IPL 2019: 3 IPL teams and the biggest problem they face
We are just a couple of months away from the start of the 2019 IPL season, and the excitement has already started building up. After the auctions two weeks ago, each team in the league has a semblance of a workable XI, and much will depend on whether some part of the tournament will be played outside India.
A few teams, however, seem to have glaring problems in their squad. Here is a look at 3 such teams and the significant obstacle they face:
Perennial under-performers Delhi are a changed franchise. With the tournament's strongest explosive Indian batting core and a bunch of reliable all-rounders, Delhi seem to have the right team on paper.
They have rechristened themselves as Delhi Capitals ahead of the 2019 season. But will a new name change their fortunes, or will Delhi again be handed the wooden spoon?
Problem? Delhi might have bid big for T20 specialists Colin Ingram and handy Indian all-rounder Axar Patel, but there is a piece missing in this puzzle: the sheer lack of good quality Indian pacers.
They seem to have tried a quick fix with veteran Ishant Sharma and youngster Avesh Khan, but there is still no proven Indian quick to bowl along with the dynamic duo of Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada.
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB are a team that have come so close yet have always remained so far.
They have always had an interesting squad though, and this year is no different. The backbone is stronger then ever with Virat Kohli, a man that never fails to disappoint, and AB de Villiers, Mr. 360 himself. With strong back-ups and a dangerous mix of youthful and experienced bowlers, RCB seem to have a well-rounded unit this time.
Will Kohli's men finally lift the long awaited trophy, or will they once again fail to impress?
Problem? RCB might have spent good money for game-changing middle order batsman Shimron Hetmyer and fast-evolving young Indian all-rounder Shivam Dube, but their biggest problem continues to plague them: the absence of more than one quality Indian batsman. RCB still need to answer the question about which Indian batsman, apart from King Kohli, can take them to the finish line.
3. Rajasthan Royals
The Royals from Rajasthan have built a strong squad with international superstars supplemented by young talented Indians. With the likes of Steven Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer, they have four cricketers that can single-handedly win you a match.
The captain's contributions (Smith and Ajinkya Rahane) might have been up to the mark so far in the league, but towards the end of last season RR were getting it right. So the question beckons: will Shane Warne, this time as coach, take Rajasthan to glory once again?
Problem? RR might have got back the skilled Jaydev Unadkat at a slight discount and fiery Windies quick Oshane Thomas, but come May they might still find themselves in a bit of trouble: When the 'fantastic four' are called back for World Cup duty, what happens? RR need to think long and hard about whether the internationals departure will also be theirs.