Any of the 8 teams can win IPL 2018. It’s too early to predict the winner.Each team has their own strengths and weakness.On paper some teams looks good whereas some team doesn’t look so good but game is played on pitches and not on paper so no one can really predict the winner by just looking at the teams on paper.
But since you have asked so let’s see the strengths and weakness of each team to ascertain their chances of winning the tournament.
1)KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS :- I don’t see KKR lifting the trophy this time because of the following reasons
- Over expectations from youngsters
- Key players are either injured or recovering from injuries. Lynn and Russell are again injured. Starc is also injury prone.
- Don’t have a strong pool of backup players.
2) DELHI DAREDEVILS :- DD have a strong squad this time as always ,it was poor captaincy that resulted in the failure of the franchise in the past but this time they have one of the best captain of IPL Gautam Gambhir.
DD chances this time revolves around Maxwell,they have just one quality player in middle order and that is Maxwell.
So overall they cannot afford a poor season from Maxwell,even a decent show from him will see DD in playoffs.Good thing for them is that Maxwell is in best of his form.
3) RAJASTHAN ROYALS :- RR will manage to arrange a strong playing XI but they don’t have quality backups.
IPL is a long tournament played in hot and humid conditions so a team needs quality backups but unfortunately RR lacks that.
Their bowling also looks weak as Jofra Archer is injured so it will be difficult for them to lift the trophy.
4) ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE :- RCB as always have a strong batting unit but unlike past years this time they have added a lot of options in their bowling department but unfortunately most of them aren’t proven match winners.
Umesh Yadav has been expensive for his previous franchises.
Youngster like Kulwant and Navdeep does not impart much confidence.
But they have good spinners in Chahal and Sunder and also possess the services of quality foreign speedster in Woakes and Coulter Nile but they will have to include both foreign recruits to strengthen their bowling. But if they include both Woakes and Coulter Nile in the playing XI then they will struggle in lower middle order as other two other foreigners will be A.B and a opener and then they wouldn’t be able to avail the services of finishers like Colin De Grandhomme.
So overall they have few loopholes to fill and unless and until they manage to fill them it will be difficult to lift the trophy for them.
5.) MUMBAI INDIANS :- M.I have one of the strongest side and their biggest strength is their bowling and all-rounders.
They have Bumrah,Cummins and Mustafizur as their pace battery to send shivers in the opposition camp and they have Pandya bros,Pollard and Cutting as all-rounder.
M.I have just one weakness and that is spinners,they have only one spinner and that is unproven Rahul Chahar.
But overall I see M.I as one of the potential winner in this year IPL.
6) CHENNAI SUPER KINGS :- One of the most popular teams in IPL is CSK.Many may not like my views here but I don’t see CSK winning the trophy. Reasons for this are
- Most of their players are out of form.Kedar,Bhajji,Rayudu and Jadeja are not in best of their form.
- Vijay and Faf have been struggling in T20s in recent past.
- Their biggest strength M.S Dhoni and Bravo are not the same as they used to be.They are pretty good now also but they will require support from other players which I don’t see coming.
- Their bowling also looks a bit thin though Mark Wood is a good inclusion.
7) SUNRISERS HYDERABAD :- As usual SRH have a balanced and quality side.They have a strong batting unit well supported by decent bowling unit.They also have some quality all Rounders in shakib, Braithwaite and Nabi.
So, I see them as the strongest contender to win this year IPL.
8.) KINGS XI PUNJAB :- This year KXIP have their best chance to lift the trophy.They have managed to arrange a really good team with quality backups.
If their newly appointed captain Ashwin can inspire the team to play as a unit then they are also a bright contender to lift the trophy.
CONCLUSION:- As I have said it is difficult to predict the winner by just looking at the teams on paper but if we have to pick then I see following teams making it to the playoffs
- DELHI DAREDEVILS
- SUNRISERS HYDERABAD
- MUMBAI INDIANS
- KINGS XI PUNJAB
And at playoffs it is anybody’s game.