IPL 2019: Probable First Match Playing XIs of all eight teams
Indian Premier League is back to enthral the cricketing fraternity with yet another entertaining edition. The first match of the brand new season is set to be held on March 23, 2019, between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Chennai Super Kings will start the tournament as the defending champions.
Unlike the previous eleven editions, not all of the international stars would be available on a full-time basis with the World Cup 2019 on the horizon. This has forced the franchises to invest on players who are available for the full duration of the tournament, paving for more young talent to break through the barriers and establish themselves as household names.
With a lot at stake for all eight franchises, the manner in which they start is going to determine the rest of their campaign, making it even more crucial to get their combination right for the very start.
Here are the probable XIs of all eight franchises in the IPL for their first match in this year's Indian Premier League.
#1. Chennai Super Kings
23/3/19 - Royal Challengers Bangalore (Home)
Chennai Super Kings, the defending champions are back in Chennai after being forced to move away for the Chepauk last year and would be looking to continue from where they left off last year.
With the Chepauk proving to be a high-scoring venue in recent times with spin playing a major part as well, CSK will head into this match as the favourites with all of their eleven players capped at the international level.
Although Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir and Lungi Ngidi's participation in the first match is still a doubt due to their ongoing Sri Lankan assignment, CSK still boast of the most well-rounded team in the competition. Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson are set to open the batting, provided Faf du Plessis isn't available for the match.
Watson was recently adjudged man-of-the-tournament in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League 2019 and will be looking to build on his stellar debut year with CSK, for whom he scored two centuries in the competition. Following them is the Indian trio of Suresh Raina, Kedhar Jadhav and captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who are capable of taking the game away from the opposition with their clever batting.
Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo are the designated all-rounder while CSK have a relatively long tail with Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur also capable of hitting a few boundaries when required. Imran Tahir and Lungi Ngidi could start in the XI if available with the likes of Mitchell Santner and David Willey available as backup options for the Super Kings.
Possible XI: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(WK&C), Kedhar Jadhav, Sam Billings/David Willey, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Mitchell Santner and Shardul Thakur/Mohit Sharma.