Lynn, Stokes and the stars who could set the IPL alight
Who will be the star players at the 2017 IPL? See who we are tipping to play an important role for each team.
The 2017 Indian Premier League begins when defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday.
This year's auction added to the excitement levels around the competition with a number of new faces set to make their IPL bow, while the biggest names remain for what will be the 10th edition of the tournament.
We run the rule over who the most influential player could prove to be for each of the eight sides.
Delhi Daredevils – Pat Cummins
After more than five years in the Test cricket wilderness, fast-bowler Cummins displayed his prowess on the subcontinent during Australia's tour of India last month. In his first international Test innings since November 2011, Cummins took figures of 4-106 – including the scalps of opener KL Rahul and captain Virat Kohli – in the drawn match in Ranchi and added another for-four in Dharamsala.
Gujarat Lions – Brendon McCullum
More brutal, big-hitting innings will be expected from former New Zealand captain McCullum this year. He was outscored by team-mates Suresh Raina and Aaron Finch last year but was the fourth-highest run scorer in the most recent edition of the Big Bash League, proving his advancing years have done little to dampen his destructive capacity.
Kings XI Punjab – Glenn Maxwell
One of the most exciting batsmen in the shortest format, Maxwell can pull any type of shot out of the bag to get the better of a bowling attack. His flamboyant, confident style is always a crowd pleaser, and Kings XI will be looking for him to lead an improvement on their woeful display in 2016, when they finished bottom of the table. But Maxwell is more than just a vibrant batsman, also providing off-spin that makes him a deadly all-rounder.
Kolkata Knight Riders – Chris Lynn
'Lynnsantiy' well and truly gripped the BBL in 2016-17. Lynn was in sensational form for Brisbane Heat, matching the tournament record for the most sixes in a single innings with 11 maximums en route to an unbeaten 98 against Perth Scorchers – the best score in the edition. The 26-year-old averaged a whopping 154.5 in Australia, and if he can replicate that form the Knight Riders have every shot of making the play-offs again.
Mumbai Indians – Rohit Sharma
Rohit has spent five months out recovering from thigh and knee injuries, consequently missing India's series against England and Australia. The IPL provides a comeback of sorts, and he will be eager to make a big impact and provide a reminder of his rich talent. Finding his limited-overs form is key for Rohit with the ICC Champions Trophy coming up in three months.
Rising Pune Supergiants – Ben Stokes
It will be a debut IPL campaign for Stokes, and expectations will be high due to his status as the most expensive foreign player in the tournament's history after he landed a US$2.1 million deal to play for the Supergiants. The England international all-rounder is a proven performer in all formats, and Pune will be hoping his aggressive style can lift them to an improvement on five wins from their 14 matches last year.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Tymal Mills
Bangalore possess one of the most star-studded line-ups in the IPL, with Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle all on their books, but much of the attention will be on Mills. The left-arm quick was purchased for US$1.8m, with Stokes the only foreigner to have gone for a greater sum. It is quite the turnaround for the 24-year-old, who two years ago feared he may have to quit the game prematurely due to a serious back condition.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – Mustafizur Rahman
Mustafizur is undoubtedly one of the most promising specialist bowlers in international cricket. The 21-year-old left-armer shone in his debut season in 2016, taking 17 wickets in 16 innings with best figures of 3-16. With 23 dismissals in 15 Twenty20 internationals too, the fast bowler – who will miss the opening match against RCB due to his participation in Bangladesh's tour of Sri Lanka – will no doubt prove a pivotal component for Hyderabad as they look to mount a successful defence of the title they won last year.