IPL 2019: Delhi Capitals rope in former India skipper Sourav Ganguly as advisor

Sudhir Gupta 15:10 14/03/2019
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Ganguly (r) will serve as the Delhi Capitals advisor in IPL 2019.

Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has been appointed as the team advisor for Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals.

In his new role, Ganguly will work closely with head coach Ricky Ponting and his support staff at Delhi in the upcoming IPL edition which begins on March 23.

“I am very pleased to come on board with the Delhi Capitals,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India (PTI).

“Having known the Jindals and the JSW Group for years, I am now excited to be a part of their latest sports venture. I am really looking forward to working with the players and the support staff.”

Formerly known as Delhi Daredevils, the franchise is still searching for their maiden IPL title. The team will be led by young Shreyas Iyer in the upcoming edition and will open their campaign away to Mumbai Indians on March 24.

Having roped in Ganguly’s expertise for the upcoming edition, Delhi are hoping to make amends for their bottom-place finish in 2018.

“Sourav is one of the most astute minds in world cricket. A lot of what we see in Indian cricket today was born because of Sourav,” Delhi Capitals chairman Parth Jindal stated.

“His aggression, positivity and never say die attitude are traits we want the Delhi Capitals team to imbibe. It is truly an honour that Sourav has chosen Delhi as his IPL team.

“I have no doubt that our team will benefit immensely from his experience, guidance and advice. Sourav has been like family to me and I am deeply humbled to have him as an advisor.”

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IPL 2019: Delhi's Rishabh Pant, Kings XI's KL Rahul and other key India players for each side

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Rahul had a sensational campaign in 2018. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

International cricket’s biggest stars will be on show in the subcontinent when the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets under way on March 23.

There will no shortage of star power – both Indian and overseas – as the eight franchises get ready to battle it out for the top prize. As is the case always, the domestic talent pool will be crucial to each side’s ambitions.

Here, we take a look at the one key India player in each of the eight teams.

SUNRISERS HYDERABAD – SIDDARTH KAUL

With Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s workload set to be managed carefully in the lead up to the World Cup, Siddarth Kaul’s role for Sunrisers Hyderabad has become even more significant.

The medium-pacer was excellent for the 2018 IPL finalists and picked up 21 wickets at a strike-rate of less than 19. Those displays saw Kaul even earn an India call up and the bowler has since featured sporadically at the international level.

Another successful campaign for Kaul could see him sneak into the World Cup squad as a reserve pacer and he will be determined to stake his claim for the same. Watch out for the ‘knuckle-ball’ slower deliveries that were a big hit for him last season.

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS – MS DHONI

Having led Chennai Super Kings to their third IPL title last year in what was an emotional return for the competition after suspension for the franchise, Dhoni will look to make it number four in the upcoming edition.

The veteran wicketkeeper was in excellent form with the bat last year where he had his most prolific individual campaign since the 2013 edition. Dhoni scored 455 runs at a staggering average of 75.83 while maintaining a strike-rate of over 150.

The IPL will be the perfect opportunity for the Chennai skipper to sharpen up for the World Cup which is expected to be his India swansong.

The veteran will be up for the fight once again.

The veteran will be up for the fight once again.

DELHI CAPITALS – RISHABH PANT

The 21-year-old has quickly become a household name after a breakout year in international cricket which saw him become the first India wicketkeeper to register Test tons on English and Australian soil.

Such have been his displays at the international level that it is easy to forget Pant had a brilliant season with the Delhi franchise last year. The youngster amassed 684 runs from 14 innings at an average of 52.61 while registering a high score of 128. All this, while batting at a sensational strike-rate of nearly 174.

With a year of international cricket under his belt, Pant will be determined to go even further in the upcoming edition and Delhi fans can expect plenty of fireworks.

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS – KULDEEP YADAV

Over the past two years or so, the youngster has quickly gone on to establish himself as one of the top limited-overs bowlers in the world. With the World Cup coming up in England, Kuldeep will want to get into good rhythm while also testing himself against the world’s best batsmen.

The 24-year-old played a key role in Kolkata Knight Riders’ march to the play-off last year by picking up 17 wickets and he looks poised to have his best IPL campaign yet following the improvement he has shown at the international level.

Kuldeep is now one of the leading spinners in the world.

Kuldeep is now one of the leading spinners in the world.

KINGS XI PUNJAB – KL RAHUL

It has not been the best of years for KL Rahul at the international level with the top-order batsman squandering opportunity after opportunity to cement a place in the India side.

Rahul’s mercurial displays for India over the past few months are all the more baffling given the stupendous IPL campaign he had last season with Kings XI. The right-hander scored 659 runs in 14 matches at an average of over 54 and nearly dragged the franchise to the play-off single-handedly.

He was expected to kick on for India post those displays but that hasn’t really happened. With a berth in the World Cup squad still up for grabs, expect Rahul to come out in the IPL with a big point to prove.

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE – VIRAT KOHLI

What Dhoni is to Chennai, Virat Kohli has been for Royal Challengers Bangalore minus the IPL titles. The India skipper has been with the franchise since the inception of the IPL in 2008 but his wait for a maiden title continues.

Kohli has led Bangalore from the front more often than not but his individual displays have not been able to translate into success for the side. With the frustration of RCB’s title drought building with each passing edition, the pressure will be on Kohli to deliver in 2019.

Bangalore fans will be hoping the Kohli of 2016 makes a return when the skipper notched up four centuries in a single edition then.

Kohli will be itching to get his hands on the IPL title.

Kohli will be itching to get his hands on the IPL title.

MUMBAI INDIANS – HARDIK PANDYA

There is no shortage of match-winners for the three-time champions with India stalwarts Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah within their ranks. However, it is Hardik Pandya who is arguably the biggest game-changer.

The India all-rounder initially created waves playing in the IPL for Mumbai but is yet to truly convince at the international level with some inconsistent displays.

Having missed India’s clashes with Australia due to a stiff back, Pandya will be determined to use the IPL as a preparatory board for the World Cup where he will play a key role.

RAJASTHAN ROYALS – SANJU SAMSON

While the strength of their overseas contingent is second to none, Rajasthan Royals are a little light on the domestic department going into the IPL. The 2008 champions will be heavily reliant on Sanju Samson who has long been heralded as a future India star but has failed to do justice to his talents.

The Kerala youngster has been with Rajasthan for some time now and enjoyed his best-ever IPL campaign last year where he scored a total of 441 runs with the help of three half-centuries.

Inconsistency has let Samson down time and time again and his campaign last year ran out of steam towards the latter stages. Now 24, Samson is not just a promising youngster anymore and he will need to seize his opportunity in the upcoming edition. If he gets going, Rajasthan could go far in the competition.

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IPL 2019: Sandeep Lamichhane, Rashid Khan and other top wrist-spinners on show

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Rashid Khan. Image credit - @IPL/Twitter.

The 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is almost upon us and the focus is once again set to fall on the wrist-spinners.

Wrist-spinners have been dominating limited-overs cricket over the past few seasons with their roles becoming essential for every top team.

As many as five of the top-eight ranked T20I bowling ranking slots are currently occupied by wrist spinners which tells you all you need to know about their significance.

Here, we take a look at the top five wrist-spinners in the upcoming IPL.

ISH SODHI – RAJASTHAN ROYALS

Ranked No8 in the T20 rankings, Ish Sodhi has been around the circuit for many years now. The New Zealand leg-spinner is a proven performer and has picked up a total of 123 wickets across all three formats in international cricket.

Sodhi had a terrific impact at Rajasthan Royals last season where his six wickets played a key role in the side’s late surge to the play-offs. The leggie’s economy-rate in his six appearances was just 5.86 and he will once again be key for the side in the upcoming edition.

Ish Sodhi. Image credit - @IPL/Twitter.

Ish Sodhi. Image credit – @IPL/Twitter.

YUZVENDRA CHAHAL – ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE

The No5 ranked ODI bowler came into prominence through his performances for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL before being called up India’s limited-overs squad.

Over the last two years, Chahal has established himself as a crucial cog of India’s limited-overs setup with his partnership with Kuldeep Yadav going strong in both formats.

The wrist-spinner did not have the best of IPL’s last year where he picked up just 12 wickets. He will be looking to hit the heights he hit in 2015 and 2016 where he picked up 23 and 21 wickets respectively.

Yuzvendra Chahal.

Yuzvendra Chahal.

KULDEEP YADAV – KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS

Chahal’s India partner-in-crime Kuldeep has been tearing it up at the international level of late and jumped to No4 in the ODI and T20 formats.

With his ability to bag wickets in a heap, the left-arm wrist-spinner has proven to be a match-winner for both India and Kolkata Knight Riders on several occasions.

Only 24, Kuldeep has been improving with each passing season in the IPL and will look to better his 2018 display where he picked up 17 wickets.

Kuldeep Yadav.

Kuldeep Yadav.

RASHID KHAN – SUNRISERS HYDERABAD

At the top of the T20 standings and in second place in ODIs, Rashid Khan has established himself as the best in the business in a very short span of time.

The Afghanistan leg-spinner is a performer of the highest order who has been successful in every major T20 franchise league in the world, be it the IPL, Big Bash league or the Caribbean Premier League.

The Afghan star has been nothing short of sensational in his two years so far in the IPL where he has picked up a total of 38 wickets while bowling at an economy of less than seven runs an over.

Rashid Khan. Image credit - @IPL/Twitter.

Rashid Khan. Image credit – @IPL/Twitter.

SANDEEP LAMICHHANE – DELHI CAPITALS

The only Nepalese player to play in the IPL, Sandeep Lamichhane has gone on to do some big things since his debut campaign for Delhi last year.

Lamichhane was given just three games by the Delhi management towards the end of the competition but still managed to impress with five wickets. Since then, the teenager has had stints in the BBL, CPL, Global T20 Canada, Bangladesh Premier League and most recently the Pakistan Premier League.

The leg-spinner put in his best ever T20 display of 4-10 during his recent Lahore Qalandars’ stint and looks set to create a much bigger impact in the upcoming IPL with Delhi.

Sandeep Lamichhane. Image credit - @IPL/Twitter.

Sandeep Lamichhane. Image credit – @IPL/Twitter.

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