Team-by-team guide to 2014 Champions League T20

Sport360 staff 16:33 17/09/2014
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New champions: Lasith Malinga and his Mumbai Indians side have not qualified for this year's tournament and will not defend their trophy as a result.

The Champions League T20 group stages begin today with Indian Premier League rivals Kolkata Knight Riders taking on Chennai Super Kings and in preparation of the tournament we have previewed each and every team taking part.

Not only that, we also share our thoughts on how the teams will fare in India and who we believe has a good chance of lifting the trophy come finals day in Bangalore on October 4.

Group A

Chennai Super Kings
Captain: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (below)


Coach: Stephen Fleming
Squad: Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Mithun Minhas, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Samuel Badree, Pawan Negi, Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Ishwar Pandey, John Hastings.
Key players: Smith, McCullum, Raina, Dhoni, Jadeja.
Past record: 2009 (Did not qualify), 2010 (Champions, 2011 (10th), 2012 (fifth), 2013 (Semi-finalists).
Sport360° verdict: Such is the depth and quality in the squad that they start as favourites in any competition they enter. But they need to be guarded with their pace bowling which appears to be their weakest link. Look good to enter the semis.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Captain:
Gautam Gambhir
Coach: Trevor Bayliss
Squad: Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Manvinder Bisla, Jacques Kallis (below), Yusuf Pathan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Andre Russell, Vinay Kumar, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav.

Key players: Gambhir, Uthappa, Pathan, Narine.
Past record: 2009, 2010 & 2011 (DNQ), 2012 (Sixth), 2013 (DNQ).
Sport360° verdict: The current IPL champions do not have a good record in the event but they have the potential to turn it around this time. An attacking captain, a strong bowling unit and a decent batting line-up marks them as favourites.

Perth Scorchers
Captain:
Adam Voges
Coach: Justin Langer (below)

Squad: Craig Simmons, Mitchell Marsh, Same Whiteman, Hilton Cartwright, Cameron Bancroft, Yasir Arafat, Ashton Agar, Michael Beer, Ashton Turner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Joel Paris, Simon Mackin, Brad Hogg, Jason Behrendorff.
Key players: Marsh, Voges, Coulter-Nile, Agar.
Past record: 2009, 2010 & 2011 (DNQ), 2012 (Seventh), 2013 (10th).
Sport360° verdict: A young squad hold lots of promise but the lack of experience comes in their way of progress. Stronger opponents in the group mean their chances of entering the knockout stage are very bleak.

Dolphins
Captain:
Morne van Wyk
Coach: Lance Klusener Squad: Cody Chetty, Cameron Delport, Vaugn van Jaarsveld, Daryn Smit, Khayelihle Zondo, Jonathan Vandiar, Kyle Abbot, Keshav Maharaj, Robert Frylinck, Andile Phehlukwayo, Prenelan Subrayen, Daryn Dupavillon, Sibonelo Makhanya, Craig Alexander.

Key players: Delport, van Wyk, Abbott (above), Frylinck. Past record: Debutants.
Sport360° verdict: Only a couple of players have ever played in India but the South African domestic T20 champions have it in them to cause a few upsets. Knockout spot looks difficult though.

Lahore Lions
Captain:
Mohammad Hafeez (below right)

Coach: Mohsin Kamal
Squad: Adnan Rasool, Agha Salman, Ahmed Shehzad, Aizaz Cheema (above left), Ali Manzoor, Asif Raza, Imran Ali, Mohammad Saeed, Mustafa Iqbal, Nasir Jamshed, Saad Nasim, Umar Akmal, Umar Siddiq, Wahab Riaz.
Key players: Hafeez , Shehzad, Akmal. Past record: Debutants.
Sport360° verdict: The Pakistan domestic champions raised their game when it mattered most to qualify for the main tournament. Their squad boasts six established international cricketers and they will be a force to reckon with on the Indian surfaces. The dark horse of the tournament.

Group B

Kings XI Punjab
Captain:
George Bailey
Coach: Sanjay Bangar
Squad: Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Akshar Patel, Mandeep Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Thisara Perera, Karanveer Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Anureet Singh, Parvinder Awana, Lakshmipathy Balaji.
Key players: Sehwag, Maxwell, Miller, Johnson.
Past record: Debutants.
Sport360° verdict: The tag of debutants is just a misnomer as they are a crack outfit loaded with enterprise. They missed out on the 2014 IPL title by falling at the final hurdle and would be itching to lay their hands on the CLT20 title. Hot favourites.

Cape Cobras
Captain:
Justin Ontong
Coach: Paul Adams
Squad: Hashim Amla, Richard Levi, JP Duminy, Stiaan van Zyl, Justin Kemp, Omphile Ramela, Dane Vilas, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Rory Kleindvelt, Charl Langeveldt, Avive Mgijima, Zakhele Qwebe.
Key players: Amla (below), JP Duminy, Ontong

Past record: 2009 (semi-finalists), 2010 (DNQ), 2011 (eighth), 2012 (DNQ), 2013 (DNQ)
Sport360° verdict: A strong squad loaded with international experience, this South African outfit can pull off a few surprises. They should make the cut from the group and would fancy their chances of fighting for the title.

Barbados Tridents
Captain:
Rayad Emrit
Coach: Vasbert Drakes
Squad: Dilshan Munaweera, William Perkins, Neil McKenzie, Shane Dowrich, Raymon Reifer, Elton Chigumbura, James Franklin, Jeevan Mendis, Ashley Nurse, Jonathon Carter, Akeal Hossein, Jason Holder, Ravi Rampaul, Kyle Mayers.
Key players: Chigumbura, Franklin, Rampaul (below).

Past record: Debutants.
Sport360° verdict: The Caribbean Premier League champions will surely test the established teams in the group. But they lack the firepower to go all the way and at best might have to be content finishing third in the group.

Hobart Hurricanes
Captain:
Tim Paine
Coach: Damien Wright
Squad: Ben Dunk, Jonathan Wells, Travis Birt, Aiden Blizzard, Shoaib Malik, Dominic Michael, Evan Gulbis, Joe Mennie, Xavier Doherty, Cameron Boyce, Ben Hilfenhaus (below), Doug Bollinger, Ben Laughlin, Sam Rainbird.

Key players: Blizzard, Malik, Boyce, Hilfenhaus.
Past record: Debutants.
Sport360° verdict: The Indian conditions could prove to be the biggest challenge for the Big Bash champions. The experienced pace attack is their strongest suit while the same cannot be said about their batting. Cannot foresee them progressing beyond the group stage.

Northern Knights
Captain:
Daniel Flynn
Coach: James Pammen
Squad: Graeme Aldridge, Jono Boult, Trent Boult, Anton Devcich, Daniel Harris, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Brad Wilson.

Key players: Southee, Styris (above), Williamson, Trent, Boult.
Past record: Debutants.
Sport360° verdict: The New Zealand outfit were asked to qualify for the main leg and they proved it was an unnecessary exercise as they crushed all three teams they faced. They too have proven international players and their seamers have been a revelation. Serious contenders for the next stage.

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