The 15th Season of the Indian Premier League kicks off on 26th March 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. With all the topsy turvy rides that the world has taken due to COVID and IPL being affected, this new season will provide a great spectacle to all the IPL enthusiasts globally. All teams have undergone a significant overhaul, with the mega auction in Feb 2022. This IPL will be even bigger with two new teams, Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Lions, joining the tournament. Let’s look at players to watch out for in IPL 2022.
The winner of the maximum number of IPL titles, five in total, MI, will be vying for one more in their kitty. Mumbai boast of players like Rohit, Ishan, and Bumrah. But one key player, if fully fit, has to be Surya Kumar Yadav. He was the player of the T20 series against the WI team in their recent tour to India. With the ability to strike from ball one, MI will be looking towards SKY for one more apex finish.
One of the most successful IPL franchises, CSK have the shrewd brain of Dhoni at their disposal as they embark towards their fifth IPL title.
Apart from Dhoni’s tactics, CSK will be pinning their hopes on Ruturaj Gaikwad. He had a fantastic previous IPL season; scoring runs at will. He amassed 635 runs in the 14th edition of IPL and was in cracking form throughout. If he scores big this time around, too, the IPL trophy may well be with CSK.
KKR will be eager to grab hold of the elusive trophy they last held in 2014. KKR have invested heavily on Shreyas Iyer, spending a whopping Rs 12.25 crore. Shreyas’s stars are rising, having grabbed a regular spot in India’s Test team. He was in smashing form in the recent Sri Lanka Series. He made the number three spot his own in the T20 series in the absence of Kohli. His score of 92 on a difficult Chinnaswamy pitch in the 2nd test was full of class. In the form of his life, Iyer’s performance might well be the difference in KKR’s chances of winning the title or not.
Having not retained Shreyas Iyer, Delhi capitals have put forth a massive vote of confidence in Rishabh Pant. There are players like David Warner and Anrich Nortje in the team. But for Delhi to succeed, it has to be Pant’s bat that has to do the talking this season. Since the South African tour, Rishabh has been in great form and now seems to have found the right balance between caution and aggression. Arguably, currently the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world, Delhi will depend heavily on this southpaw to turn their fortunes this time around, having been there and thereabouts in the last 2 to 3 seasons of IPL.
Whenever one thinks of RCB, the national team of South Africa comes to mind. RCB have been the most disappointing team in IPL thus far. They always have had the talismanic team but somehow have not clicked. With AB DeVilliers not being around anymore and Kohli’s lack of form, RCB will look up to the new captain in Faf du Plessis to create that magic. One player who will be the key has to be Glen Maxwell. He was the RCB’s mainstay in the last year’s IPL. RCB will rely heavily on Maxi’s pyro techniques to get them through this time around.
Having won the title in IPL’s maiden edition in 2008, RR have not been able to create that spectacle since then. But this time around, things could be different. Any team having Jos Buttler, Samson, Van Der Dussen, Chahar cannot be taken lightly. But one player who is most likely to bring smiles on RR’s fans is Prasidh Krishna. With his impeccable line and length and steep bounce, he can be lethal even in this form of cricket on those Mumbai pitches. RR will like Krishna to be fit and fine, to help them lift the title once more and pay homage to their first captain, Late Shane Warne, THE GREAT.
SRH had a forgettable last season finishing with the wooden spoon. The team would like to get over all the David Warner saga that took place in the last season. The fans also came down hard on the franchise at various forums, with the team’s stand on Warner in IPL. But time has flown, and Warner is no longer with SRH. The team’s brains have invested heavily on the iceman Kane Williamson. He has a good team at his disposal with quite a few talented Indian and foreign players. But if SRH have to win the title, it has to be Kane’s level-headed approach that gets the best out of all the players this season.
PBKS, too like RCB, have flattered to deceive till now. Barring the season of 2014, where the team finished at number two, PBKS have never been in the top four. PBKS no longer have KL Rahul in their squad, but one player worth noting this season has to be the effervescent Shahrukh Khan. This batsman from Tamil Nadu put up some stellar performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Ranji games. His 194 in the Ranji game against Delhi was breathtaking from the word go. He would be crucial for PBKS’s fortunes in this IPL.
Gujrat Titans are one of the two new teams on the block. They, too, have a well-balanced side. With Hardik Pandya, David Miller, Lockie Ferguson in the squad, the team does have the arsenal to go all the way. But if it is about one player, he has to be the graceful Shubman Gill. He will have a point to prove to KKR, his earlier franchise. He looks like a million-dollar baby when in full flow. His score of 90 odd in the historic Gabba chase was laced with delightful strokes. He will be the player on which GT will bank to pull off the title in the first attempt.
Last but not the least, Lucknow Super Giants have put up a decent squad to give any team a run for their money. Of all the players in their lineup, including De Kock, Stoinis, Holder, and others, it has to be KL Rahul, the man to watch out for. Rahul is a class player and can be the player defining the success story of LSG in their maiden attempt.