Yet another IPL season is upon us and it is time to guess which of your favorite teams will make it through to the knockouts stage. Last year was quite competitive as a team like Royal Challengers Bangalore lost out on a chance to make it to the playoffs with a last league match loss to Deccan Chargers. However, there is no Deccan Chargers this year as it has been rechristened as Sunrisers Hyderabad. Any predictions regarding the top 4 teams cannot be made without looking at some of the most exciting players that will represent the nine IPL teams this season.
Let us first start with the Mumbai Indians, who obviously due to the presence of the cricketing God Sachin Tendulkar is contenders for the title. The first one to talk about in this team is the million dollar baby, Glen Maxwell. Poor showing in the recent test match series aside, he might well be the golden boy in this year’s Pepsi IPL. There are a lot of Australians in Mumbai Indians this year, a rare sight to be honest. Ricky Ponting will lead the charge and a lot is expected from him. Without the burden of test cricket, Ponting will look to make amends after poor showing with KKR in the initial years. Everyone expects Mumbai Indians to make the playoffs again this year as they have the right mix of Indian players (Sachin, Rayudu,Rohit Sharma, Munaf Patel and Harbhajan) and foreign starts (Malinga, Ponting, Johnson and Pollard). The addition of John Wright and Anil Kumble to the coaching staff will only add to the good preparations of the team.
Let us go to the other spectrum and take a look at Sunrisers Hyderabad. It may seem as they might not do much again this year following last year’s disappointing performance more so with the injury to Shikhar Dhawan that has put him out of the IPL. But, count them out at your own risk especially when they have the services of tear away fast bowler Dale Steyn, and captain/keeper Kumara Sangakkara.
Kolkata Knight Riders surprised one and all with their great run last year and finally allowed Shah Rukh Khan, the team owner to breathe a little easy. Will they be able to pull it off again this year and make it two in a row? Well, a lot will depend once again on all the all-rounders of KKR. The destroyer in chief once again could be Sunil Narine who has found his feet firmly in T20 cricket around the world, first with Trinidad & Tobago, then with KKR helping them to win the coveted trophy last year.
Royal Challengers Bangalore is always in with a chance as long as Chris Gayle keeps hitting those huge sixes in the stands. Hopefully, he will not injure any little girls this time around with one of his mighty sixes. Virat Kohli has been delegated the responsibility of the captaincy and we could very well see a different RCB take the field this year in terms of attitude. Kohli will settle for nothing but a win in every game if he has his way. Add to the team veterans like Mutthiah Muralitharan, Dilshan, Zaheer Khan and AB Devilliers and you have a winning combination. RCB would be hurting after failing to make the cut last year and would try everything in their power to make it to the playoffs. The only downside is that they tend to rely too much on Gayle’s histrionics to power them to a win every time. However, things may change as Kohli would like to lead from the front with his bat as well this time.
Rajasthan Royals did not a have a very good time last year after staying around the top half of the table in the initials stages of the last IPL season. A lot will depend on Shane Watson’s availability and ability to deliver with both bat and bowl. He did not bowl a single ball in the recently concluded test series and it would be a big blow if he cannot take on his role of all-rounder for the team. Not a lot is expected from this team that has failed to make a mark after winning the trophy in the inaugural year under the leadership of Shane Warne. The same can be said about Pune Warriors India as they flattered to deceive after topping the tables after a week or so into season last year. Ganguly is not expected to play as a player and only time will tell about Yuvraj’s form. The main players to watch out for are Steven Smith from Australia, Marlon Samuels, Sri Lankan all-rounder Angelo Matthews and without doubt their latest recruitment thanks to a trade, Ross Taylor.
The whole Mohali Kings 11 Punjab team can be said to be an enigma with bits and pieces player other than captain/keeper Adam Gilchrist who is himself in the twilight of his T20 career. To say the least, experts would be left pulling their hair out if Team Mohali makes it to the playoffs. Delhi Daredevils is a star studded team but they are like the South Africa of IPL as they tend to make it to the knockout stages but always fall short of the final goal.
Chennai SuperKings is without doubt the most consistent side in the IPL having won the trophy twice and making the knock out rounds in almost all the seasons. Watch out for the men in yellow as they try to take back what was taken from them in the finals last year. Led by captain cool Dhoni, riding high on recent success, the India stars such as Raina, Jadeja and Murali Vijay will look to dominate the bowlers from all the teams to take their team to the finals once again. Expect the Chennai SuperKings to make it to the playoffs again this year.
With all this said, there are 5 teams that are looking good and seem to be the main contenders for the title. KKR, Delhi Daredevils, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians and Bangalore Royal Challengers all seem pretty even in the power rankings. Even though Kings XI Punjab, Pune Warriors, Rajasthan Royals and Hyderabad Sunrisers all are considered outsiders, they are not far behind in terms of chances. We place the Mumbai Indians a little further ahead than the rest given their strong Australian roster and great additions to their staff. We think they will take the advantage in a tight race for the title as IPL 6 champions in 2013. If you believe in our prediction than you can place your cricket bet on Mumbai Indians to win the 6th edition of IPL 2013.
About The Author:
Adrian writes about and bets on cricket regularly. You can find his other betting predictions and tips on cricket at his websites cricket betting tips section. This site features articles on how to bet on cricket profitably and provide free cricket betting tips to lessen the workload in finding +EV bets.