Injuries update April 3rd, 2017! IPL campaigns in 2016 were ruined by several withdrawals and they can affect your bet as the tournament wears on. After the auction, we ranked the teams in order, based on their purchases but with some sides having already been affected by withdrawals, how are they shaping up right now?
1. Sunrisers Hyderabad: Previously ranked in second place, we’ve moved 2016 Champions the Sunrisers into top slot as they have so far kept their initial squad. Injuries have yet to hit David Warner’s side and, as they retained much of the team that won the trophy 12 months ago, they now have a narrow advantage over the franchise that slips into second place.
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore: RCB are notorious slow starters so some would argue that Virat Kohli’s absence at the beginning of the campaign won’t affect their chances. However this is Kohli – the man who scored nearly 1,000 runs at IPL 9 and while comments on his injury are hopeful, there is no definite date regarding his return to the squad.
And, you have to take out KL Rahul who has been reliable when the others have failed at the top of the order. Yes, we still have De Villiers but the South African has endured injury issues in the last 12 months while it remains to be seen whether Tymal Mills can make it through such a long tournament. Right now, RCB look shaky.
3. Mumbai Indians: Mumbai have also moved up a place even though they will be without Tim Southee for the start of the tournament. The Kiwi brings great pace and some big hitting down the order but there should be enough cover with Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell McLenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga in the squad.
Mumbai were looking strong and misfortune elsewhere has strengthened their position.
4. Rising Pune Supergiants: Pune seemed cursed last season with injuries striking down several key players and further blows will see Mitchell Marsh and R Ashwin miss the entire campaign. We’ve therefore moved the Supergiants down a place and while that is clearly bad news, they have moved quickly to replace those players with Imran Tahir and Nathan Lyon.
It was a huge surprise to see Tahir, who was number one ranked T20 and ODI bowler miss out on an initial slot so this makes sense. Lyon isn’t Ashwin however so Pune have slipped down the list.
5. Kolkata Knight Riders: Up one place are KKR, who are largely unscathed, even though Umesh Yadav will miss the opening exchanges. We were unconvinced about their purchases, suggesting they had overspent on Chris Woakes while making too many changes from what was a settled side but injuries elsewhere may help their quest for a top four place.
6. Gujarat Lions: Ashwin and Jadeja did the bulk of the work in Indian’s recent test series win over Australia and that workload has clearly had an effect. There are concerns over Jadeja’s spinning finger while Dwayne Bravo will also miss the start of IPL 10 with a hamstring problem.
They are expected to come back but their early absence sees the Lions drop a place.
7. Kings XI Punjab: There is no change in the bottom two, although Kings XI’s slim hopes of a top four place have been dented even further by the injury to Murali Vijay. The opener will miss the entire campaign so there is even more pressure on Glenn Maxwell, Eoin Morgan and Martin Guptill.
Maxwell showed incredible maturity with his recent test century but KXIP can’t rely on one man.
8. Delhi Daredevils: We’d put Delhi bottom of the pile even before they lost JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock for the entire campaign. Angelo Mathews will also miss the start of the competition so it’s looking increasingly grim for the Daredevils in 2017.