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IPL 2017: 5 most balanced squads in the tournament

A look at some of the best line-ups on paper heading into this year's IPL.

Chris Woakes
Kolkata got their hands on Chris Woakes for a third of the price that Ben Stokes went for

The IPL auction was an interesting affair with players like Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills getting their dream deals. There were snubs like in the case of Ishant Sharma and some fascinating underdog stories, like in the case of T Natarajan and Mohammed Siraj.

Some teams got what they wanted whilst some had to make do with whatever was left. The first IPL where MS Dhoni, the most successful captain in domestic T20, will not be captaining a side is building up to be an interesting one given the number of shuffles that have taken place and the number of new players inducted.

Extra Cover: IPL 2017 Team Squads and full list of players sold with price after auctions

While it is too early to call which team will take the silverware home, it is not a bad time to look at which squad has the most balance. Here’s the top 5 in my opinion.

#1 Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR is one of the few teams that understands and also exhibits business sense over euphoria and mass hysteria when it comes to buying players. Rarely do they splurge, often picking awesome deals by requesting for players not picked the first time in the auctions. They have done amazingly well in their strategy and will continue to do so.

Even this year, they picked a high-value player like Chris Woakes, one of England’s shining points during the England tour for a third of Ben Stokes’ price. KKR have the quality of Trent Boult, Woakes and Nathan Coulter-Nile with the ball along with spinners like Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav.

Extra Cover: KKR team 2017: Full list of players bought by Kolkata Knight Riders

They have accumulators in Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey, two Indian players equally capable of steering matches and coming up with the big shots. While Yusuf Pathan has the X-Factor, KKR also have the experience of Shakib Al Hasan. Umesh Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, Robin Uthappa and the promising Ankit Rajpoot ensure that their Indian contingent is impressive and that the team is not dependent on its foreign players to pull through.

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