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IPL 2018 preview

05 April 2018

The who, what, where and when of the most lucrative domestic T20 league in the world, with a look at the Renegades involved.

When does it start and how long does it go for?

The eleventh edition of the world’s most lucrative domestic cricket tournament, the Indian Premier League, is set to get underway from Saturday April 7 (12.30am April 8 for those on Australia’s eastern seaboard) when last year’s winners Mumbai Indians take on the newly reinstated Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The final is scheduled to take place on May 27 (that’s May 28 at 12.30am AEST), with the six-and-half-week tournament set to feature 60 games in that period, including four playoff matches for the top-four placed teams at the end of the regular season.

How can I follow it?

This year, fans fortunate enough to have a Foxtel subscription will be able to watch every game of the IPL live on Fox Sports. Cricket.com.au will also be providing live scores, news and video highlights from every match. 

What happened last year?

Veteran Aussie quick Mitchell Johnson added another memorable chapter to his cricket career after leading Mumbai to a thrilling win over Steve Smith’s Rising Pune Supergiant in a match that came down to the very last delivery. Tasked with defending an 11-run lead with six balls remaining, the former Test bowler stepped up to take two crucial wickets, including that of his former teammate in Smith, to guide Mumbai to a one-run win and their third IPL title.

What happened in this year’s auction?

A new broadcast deal that saw each club’s salary cap swell to a whopping AUD$16 million gave rise to the aptly named ‘mega auction’ ahead of IPL11, with plenty of Australians among the benefactors. Big Bash stars Chris Lynn ($1.86m), Glenn Maxwell ($1.75m), Andrew Tye ($1.4m), Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis ($1.2m apiece) were all among the big winners, while BBL Player of the Tournament D’Arcy Short also netted himself a $775k contract following his breakout season with the Hobart Hurricanes. Pace ace Pat Cummins ($1.05m) also cashed in while Ben Stokes ($2.4m), Jaydev Unadkat ($2.2m) Manish Pandey and KL Rahul ($2.1m each) were the biggest buys overall. 

Which Australians have been ruled out since?

Unfortunately, quite a few. Former Australia leadership duo Steve Smith and David Warner were banned from the tournament by the BCCI for their role in the highly-publicised ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. The pair had been set to captain the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively and had been retained for a whopping A$2.4m each. Mitchell Starc, who was picked up by Kolkata for A$1.8m, will miss the tournament for the third year in a row due to a tibial bone stress reaction in his right leg. Fellow quicks Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff have also been replaced by their franchises after failing to recover from back injuries that derailed their respective summers. Chris Lynn had been in doubt after re-injuring his troublesome shoulder in Australia’s tri-series win over New Zealand, though the power-hitter expects to be available for KKR’s season-opener on Sunday night.

Full squads and where the Renegades are:

Delhi Daredevils

Renegades connection: Glenn Maxwell's BBL career began with the Renegades in BBL01.  He top scored in the Gades first ever match.

Aussie watch: It's been a rollercoaster domestic summer for Glenn Maxwell, but the Victorian should return to the IPL full of confidence following an outstanding tournament on the subcontinent last year. After being handed the captaincy reigns to the Kings XI Punjab franchise, the mercurial allrounder struck 310 runs at a typically explosive strike rate of 173, before being snapped up by Ricky Ponting’s Daredevils in this year’s mega-auction. Known for his ability to turn a match with either the bat, ball or in the field, Maxwell is a fan favourite in India. The 29-year-old is joined by Victorian teammate Dan Christian, who was picked up for $291k. A typically solid BBL|07 campaign with the Hurricanes saw Christian accumulate 216 runs and 11 wickets, often late in the innings, with the 34-year-old likely be counted on for a similar role in the Daredevils’ middle-order.

Full squad: Gautam Gambhir (c), Abhishek Sharma, Avesh Khan, Trent Boult, Dan Christian, Sayan Ghosh, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Sandeep Laminchhane, Manjot Kalra, Glenn Maxwell, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Shabaz Nadeem, Naman Ojha, Rishabh Pant, Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Jason Roy, Vijay Shankar, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Jayant Yadav

Chennai Super Kings

Renegades connection: Dwayne Bravo has played 27 games for the Renegades and was the side's leading wicket taker in BBL|07.  South African Test captain Faf du Plessis also played one match for the Renegades in BBL|02.

Aussie watch: One of several squads light on Aussie flavour this year, but veteran Shane Watson could be a key player for the returning Super Kings side. An IPL veteran entering his tenth year of the tournament, Watson has been both a Player of the Tournament in a championship-winning side and captain of now-rivals the Rajasthan Royals. The 36-year-old comes into the tournament in good form after enjoying another productive season at the helm of the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, notching 331 runs at a strike rate of 140. It’s his leadership and experience that could prove the most valuable for the Chennai-based franchise.         

Full squad: MS Dhoni (c), KM Asif, Sam Billings, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Narayan Jagadeesan, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Lungi Ngidi, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mitchell Santner, Kanishk Seth, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Mark Wood

Kings XI Punjab

Renegades connection:  Aaron Finch is the Renegades most capped player and its current captain.  He has won the Renegades Player of the Season award four times in seven seasons. Finch will miss the first game of the tournament because of his wedding.  Kings XI Punjab will be coached by Brad Hodge who played alongside Finch in BBL|07.  West Indian power hitter Chris Gayle played eight games for the Renegades in BBL|05.

Aussie watch: The Kings XI will be banking on Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis and Andrew Tye to play a big part in their championship hopes after forking out a combined $3.7million in the Aussie trio. Their investment is well-founded; all three players are coming off standout performances for Australia in their most recent limited-overs campaigns. Surprise Australia T20I bolter Ben Dwarshuis is the latest in a line of young unheralded Aussie quicks to find themselves on the end of a healthy IPL payday following an impressive Big Bash campaign, with the Sydney Sixers left-armer picked up for $271k in the auction.

Full squad: Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Akshdeep Nath, Mayank Agarwal, Mayank Dagar, Ben Dwarshuis, Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle, Manzoor Dar, David Miller, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, Axar Patel, Lokesh Raul, Ankit Rajpoot, Pradeep Sahu, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran, Marcus Stoinis, Manoj Tiwary, Andrew Tye, Yuvraj Singh


Kolkata Knight Riders

Renegades connection: West Indian spinner Sunil Narine was set to re-join the Renegades for the BBL|07 campaign but pulled out on the eve of the tournament.  He picked up 13 wickets in BBL|06.

Aussie watch: Kolkata Knight Riders’ management would have felt their hearts sink after seeing their $1.86m acquisition Chris Lynn go down clutching his troublesome shoulder following a diving effort in the field against New Zealand back in February. However after extensive rehabilitation work the Big Bash star is confident he should be right to go for KKR’s season-opener this weekend - though how close he’s able to get to his destructive best remains to be seen. Meanwhile, former Test quick Mitchell Johnson looks a bargain at $388k following Mitchell Starc’s withdrawal from the tournament, particularly after another stellar Big Bash campaign for the Perth Scorchers made it clear he still has plenty of pace left in him. 

Full squad: Dinesh Karthik, Piyush Chawla, Cameron Delport, Ishank Jaggi, Mitchell Johnson, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Javon Searles, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Robin Uthappa, Vinay Kumar, Apporv Wankhade

Mumbai Indians

Renegades connection: Kieron Pollard joined the Renegades for the final stages of BBL|07, including the side's narrow final loss to Adelaide.

Aussie watch: Fresh off his first injury-free run in the past five years, Pat Cummins has been in sensational form for Australia over the past nine months and his new IPL side will be hoping that translates to the T20 arena. Capable of sending down 145kph-plus thunderbolts and more than handy with the both the bat and in the field, it’s not hard to see how the 24-year-old fetched a price tag totalling seven figures at the auction. Meanwhile, Brisbane Heat allrounder Ben Cutting provides valuable middle-order depth for the defending IPL champions. 

Full squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Akila Dananjaya, JP Duminy, Ishan Kishan, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Sharad Lumba, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McCleaghan, Moshin Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, MD Nidheesh, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Pradeep Sangwan, Tajinder Singh, Aditya Tare, Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav, Pragyan Ojha

Rajasthan Royals

Renegades connection: England internationals Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes both had stints with the Renegades.  Buttler played five matches in BBL|03.  He made 130 runs at the impressive strike rate of 151.  Stokes played four games in BBL|04 and averaged 32 with the bat.

Aussie watch: After losing their captain Steve Smith due to the South Africa ball-tampering scandal, Rajasthan will be hoping D’Arcy Short can be one of a number of players to help pick up the slack for the fallen Australian star. Short was the clear standout of BBL|07 after smashing a maiden T20 century and two other scores in the nineties to finish with 572 runs and Player of the Tournament honours. Two half-centuries at international level will have only added to the 27-year-old's confidence as he looks to replicate his domestic dominance on the subcontinent. Death-bowling specialist Ben Laughlin looks to be a good value buy for the Royals at $97,000 fresh off a championship-winning season with the Adelaide Strikers.

Full squad: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Ankit Sharma, Anureet Singh, Jofra Archer, Stuart Binny, Aryaman Birla, Jos Buttler, Dushmantha Chameera, Prashant Chopra, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ben Laughlin, Mahipal Lomror, Sudhesan Midhun, Sanju Samson, Jatin Saxena, D’Arcy Short, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Jaydev Unadkat, Zahir Khan

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Aussie watch: None

Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Moeen Ali, Corey Anderson, Murugan Aswhin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Aniknet Choudhary, Colin de Grandhomme, Quinton de Kock, Pavan Deshpande, AB de Villiers, Aniruddha Joshi, Sarfaraz Khan, Kulwant Khejroliya, Brendon McCullum, Mandeep Singh, Mohammed Siraj, Pawan Negi, Parthiv Patel, Navdeep Saini, Tim Southee, Manan Vohra, Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Renegades connection: Mohammad Nabi was one of the Renegades best in BBL|07.  He conceded just 5.76 runs per over and produced a match winning 52 in the Derby against the Stars.  Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan played four games with the Renegades in BBL|04.

Aussie watch: Billy Stanlake is the lone Aussie in the Sunrisers squad after the club lost captain David Warner to the events of Cape Town last week. The towering paceman played in just two matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore last season, but is set to build on that tally after emerging as one of the pre-eminent quicks in BBL|07. Capable of extracting steepling bounce off a length and the ability to rush even the most in-form batsman, a strong IPL 11 campaign could see the 23 year-old’s rapidly rising stock skyrocket even further. 

Full squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tanmay Agarwal, Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi, Ricky Bhui, Bipul Sharma, Carlos Brathwaite, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreevats Goswami, Mehdi Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Siddarth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Nabi, T Natarajan, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Sachin Baby, Wriddhiman Saha, Sandeep Sharma, Shakib Al Hasan, Billy Stanlake