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7 Things To Look Forward To: IPL 2024

Things to look forward to in IPL 2024

March 12, 2024

With the 17th edition of the Indian Premier League set to kick off in less than a fortnight, here are some things to look forward to this season. 

#7 Will Pat Cummins help Hyderabad tap into their potential? 

For a team that had all the ingredients to have a fruitful season last year yet finished bottom of the pile, the SunRisers Hyderabad only needed to find a couple of established Indian players and a decent leader to guide them. 

Although they did get a proven leader by roping in World Cup-winning captain Pat Cummins for more than ?20 crore, the SRH did the exact opposite when they splurged the cash on more international players instead of domestic talent.

On paper, the current SRH setup remains a 4 out of 5, but Pat Cummins might just be able to galvanise this group and help the players deliver on their potential. 

#6 Can Rishabh Pant’s return inspire Delhi towards a Playoffs push? 

Similar to the SunRisers, the Delhi Capitals endured a horrid 2023 season. The 2020 finalists only won five games last year as they finished ninth in the league table. Without their charismatic leader and power hitter in Rishabh Pant, Delhi struggled on all ends. 

With Pant back in the middle order, the likes of David Warner and Mitch Marsh will have the licence to play with freedom, giving back this DC line-up its explosiveness. However, the Capitals bowling attack has seen better days. Most of their seamers are injury-prone and, in all honesty, they don’t look very potent either.

Looking at recent history, making the Playoffs this year will still be an uphill, though not impossible, battle for the DC. 

#5 Will Bangalore’s lack of experienced Indian bowlers come back to haunt them? 

The Royal Challengers’ star-studded batting line-up is right up there as one of the best in the tournament, but it comes at a heavy price. Given that the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium hasn’t historically been kind to the home side (P: 77 | W: 33 | L: 43 | NR: 1), their lack of quality spin bowlers and an inexperienced domestic fast-bowling contingent mean the RCB will have to chase down almost every score put in front of them. 

Bangalore only have the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, and Karn Sharma as their primary spin options, while their Indian seamers quota raises few spirits barring the likes of Mohammed Siraj and up-and-coming pacer Akash Deep. 

Moreover, with Faf du Plessis, Maxwell, and Cameroon Green almost guaranteed to start every game, it leaves Reece Topley, Tom Curran, Alzarri Joseph, and Lockie Ferguson to fight it out for the fourth overseas player slot. 

#4 With no Shami, no Rashid, and a new skipper, where do Gujarat go? 

After two extraordinary campaigns, the Gujarat Titans look somewhat weakened ahead of the 2024 season. With Hardik Pandya having left the side to join former employers Mumbai Indians as their new captain, Shubman Gill has been appointed as the new Titans skipper.

However, his first season in charge will be far from a smooth sail. Mohammed Shami has already been ruled out for the season, while Afghan star Rashid Khan is in a race against time to get fit as he recovers from a lower-back injury.  

To fill the Pandya-shaped hole, the Titans have invested heavily in Shahrukh Khan, having also roped in Afghan all-rounder Azmatullah Omarzai for ?50 lakh as a back-up option. In the bowling department, the addition of Spencer Johnson also looks promising given his performances in the last BBL season.

On paper, the GT should at least challenge for the Playoffs. However, tournaments are seldom won on a sheet of paper.  

#3 Can the triumvirate of Gambhir, Iyer, and Starc rejuvenate Kolkata’s fortunes? 

The Kolkata Knight Riders have their two-time IPL-winning captain Gautam Gambhir back with them as a mentor. Having led the Lucknow Super Giants to the Playoffs twice, Gambhir will be hoping to weave his magic at the Gardens again. 

The return of Shreyas Iyer gives the KKR middle order that much-needed stability, and with the recent BCCI contract snub, a hungry Iyer will be quite the lethal weapon in Gambhir’s arsenal.

Apart from making excellent back-up additions throughout their squad, the Knight Riders were also able to add an X factor to their bowling line-up in the form of Mitchell Starc. 

Thus, with their squad looking much more stable and well-rounded than the previous season, the Knight Riders look set to have one of their better campaigns this time round. 

#2 Will Thala weave his magic one more time? 

MS Dhoni will be making a return to playing professional cricket for the first time since last year’s IPL final. Having undergone another knee surgery, this may very well be his last hurrah. The Super Kings are also in a much better shape with the addition of key players during the 2023 mini-auction. 

The CSK management and Dhoni have tried to plug as many holes as possible. Even with the likes of Devon Conway and Matheesha Pathirana set to miss the first leg of the tournament, Chennai have able replacements in Rachin Ravindra and Mustafizur Rahman to fill in as and when required. 

Moreover, the addition of Daryl Mitchell and Sameer Rizvi gives the CSK more flexibility in the middle order. All things considered, there’s no reason why they can’t go on to defend their crown.  

#1 Can Hardik Pandya earn his troops’ respect to deliver Mumbai their sixth title? 

The Mumbai Indians hierarchy shocked the Indian cricket community by announcing Hardik Pandya as their new captain for the 2024 IPL season and beyond, especially given the fact that Rohit Sharma has successfully led the team to five IPL titles since becoming their captain back in 2013. 

The current MI squad is definitely strong enough to go all the way. The addition of Dilshan Madushanka, Nuwan Thushara, and Gerald Coetzee gives them much-needed firepower in the bowling department. They’ve also roped in Shreyas Gopal and Mohammad Nabi to bolster their spin department, which was a matter of concern for them last year. 

With the sudden change in dynamics, it will be interesting to see how the MI fare in the field given the influence Sharma has had on the development of so many players in the current squad, including Pandya. If they’re able to work well with the new dynamics, the MI will be one of the contenders for the trophy this time round. 

Rahul Saha

An engineer taking the road less taken. I love writing, live and breathe football, and am always up for a tactical conversation.

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