IPL 2019 begins in less than a few hours and cricket fans across the world are gearing up for world’s most celebrated T-20 competition.
The Indian Premier League has witnessed some of the best matches in T-20 history and we are already preparing ourselves for the best of matches in anticipation.
#5 Match 13: Kings XI Punjab VS Delhi Capitals
Two sides who spent the most in the auctions face off against each other on ‘Fools Day’. The new-look Delhi Capitals face the Punjab-based franchise who spent more than 32 crore rupees in the auctions buying players left and right.
Big buys like Nicholas Pooran, Mohammed Shami and Moises Henriques are expected to fire from the start while everyone would be eyeing Varun Chakravarthy who costed Punjab a mighty 8.4 crore rupees.
Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma have been added as experienced faces to the new look Delhi side, while the addition of Axar Patel and Sherfane Rutherford could provide valuable as well.
#4 Match 2: Kolkata Knight Riders VS SunRisers Hyderabad
A replay of the ‘Qualifier 2’ from season 11 of the IPL, two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders host two-time champions SunRisers Hyderabad (one as Deccan Chargers and one as SunRisers Hyderabad) at the Eden Gardens Stadium.
The Dinesh Karthik-led KKR finished third in the last season of the IPL and have added Carlos Brathwaite to strengthen their chances of lifting the trophy at the end of the season. The Kolkata-based franchise is suffering from an injury crisis with new signing Anrich Nortje ruled out along with Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
Runners-up SunRisers Hyderabad bought two wicket-keepers in Wriddhiman Saha and Jonny Bairstow in hopes of a stronger playing XI. The Hyderabad-based franchise will be depending on their pace battery to deliver once again.
#3 Match 1: Chennai Super Kings VS Royal Challengers Bangalore
As they say, always start with a big bang and the BCCI has been listening. They have given the best possible start to the fans with the defending champions Chennai Super Kings facing the heavily followed Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The MS Dhoni-led CSK side was shrewd in the auctions as they added Mohit Sharma and Ruturaj Gaikwad to an already strong squad.
RCB have added unknown faces in Shivam Dube, Akshdeep Nath and Prayas Barman alongside foreigners Heinrich Klassen and Shimron Hetmyer to launch their title challenge.
#2 Match 21: Rajasthan Royals VS Kolkata Knight Riders
A repeat of the eliminator from last season, Rajasthan Royals host the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on 7th April.
Both the sides have strengthened in the auctions, with the Royals adding Ashton Turner and Oshane Thomas among big names. Steven Smith will also be returning to top-level cricket after a gap of more than 12 months as Royals would be looking to win their second IPL title.
The Kolkata-based side have their task cut out as they are trying to bring in three replacements for their three injured fast bowlers. They have already roped in Sandeep Warrier and KC Cariappa and are still looking for a replacement for Anrich Nortje.
#1 Match 15: Mumbai Indians VS Chennai Super Kings
Two of the most successful sides in the history of the Indian Premier League face off each other on April 6.
Both the sides have won three titles each and would be looking to lock horns in this riveting fixture at the Wankhade Stadium.
The hosts have a very young squad with a young core in Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah and would be looking to overcome a disappointing 2018 season of the IPL.
On the other hand, the visitors have a bunch of experienced players in MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Shane Watson, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja who will be looking for a repeat of IPL 2018 this year as well.