The IPL 2019 season is set to begin on March 23. Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the season opener at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. All eight squads possess plenty of firepower in them to put on what should be an enthralling season.
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Led by Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians boast of a settled squad for the 2019 IPL season. In Jasprit Bumrah and the Pandya brothers, they have Indian T20 team regulars. All eyes will be on Yuvraj Singh as the veteran looks to wind back the clock. In Kiwis Mitchell McClenaghan and Adam Milne, Mumbai have a couple of reliable pacers.
Defending champions Chennai Super Kings have retained the vast majority of the squad which had won the title in 2018. Captain MS Dhoni will be eager to come out all guns blazing and head into the World Cup on the back of a solid IPL season. The well-oiled unit have adequate depth in all departments of the game.
Captained by the irresistible Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers Bangalore will be aiming to break their title drought in the IPL. Having retired from international cricket, the onus will be on AB de Villiers to bat at his absolute best. They have taken huge punts on big-hitters like Shimron Hetmyer and Shivam Dube. Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav bring experience and quality to the pace attack.
Delhi Capitals have to be one of the most eagerly watched teams this time around. They possess plenty of exciting young Indian batting talent at their disposal. Having traded Shikhar Dhawan into their squad, the revamped franchise can unleash a strong lineup. Overseas pacers Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada headline a world-class seam attack.
Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders will be raring to take a shot at obtaining their third title in 2019. They had lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier last year. This time around, KKR have the team to go even further. The likes of Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn can form a solid batting lineup. The Caribbean duo of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine can win matches with both bat and ball.
Ajinkya Rahane will lead Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2019. Steve Smith is racing against time to recover from the elbow injury and regain full fitness ahead of the tournament. There may also be doubts regarding the potency of the lineup when Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler leave the tournament to join England's pre-World Cup training camp in early May. However, the Royals will be banking on their express pacers such as Varun Aaron and Oshane Thomas.
All the focus on Kings XI Punjab will revolve around their formidable spin contingent. In Ravichandran Ashwin, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and new entrant Varun Chakravarthy, they contain a diverse and deadly spin attack. Indian pacer Mohammed Shami has also returned to top form in white-ball cricket. The likes of David Miller, KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran lend enormous firepower to the batting lineup.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad will welcome the return of David Warner after the Australian had missed the 2018 IPL season due to a suspension. Kane Williamson leads a reliable contingent featuring proven performers like Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The signing of the hard-hitting Martin Guptill also provides muscle to their top-order.