mark in the 11th edition of IPL.