The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will start from April 7th and people have already started to cheer for their favorite team, thanks to them revealing their squads and captains recently.
One of the biggest joys for all the fans is to see their favorite players leading their franchises, with Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals entering the arena of IPL again after a ban of two years, IPL will see its eight original franchises battle out for glory.
All the franchises have declared their captains for the IPL 11 and let’s have a short analytical look at them.
Here is a short analysis of each captain in the IPL 2018:
MUMBAI INDIANS- ROHIT SHARMA
Inarguably, the most successful captain in IPL history, Rohit Sharma has won three IPL titles as the captain of Mumbai Indians; in 2013, 2015 and 2017. As a player, Rohit has four IPL titles to his name, with him winning an IPL title in 2009 with Deccan Chargers.
Rohit is one of the best captains in IPL, as he knows the ins and outs of his players and handles them according to those characteristics. He is not fazed by problems and one of the best examples of that was when Mumbai Indians lost their starting 5-6 matches in two successive IPLs, but clawed their way back in and eventually, even won the IPL. Rohit has also led from the front with his bat on numerous occasions.
Rohit will definitely look to become the second captain to defend the IPL trophy.
KINGS XI PUNJAB - R ASHWIN
Kings XI Punjab rebooted their franchise, by retaining just one player in Akshar Patel and then buying a bunch of T20 specialists in the likes of KL Rahul, R Ashwin, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, Mohit Sharma and Chris Gayle to name a few.
In a Facebook Live chat, KXIP mentor Virender Sehwag announced that R Ashwin will lead the franchise in the upcoming season of IPL 2018. Ashwin has expressed time and again that he wants to lead a team and he finally has a chance to prove himself.
KXIP’s performance issues have been majorly due to lack of a strong leader and now with Ashwin, who is known for his analytical cricketing brain, will be responsible for the resurgence of the 2014 IPL finalists, who have been struggling to finish in the top half of the IPL since their high of 2014 season.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE- VIRAT KOHLI
Virat Kohli will continue to lead RCB in the IPL 2018, as he was retained by the franchise along with AB de Villiers and Sarfaraz Khan. Virat Kohli had a brilliant 2016 IPL season, where he smashed four centuries and over 970 runs in the tournament.
However, that high of 2016 season was brought to the ground in brutal fashion with their performance of 2017 IPL. RCB finished at no.8 in the points table, as injuries and form issues meant that RCB never got going in the season.
Now with some new talents in Chris Woakes, Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Umesh Yadav and Mohd Siraj, Virat Kohli has a chance to take RCB to the pinnacle of IPL 2018 and also maybe win the title for a change.
DELHI DAREDEVILS- GAUTAM GAMBHIR
Gautam Gambhir has returned home to Delhi Daredevils, a franchise where he started in IPL 2008 and was part of till IPL 2010. Gambhir was then bought by KKR in IPL 2011 and won the IPL title two times in 2012 and 2014.
However, KKR and Gambhir willingly parted ways, as Gambhir showed desire to return to Delhi Daredevils franchise in the later stages of his career. Gambhir has been one of the best batsmen and captains in the Indian Premier League history and now will have the responsibility of leading the team to the finals this season.
He will have assistance of some new players in Glenn Maxwell, Vijay Shankar, Trent Boult, Jason Roy and Manjot Kalra, in his quest for IPL glory for DD.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS- STEVE SMITH
Rajasthan Royals, along with Chennai Super Kings, will be making their return to the IPL fold after an absence of two years.
Rajasthan Royals shed their image of misers in the IPL auction of 2018 and went all out to buy Ben Stokes for INR 12 crores and Jaydev Unadkat for almost a similar amount. They retained Steve Smith and bought Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, K Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal in the auction to bolster their return.
Steve Smith has led RR previously and in IPL 2017, captained RPS to the finals of the tournament. He will have the responsibility of making sure that RR continue to impress the fans as they have been doing till IPL 2015.
SUNRISERS HYDERABAD – DAVID WARNER
David Warner was retained by the SRH franchise and was immediately named a captain. Warner led them to the IPL title glory in 2016 and will be looking to do the same in 2018 season as well.
One of the most destructive batsmen in the Indian Premier League, Warner scored over 800 runs in the IPL 2016 and followed up with an almost similar haul of runs in IPL 2017, taking his team to the playoffs. This time he has the responsibility to lead the team with example in IPL 2018.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS- DINESH KARTHIK
Amidst much fanfare, KKR decided to announce their captain live on TV. KKR had decided to let go of their extremely successful captain Gautam Gambhir, as both the parties parted ways amicably. KKR had retained Andre Russell and Sunil Narine in pre-auction player retention.
KKR exhausted their whole purse in buying 19 players in the IPL 2018 auction. They picked the likes of Chris Lynn, Mitchell Starc, Dinesh Karthik and Robin Uthappa in the auction. Many speculated that Robin Uthappa, who was the deputy to Gautam Gambhir for a long time, will be handed the reins for IPL 2018.
But KKR team management threw a curveball and named Dinesh Karthik their captain for IPL 2018. Karthik has captaincy experience in domestic cricket and has led Delhi Daredevils in IPL previously. He is known to be a thinking cricketer and with form with him, Karthik will be responsible to lead from the front.
KKR have thought a lot about giving this responsibility to Karthik, and now it is upto how Karthik responds to the call of captaincy and leads the team.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS- MS DHONI
Chennai Super Kings is undoubtedly the most popular team in the IPL. They are making their comeback in the IPL after two years of suspension and the whole of Chennai and CSK fans everywhere are celebrating the return of the men in yellow.
CSK retained Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni in pre-auction retention of players. They didn’t waste any time in naming their two-time IPL winning captain MS Dhoni, the leader for the IPL 2018 season.
MS Dhoni has led CSK to the playoffs in every season from 2008-2015 and to the finals of the tournament and CSK has the best win percentage among all teams in the IPL (60.68). MS Dhoni will be back at the helm of CSK and CSK fans will hope of him leading the team to IPL glory once more.