IPL 2014: Power players

Written by Abhishek Chakraborty | Updated: Apr 13 2014, 18:58pm hrs
This year, the seventh season of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), will be played in two parts, as some matches were clashing with the ongoing Lok Sabha polls in India. While the first instalment will be played in UAE, the second part will be held on home soil from May 2, with a high-profile clash between past winners Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders, in Ranchi.

This years IPL is different from the ones held in previous years because of the fact that fresh auctions were held and some teams went for a completely new-look squad. While some franchises retained a few key players ahead of the auction, others like Delhi Daredevils picked all their players from the auction in Bangalore. Moreover, this year, iconic players like Mumbai Indians Sachin Tendulkar and Rajasthan Royals Rahul Dravid are not going to be seen in action.

A total of 154 players were sold, out of which 50 were overseas, on the two days of the auction. This comprises 80 capped players and 74 uncapped players. Out of these, 117 have played in the IPL before; 10 have been part of IPL sides, but havent played a single game. The remaining 27 will figure in the IPL for the first time.

Here, we take a look at eight players from each of the eight teams who may make a difference this time around.

Steven Smith

Team: Rajasthan Royals

Twenty20: 98

Average: 27.03

Bought for: R4,00,00,000

Australias rising batting all-rounder, Smith is the costliest purchase of Rajasthan Royals. Last year, he topped the average for Pune Warriors in their IPL campaign with 161 runs at 39.75 before being ruled out due to injury.

Amit Mishra

Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

Twenty20: 122

Wickets: 155

Bought for: R4,75,00,000

The second highest buy for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mishra has shown his bowling skills in the recent T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. He also bagged two back-to-back man of the match awards.

Mitchell Starc

Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore

Twenty20: 52

Wickets: 84

Bought for: R5,00,00,000

The second highest buy after Yuvraj Singh for RCB, Starcs recent performances with the ball helped Australia make five Twenty20 wins on

the trot.

Jacques Kallis

Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

Twenty20: 135

Average: 32.01

Bought for: R5,50,00,000

The highest buy of KKR, Kallis took retirement from Test cricket last year. Though he could not do well in the last edition for KKR, with just 311 runs in 16 matches, his credibility with the bat and ball can never be doubted.

Mitchell Johnson

Team: Kings XI Punjab

Twenty20: 56

Wickets: 66

Bought for: R6,50,00,000

The highest buy this season for Punjab, Johnson was named man of the series in Ashes 2013-14 after taking 37 wickets in Australias 5-0 victory. He was also the leading wicket-taker, averaging just 13.97 and taking a wicket every six overs. Moreover, his capability to ball yorkers make him a lethal bowler at the end.

Kevin Pietersen

Team: Delhi Daredevils

Twenty20: 85

Average: 34.31

Bought for: R9,00,00,000

Axed from Englands set-up last year, Kevin Pietersen will be leading Delhi Daredevils this year. The 33-year-old all-rounder, who is Delhis second costliest purchase after his deputy Dinesh Karthik, has a healthy strike rate of 141.51 in T20s.

Faf du Plessis

Team: Chennai Super Kings


Average: 25.63

Wickets: 50

Bought for: R4,75,00,000

Backed by brilliant performances in recent times, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has entered the top 10 in ICC rankings for the first-time ever and is now in the sixth place. Moreover, he has a strike rate of 125.96 in T20 internationals.