The IPL begins its 12th edition in March and there is a lot of excitement in store this season as well.
Old legends of the game will be making an appearance, and newer players will be looking for their time in the spotlight. Like all years, there will once again be a competition about the Orange and Purple caps, given to the highest run-getter and the highest wicket-taker, respectively. These are truly coveted positions, contested by every player in the IPL.
Henceforth, like all years, this year too has some favorites for the Orange Cap. Here’s taking a look at them.
The Mumbai Indians Skipper is one of the most legendary players in the IPL, and rightfully so. The team has won the title three times under him, and his run score is extremely impressive. Sharma is the third highest run-getter in the tournament, scoring 4493 runs in 173 matches, at an average of 31.86.
The Australian is one of the most destructive batsmen in the world and is undoubtedly one of the best assets in the Kolkata Knight Riders. He is also their most expensive foreign player to be bought, at 9.6 crores. He has always been pivotal in helping KKR’s run in the edition, be it batting first or chasing. Lynn has played a total of 28 matches in the IPL and has scored an impressive 875 runs at an average of 35.
The southpaw had an amazing season last year, which helped him secure a more or less permanent place for himself in the Indian team. Pant was also one of the three players who was retained by Delhi Capitals.
Rishabh Pant was the second highest run-scorer last season, falling short of winning the Orange Cap by a few runs. He scored 684 runs at an average of 52.61, including a 128* off 63 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad, which is the highest individual score by an Indian in the IPL.
The stand-in captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the previous season led his team to the finals. Moreover, he was the winner of the Orange Cap last year. The New Zealand skipper has played in 32 IPL matches so far and has scored 1146 runs, averaging at 42.44. In the last season, he played 17 matches, and scored 735 runs in total, averaging at an impressive 52.50.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore and Indian Team Skipper has been a part of the same IPL team since 2008. His track record when it comes to run-scoring makes him an extremely valuable asset to his team. Kohli won the Orange Cap in 2016, when he scored 973 runs in 16 matches at an incredible average of 81.08. Last year, he played 14 matches and scored 530 runs. Kohli is also the highest run scorer in the history of the IPL, scoring 4948 runs in 163 matches, at an average of 38.35.
India kept the hope alive of T20I series win by registering a comfortable 7-wicket win in the second T20 International match against New Zealand at Auckland on Friday.
New Zealand won the toss and elected to bat first. Seifert and Munro started the innings. New Zealand were looking for a flying start but they didn’t get the start. Only when Seifert started hitting big, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and India quickly got rid of him. Tim Seifert, who scored 84 in the first game, scored a boundary and an over-boundary before getting dismissed.
Then it was Krunal Pandya, who struck twice in his first over. He first took Colin Munro, who tried to cover the in-field but failed to do so. The catch came at a great pace towards Rohit Sharma at the cover, who took that easily. On the last ball of the over, he trapped Daryl Mitchell before the stumps.
New Zealand captain Williamson became the third victim of Krunal Pandya in the eighth over. Williamson got dismissed after scoring 20 off 17 and New Zealand were reduced to 60/4 after 10 overs.
Then, all-rounder, Colin de Grandhomme came to his side’s rescue, smashed his maiden T20I half-century off 27 balls which included four sixes and one boundary. He, along with Ross Taylor anchored the innings till 15.4 overs. Both of them added 77-run before de Grandhomme misjudged the delivery and ended up giving an easy catch to Rohit Sharma at extra cover.
Krunal Pandya was the pick of bowlers, ending the innings with 3/28. Left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed finished with figures of 2/27 as the tourists were successful in stopping the hosts from exploiting Eden Park’s short boundaries.
Then Taylor and Mitchell Santner tried to steady the ship and both added 26 runs. Before they could move further, Vijay Shankar’s direct throw from the deep sent Taylor back in the pavilion. Later Khaleel Ahmed picked two more wickets in the last over and New Zealand ended up scoring 158 after 20 overs.
.@ImRo45, in T20Is, rewrote a few records today 😉👇🏻
Krunal Pandya bagged 3 wickets while Khaleel Ahmed took two. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya scalped one each for India.
Chasing 159, India got off to a flying start. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan stated the innings at full pace and started dealing with boundaries and over-boundaries. In the 4th over when Rohit hit Kuggeleijn for a six at fine-leg, he completed his 100th six in T20Is.
Currently, he is placed second of hitting sixes (102). Martin Guptill and Chris Gayle are ahead of him with 103 sixes. He reached his 16th T20 half-century in the 9th over. With this, he became the highest run-scorer in T20I as well as the most 50+ scorer in the shortest format of the game.
But his stormy 50 off 29 came to an end when he got dismissed off Ish Sodhi. Dhawan, at the other end, was looking not much comfortable and scored only 30 off 31 with two boundaries before getting out. Earlier, both the openers added 79-run partnership, which became the Most partnership runs (1480).
Rishabh Pant came to bat at No. 3 today and tried to build a partnership with Vijay Shankar; who scored one boundary and a six in his 8-ball 14. Vijay Shankar’s dismissal brought MS Dhoni on the field. Both played with caution where Dhoni was rotating the strike and Pant was dealing with big shots. They both added 44-run through a steady association and ensured India’s win with 7 balls to spare.
Tim Seifert smashed a blistering 43-ball 84 and Tim Southee’s three-wicket haul helped New Zealand to register an 80-run win against India in the first T20 International match at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Wednesday (February 6) and secure a 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series.
India won the toss and chose to field first. Tim Seifert and Colin Munro started hitting from the very beginning. Due to their stormy innings, New Zealand managed to score 66 within the powerplay without the loss of any wicket. In the eighth over, Seifert hit towards mid-wicket off Krunal Pandya and scored his maiden T20I half-century. But the very next ball caused Munro’s dismissal.
Munro and Seifert added 86 runs before Munro got dismissed while trying to hit over long-on. His 34 came off 20 balls with 2 fours and 2 sixes. Their opening partnership became the second highest partnership against India after Colin Munro and Martin Guptill’s 105 in 2017. Munro, who was struggling against Mohammed Shami in the ODI series, played a crucial knock in T20Is. He is the only batsman to hit three centuries in T20Is.
However, Seifert didn’t slow down his inning and hit Krunal Pandya for two more sixes in his last over to help New Zealand went past the 100-run mark. Yuzvendra Chahal too couldn’t make any impression as Seifert kept hitting all around the park. The right-hander, however, dropped by Dinesh Karthik in the 11th over but couldn’t score a century as he was bowled by Khaleel Ahmed after an impressive 84 off 43 with seven fours and six over-boundaries.
New Zealand send India to their biggest T20I defeat!
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson too played a crucial role and scored 34 off 22 before getting dismissed in Chahal’s delivery. After that, wickets started falling at a regular interval. New Zealand lost Daryl Mitchell (8), Colin de Grandhomme (3) and Taylor (14-ball 23) in quick succession. They were 164/3 after 15 overs and soon reduced to 190/5. Their innings never looked dull after falling the wickets.
Scott Kuggeleijn played a quickfire 20* off 7 with three fours and a six in the last two overs and helped his side to put up 219 after 20 overs. Their score was the highest T20I score on that ground so far.
While chasing the huge total, India needed a flying start. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started the innings with a great form as Dhawan hit Kuggeleijn for 16 runs in his very first over. But that didn’t last too long as Tim Southee gave the first breakthrough to his team by picking up Rohit for 1 in the third over.
Vijay Shankar was promoted in the batting order and came to the crease at number 3 but couldn’t play the anchor’s role. Just when both the batters started to build a solid partnership, Lockie Ferguson picked up Dhawan for 18-ball 29. Rishabh Pant got the chance in the playing XI but failed to impress with the bat and only managed 4 runs off 10 balls before misjudging the delivery from Mitchell Santner.
Vijay Shankar was next to follow; who was dismissed by Kuggeleijn, after scoring 27 runs. India were reduced to 65/4 after 9 overs and the pressure fell upon on former captain MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik. Karthik, who had a bad day on the field earlier, couldn’t do much with the bat too. Legspinner Ish Sodhi took Karthik’s wicket for 5 while Southee took an amazing catch. All-rounder Hardik Pandya was next to fell for mere 4.
India were struggling at 77/6 and with 143 required to win the match in the last nine overs, Dhoni and Krunal Pandya tried to steady the ship. Both hit a couple of big shots and added 52 runs before Krunal fell for 20 off 18 in Southee’s deliveries. Dhoni fell in the last ball of the penultimate over after top-scoring39 off 31. By then the game was out of India’s hand and India faced their biggest defeat against New Zealand.
The hosts might seem vulnerable at the moment due to the heavy loss of 4-1 in the recently concluded ODI series against India, but the story ain’t the same in T20Is. New Zealand have a lot of positives in the T20I front.
Colin Munro might not have been successful in the ODI series for New Zealand but the batting all-rounder amassed 500 runs at an impressive strike rate of almost 180 in T20Is last year. Besides, there are some surprises in store from both teams. The three-match T20I series starts on February 6.
Here are some players to watch out for in the upcoming T20I series:
Due to Martin Guptill’s unavailability, Jimmy Neesham was incorporated into the New Zealand T20I squad for the series against India. His presence in the lower order has been helpful for the Kiwis during the ODI series. The T20I is well anticipated to witness Neesham’s spark. His 32-ball 44 in the final ODI in Wellington added to his decent role as a seamer was quite impressive even though New Zealand lost.
With Trent Boult being rested, New Zealand was open to some newness. The bowling all-rounder from Hamilton, Scott Kuggeleijn, has all the experience in the shortest format of the game. He is new to International Cricket but his expertise has been showcased in the Super Smash Twenty20 league. Kuggeleign has taken 14 wickets and scored 59 runs in T20s during the ongoing New Zealand domestic season.
After Virat Kohli was rested for the rest of the New Zealand tour, the 19-year-old Shubhman was incorporated into the Indian squad. He scored just nine and seven in his two ODI appearances. The Indian coach, Ravi Shastri has backed the youngster who is full of talent. With no one else likely to take the 3rd spot, India might play Gill at one down. His enthusiasm in playing shots have proven hard during the ODIs but if he settles down, he might turn out to be the perfect hitter for the visiting side.
India’s much-celebrated chinaman spinner, Kuldeep Yadav was enormously successful in the ODI series against New Zealand. His grip over the conditions and puzzling the batsmen has been on point. He was dropped in the last ODI given to his unproductive performances in the 3rd and 4th ODI. Nonetheless, he took two consecutive four-wicket hauls in the first two ODIs; an Indian record.
The captain of the New Zealand team might open the batting alongside Colin Munro in the absence of Guptill. Williamson has opened the batting in 27 out of his 54 T20I appearances, averaging 38.52 in that position as opposed to an overall average of 31.64. In those 27 games, The Blackcaps have emerged victorious 17 times. Over the last 10 T20I innings, he has managed to keep his average over 32.
Southee sat out of the team in the last ODI as he wasn’t prolific in the series. His form is a concern in ODIs since the 2015 World Cup. But he is a successful bowler in the shortest format. An added advantage is his success record of eight wickets at 13.77 in T20Is at the Westpac Stadium, Wellington- the venue to the first T20I.
New Zealand has recalled all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and leg-spinner Todd Astle for the last two One Day Internationals against India.
Both the teams had played three matches so far where India have already won the five-match series by 3-0. Having lost the series, New Zealand decided to recall two players to get back in the winning zone. All-rounder James Neesham replaced Doug Bracewell in the squad while leg-spinner Ish Sodhi lost his place to Todd Astle.
Astle has played only 11 international matches so far. He was ruled out from the team for a long time because of a knee injury. Though he didn’t play for the country since November, he has played for Canterbury in the Super Smash this month. The upcoming two matches will play a crucial role for him to prepare better for the upcoming ICC World Cup.
While Astle was not a part of the national side due to his knee-injury, Neesham had made his comeback to the limited-over matches after nearly two years during the Sri Lanka series in their backyard where he played a key role for the country. Before getting injured in the hamstring, he smashed ten sixes in the three matches. Later he played for Wellington in the Super Smash for Wellington.
New Zealand’s batting has failed miserably in the series in the three matches. Apart from few players, most of them failed to perform along with the openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro. But the team decided to retain them. Bracewell couldn’t do well with the ball and only took one wicket from the three matches which he had played. Though he failed to impress with the ball, He smashed a half-century in the second game for a losing cause. Along with him, Ish Sodhi too has failed to perform with the ball and went wicketless.
“Doug and Ish have been two of the brighter spots of the ODI series so far and we’ve been encouraged by their performances against a quality Indian side,” Gavin Larsen, the selector of New Zealand said.
“It’s great to welcome back the all-round skills of Jimmy and Todd and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can bring to the series. We’re still looking to keep our options open with selections at this stage and ensure we continue to learn as much as we can about our players,” Larsen further added.
Remaining two matches between India and New Zealand is scheduled to play on Hamilton and Wellington on January 31 and February 3 respectively.
New Zealand squad:
Kane Williamson (C), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin De Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.
Kuldeep Yadav’s four-for 39, Mohammed Shami’s three-wicket haul and Shikhar Dhawan’s 103-ball 75 guided India to a convincing 8-wicket win.
India started their five-match ODI campaign with a wonderful win against New Zealand at McLean Park, Napier. New Zealand elected to bat first after winning the toss. But they didn’t get the start which they are accustomed to. Mohammed Shami handed over the first breakthrough to India by removing Martin Guptill for 5 in the second over and completed his 100 ODI wickets. He became the fastest Indian to reach 100 ODI scalps. Guptil’s dismissal brought New Zealand captain Kane Williamson on the crease.
Shami bowled Colin Munro in his second over and Ross Taylor joined his captain in the fourth over. Both started to steady the ship, added 34 runs for the fourth wicket. Taylor walked into bat with six consecutive half-centuries but failed to continue that form. Chahal picked up Taylor in a return catch in the 15th over for 24.
Chahal once again struck in the 19th over when Tom Latham fell for 11. Henry Nicholls too got out while trying to hit over midwicket in Kedar Jadhav’s delivery, and New Zealand reduced to 107 for 5 soon. After Shami and Chahal handed over the early breakthroughs, Kuldeep Yadav did the rest. His four-wicket haul bundled New Zealand within a below per score of 158 within 38 overs. Williamson stood strong and top-scored 64 off 81.
In reply, India got off to a slow but steady start. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan added 41 runs in 9 overs before the break. After coming back from the break, Doug Bracewell successfully broke the partnership by taking Rohit Sharma; who gave an easy catch to Guptill at slip after scoring 11 off 24.
Rohit’s dismissal brought captain Virat Kohli on the field. But before the match could progress when the eleventh over started, the umpires decided to stop the play as the sun was straight to the eye-line of the batsman; which could be dangerous. The match was started after 30 minutes but lost one over and the target was revised to 156 from 49 overs.
Kohli and Dhawan picked up the pace where they left, started hitting all over the ground and rotating the strikes whenever needed. Shikhar Dhawan became the second fastest Indian to score 5000 ODI runs, as well as brought up his 26th ODI fifty.
However, Kohli finally got dismissed for 45 off 59 in the 29th over after adding 91 runs with Dhawan. Kohli tried to hook a ball of Lockie Ferguson but ended up giving the catch to Tom Latham behind the stumps. Dhawan played till the end, scored a 103-ball 75. He along with Rayadu did the rest of the job and helped India to claim an easy 8-wicket win with 15.1 overs to spare.
After having a tie in the three-match T20I series followed by a historic Test series win by 2-1 and the first bilateral ODI series win by 2-1 against Australia in Australia, India is all set to face New Zealand at New Zealand from January 23.
With the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner in the national team, Australia were much weaker side than India in the recently concluded series. Though India have been performing consistently, New Zealand will surely give them a tough fight in the five-match ODI and three-match T20I series. New Zealand team looks a much better side with a mixture of experience and youth players in their team; while India too will try to keep their winning momentum on.
The series will help both the teams to prepare themselves for the upcoming World Cup in May. Here are the five players to watch out for the series:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has shut all the critics with his stellar performance in the recently concluded three-match ODI series against Australia. Dhoni, who didn’t have a great 2018 with the bat, started this year with a superb tournament.
In the first ODI in Sydney, he came to bat at No. 5 after India were struggling at 4 for 3 within four overs. He scored a 96-ball 51 but India failed to win the match in a chase of 289. He walked into bat at No. 5 in the must-win second ODI and smashed an unbeaten 54-ball 55 to guide his side to a victory. He was promoted to No. 4 in the batting order in the third ODI which was the series decider as well. He anchored the innings till the end to power India to a comfortable win by 2-1; which was India’s first bilateral series win. He was named the ‘Man of The Series’ after having scored three consecutive half-centuries.
Prior to the series, many doubted Dhoni’s capabilities and his ability to finish the match. Some of them asked for his replacement as well. Many favoured Rishabh Pant as India’s wicket-keeper batsman for the upcoming World Cup who can give stability to the lower batting order. But Dhoni showed his class once again. Though India is trying to sort out their middle order prior to the World Cup, if Dhoni can keep performing like the recently concluded series, he would perfectly fit for the place; who could anchor the innings till the end.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is one of the best players right now in the world cricket. He has been going through a good patch throughout last year. He scored 468 runs in 11 matches, including two centuries against Pakistan and England with the strike rate of 75.97. This year too has started well for him. The 28-year old already scored two half-centuries against Sri Lanka and managed to score 132 runs in three matches.
Last year, in T20Is, he achieved 251 runs in 12 matches which came at an average of 115.66. He has the ability to anchor the innings till the end. His average is over 70 against India and he can pose a great threat to India.
One of the most dangerous players in the recent time, Ross Taylor amassed 639 runs in 11 matches at an astonishing average of 91.28. He has the second-best ODI batting average after India captain Virat Kohli since the last World Cup. This year too has started in a grand way for him.
The 34-year-old scored 281 runs in the three games against Sri Lanka which included his 20th century. He has already managed to score 50-plus in his last six ODIs and on the verge of equaling the record of former Pakistan player Javed Miandad’s world record of nine successive ODI half-centuries. Just like his captain Willamson, Taylor has the ability to damage India’s bowling line-up with ease.
The star in making and definitely the next batting sensation of India, Shubman Gill got his maiden call up in the national team for the New Zealand series. After having a successful ICC U-19 World Cup last year and scoring his maiden first-class double-century for Punjab in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season, he has been doing wonders.
He had played in New Zealand before during the ICC U-19 World Cup; where he was awarded the ‘Man of the series’ for his scintillating 372 runs in 5 innings. He was the highest run-getter for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season. Though it would be difficult for him to find a place in the playing XI, he will surely try to utilise the chance if he gets one.
The speedster of New Zealand, Lockie Ferguson will play the crucial role for his team’s victory. The right-arm fast bowler can bowl at 150 kmph and has the tendency to pick up wickets whenever needed. He has been in a great form last year; where he picked up 19 wickets in 9 ODIs at an economy rate of 5.13. Only pace spearhead Trent Boult had more wickets than him (22).
This year started in a great note for him as he scalped 6 wickets in 2 matches against Sri Lanka. He has 38 ODI wickets in his name in 21 matches, including the career-best 5 for 45 against Pakistan. His attacking pace can trouble India a lot.
India will play five ODIs in New Zealand starting from January 23
After the ODIs are done, the two teams will play each other in a three-match T20I series
India have added the 19-year-old Shubman Gill to their squad
Jimmy Neesham and Tim Seifert ruled out, Santner and Latham come back
After a historic bilateral triumph in Australia, the Indian team next conquest lies in New Zealand. India now have a five-match ODI series and a three-match T20I series ahead of themselves. The last time India toured New Zealand for an ODI series was in the 2013/2014 season. The 5-match ODI series had resulted in a 4-0 victory for the home team. The best India could do was secure a tie in the third ODI game. The Kiwis are currently ranked third in ODis would look forward to jumping ahead of India by the end of the series. The visitors would want to carry on with their winning streak and also improve their winning record in New Zealand.
The fact that Dhawan’s recent ODI form is rather middling (no 50s in 9 ODI—Avg 20) makes it spicier. It isn’t easy finding form vs swing and pace. But that’s what makes International cricket exciting. Can’t wait. #NZvInd
India have a terrible winning record in New Zealand in the 50-over format. Out of 34 matches played India have won 10 and lost 21. While one match had resulted in a Tie, a couple of matches ended with No Result.
India News: MS Dhoni played a vital role in India’s win over Australia in the third ODI at the MCG. He played at No. 4 and scored an unbeaten 87 runs. But India is still looking for a stable No.4 batsman. Shubhman Gill could be the power hitter India has been looking for and would definitely be given a chance in the playing XI during the ODI series. Captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will lead the batting. While India still don’t have Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvi and Shami are expected to do their bit as they did in Australia.
India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, K Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Shubman Gill
New Zealand News: Mitchell Santner will return to ODIs after a long hiatus due to his injury. Tom Latham has been brought out of rest and will overtake the wicket-keeping duty from Tim Seifert. Trent Boult and Tim Southee will be leading the pace attack as usual. All-rounder responsibilities might be taken up by Colin de Grandhomme or Doug Bracewell. The home team could also go for the third pacer option with Matt Henry/Lockie Ferguson and place one spinner, either Mitchell Santner or Ish Sodhi. The batting will be led by three of New Zealand’s best- Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, and Martin Guptill.
New Zealand Squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the most popular games around the world. Along with the game, it’s popularity depends on its social media also.
All the IPL franchises have their own social media accounts; which helped to increase their popularity as well.
Instagram is one of the most used social networking sites all over the world and achieved popularity in a very short period of time. All the franchises use their Instagram accounts for their inside news of their team; which attracts the fans to follow their account.
Here are the 8 IPL teams based on their Instagram followers:
Rajasthan Royals – Instagram Followers – 3,93,000
Rajasthan Royals won the first ever season of IPL in 2008. The team comprised of young Indian players along with the big name of Ajinkya Rahane. As the young players are not that much popular on social media, which somehow affects the franchise’s fan following as well.
They were suspended for two years after their owner’s alleged involvement in the spot-fixing in 2013. This incident too became the reason for the decreased fan base. Rajasthan Royals have 3,93,000+ followers on Instagram, which is not high as compared to the other teams.
Delhi Capitals was earlier known as the Delhi Daredevils. One of the star-studded teams of IPL, Delhi Capitals never won the title.
Earlier the team had some great players like Virender Sehwag, Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen, Gautam Gambhir etc. but they had failed to perform in the league matches; which caused their exit from the league in the semi-final many times.
Delhi Capitals now have 5,24,000 followers on Instagram and with the star players like Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw etc., they will try to improve their performances which eventually help to grow their fan base.
Kings XI Punjab – Instagram Followers – 7,38,000
Owned by Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, Kings XI Punjab is the other team which never win a title of IPL. In 2014, they had reached the final but lost to the Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets. Last year, they had a strong star-studded squad with the likes of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Andrew Tye, Karun Nair, R Ashwin, Moises Henriques, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Mayank Agarwal etc.
Though they had a solid squad, they failed to capitalize that and missed the opportunity to win the title. Despite that, they are quite popular on social media and have 7,38,000+ followers on Instagram. They will surely try to do better this year.
Deccan Chargers had been replaced by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League. They lost in the final to Chennai Super Kings last year but won the 2016 IPL title by defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final.
SRH have various star players in the time – David Warner, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kane Williamson, Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi etc. With the 7,40,000 followers on Instagram, they will try to increase their followers by their on-field performances.
The owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise is none other than Shahrukh Khan, one of the most popular celebrities all around the world. With the owner’s huge fan following, the team too has huge followers from the beginning of the league.
They won the IPL title twice in its 11 years of campaign and finished in the third place in the last year. Earlier the team was led by Gautam Gambhir but last year Dinesh Karthik became the captain. Along with him, the other known players are Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill etc.
Each of the players is immensely popular and their popularity helped to increase the fan-following of the franchise; which has 8,31,000 followers on Instagram and likes to increase it by performing better on the field.
Chennai Super Kings – Instagram Followers – 16,00,000
Last year, Chennai Super Kings made a comeback from the ban and won the title with their wonderful all-round performances. This is one of the three teams in IPL which have more than 1 million followers on Instagram.
CSK have the players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, and Ravindra Jadeja etc. Dhoni is one of the most popular players all over the world. Along with them, foreigners like DJ Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi, Shane Watson too are popular for their performances; which added more followers in the list of the franchise’s Instagram account; which currently have 1.6 million followers.
Most of their popularity comes from Dhoni and this year they will surely try to maintain their form and retain the title.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Instagram Followers – 20,00,000
Despite being India captain Virat Kohli’s presence in the team, Royal Challengers Bangalore never won an IPL title so far. Many times they have come close to the victory but failed to win. In 2016, they had reached the final in 2016 but after that, they had failed to qualify for the playoffs as well.
They have 2 million followers on Instagram and one of the main reasons behind it is the Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers’ presence in the squad, two best batsmen in the world. Along with them, the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Prayas Ray Barman, Shivam Dubey, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Parthiv Patel etc. will help the team to perform well and win the cup this year.
Mumbai Indians – Instagram Followers – 22,00,000
The three-time IPL winners, Mumbai Indians are undoubtedly one of the most popular franchise all over the world who have 2.2 million+ followers on Instagram. Though they failed to perform better last year, they had won the title in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
Mumbai Indians has been the star-studded from the beginning with the players like Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Ricky Ponting, Lasith Malinga, Andrew Symonds etc. This year they have signed Yuvraj Singh as well. Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya are the finds of the team in IPL who all are part of the India team now.
The year 2018 redefined the way the world view Test Cricket. With plenty of close encounters and excellent performances throughout, audiences were in for a treat as challenging games and nail-biting finishes became more prominent.
Here is the Test XI of 2018.
The opener had a phenomenal year for Sri Lanka, even though he played most of his matches at home. He amassed 743 runs at an average of 46.43 and was in the top ten highest run-scorers for the year. With seven fifties and one hundred, ensured that Sri Lanka were off to good starts more often than not.
Markram has been a consistent anchor at the top of the order for the South Africans in the last few years and 2018 was no different. He finished the year with 672 runs and faced opposition teams like Australia and India at home, whilst also traveling to Sri Lanka for a series in the sub-continent.
Pujara knuckled down and consolidated the innings after the early loss of wickets right throughout the year. With the Indian openers looking iffy throughout 2018, the onus was on Pujara to come in early and anchor the innings, something that he did with ease. Even though the Saurashtra player had a dubious record overseas before the year began, Pujara did well to end 2018 with 837 runs, including two hundred in Australia that has put the team on course for a historical series win.
India has led the Indian team from the front and has marked himself as the best batsman of the year, finishing with 1322 runs at an average of 55.08. The skipper conquered South Africa, led the charge in England and has been the silent performer in Australia as well and while his feats do not compare to Steven Smith’s run in 2017, there is no taking away from Kohli’s efforts. Most impressive was the Delhi player’s strike-rate that was just a little short of 60 in 2018.
The English captain finishes as the second highest run-getter of 2018 with 948 runs at an average of 41 that includes two hundred and six fifties. Except for the Ashes at the start of the year, England had a solid run in Tests in 2018, and they have Root to thank for it by a large margin. England was yet another side plagued by an inconsistent top-order, but the player’s ability to hold the fort and take his team out of safety ensures he finds a place in Test XI.
The Kiwi skipper might not have played many Tests in 2018, but he did make full use of his chances when given a chance. He racked up 651 runs in only 12 innings, averaging 59 and notching up a 50 once in every two innings.
None of the wicket-keepers had a standout year in 2018, and hence the selection for this spot was a tricky one. However, Bairstow edges out the others despite not keeping in England’s tour to Sri Lanka, where he handed over the gloves to Ben Foakes. He batted well with the middle and the lower order throughout and did well to score more than 600 runs at a decent strike-rate as well.
The spinner’s slot saw a stiff competition, with Dilruwan Perera in the fray as well. However, while the Sri Lankan had a better average than Lyon, the Aussie gets a look-in because he played against stronger rivals as against Sri Lanka who only had a tour to West Indies. Australia played series’ against South Africa, Pakistan, and India and he did well to finish with 49 wickets at an average of 34.02. In a year when the Australians struggled, Lyon was one of the most consistent performers.
The Pakistani had a dream run and finished with a strike-rate that most fast bowlers only dream about – taking a wicket in every 36.3 balls. Though Abbas is not the biggest swinger of the ball and is not the quickest either, his accuracy, especially when he is reverse swinging the ball in dry conditions makes him a real threat. He picked up 38 wickets in the barred tracks of UAE, and the fast bowler is one of the most exciting talents to have emerged in Test cricket in the recent past.
The 36-year old seems to be getting better with age, finishing 2018 with 43 wickets at a ridiculous average of 22.51. He played a huge role in England’s series triumph over India last year and though he struggled in the Ashes Down Under in 2017, he was able to put all the disappointments behind as he had a stellar season.
The best pace bowler in the world at the moment, Rabada had a year to remember in 2018, as he finished with 52 wickets at an average of 20.07 and a strike-rate of 36.3. The player played against quality opponents as well, which includes Australia and India and is the lead player in a threatening pace attack for South Africa.