It is one of the biggest sporting events in India, if not the world. The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 edition will start from March 23. Defending Champions Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore will lock horns in Chennai in the opening fixture.
The spectre of the upcoming ICC World Cup looms large on the tournament. Some of the international players will juggle their commitments to stay fresh for the World Cup. Despite this, IPL remains the biggest catch of the cricket season.
What does the season have in store? We will look at the fantasy team picks and player picks.
When it comes to IPL, CSK rules the roost. They are the most successful franchise in the history, with three titles and seven final appearances in all. With MS Dhoni leading the pack, the ‘Yellow Brigade’ is set to lead the charge once again.
Kings XI Punjab have some of the best T20 batsmen with the likes of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, David Miller and Nicolas Pooran making up the squad. Kolkata Knight Riders have a well-balanced side with T20 superstars like Harry Gurney, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik and Sunil Narine.
Sunrisers Hyderabad is another team worth the look, with Kane Williamson, David Warner, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar adding a lot of T20 expertise.
Fantasy Batsmen to Watch
Royal Challengers Bangalore may not be one of the favourites, but captain Virat Kohli is a must fantasy pick. He has 4, 948 IPL runs and is one of the most consistent batsmen, whatever is the format, in modern cricket.
When it comes to IPL, no one can question the pedigree of Suresh Raina. The southpaw is an ‘IPL legend’ and is the leading run-scorer of all-time with 4, 985 runs in the competition.
Chris Gayle is the ‘Universe Boss’ for a reason and he loves IPL as a platform to show that. He has the highest individual score (175*), most overall sixes (292), fastest century (30 balls) and many more records to his name in the IPL.
Fantasy Bowlers to Watch
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one of the most consistent IPL bowlers in the recent times. His ability to bowl at both ends of the innings with the same efficiency makes him a good pick.
Rashid Khan is a household name in franchise cricket now, thanks to his globe-trotting ways and success. The leg-spinner is frugal with the ball (ER 6.10 & Avg. 15.4 in T20 career) making him a good fantasy pick.
Dwayne Bravo has 1, 403 runs and 136 wickets in the IPL making him an excellent all-round pick for your fantasy side.
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