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The Superbru Herald - Superbru News

Preview: 2024 IPL starts this week

The 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) season begins this week which means we're not far away from daily high quality T20 cricket action. As the most successful T20 franchise league in the world with a large percentage of the best players from around the globe involved, it makes for a very entertaining Fantasy game as well as an incredibly challenging Predictor tournament.

Both are now available to play on Superbru via the links below.

Predictor

In our Predictor game, you simply select which team you think will win each match in the tournament, as well as how comfortable you expect the margin of victory to be.

You can compete against your friends in a private league, and there are increased points available during the playoff stages at the end of the tournament which means it's rarely too late to mount a comeback.

To join Indian T20 League Predictor on our app, tap the '+' icon in the top right corner of the home screen and select 'Join a tournament'.


Fantasy

In our Fantasy game, you select four players for each day of action - two batters, an all-rounder and a bowler. Depending on how said players perform, you'll receive points. As you'd expect, lots of runs, catches and wickets are the main things to hope for but our scoring system includes many others actions including points for strong strike rates/economy rates.

To join Indian T20 League Fantasy on our app, tap the '+' icon in the top right corner of the home screen and select 'Join a tournament'.


The 2024 tournament

As previously mentioned, our Predictor game for the IPL is not an easy one. To help you out with your initial predictions, here's a quick overview of how each franchise looks on paper before a ball is bowled.

The season begins this Friday (March 22) with the final set for May 26th. As it stands, we only have fixtures up until April 7th, with the rest of the schedule to be confirmed once dates are known for India's upcoming general election. As election dates become official and organisers know what they need to work around, the rest of the IPL schedule will be announced.

So then, in alphabetical order, here's a look at how each team is shaping up ahead of the 2024 campaign.



Still in search of a first IPL title, Bangalore narrowly missed out on the play-offs last season where they had 7 wins and 7 losses. Can they improve this year? Possibly, though they have a tough start away at Chennai in the tournament opener.

The big addition squad wise is Australian all-rounder Cameron Green who is set to be available right from the start. Alongside compatriot Glenn Maxwell, Green can provide fire power with the bat and though he's a capable opener, it may well be that we see him as a 'floater' or around the middle order with Maxwell given the quality existing opening partnership between captain Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli. Kohli is returning to competitive cricket in this tournament after missing India's Test series win over England due to personal reasons.

Bowling wise, Bangalore look to have plenty of quality Indian and international quicks including Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Lockie Ferguson and Alzarri Joseph, but the spin department looks lighter. Leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was released and has joined Hyderabad.



With last year's triumph, Chennai drew level with Mumbai as the most successful franchise ever, with the 2023 title their fifth IPL crown. Legendary leader MS Dhoni will captain them once again this season at the age of 42, and looking at their squad, you'd be brave to bet against them going all the way yet again.

Ben Stokes is skipping this year's tournament as he prioritises England while gradually recovering from knee surgery, but Chennai have instead added two very useful New Zealand internationals in Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell. Fellow Kiwi Devon Conway is an existing member of the Chennai squad, but since Conway is likely to be out for a considerable chunk of this tournament with a thumb injury, we could well see Ravindra pushed straight to the top of the batting order with Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Ravindra's left arm spin is also likely to be a real handful on the slow Chepauk pitches alongisde the likes of Maheesh Theekshana, Moeen Ali and especially Ravindra Jadeja, while Matheesha Pathirana and Deepak Chahar are among the leading seam options. Keep an eye out for Shardul Thakur who has returned to the franchise for this season too as he's a very useful lower order batter as well as being a seamer that's well suited to the Chepauk Stadium. With back-to-back home games to start the campaign, Chennai look well placed to build momentum from the off.



Last year wasn't a great one for Delhi, as they finished 9th with just 5 wins in 14 games. This season, they have captain and wicket keeper Rishabh Pant back which is fantastic news for all cricket fans after his horrible accident in 2022. It's tough to know how quickly Pant will take to get back to his brilliant best though, and I think there are plenty of reasons to doubt Delhi's ability to improve much on 2023.

Harry Brook has withdrawn from the tournament for personal reasons, though Delhi could yet name a strong replacement to add to David Warner, Prithvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh and Pant as their likely top run scorers. Delhi's decision to add another batter, Australian Jake Fraser-McGurk, in place of the injured Lungi Ngidi is an interesting one as their bowling department looks vulnerable ahead of this tournament.

With Ngidi already out and Jhye Richardson expected to miss the opening games with injury too, Delhi look set to be quite reliant on South African Anrich Nortje which isn't a great position to be in considering the recent injury struggles Nortje has had himself. Indian contingent Mukesh Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Khaleel Ahmed haven't always had the strongest IPL records, so it will be interesting to see how Delhi's bowling shapes up in the early rounds and who they choose to replace Brook with.



Since being added to the IPL in 2022, Gujarat have reached back-to-back finals, winning the first. It's fair to expect them to be very competitive again this year as a result, though there have been some notable changes ahead of 2024, not least the departure of their captain Hardik Pandya who has returned to Mumbai. Shubman Gill is the new leader, and as their key opening batter Gill is one of three players that look set to be crucial again this year along with world class spinner Rashid Khan and South African finisher David Miller.

It remains to be seen exactly how Gujarat's top order will look but Wriddhiman Saha and Sai Sudharsan are strong players that will almost certainly be in the top four alongside Gill. Behind them, Rahul Tewatia has proved himself to be an excellent finisher in the middle order as well as Miller.

In addition to the blow of Hardik leaving, experienced seamer Mohammed Shami is a huge loss due to injury, and his absence is likely to mean Australian quick Spencer Johnson will need to play an even more important role after joining the franchise. Hardik and Shami will be considerable losses to the Gujarat dressing room and there's pressure on new captain Gill to step up. With that in mind, I think it would make sense to see New Zealand's Kane Williamson feature regularly as the other international player alongside Khan, Miller and Johnson because of his wealth of experience as an international captain, but will Gujarat opt to field an extra international bowler (Noor Ahmad or Josh Little) instead?



They may have come last in 2023 with just 4 wins, but I think Hyderabad will be a lot of fun to follow this year as they enter a very fresh looking chapter. New (expensive) signing Pat Cummins will captain the team having led Australia to the World Test Championship and ODI World Cup in the past year, and last season's captain Aiden Markram may have a tough time even making the XI in some games of this tournament such is the quality of international options that Hyderabad now have.

In addition to Cummins, Hyderabad have fellow Australian Travis Head and South African Heinrich Klaasen who are among the very best T20 batters in the world at the moment, plus bowlers Marco Jansen (also SA) and new spinner Wanindu Hasaranga (SL). Even if a batting spot opens up for Markram, he'll also be competing with New Zealander Glenn Phillips for said place, with Phillips also a useful spin option. Hasaranga is a doubt for the first few games after being named in Sri Lanka's Test squad, so that spin factor might be significant.

Having such quality overseas players means there's pressure on the Indian Hyderabad squad members to perform strongly alongside them. The Indian bowlers look strong to me, particularly Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik and Thangarasu Natarajan, and Washington Sundar is a handy all-rounder. The Indian batting is less convincing, but Abhishek Sharma showed in glimpses last season that he can contribute and the experience of Mayank Agarwal and Rahul Tripathi will need to translate into runs if Hyderabad are to have a far stronger campaign than last year.



Last season was an average one for Kolkata, with 6 wins and 8 losses, and while they have the quality to improve on that this year, I'd argue that it's questionable that they have the necessary depth to make the playoffs. Nevertheless, we should be in for some entertainment. Even after all these years, it's still a lot of fun to watch Sunil Narine and Andre Russell try and smash the ball out of Eden Gardens.

Captain Shreyas Iyer has struggled with fitness in recent months, but he's a key cog in a pretty strong batting lineup that also includes Venkatesh Iyer, England international Phil Salt who is in fantastic form, Afghanistan wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh.

Narine and Varun Chakravarthy have been excellent spinners for Kolkata for years, Mujeeb Ur Rahman has arrived as another fantastic spin bowler, and youngster Suyash Sharma is another exciting member of that department, but there's no doubt that Kolkata's seam options are weaker than many of the other franchises with the exception of new (very expensive) addition Mitchell Starc. The Australian international is of course one of the best quicks at the tournament, but with few other proven quality fast bowlers in the Kolkata squad, there's big pressure on him to deliver consistently throughout this entire campaign.



Like Gujarat, Lucknow were added to the IPL in 2022 and they've been very consistent in their first two seasons - finishing fourth in both after losing the Eliminator. This year they once again look as if they have the batting to make the playoffs, with captain KL Rahul and excellent South African opener Quinton de Kock backed up by Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis who were all excellent in the 2023 season. To strengthen things further, Devdutt Padikkal has arrived from Rajasthan in exchange for fast bowler Avesh Khan.

Without Khan, Lucknow's bowling is arguably weaker than last season, but it's tough to say as we're set for quite a fresh look. Mark Wood has been withdrawn from the tournament by the ECB to manage his workload, so Lucknow have instead brought in West Indies quick Shamar Joseph who has emerged in style this year after taking an incredible 7-wicket haul against Australia in his debut Test series, helping the Windies to a famous 8-run win at the Gabba. Excited as we all are to see Joseph in this IPL as a result, he's played just two T20 matches in his career.

Naveen-ul-Haq and Mohsin Khan are the more experienced front line seamers, while English all-rounder David Willey can also provide plenty of quality if selected in an overseas spot, but I'd rate the Lucknow bowling as a 'wait and see' in these early games. Fortunately for them, they're likely to have quite a few runs to play with in most matches.



One of if not the strongest team in most IPL seasons, Mumbai look set to be very competitive yet again this year but it will be intriguing to see how things play out now that Hardik Pandya has not only returned to the franchise but has been named captain over India captain Rohit Sharma. Coach Mark Boucher has said he believes Rohit being freed from that responsibility could be key in making him even more dangerous with the bat at the top of the order, where he'll once again be joined by two more of India's very best - Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav.

Hardik has stated that he is 100% fit and will bowl in this tournament, and he'll be joined by two new international all-rounder options - West Indian Romario Shepherd and Afghanistan international Mohammad Nabi. Bowling wise, the headline news is that Jasprit Bumrah is back after missing all of the 2023 season with injury, and Mumbai have thrown quite a bit of money at international quicks to support him with South African Gerald Coetzee, Sri Lankan Dilshan Madushanka and Englishman Luke Wood all in the squad (the latter is an injury replacement for Jason Behrendorff who suffered a freak leg injury in training).

They don't always start particularly quickly, and that may well be the case again this year since there are slight injury question marks over Madushanka, Coetzee and Suryakumar Yadav, but you tend to know what you're getting with Mumbai and their experience and quality means they're always tough to beat.



Punjab finished a couple of wins outside of the playoffs last season, but I think they look a little stronger ahead of this campaign and if their big names perform as we all know they can, they'll be very dangerous.

Captain Shikhar Dhawan and England international Jonny Bairstow are a formidable opening pair, and while Indian batters Prabhsimran Singh and Jitesh Sharma are also likely to be relied on for runs throughout this campaign, they'll be supported by a number of high quality all-rounders. Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran are perhaps the most likely to feature regularly and give this Punjab team a very English feel alongside Bairstow, with Chris Woakes another England international in the squad who may be used less frequently, but Zimbabwe's Sikindar Raza is also an excellent option who can provide a strong contribution in both innings.

Raza's issue is that he's likely to be competing with Livingstone and Curran for a place in the XI, as the fourth overseas slot will almost certainly go to frontline seamer Kagiso Rabada of South Africa. Rabada, who has already been very well supported by Arshdeep Singh in previous seasons, will now also be joined in the seam attack by Harshal Patel who is an excellent bowler for both the middle and death overs. Punjab may come unstuck on the more spin-friendly pitches in this competition (those might be the matches to find a way to play Raza in), but in my opinion, they look fairly well placed to have a decent year.



Rajasthan started really well last season before falling away and narrowly missing the playoffs, so this season they'll be aiming for greater consistency across the campaign. Despite Devdutt Padikkal's quality, Rajasthan's decision to trade him for Avesh Khan is a good one in my opinion given how strong their top order batting is anyway and the need to fill the void left by talented seamer Prasidh Krishna who is out injured for the second season in a row.

Rajasthan's top three is incredibly strong. England's Jos Buttler will continue opening with Yashasvi Jaiswal who comes into this tournament after a truly excellent Test series against England, while captain Sanju Samson provides yet more fire power at 3. Behind him, West Indian Shimron Hetmyer will regularly be selected as an overseas alongside Buttler and fast bowler Trent Boult (NZ), while Indian Riyan Parag stands out as the most notable all-rounder.

Assuming Rajasthan play with the max number of 4 overseas in most games, I think Adam Zampa makes the most sense as the player to take the final spot (Windies batter Rovman Powell is perhaps more likely but I'm not fully sold on him), despite Rajasthan already having two excellent Indian spinners in Ravi Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. That spin attack is among the best and most experienced in the tournament, so scoring runs against Rajasthan won't always be easy especially since Trent Boult is so effective in the opening powerplay.

When Rajsthan's top order fires, they may hand out a fair share of 'thrashings' in our Predictor, but if they lose a couple of early wickets, things could get quite tricky as they look more vulnerable than most in the middle to lower order.

Who do you see as the most likely winners of this year's IPL? Share your thoughts below before joining our Predictor and/or Fantasy tournaments!
83,751 caps
I would have backed the team Rassie RVD was playing for. Now I think Hyderabad, with Heinrich, will win the tournament regardless of last season's performance. They have a good all round team with great international players.
19 Mar 20:40
19,496 caps
Another wonderful in depth analysis. I will have to check my predictions and compare them with this info.
Predictions are just and anything is possible in these games. Looking forward to the challenge.
20 Mar 03:49
32,647 caps
Its good that you remind Fantasy pickers about the 4 Overseas Players limit. If you opt for any it pays to have a regular Indian as Backup, though remembering who are Indians can be tricky. I'm also forever getting my Khans and other names mixed up, having nicknames & first names on the back of shirts does my head in even more!

Then we get the 'Super Subs' who could be late changes depending on toss winners. Its a veritable minefield that doubtless will see 5 second picking 'Dumb-luckers' get double my points some days. Oh and you can now bowl 2 bouncers per over instead of one. (Writing of double bouncers - where do they find these dancing ladies?). Chennai for me BTW, local conditions down south a HUGE help.
21 Mar 15:41
I'm not playing this tournament but get a daily reminder to put my picks on. How do I get out of it
25 Mar 12:31
ADMIN
50,805 caps
Hi Mike, to resign from a tournament on web, select tournaments on the navigation bar and then click 'resign from a tournament'. If you're on the app, head to the nav tray by tapping the user icon in the top left corner, then go to settings, then 'resign from a tournament'. 25 Mar 12:42
655 caps
Pooooop
12 Apr 08:48