The 12th season of the premier cricket league of India, VIVO IPL 2019 is set to create some challenging T20 cricket spread over a period of 2 months. It will feature some promising young talents who will look ahead to create a positive impression on the selectors and aim to leave a mark in the lucrative tournament. Uncapped players such as Shivam Dube, Nitish Rana, Varun Chakravarthy wielding heavy wallets at the auctions aim to prove their mettle by competing against some of the biggest name in the sport. Similar to Shane Watson, the star performer during the final of the previous edition of the league, foreign players would be keen on to create an impact for their respective franchisee and turn out to be a match winner. It would be a challenging and continuous task throughout the tournament for the team management to pick the ideal Playing XI, who outperforms the opponent team on any odd day. Vital in the shortest format, the opening pairs are considered to be the back-bone of the team. The 8 teams in the competition aim to capitalize and strengthen the same before going into the league stage. The opening pairs are likely to take the maximum advantage of the batting powerplay and thus create an impact in the match.
1. Mumbai Indians – Rohit Sharma, Evin Lewis Quinton De Kock, Suryakumar Yadav
The first team having won the title thrice begin the chase for another trophy in their cabinet on 24th March, 2019 at their home ground, Wankhede Stadium where it will face Delhi Capitals. Having opened with Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav in the previous edition, Rohit Sharma is set to bring good fortunes for MI this season with the fact being of the only cricketer in the world, having scored 4 T20I centuries, all of which coming as an opener. Quinton De Kock, on the other end proves to be a huge boost in the team with his various abilities including that of alternative opening option, middle-order batsmen and his behind the stumps ability.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) March 19, 2019
2. Sunrisers Hyderabad- David Warner and Kane Williamson
Having missed the entire previous season due to his ban, SRH highest run-getter of all time, David Warner is likely to fill the missing service of Shikhar Dhawan for his team in this season. Pairing with the Kiwi skipper, Kane Williamson, the duo foreign master-strokers stands the ability to bag the 3rd title for the Hyderabad franchisee. Leading to its maiden title in 2016, Kane’s contribution of 69 runs off 38 balls against RCB and Warner bagging the orange cap in 2015 despite the team failing to qualify for knock-out, the lethal combination is likely to play a major role in IPL 2019.
3. Rajasthan Royals- Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane & Rahul Tripathi
The biggest strength for the Rajasthan Royals is the availability of multiple opening batting combinations. With Rahul Tripathi as the back-up opener, who gathered 391 runs from 12 matches playing for Rising Pune Supergiants, an extra cushion will prove advantageous for the Royals to shift gears from the regular pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Jos Butler with the latter being more aggressive.
4. Kolkata Knight Riders- Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine & Joe Denly
Having finished on the 3rd spot in IPL 2018 with 8 wins in 14 matches, the Riders need to spot the ideal opening top order to capitalize the collective combination of youth and experience in their squad. With Lynn and Narine seems to be an explosive opening option, Joe Denly, player from Kenty County Cricket Club who was bought at base price of INR 1 crore cannot be ignored for the spot in the absence of Chris Lynn.
5. Chennai Super Kings- Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Faf Du Plessis
Having the most versatile squad in the competition, MS Dhoni- led “Whistle Podu” squad have great ability to defend their IPL title. With Watson & Rayudu amassing a total of 1157 runs in the previous edition as the opening pair with the former playing one of his best knocks in the final, CSK proves to be one of the biggest threat for the opponent bowling unit to get rid of its openers. Faf might be considered to open the innings as Rayudu might be considered to bat in the middle owing to his flexible hitting.
6. Royal Challengers Bangalore- Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli
The duo is most likely to having face the new ball in this season, similar to the previous edition. Kohli has the ability to explode as well as play a role of anchor holding the other end as per the situation. With the death bowling options for RCB seeming to be fragile, the duo certainly have a bigger role to undertake right from the start of season.
7. Kings XI Punjab- Mayank Agarwal and Lokesh Rahul
An unbeaten 85-run knock by Mayank Agarwal in the final of Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament which guided Karnataka to the title will make the batsman confident when he represents Kings XI in the forthcoming season. The leading run-getter for his team and ranking third overall in the previous edition, KL Rahul will be eyeing for a maiden title for his team and thereby hop onto the flight to England alongwith the Indian cricket team for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.
8. Delhi Capitals- Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw
With former captain, Sourav Ganguly taking up advisory role with the IPL franchise and the left-handed batsman, Shikhar Dhawan back to his home city after a span of 10 years, Delhi Capitals will harbour hopes of claiming its 1st ever title with high hopes on the the regular Indian openers of both the senior and U-19 squad.