Friday, 8 April 2016

IPL 2016: Brief look at the captains!

Ninth edition of the Indian Premier League is upon us with two teams disbanded and their place being taken by two new teams. Everywhere else, things look the same in some aspects but differs plenty in other. As far as captains are concerned, there are two new leaders in the previously established teams. (Fixtures | Squads)

Rising Pune Supergiants - MS Dhoni

He had led Chennai Super Kings for eight years before being forced to move due to CSK's suspension. He called this move difficult. "If all of a sudden if you want me to say that I am very excited to play for a new team, it will be wrong," said Dhoni who had won the title twice and finished runner-up four times. This time, though, in new colours of Pune Super Giants and a new look team, things would be very different for India's limited overs captain. Will Dhoni's inspirational touch carry on, it remains to be seen.

Gujarat Lions - Suresh Raina

The other new team to enter IPL-9 is Gujarat Lions who will be playing their matches in Rajkot. He may not be performing well with the bat as it was visible during the World T20, but IPL will give him the chance to regain form. Moreover, Raina will get a chance to showcase his leadership skills alongside. Raina has played the most number of matches in the IPL and is the competition's all-time leading run scorer. Like Dhoni, Raina also stood by CSK throughout the IPL history.

Kings XI Punjab - David Miller

Kings XI Punjab endured a tough season last year by finishing bottom of the pile with just three seasons. George Bailey led the franchise last season but have now handed the reigns to South Africa's big-hitter David Miller. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Miller said he was looking forward to the task of leading the side and that he wasn't seeing it as an added pressure.

Delhi Daredevils - Zaheer Khan

After two seasons with JP Duminy at the helm, Delhi Daredevils turned to retired India seamer Zaheer Khan to take the team to a much better finish than last season's second last. Delhi have had a history of good squads with quality players but have not been able to convert it into titles. At 37, though, the question and doubts will be on Zak's ability to play the entire season. To add to DD's hopes, they've got Rahul Dravid as a mentor.

Mumbai Indians - Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma did not have a great World T20 barring a decent showing in the semi-final against West Indies but IPL is a different ballgame altogether. Ever since being appointed as skipper in 2013, Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians have won two titles. With a strong squad and equally formidable backroom staff, Mumbai Indians are strong contenders to defend their title.

Royal Challengers Bangalore - Virat Kohli

Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers will be envy of any team and a reason of concern for any opposition. Led by an aggressive Kohli, RCB are another team who promise much - primarily with the bat - but fall short in the end. With no titles under their belt, Kohli who is in blazing form will look to change that.

Sunrisers Hyderabad - David Warner

In a fantastic combination of three international captains, David Warner, Kane Williamson and Eoin Morgan, Sunrisers call Warner as their leader. And he needs to bring in his leadership qualities but batting qualities after a less than fruitful World T20. Warner was appointed captain of the team last season.

Kolkata Knight Riders - Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir has been leading KKR since 2009 and has lead them to two titles. KKR may not have the star power that the likes of RCB or Mumbai Indians possess but they've banked their hopes on youngsters and not-so-big-stars to get them to win. 

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