The next season of Indian Premier League (IPL) starts from March 23 onwards.
And, once again, the excitement among fans is building with time.
In the last season of the T20 league, we saw some memorable batting performances by individuals and teams alike and this term should be no different.
Ahead of the next edition, we rate the batting line-up of the eight franchises.
RR: Rajasthan Royals- 4.5/10
Jos Buttler is the best batsman of Rajasthan Royals, but he alongside Ben Stokes will leave in April-end.
Ajinkya Rahane had a dismal IPL 11 and don’t expect him to produce fireworks this term, as well. Debutants Liam Livingstone and Ashton Turner might not be able to soak in the pressure. Overall, they lack genuine match-winners.
Finally, Steve Smith’s injury was the last straw.
KXIP: Kings XI Punjab- 5.5/10
KL Rahul and Chris Gayle are dangerous customers atop. Rahul brings in the consistency, whereas, Gayle can decimate opponents.
David Miller is a KXIP veteran, and Mandeep Singh makes a return after failing at RCB. Meanwhile, Nicholas Pooran can add sheen.
However, Karun Nair and Mayank Agarwal aren’t natural T20 players. A lot would depend on Sam Curran but overall, KXIP lack the edge.
MI: Mumbai Indians- 6.5/10
Mumbai Indians are a side which will remain dependent on the all-rounders like Kieron Pollard, Hardik and Krunal Pandya for the fireworks at the death.
Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav can be tried once again as openers. They looked sharp last season. Rohit Sharma remains their go-to-player in the middle order.
Even after Yuvraj Singh’s acquisition, their batting line-up looks unsettled, at the moment.
SRH: Sunrisers Hyderabad- 7.5/10
In the auction, Sunrisers Hyderabad bought quality batsmen, especially at the top.
They lost Shikhar Dhawan, but Jonny Bairstow and Martin Guptill can fill in his shoes.
Kane Williamson is their main asset. Notably, he won the Orange Cap last season.
David Warner will play for a month, as Manish Pandey and Shakib Al Hasan constitute their middle-order.
But, the side lacks quality finishers.
RCB: Royal Challengers Bangalore- 7.5/10
Royal Challengers Bangalore have two legends, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, in their ranks. They are their main weapons.
They acquired some quality middle order batsmen, this term and this resolves one of the biggest issues faced in 2018.
Shimron Hetmyer and Shivam Dube could bring the solidity needed. The foreign all-rounders can accelerate at the death.
Opening slots remain a worry though.
KKR: Kolkata Knight Riders- 8/10
Kolkata Knight Riders have a solid batting line-up. Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn constitute one of the most dangerous pairs atop.
Teenager Shubman Gill is enjoying form with the bat and the calmness of skipper Dinesh Karthik will help them finish matches.
Acquisition of veteran Joe Denly was a top decision.
Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite are powerful finishers, who can produce lusty blows.
DC: Delhi Capitals- 8.5/10
DC’s batting will revolve around the Indian stars.
Hanuma Vihari is a great addition and can make an impact when called upon.
T20 stalwart Colin Ingram provides the cushion. Overall, for the first time, DC’s batting looks top class.
CSK: Chennai Super Kings- 9/10
Holders Chennai Super Kings have a quality set of experienced batsmen to lead them in the 12th edition of the T20 tournament.
Notably, CSK are known for their versatility and they have many world class batsmen.
Shane Watson and Suresh Raina are their best bets. Meanwhile, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo and Kedar Jadhav are world-class finishers.
Overall, CSK have the most balanced batting line-up.
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