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Preview: IPL 2023 starts Friday

A fresh season of the world's biggest franchise T20 cricket tournament begins this week as the 2023 IPL starts on Friday.

After Gujurat Titans managed to win last year's tournament in their debut campaign which saw 5-time champions Mumbai Indians finish bottom, it's fair to say anything is possible!

T20 tournaments are very difficult to predict so with that in mind, I thought I'd try and give those of you who are interested a quick overview of each team heading into this season to provide an idea of whether or not they're likely to improve on last season based on their squad changes.

However, one of the most important things to consider when making your picks this year is that for the first time in 3 years, the IPL is able to return to a home/away format following the pandemic. This means home advantage is 'a thing' once again and teams such as Chennai who build their squad based on fairly specific conditions at their home ground are likely to be tough to beat when playing at their own stadium.

Of course, the toss is also always significant, particularly since teams are allowed to name their teams after the toss has taken place this season meaning they can make changes depending on whether they are batting or bowling first.

Also, before we get into a team-by-team focus, keep internationals in mind. The packed cricket schedule means a few overseas players won't be available for the matches at either end of the tournament with South Africans a clear example for this first week as many of them are involved in the Proteas' crucial ODI series vs. the Netherlands.


Last season: Playoffs
Captain: Faf du Plessis
Batting: In comparison to 2022 where lots of changes were made, there are only a few tweaks this year for Bangalore which makes sense considering they had a fairly good season, advancing beyond the Eliminator before losing to Rajasthan in Qualifier 2. Faf du Plessis continues as captain after top scoring for the team in 2022, while the recent form of star man Virat Kohli is encouraging. England's Will Jacks had been bought for this season but is ruled out with injury and has been replaced by New Zealand all-rounder Michael Bracewell.
Bowling: Bracewell joins Wanindu Hasaranaga and Glenn Maxwell as talented spin-bowling all-rounders in the Bangalore squad while Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood and Harshal Patel are the standout pacers. Hazlewood is an injury doubt, meaning new signing Reece Topley could feature more often and earlier than might have been expected, which brings pressure as Bangalore need to start well with almost all of their home fixtures in the first half of the season.


Last season: 9th
Captain: MS Dhoni
Batting: After a poor season last year, Chennai have spent big money to bring in England's Ben Stokes for this campaign and Stokes is expected to play as a specialist batter rather than an all-rounder at least initially due to a knee injury. The legendary MS Dhoni remains an able finisher and will captain the side after his attempt to pass the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja failed last year, while Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu are all still around as strong top order players which should mean CSK can cope without Robin Uthappa who has retired.
Bowling: In addition to the very strong home atmosphere we can expect at Chepauk (thousands turned up just to watch Dhoni practice this week), we also know the pitches will be slow and low meaning spinners Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner and Moeen Ali are going to be dangerous. Seam bowling might be more of a problem, especially when away from home, given Stokes' injury, Maheesh Theekshana's late arrival and the withdrawal of Kyle Jamieson (though Sisana Magala is an able replacement).


Last season: 5th
Captain: David Warner
Batting: With Rishabh Pant stil recovering from his nasty car accident, Delhi are without a key batter and their captain for this campaign with Australia's David Warner taking charge of the team instead. Warner joins Privthi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Sarafaraz Khan and Rovman Powell in a very powerful batting lineup while England's Phil Salt is an interesting addition who could prove handy, particularly if he ends up keeping wicket in place of Pant.
Bowling: All-rounder Axar Patel is a strong spin option alongside Kuldeep Yadav. Delhi have 3 talented overseas seamers in Mustafizur Rahman, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, though the South Africans will arrive late as previously mentioned so we're likely to see Khaleel Ahmed and Chetan Sakaria early on.


Last season: Champions
Captain: Hardik Pandya
Batting: Gujarat have brought in some top order experience in Kane Williamson to support Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha which makes sense given many of their wins in last year's title winning campaign were narrow and saw David Miller and Rahul Tewatia manage some impressive finishes. Of course, those two are still around as well as captain Hardik Pandya for some more explosive antics at the death when required, and there should be plenty of adrenaline at Gujarat's home fixtures considering their massive stadium can hold up to 100,000 fans.
Bowling: Rashid Khan and Mohammed Shami need no introduction as two of the most talented, experienced bowlers in the tournament. Ireland's Josh Little is an exciting new addition but he may be involved in the series his nation are playing during this tournament in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka so keep an eye on that.


Last season: 8th
Captain: Aiden Markram
Batting: After moving on from Kane Williamson, Hyderabad will be led by Aiden Markram who is enjoying his cricket at the moment having led the Eastern Cape Sunrisers franchise to the SA20 title and been named as the new Proteas T20 captain. That means there's a fairly exciting feel to what is a new era for Hyderabad, and England's Harry Brook is a huge part of that as he arrives as one of the most talented young batters in world cricket after helping England to the T20 World Cup last year. Markram won't arrive in time for the opening game but once he has it'll likely be Abhishek Sharma, Mayank Agarwal and Rahul Tripathi joining him and Brook in Hyderabad's top 5.
Bowling: Hyderabad also look well placed here with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan and Umran Malik leading the seam attack and Washington Sundar joined by Adil Rashid in the spin department. With Brook, Markram and Klaasen all likely to play once the South Africans are available, Rashid is perhaps the leading candidate to take the final overseas spot in Hyderabad's XI, though Marco Jansen (yet another South African) is an alternative and will be favoured when an extra seamer is wanted.


Last season: 7th
Captain: Shreyas Iyer/Nitish Rana
Batting: Shreyas Iyer's back injury is a real problem for Kolkata as they're set to be without their best Indian batter and captain for the majority of this tournament. Nitish Rana will lead the side in his place, and he's going to need to score runs while hoping Venkatesh Iyer can also return to form at the top of the order. In more encouraging news for KKR, they finally appear to have strong backup all-rounder options for Andre Russell and Sunil Narine as Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) and David Wiese (Namibia) are both in the squad. Wiese is a particularly good like-for-like option when Russell may need a rest.
Bowling: Varun Chakaravarthy had a poor season in 2022 so will be hoping to bounce back this year. To help him, Kolkata have managed two decents trades in Shardul Thakur who is a good pickup from Delhi as he can contribute with some lower order runs as well as with the ball, and Lockie Ferguson from Gujarat who is, as many of you will know, absolutely rapid.


Last season: Eliminator
Captain: KL Rahul
Batting: Quinton de Kock won't join captain KL Rahul at the top of the order until Game 3 which is a bit of a shame for Lucknow given the form the South African is in but that doesn't change the fact they'll have a very strong opening pair for most of the tournament. Nicholas Pooran has been acquired as a very good finisher and there are a lot of all-rounders in the Lucknow squad which means there's plenty of room for rotation based on form/conditions.
Bowling: Lucknow are another side with a rapid bowler or two as Mark Wood and Avesh Khan are both available while the rest of their attack, like their batting lineup, has room to be flexible with all of those all-rounders. Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Romario Shepherd, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Sams and Kyle Mayers are all options.


Last season: 10th
Captain: Rohit Sharma
Batting: As MI look to bounce back from last year's disappointing campaign, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav remain the familiar faces at the top of the order. Joining them as a fresh face this year is Australian all-rounder Cameron Green who replaces Kieron Pollard now that the West Indian has retired into a batting coach role. Tim David will be used as the finisher while Ramandeep Singh has also shown promise in that role.
Bowling: This is where Mumbai might struggle, despite Jofra Archer being available this season. Archer was signed last year even in the knowledge he wouldn't be fit for 2022 but the dream of seeing him and Jasprit Brumrah work in tandem remains just that as Bumrah has been ruled out of the entire tournament which is a massive blow for MI. Jhye Richardson is also injured which means Mumbai look light with the ball, as they lack a headline spinner (not for the first time) and will be relying on seamers Jason Behrendorff and Akash Madhwal to support Archer since the only other seam options are all-rounders like Green and Ramandeep.


Last season: 6th
Captain: Shikhar Dhawan
Batting: New captain Shikhar Dhawan will open but sadly for Punjab he won't be joined by Johnny Bairstow who is still yet to recover from his leg injury and has been forced to withdraw. Australian Matthew Short has been named as Bairstow's replacement but with no IPL experience Punjab are more likely to look to Prabhsimran Singh and Bhanuka Rajapaksa at the top of the order to begin with. Liam Livingstone will provide plenty of power but is a doubt for the first game. Livingstone will be joined by fellow England all-rounder Sam Curran who Punjab broke the bank for at auction after he was named Player of the Tournament at the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Bowling: In addition to Curran, Punjab have Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar and Arshdeep Singh to form a very good seam attack. Fast bowlers tend to cause problems in Mohali so Punjab will likely select lineups to reflect that though Livingstone can offer some spin and Zimbabwean Sikandar Raza has been signed as a great back-up for him having impressed on the global stage in recent months.


Last season: Runners-up
Captain: Sanju Samson
Batting: Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson are match-winners right at the top of the order and even in case they don't fire, there's plenty of power behind them in the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal and Shimron Hetmyer. Joe Root is an interesting pickup as he could be used in place of Hetmyer in games where Rajasthan would prefer an anchor rather than another powerhouse, while all-rounder Jason Holder is another new arrival who will provide valuable lower order runs.
Bowling: Prasidh Krishna is out of the tournament with injury which is a real shame but the experienced Sandeep Sharma has been brought in as a replacement and Trent Boult is a world-class opener. Spin wise, Rajasthan have two of India's best in Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal so you'd think there's a fair chance of another successful campaign.

So there you have it, a brief overview of each side before a ball is bowled. Don't forget that you can view each team's squad in full from the picks pages of our Predictor game on website and app. Good luck with your picks and we hope you enjoy the tournament!

Predictor: In our Predictor game, you simply pick the team you think will win each match in the 2023 season as well as the margin with which you think they'll win by.

Fantasy In our daily Fantasy game, you pick 4 players for each day of action (2 batters, an all-rounder and a bowler) and score points based on how they perform individually with various scoring actions such as runs, wickets, catches, sixes, strike rates, economy rates and more.

29,583 caps
Excellent & useful summary appraisal! That business about being able to change your XI might play havoc but regular playing backups should save us. However beware of the 4 Overseas Player limit in the XI. Actually its now TWELVE! Get a load of these NEW RULES!

29 Mar 20:39
61,215 caps
Wow , just read the new Impact Player rules . Will be very interesting to see how the coaches and teams use that to their advantage. I would have thought that being in the playing 11 of an IPL T20 team they would consider every player an impact player . 30 Mar 10:22
13,269 caps
Thanks for this copious dissection of the contest. I hope it helps me win some of my groups. I will need to scrutinize my opening selections for a good start.
30 Mar 00:38
2,386 caps
I thought about joining this tournament, but I don't know anything about Cricket. I just read the rules and I kind of understand the game but not enough to try and predict winners. Maybe I will try it next year, if I can watch a few matches this season and try to understand the game better.
30 Mar 19:05
86,746 caps
Thanks for the tips, but upsets is still coming for us
31 Mar 05:10
13,269 caps
Always 31 Mar 07:03
7,594 caps
No IPL on SuperSport. Where else can we watch in SA..?
31 Mar 09:05
121 caps
How do I join
31 Mar 10:18
Super Sport have recently accuired the broadcasting rights, an hour or so ago today 31 March. So don't tress IPL will be showing on DStv again.
31 Mar 12:22
1,451 cap
How do i join
2 Apr 09:23
4 caps
9 Apr 15:57
88,836 caps
Just keeps getting better and better - nothing else delivers finishes like the IPL !
17 Apr 18:41
14 caps
27 Apr 16:10