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IPL 2023: Predicting where each team will end up on the points table

 IPL 2023: Predicting where each team will end up on the points table

Gujarat Titans Champions. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The much-awaited 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is upon us. The T20 carnival is all set to kick-start on March 31 as the inaugural game will witness defending champions Gujarat Titans clash against the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings. The final showdown of the marquee tournament will be held on May 28.

All ten franchises have many top-drawer players in their arsenal and any team on a given day can give the other a run for their money. However, on paper, there are certain teams who are more formidable than the others and have a good chance to finish at the top of the IPL 2023 points table at the end of the league stage.

Here we predict where each team will end up on the points table in IPL 2023

10. Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders had a poor showing in the previous edition of the lucrative T20 tournament, and they just managed to finish in the seventh position, with six wins in 14 matches. They would look to put up an improved showing this time around, but it appears that the situation could be worse in IPL 2023.

Ahead of the forthcoming edition, KKR have suffered a massive setback as their skipper Shreyas Iyer is expected to miss significant parts of the tournament due to a back injury. KKR does not have quality on the bench pertaining to the Indian contingent, and they could fret over Shreyas’ replacement. Also, they would need to search for a player who could act as the leader of the troops.

KKR’s casualty list has been further lengthened as speedster Lockie Ferguson, who was traded from Gujarat Titans for INR 10 crore, has sustained a hamstring injury. However, the extent of his injury is yet unknown. Moreover, Venkatesh Iyer who has been KKR’s first-choice opener has not had a proper game time entering the T20 extravaganza as he was out of action due to a broken ankle.

With a lot going against KKR leading into the high-profile competition, one might witness them languish at the bottom of the points table in the coming edition.

9. Punjab Kings

Punjab Kings have failed to qualify for the knockout stages since 2014. They had a power-packed side in the previous season but ended up in the sixth position. It might again happen in IPL 2023 that PBKS end up at the bottom half of the table, and their playoffs drought extends further.

Barring Shikhar Dhawan, Punjab does not have a solid Indian batter in the team. They have the explosiveness of Shahrukh Khan and Jitesh Sharma, but the two batters have yet to establish themselves as consistent performers in the IPL arena. Moreover, PBKS have suffered a massive blow as Jonny Bairstow will not feature in IPL 2023, weakening their batting line-up.

Punjab have invested a staggering sum of INR 18.5 crore for signing Sam Curran at the IPL 2023 auction; however, the left-arm pacer has not been in the best of forms of late and managed to score 22 runs and bagged just a wicket in the three outings in the T20I series against Bangladesh. Unless things change drastically and most players bring their A-game into play, PBKS might not do well in the T20 extravaganza.

8. Royal Challengers Bangalore

Royal Challengers Bangalore had a great showing in the previous edition and made it through to the second qualifier of the marquee tournament. In the build-up to the 16th IPL edition, they have made minimal changes to their squad and backed most players to come good in the coming season. However, RCB might struggle to qualify for the playoffs this time around.

Dinesh Karthik batted like a dream in the 2022 edition and finished games for the side to perfection. However, he has not played any competitive cricket since November. Also, the swashbuckling all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has lacked game time and has not played much since the T20 World Cup 2022. The two batters are crucial to Bangalore’s chances, but they might struggle to get into the groove in the coming season.

On the bowling front, Harshal Patel has been a pale shadow of his classic self post-IPL 2022, and as a result, he lost his place in the Indian T20I side. Also, RCB’s leader of the pace attack Josh Hazlewood has been out of action due to an Achilles injury since January, and his bowling form in the coming edition of the T20 carnival could be in question.

Thus, with concerns over the form of their several vital players, RCB could find it tough to thrive in the lucrative T20 tournament.

7. Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings had a miserable outing in IPL 2022 and failed to string consecutive wins under the belt, and as a result, they ended up in a second-last position, with just four wins in 14 games. With MS Dhoni at the hem, they would look to make amends in the coming season and go all the way. But CSK have certain loopholes in their team, and it could be difficult for them even to reach the playoffs.

CSK does not have a bite in their pace-bowling department. Though Deepak Chahar is set to return in the marquee tournament, he has been out of action from international cricket since December 2022 and, thus, might not be at his best in the T20 extravaganza. Also, Chennai’s overseas quicks Sisanda Magala and Dwaine Pretorious are yet to prove their mettle in the cash-rich league. Moreover, with doubt over Mukesh Choudhary’s participation, CSK’s pace attack might falter under pressure.

Chennai have spent a staggering INR 16.25 crore to sign Ben Stokes. He has all the class in the world to thrive in the IPL, but numbers suggest he has not been at his best in the cash-rich league barring the 2017 season. Thus, It would be interesting to see if CSK’s investment bears fruit.

Also, Chennai have Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, and Ajinkya Rahane in the batting department, who are in the twilight of their careers. Thus, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devon Conway, Moeen Ali, and Ravindra Jadeja might need to do the heavy lifting with the bat in the coming season.

6. Mumbai Indians 

Mumbai Indians were far from their best in the 2022 season of the cash-rich league. They failed to act together and languished at the bottom of the table, with four wins in 14 games. With a few chinks in their armour, they might struggle again to find their feet in the marquee tournament.

Mumbai Indians’ bid to vindicate themselves in IPL 2023 has experienced a significant blow. Their pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah would not feature in the marquee tournament due to a back injury. Barring Bumrah, MI did not have a gun Indian pacer, and thus, things could become messy for the five-time IPL champions.

Moreover, Mumbai already lacked venom in their spin department as Kumar Kartikeya, and Hrithik Shokeen are quite inexperienced in the IPL arena while Piyush Chawla is way past his prime. This makes the Bumrah-void even more significant. With MI’s bowling lacking quality, they could find it hard to get going in the coming season.

Further, Suryakumar Yadav, who has been Mumbai’s X-Factor in the past, has been amid a horror show with the bat, having registered three ducks in his three international appearances in the ODI series against Australia. Therefore, MI ending at the bottom half seems to be on the cards.

5. Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals was phenomenal in the 15th edition of the lucrative T20 tournament and finished in the runners-up position. RR have stuck with their core players for the coming and added the likes of Jason Holder, Adam Zampa, and Joe Root at the auction to improve the team’s depth. However, reaching the playoffs might be a daunting task for Sanju Samson-led side.

Yuzvendra Chahal, the highest wicket-taker in IPL 2022, has not been at his best post the marquee event. Thus, it will be tough for the leg-spinner to replicate the feat. If Chahal fails to be at his wicket-taking best, it will create pressure on the bowling attack, which will already be without the services of Prasidh Krishna.

Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, and Shimron Hetmyer would again need to do the heavy lifting on the batting front. However, if they fail to do so, Devdutt Padikkal and Riyan Parag might feel the heat as they are relatively inexperienced and have not been at their fluent self in the last season.

4. Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad had a horrid campaign in the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League and finished the tournament in the eighth position, with six wins in 14 outings. To redeem themselves, they have moved past players who did not perform as expected and filled the team’s void with quality personnel.

They acquired the services of Harry Brook at the IPL 2023 auction for a whopping sum of INR 13.25 crore. It could prove to be a masterstroke as the England batter is in the form of his life and has dismantled bowling attacks for fun.

Also, SRH have the likes of Rahul Tripathi, Heinrich Klaasen, and Glenn Phillips, who are known to play a fearless brand of cricket and could make IPL 2023 their own. Moreover, they have Mayank Agarwal in the mix, who has been a proven performer in IPL.

On the bowling front, Hyderabad have great depth in their Indian fast-bowling stocks, with gun pacers such as Bhuveshwar Kumar, Umran Malik, T. Natarajan, and Karthik Tyagi at their disposal. Given SRH’s intimidating batting line-up and a solid bowling attack, they could be expected to make it to the playoffs.

3. Lucknow Super Giants

Lucknow Super Giants played an exciting brand of cricket in IPL 2022 and reached the knockout stages of the T20 carnival. Under the leadership of KL Rahul, they have a power-packed squad and could finish in the top half of the table in the coming season as well.

The Lucknow franchise has the likes of Rahul, Quinton de Kock, and Deepak Hooda at the top of the order. The trio fared well for the franchise in the previous edition and could again light up the upcoming season of the T20 extravaganza with its batting exploits. Further, LSG have Nicholas Pooran, a marauder with the bat who has shown his batting might in the IPL arena in the past.

Also, Lucknow have a great depth of multifaceted players in their ranks in the presence of Marcus Stoinis, Kyle Mayers, Daniel Sams, Krunal Pandya, and Romario Shepherd in the team. Coming to the bowling front, LSG will have the services of Mark Wood, who missed the last IPL edition due to an elbow injury, and it makes their bowling line-up more rounded.

Moshin Khan, LSG’s shining star in IPL 2022, might miss the coming edition due to injury, but LSG has the in-form Jaydev Unadkat to bring variety to the pace attack.

2. Gujarat Titans

Gujarat Titans scripted history in the 15th installment of the cash-rich league by grabbing the silverware in their debut season.  Hardik Pandya & Co. would look to put their best foot forward in the future edition to defend their IPL crown.

Gujarat have arguably the most potent bowling attack in the marquee tournament. They have gun pacers such as Mohammed Shami, Shivam Mavi, Joshua Little, Alzarri Joseph, and Yash Dayal in their repertoire. In the spin department, they have Rashid Khan, one of the best in the business, and Indian spinners Jayant Yadav and R Sai Kishore in the squad. With such great depth in their bowling unit, GT would be a tough side to score against.

On the batting front, Gujarat have Subhman Gill, who has piled on runs for fun in the international arena of late. Further, the defending champions signed Kane Williamson at the auction to bolster their batting stocks. Therefore, on paper, GT are poised for a top-two finish in IPL 2023.

1. Delhi Capitals

Delhi Capitals have been quite consistent in the last four seasons of the marquee tournament and have qualified for the knock stages on three of those times. The Delhi franchise has assembled a well-rounded squad for IPL 2023, with a nice blend of youth and experience, and is one of the contenders to finish at the top of the points table.

With Rishabh Pant unavailable for the coming season, the Capitals have appointed David Warner as the side’s captain. Warner is an inspirational leader, and he, alongside coach Ricky Ponting could do wonders for the franchise. Also, the ace batter has been a run machine in the IPL arena and could put up a show with the bat.

One of the strengths of Delhi is its solid Indian core. DC have the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Manish Pandey, Yash Dhull, and Sarfaraz Khan in the batting department. They possess quality players such as Kuldeep Yadav, Chetan Sakariya, Khaleel Ahmed, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Mukesh Kumar and Ishant Sharma to deliver the goods with the ball. Moreover, Delhi have top-drawer overseas players in their squad. Therefore, they could do well in the T20 carnival and could be a team to beat in the 16th IPL edition.

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