Ed Hawkins covers the ins and outs, probable XIs, best bat/bowler bets and squad strengths for the IPL...
"RCB could return to a chop-and-change strategy. They are in danger of being usurped by Rajasthan for qualification"
Batting rank: 2
Bowling rank: =3
*Most top bat returns: Shreyas Iyer 30%
*Most top bowler returns: Kagiso Rabada 59%
In: Ben Dwarshius
Out: Chris Woakes
Probable XI: Dhawan, Shaw, Smith, Iyer, Pant, Stoinis, Axar, Ashwin, Rabada, Ishant, Avesh
Problem-solved XI: Dhawan, Shaw, Iyer, Pant, Stoinis, Billings, Axar, Ashwin, Rabada, Ishant, Avesh
Squad: Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Anrich Nortje, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Lukman Hussain Meriwala, M Siddharth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Pravin Dubey, Vishnu Vinod, Ben Dwarshius
Analysis: Delhi have got stronger during the enforced break. Which is quite something. Shreyas Iyer has returned from injury, ironing out their once concern: a vulnerable middle-order. They have all basis covered and should be very hard to stop. Ravi Ashwin might reckon he has something to prove, too. Steve Smith is a potential game clogger.
Batting rank: 1
Bowling rank: =3
Most top bat returns: Faf Du Plessis 36%
Most top bowler returns: Imran Tahir 40%
Probable XI: Gaikwad, Du Plessis, Moeen, Raina, Rayudu, Jadeja, S Curran, MS Dhoni, Thakur, Chahar, Tahir
Problem-solved XI: Gaikwad, Du Plessis, Moeen, Raina, Rayudu, Jadeja, S Curran, Thakur, MS Dhoni, Chahar, Tahir
Squad: Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Narayan Jagadeesabn, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, K Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M.Harisankar Reddy, K.Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth, R Sai Kishore, Josh Hazlewood
Analysis: Chennai are well-equipped for spinning wickets. They always have been. Expect Imran Tahir to be increasingly important meaning, sadly for our pre-tournament interest in Lungi Ngidi's wickets, he may well have to make way. Faf Du Plessis's return to form in the CPL was a major boost until he injured a groin. He may not be fit for the re-start. Moeen Ali and his flashing blade has almost single-handed transformed their batting power.
Batting rank: 4
Bowling rank: 6
Most top bat returns: Virat Kohli 34%
Most top bowler returns: Yuz Chahal 48%
In: Tim David, Dushmantha Chameera, Wanindu Hasaranga, George Garton
Out: Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Finn Allen, Scott Kuggeleijn
Probable XI: Paddikal, Kohli, Maxwell, De Villiers, Azharudeen/Baby, Jamieson, Hasaranga, Harshal, Chahal, Siraj, Saini
Problem-solved XI: Padikal, Kohli, Maxwell, De Villiers, David, Hasaranga, Shahbaz, Harshal, Chahal, Siraj, Saini
Squad: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Paddikkal, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pavan Deshpande, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyesh Prabhudessai, KS Bharat, Tim David, Dushmantha Chameera, Wanindu Hasaranga
Analysis: The finger injury to Washington Sundar is a bigger blow than it might look. Sundar balanced an XI which, as ever, is hamstring by much of the domestic batting budget being spent on Virat Kohli. They have to find a homegrown No 5. Maybe even a No 6, too because Kyle Jamieson looks far too high. No side has lost more players and that could hurt. Wanindu Hasaranga is an excellent capture, however. Likewise Tim David but it's a struggle to get the best players in their best positions. No doubt RCB could return to a chop-and-change strategy. They are in danger of being usurped by Rajasthan for qualification.
Batting rank: =5
Bowling rank: 1
Most top bat returns: Quinton de Kock 28%
Most top bowler returns: Trent Boult 40%
Probable XI: Rohit, De Kock, Suryakumar, Ishan, Pollard, Hardik, Krunal, Chahar, Milne, Bumrah, Boult
Alternative XI: Rohit, De Kock, Suryakumar, Ishan, Pollard, Hardik, Krunal, Coulter-Nile, Chahar, Bumrah, Boult
Squad: Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn, Mohsin Khan, Saurabh Tiwary, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar
Analysis: Mumbai's batting was not up to scratch in the first leg. Surely it returns to full power here? They remain a superbly balanced XI, albeit the No 8 position is a bit of a worry. Adam Milne's form in The Hundred further improves the best bowling unit in the competition. The problem is that they are often slow starters in competitions and they looked like they were tuning up okay before the break. Now they need time to find their rhythm and that could be costly.
Batting rank: 3
Bowling rank: 8
Most top bat returns: Sanju Samson 23%
Most top bowler returns: Shreyas Gopal 48%
In: Glenn Philips, Tabraiz Shamsi, Oshane Thomas, Evin Lewis
Out: Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes
Probable XI: Vohra, Lewis, Samson, Livingstone, Parag, Tewatia, Morris, Shamsi, Sakariya, Unadakat, Tyagi
Alternative XI: Jaiswal, Lewis, Samson, Livingstone, Dube, Parag, Tewatia, Morris, Gopal, Mustafizur, Unadkat
Squad: Sanju Samson, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahim, Chetan Sakariya, K.C. Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh, Glenn Phillips
Analysis: Rajasthan were the surprise package. They were expected to struggle but were in with a shout of the play-offs before postponement. On bowling ranks, it's a puzzle. They are the least efficient team in the field. The signing of Tabraiz Shamsi could help with that although the truth is they still badly miss Jofra Archer. Evin Lewis for Jos Buttler is a good move but Nos 5-6-7 puts pressure on the top order. Liam Livingstone is effectively an 'in' though so they are improved. In Lewis and Livingstone they have two players who are bang in form.
Batting rank: 7
Bowling rank: 2
Most top bat returns: KL Rahul 39%
Most top bowler returns: Mohammad Shami 64%
In: Nathan Ellis, Adil Rashid, Aiden Markram
Out: Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith, Dawid Malan
Probable XI: Rahul, Agarwal, Gayle, Pooran, Hooda, Shahrukh, Harpreet, Jordan, Rashid, Shami, Arshdeep
Problem-solved: XI Rahul, Agarwal, Gayle, Pooran, Hooda, Shahrukh, Harpreet, Allen, Jordan, Shami, Arshdeep
Squad: KL Rahul (c), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Dawid Malan, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar, Nathan Ellis
Analysis: Kings had a real opportunity to fix their squad issues but they have fudged it. Blessed with an army of good spinners, they decided to bring another in Adil Rashid when they required another all-rounder. Otherwise they have gone like-for-like on with Aiden Markram for Dawid Malan and Nathan Ellis for Jhye Richardson. Neither are an upgrade. They have hope, though, because Nic Pooran has returned to form after a disastrous first half of the season and KL Rahul is fit, of course, after he suffered appendicitis. They should still be tight in the field.
Batting rank: 5
Bowling rank: 7
Most top bat returns: Shubman Gill 25%
Most top bowler returns: Varun Chakravarthy 57%
In: Tim Southee
Out: Pat Cummins
Probable XI: Gill, Rana, Tripathi, Morgan, Russell, Karthik, Narine, Harbhajan, Ferguson, Chakravarthy, Mavi
Alternative XI: Gill, Narine, Tripathi, Shakib, Russell, Morgan, Karthik, Negi, Ferguson, Warrier, Chakravarthy
Squad: Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Pawan Negi, Tim Seifert, Shakib al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer
Analysis: KKR are not expected to challenge. They were a mess before the break and they are in a bigger mess after. Pat Cummins helped balance the XI but his replacement, Tim Southee, shouldn't be anywhere near the best franchise league in the world. They have consistently been leaky in the field over the last few years and Southee won't help with that. A team to take on bowling first with heavy runscoring expected against the, It could well pay to go to the extremes at big numbers on the innings runs lines early on.
Batting rank: 8
Bowling rank: =3
Most top bat returns: David Warner 32%
Most top bowler returns: Rashid Khan 45%
In: Sherfane Rutherford
Out: Jonny Bairstow
Probable XI: Warner, Saha, Pandey, Williamson, Samad, Nabi, Rashid, Kumar, Natarajan, Khaleel, Sandeep
Problem-solved XI: Rashid, Saha, Pandey, Williamson, Samad, Nabi, Rutherford, Kumar, Natarajan, Khaleel, Sandeep
Squad: Kane Williamson, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Basil Thampi, Jason Holder, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedar Yadav, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Jason Roy
Analysis: One has to fear that Sunrisers will turn up and just go through the motions. They are rock-bottom despite boasting an excellent bowling record. The issue is their batting recruitment. They have one domestic batter who would get into another IPL team - Manish Pandey. And only just. Sunrisers' squad is full of players who slow them down and they absolutely have to give Abdul Samad his head. David Warner, replaced as skip and dropped, probably comes straight back in. It would be smarter to bolster the middle-order with new signing Sherfane Rutherford.
*Two-year study period, minimum 10 games
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Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l