Four more teams to preview in IPL 2013 in Part Two, starting with last year's wooden spooners.
Pune Warriors India
Captain: Angelo Matthews
2012 position: 9th
Internationals: Aaron Finch, Ajantha Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Kane Richardson, Luke Wright, Marlon Samuels, Mitchell Marsh, Ross Taylor, Steve Smith, Tamim Iqbal.
Local talent: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harpeet Singh, Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa.
That guy got game! Kane Richardson has 700,000 reasons to play well this season. His form in BBL|02 and the Ryobi One Day Cup secured a mammoth pay day for the 22-year-old. His death bowling in particular will be a much needed asset for a Warriors side who struggled in that area last season. The bloke can also take a good catch.
Hmm, that ain't right. Finishing last certainly wasn't on the cards in 2012. One of the newer franchises, Pune lacked the local talent that the successful teams had. This season isn't much different, though a solid spine of Taylor, Smith, Finch and Matthews should see some balance to the batting group. If Pune are to climb the ladder it will be off the back of their domestic talents not their overseas imports.
Captain: Rahul Dravid
2012 position: 7th
Internationals: Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Fidel Edwards, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Kusal Janith Perera, Owais Shah, Samuel Badree, Shane Watson, Shaun Tait.
Local talent: Ajinkya Rahane, Harmeet Singh, Dravid, S Sreesanth, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny.
That guy got game! Who else but Shane Watson. The ICC World T20 Player of the Tournament will be the linchpin for the Royals, assuming he stays fit. Watson was the Royals and IPL Player of the Tournament way back in 2008 where everything he touched turned to gold (figuratively). He's good enough to play as a bowler or a batsman and at his best he can mix it with the likes of Kallis and Pollard. Basically, if Watto plays the whole season Rajasthan will make the finals.
Hmm, that ain't right. Rahane was a star for Rajasthan last year, scoring a sparkling century against Bangalore in quick time. The Royals need another Rahane this year as an aging batting group could struggle. Dravid, Shah and Hodge are all the wrong side of 35, so an injection of youth will be crucial.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Captain: Virat Kohli
2012 position: 5th
Internationals: AB De Villiers, Andrew McDonald, Chris Gayle, Christopher Barnwell, Daniel Christian, Daniel Vettori, Moises Henriques, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravi Rampaul, Tilakaratne Dilshan
Local talent: Cheteshwar Pujara, Murali Kartik, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, RP Singh, Kohli, Zaheer Khan.
That guy got game! If Delhi rely on David Warner, so too do Bangalore on Chris Gayle. The man mountain had a disappointing BBL|02 by his standards, but turned it on during last year's IPL, topping the run-scorers tally. He does have some allies though, with de Villiers, Kohli, Dilshan and Pujara all capable of winning games on their own. If Gayle fires Bangalore win. Simple.
Hmm, that ain't right. If Bangalore had a class fast man, no disrespect to Rampaul and Khan, they would be almost too tough to conquer. Zaheer is getting a little long in the tooth and Rampaul doesn't have that "wow" aspect to his deliveries. Despite that minor issue Bangalore should feature in the finals in 2013.
Captain: Kumar Sangakkara
2012 position: N/A
Internationals: Cameron White, Chris Lynn, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, Sangakkara, Nathan McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Thisara Perera.
Local talent: Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Parthiv Patel, Shikhar Dhawan.
That guy got game! If you hadn't heard of him before, Shikhar Dhawan is a serious player. Australian fans will not want to see him again after he smashed 187 on Test debut at way better than a run a ball. If he's doing that in a Test match imagine what he could do in a T20! They've also got a guy by the name of Dale Steyn. Steyn is an up-and-coming fast bowler from South Africa. Looks to have plenty of potential. Keep an eye out for him...
Hmm, that ain't right. New kids Hyderbad are essentially the old Deccan Chargers. Deccan had a rough time of it in 2012, finishing second last to Pune by a point. Hyderabad lack depth. Arguably the weakest team on paper, their team will rely on contributions from every player. Sammy, Lynn, White and Perera all possess the ability to damage opponents across both disciplines, but if they don't it might be a long season. Rajasthan were outsiders in IPL 2008, so who knows? Remember, watch out for that Steyn guy...