Having won the trophy in 2011, it wasn’t a robust defence of their title as Mumbai Indians made a group-stage exit in the previous edition of the tournament. But the scenario is a different one for them this time around as they have finally managed to secure the IPL after five attempts. With the squad comprising names that have made a mark in the T20 format, the IPL triumph should buoy the team further.
Not just captain Rohit Sharma (in pic) and Kieron Pollard, but the likes of Dwayne Smith and Ambati Rayudu have also delivered consistently. And above all, there is Sachin Tendulkar.
In the bowling front, Mitchell Johnson and Harbhajan Singh may have to shoulder extra responsibility in the absence of Lasith Malinga.
Captain: Rohit Sharma
Coach: John Wright
Key players: Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma
The Royals from Rajasthan have qualified for the CLT20 by virtue of finishing third in this season’s IPL. They might not have been able to field a star-studded line-up. But they have enough gumption to emerge as one of the most consistent teams despite being plagued by controversies during the final stages of the IPL. Led by the talismanic Rahul Dravid (in pic), the Royals have shown great team spirit.
The solidity of the Royals batting would once again depend on the ageless Dravid, who seems to have adapted to the shortest format of the game very well, and young Turk Ajinkya Rahane.
One batsman whom the opposition bowlers would like to keep in check is Australia’s Shane Watson. It is well known that on his day, Watson can single-handedly decide the fate of a match. Add to this his incisive bowling.
Captain: Rahul Dravid:
Coach: Paddy Upton
Key players: Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson
Highveld Lions go into the competition as last year’s runners-up, which is surely a morale-boosting factor. But the difference between conditions in India and those in South Africa being huge, the Lions will have a major task on hand if they are to replicate their show of the previous edition.
Besides, with Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals in their group, their job of getting past the group stage successfully only gets tougher.
Veteran Neil Mckenzie needs to play a pivotal role. So do skipper Alviro Petersen (in pic) and Thami Tsolekille.
Bowlingwise, though, the Lions appear to be stronger with experienced pacers Sohail Tanvir and Lonwabo Tsotsobe in their line-up. Add to that tweakers Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir and the Lions look to be formidable force.
Captain: Alviro Petersen
Coach: Geoffrey Toyana
Key players: Neil Mckenzie, Alviro Petersen
Led by Brendon McCullum (in pic), Otago Volts have played some exciting and entertaining brand of cricket to qualify for the main round. McCullum himself can take any bowling attack to the cleaners.
The good thing about the team is they are not solely dependent on their captain. The likes of Neil Broom, Hamish Rutherford, Jimmy Neesham and Derek de Boorder can fire on the big stage. The all-round abilities of Ryan ten Doeschate provide balance to the squad.
The bowling department of the Volts, however, doesn’t look promising and that will keep McCullum worried. Barring senior pacers Ian Butler and Neil Wagner, there is hardly any experienced bowler in their ranks.
That can definitely prove costly, especially against batting-heavy, more fancied teams.
Captain: Brendon McCullum
Coach: Vaughn Johnson
Key players: Brendon McCullum, Ryan ten Doeschate
The Scorchers have reached the finals of the Big Bash for two consecutive seasons, but have failed to clear the final hurdle. While in the first season they lost to Sydney Sixers in the final, this season the Brisbane Heat overwhelmed them. But there is no denying the fact that they have been the most consistent among all the Big Bash teams so far.
Captained and coached by Simon Katich (in pic) and Justin Langer, the Perth-based team have enough firepower in their arsenal to last the distance. The Scorchers are known to be slow-starters. In the absence of Shaun Marsh, Marcus North will have to shoulder the responsibility of their batting along with Katich. But the Scorchers main strength lies in their bowling.
Young Australia pacer Joe Mennie will be interesting player to watch. The spin attack comprises the evergreen Brad Hogg, spinner Ashton Agar and Adam Voges.
Captain: Simon Katich
Coach: Justin Langer
Key players: Simon Katich, Brad Hogg
Chennai Super Kings
Their ability to seize the key moments and their consistency have made them the team to beat in the IPL. Unfortunately, they have failed to translate the same in CLT20. Apart from the 2010 edition where they emerged champions, their form has been erratic. But then, CSK have plenty of quality players who can come good at any point in time.
Mike Hussey and Suresh Raina can dominate proceedings with their aggressive batting. Albie Morkel and Mohit Sharma will shoulder the responsibility in the pace attack while R. Ashwin’s four overs will be crucial.
All-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja provide balance to the side. The X-factor is Mahendra Singh Dhoni (in pic). He is one of the finest finishers in the game and is a terrific leader.
Captain: MS Dhoni
Coach: Stephen Fleming
Key players: Michael Hussey, Ravindra Jadeja
After finishing fourth in the last edition of the IPL, the Sunrisers have successfully finished in the top two of the qualifiers to reach the main draw. If their wins in the qualifiers are any indication, they will be the team to watch out for.
Captain Shikhar Dhawan (in pic) is in top form and that seems to have rubbed on to the other members of the team as well. Dhawan has got a very reliable opening partner in wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel. In the middle-order, JP Duminy’s success will be key. Hanuma Vihari has been the find for Sunrisers and his contribution will be crucial. If on song, Cameron White, Darren Sammy and Thisara Perera can wreak havoc on their day. The four overs of Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra will also be crucial. However, the Sunrisers’ best bet in the bowling department is undoubtedly South Africa quick Dale Steyn. And we all know why…
Captain: Shikhar Dhawan
Coach: Tom Moody
Key players: Shikhar Dhawan, Dale Steyn
Reigning champions of the Big Bash League in Australia, the Brisbane Heat are a formidable outfit. Led by the talented all-rounder James Hopes (in pic), the Heat have enough resources in their squad to stun their more fancied opponents on their day.
The fact that they had clinched their domestic title this season by beating the Perth Scorchers in January without the services of their captain is enough to testify for that.
They have a good mix of youth and experience in their ranks. The likes of vice-captain and wicket-keeper batsman Chris Hartley and Joe Burns can pack a punch.
Their batting will also rely upon the solidity of Peter Forrest and Chris Lynn. Daniel Christian and Nathan Hauritz give the Heat a good balance. Needless to mention the impact pacer Kemar Roach can have on the outcome of a match when he is on song.
Captain: James Hopes
Coach: Stuart Law
Key players: James Hopes, Nathan Hauritz
They are one of the most successful teams in South Africa, winning almost every single tournament they have played. But one trophy which is missing from their cabinet is the Champions League T20. And they will be eager to win the title this time around.
The semi-finalists last year will be taking part in the tournament for a second successive year. If the players can adjust to the Indian conditions quickly, they can prove to be a very strong opposition.
The crux of the side’s batting will revolve around captain Jacques Rudolph (in pic) and AB de Villiers. No wonder then, much of Titans’ hopes will rest on his shoulders. Titans have one of the best fast bowling attacks in this tournament. The express pace of Marchant de Lange and Morne Morkel can trouble the opposition batsmen.
Captain: Jacques Rudolph
Coach: Rob Walter
Key players: AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel, David Wiese
Trinidad and Tobago
Despite talented names in their line-up, Trinidad & Tobago haven’t quite been able to live up to the expectations, especially in the last two editions.
A chunk of players in this squad have been part of the West Indies team in either formats of the game. Rich international experience gives Trinidad & Tobago an edge over other teams.
It’s time Denesh Ramdin (in pic), Ravi Rampaul and Darren Bravo do justice to their talent and ensure their team reach the business end of the tournament.
The presence of off-spinner Sunil Narine is a major advantage for the Caribbean side, considering his exploits in the IPL and the T20 format overall. Besides, the legendary Brian Lara accompanying the squad as an advisor, too, is a positive factor for the team.
Captain: Denesh Ramdin
Coach: David Williams
Key players: Darren Bravo, Sunil Narine
Compiled by Sportsdesk
RESULTS IN FINALS
2009 - NSW (159/9 in 20 ovs) bt Trinidad & Tobago (118/10 in 15.5 ovs) by 41 runs.
2010 - Warriors (128/7 in 20 ovs) lost to CSK (132/2 in 19 ovs) by 8 wkts (& 6 balls to spare)
2011 - MI (139/10 in 20 ovs) bt RCB (108/10 in 19.2 ovs) by 31 runs
2012 - Lions (121 in 20 ovs) lost to Sydney Sixers (124/0 in 12.3 ovs) by 10 wickets (& 45 balls to spare).
Highest team total
215/8 (20 ovs) by Royal Challengers Bangalore, vs South Australia (Bangalore, October 5, 2011)
Lowest team total
70/10 (15.3 ovs) by Central Districts, vs Wayamba (Port Elizabeth, September 22, 2010)
total individual 100s - 4 (David Warner - 2, Andrew Puttick -1, Daniel Harris -1)
Highest individual score - 135* by David Warner for New South Wales (vs Chennai Super Kings, Chennai, October, 2011)
Leading run-getter - 556 runs by David Warner (New South Wales/Delhi DareDevils), from 2009-2012
5/32 (4 ovs) by Shaun Tait for South Australia (vs RCB, Bangalore, October 5, 2011)
5/32 (4 ovs) by Lasith Malinga for MI (vs CSK, Jo’ burg, Oct 20, 2012)
24 wickets by Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians), from 2010-2012
Stats: Mohandas Menon