Alzarri Joseph, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford and Shai Hope were the only West Indians selected at Tuesday’s 2024 Indian Premier League Auction in Dubai.

Joseph, who has previous IPL experience with the Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans, was the most expensive West Indian as well as the fifth most expensive player, going to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for 11.5 crore (USD 1,386,000 approximately).

West Indies T20I skipper Rovman Powell was the first player up for grabs on Tuesday, going for 7.4 crore (USD 892,000 approximately) to the Rajasthan Royals after a bidding war with the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Sherfane Rutherford was the next West Indian to be picked up, going to the Kolkata Knight Riders for 1.5 crore (USD 181,000 approximately).

ODI skipper Shai Hope earned a maiden IPL contract, going for 75 lakh (USD 90,500) to the Delhi Capitals.

Australian pacer Mitchell Starc is now the most expensive player in IPL history after being sold to the Kolkata Knight Riders for 24.75 crore (USD 2,982,000 approximately).

Starc broke the previous record of 20.50 crore (USD 2,470,000 approximately) set earlier in the evening when the Sunrisers Hyderabad outbid the Royal Challengers Bangalore for Starc’s teammate and World Cup-winning captain Pat Cummins.

New Zealand All-rounder Darryl Mitchell went for 14 crore (USD 1,687,000 approximately) to defending champions Chennai Super Kings while Indian pacer Harshal Patel went to the Punjab Kings for 11.75 crore (USD 1,412,000 approximately) to round out the top five buys.

Australia captain Pat Cummins has landed a record £1.94million contract at the Indian Premier League auction with England pair Harry Brook and Chris Woakes picking up deals worth just under £400,000.

Cummins sat out the 2023 tournament to focus on international cricket but became even hotter property after leading his side to the World Test Championship and last month’s 50-over World Cup on Indian soil.

Four teams vied for the fast bowler’s signature and Sunrisers Hyderabad ended up paying 20.5 crore rupees, eclipsing the previous high of 18.5 crore (£1.77m) Punjab Kings paid for English all-rounder Sam Curran last year.

Cummins, 30, had entered with a base price of just under £200,000 and saw the bidding war up his fee by a factor of 10.

Sunrisers had plenty of budget to play with having released Brook after one season of a £1.3m deal, with the Yorkshireman picking up a healthy but much-reduced payday with the Capitals.

He hit one superb century in his first IPL campaign but was otherwise badly short of runs with just 190 in 11 matches.

Woakes was later drafted for just under £400,000 by Punjab, joining his England team-mates Curran and Liam Livingstone.

Sunrisers also splurged on Cummins’ fellow Australian Travis Head, who capped a stellar year with a match-winning 137 in the World Cup final in Ahmedabad. He cost around £645,000 (6.8 crore) as he returned to the tournament for the first time since 2017.

West Indies T20 captain Rovman Powell was the first player to go under the hammer at the event in Dubai and fetched a surprisingly lavish £700,000 bid from Rajasthan Royals, while New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell scooped the biggest cheque of his career when he went to Chennai Super Kings for £1.3million.

CSK also signed Mitchell’s fellow Kiwi Rachin Ravindra, the breakout star of the World Cup, for a modest £170,000.

Joe Root has followed the lead of England Test captain Ben Stokes by skipping next year’s Indian Premier League.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that Stokes would not appear for Chennai Super Kings in the 2024 edition of the IPL, with the 32-year-old citing the need to manage his fitness and workload.

Root has now joined his red-ball skipper in sitting out the Twenty20 tournament, which will run from March until the end of May.

Rajasthan Royals secured the services of Root at the 2023 mini-auction and he featured three times for the franchise earlier this year, but will not join up with the group that contains England white-ball captain Jos Buttler next year.

Royals director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara said: “During our retention conversations, Joe informed us of his decision to not take part in IPL 2024.

“Even in a short span of time, Joe was able to create such a positive impact on the franchise and the players around him.

“His energy around the group and the experience he brought to the Royals will be missed. We respect his decision totally and wish him success in everything he does.”

Root is set for a key role in England’s five-match Test series away to India, which starts on January 25.

In a candid conversation with Sportskeeda, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder expressed his concern about the state of cricket pitches in the Caribbean, asserting that the quality of training facilities plays a crucial role in the development of players.

Currently in India at the Rajasthan Royals High Performance Centre, Holder couldn't help but draw a stark comparison between the training grounds in the Caribbean and the state-of-the-art facilities provided by the Royals.

Holder joined the Rajasthan Royals (RR) ahead of the IPL 2023 season and provided a much-needed balance to the side.

The Rajasthan Royals have set a benchmark in cricketing infrastructure, offering their players a diverse range of eight different pitch variations along with cutting-edge facilities. This stark contrast hasn't gone unnoticed by Holder, who believes that such facilities are essential for honing skills to a higher standard.

"It's brilliant. Unfortunately, in the Caribbean, we don't have facilities that are equivalent to this. We just have normal grounds. There's no training ground," Holder remarked, highlighting the dearth of specialized training facilities in the Caribbean.

Holder emphasized the significance of having a variety of pitches and additional support staff, indicating that the Rajasthan Royals High Performance Centre provides a more comprehensive and tailored training experience compared to the grounds in the Caribbean. The West Indies cricketer is eager to make the most of this opportunity and extract maximum benefits from the top-notch facilities at his disposal.

"I just found it necessary to get away from the Caribbean, do something away from the Caribbean and do a lot more specific into what I need to work on," Holder explained, underscoring his decision to seek a more advanced and structured training environment.

Holder also praised the familial atmosphere fostered by the Rajasthan Royals, stating, "It is a really good family that the Royals have here, and they portray that family image." This sense of belonging and the conducive training environment have contributed to Holder's positive experience at the High Performance Centre.

The West Indies cricketer is utilizing his time in India to not only focus on physical fitness but also to refine his tactical skills. The opportunity to train in different conditions, coupled with the structured approach adopted by the Rajasthan Royals, has reignited Holder's passion for the game and provided him with a valuable platform for improvement.

As the West Indies all-rounder strives to enhance his cricketing prowess, his insights shed light on the challenges faced by players in the Caribbean and underscore the importance of investing in advanced training facilities for the development of cricket talent worldwide.

 

Royal Challengers Bangalore subjected Rajasthan Royals to a humiliating 112-run thrashing in Jaipur on Sunday, despite brief resistance from Shimron Hetmyer.

The Guyanese batsman made a 19-ball 35 that included a four and four sixes as he tried to get Royals back into the game after crashing to 31-6 after seven overs, chasing RCB’s 171-5. Former England captain Joe Root, who made 10 was the only other batter in double figures for Royals, who were skittled out for 59 in 10.3 overs.

Wayne Parnell was responsible for much of the destruction taking 3-10 from three overs. Michael Bracewell, 2-16, Karn Sharma 2-19 and Glen Maxwell 1-3 provided useful support in the rout.

Earlier, Maxwell scored 54 and Faf du Plessis 55 and Anuj Rawat provided the bulk of the scoring for RCB, who were recording their second win in their last five matches to be fifth in the league table.

Adam Zampa 2-25 and KM Asif 2-42 were the primary wicket-takers for Royals, who were losing their fourth in their last five matches.

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal narrowly missed out on his second hundred of the 2023 Indian Premier League season, making 98* to help the Rajasthan Royals secure a dominant nine-wicket win over the Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on Thursday.

The Royals first restricted the Knight Riders to 149-8 off their 20 overs after winning the toss and choosing to field.

KKR’s effort was led by a 47-ball 57 from Venkatesh Iyer that included a pair of fours and four sixes.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal led the way with the ball once again for the Royals, taking 4-25 from his four overs.

Chahal also made history with the wicket of KKR captain Nitish Rana, becoming the leading wicket-taker in IPL history with his 184th scalp, passing West Indian great Dwayne Bravo.

New Zealand quick Trent boult took 2-15 in three overs in support of Chahal.

The Royals were then dominant in their reply, needing only 13.1 overs to reach 151-1.

Jaiswal, who made the fastest fifty in IPL history when he brought up the milestone off just 13 deliveries, finished 98* off 47 balls. He hit 12 fours and five sixes.

Royals captain Sanju Samson ended unbeaten on 48.

Rajasthan are now third in the table with 12 points from as many games played.

 

 

Yashasvi Jaiswal's 124 counted for little as his Rajasthan Royals fell to a six-wicket defeat against the Mumbai Indians thanks to Tim David's stunning cameo at Wankhede on Sunday.

Jaiswal lit up the IPL's 1,000th match with a superb innings, but the five-time champions chased down the 213 target with three balls to spare as David whacked three straight sixes to seal the victory.

The Royals won the toss and elected to bat first, getting off to a strong start as Jaiswal and Jos Buttler combined to get Rajasthan to 72 runs before Buttler was caught off Piyush Chawla's bowling.

The wickets began to tumble around Jaiswal, with no other batsman scoring higher than Buttler's 18, yet he powered his way to a century off just 53 balls to help the Royals to a strong total of 212/7.

The run chase started poorly as captain Rohit Sharma could not mark breaking the Indians' all-time IPL appearance record with a suitably memorable innings, dismissed for just three in the second over of his 190th match for Mumbai.

But Suryakumar Yadav gave the Indians a chance of pulling off the win with his 55 off 29 balls, and though he fell in the 16th, David finished the job with an epic final over, nailing three consecutive maximums to clinch a first win in three for Mumbai.

Jaiswal century in vain

Jaiswal's brilliant 124 is the highest score in this season's IPL and is the joint-most ever recorded by a Rajasthan batsman (also Buttler v Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2021).

The 21-year-old smashed eight sixes and 16 fours on his way to the highest IPL score by an uncapped Indian batter, yet he still ended up on the losing side.

Mumbai win despite Rohit's birthday struggles

Danger man Rohit turned 36 the day of the game, also moving above Kieron Pollard on the Indians' IPL appearance list, with only Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni playing more games for a single team.

He had his team-mates to thank for being able to mark his special day with a win, though, as Mumbai overcame their captain's low score with Cameron Green, Suryakumar and David all getting scores of 40+, the latter making 45 off just 14 deliveries to secure the victory.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Adam Zampa led Rajasthan Royals to the top of the Indian Premier League with a sensational knock in a 32-run win over Chennai Super Kings.

Jaiswal plundered 77 from 43 deliveries to propel the Royals to 202-5 from their 20 overs on Thursday.

The Royals opener finally succumbed to Tushar Deshpande in the 14th over, though the damage had been done, with Rajasthan having reached 132 at that stage.

Jos Buttler scored 27 as he helped mount an opening-wicket partnership of 86 with Jaiswal, who also saw Sanju Samson come and go.

Dhruv Jurel added 34 from 15 balls and Devdutt Padikkal tallied up an unbeaten 27 from 13 to nudge the Royals over the 200 mark.

Despite Ruturaj Gaikwad's 47, the Super Kings lacked the pace needed in the chase, and his stand was ended by the brilliant Zampa in the 10th over, who took 3-22.

Shivam Dube's 52 handed Chennai hope, yet with Zampa sending Moeen Ali packing, the Super Kings were battling against the odds.

In the end they just did not have enough, Dube's dismissal in the final over capping off a fine win for the Royals.

IPL first for the Royals

No team had surpassed the 200 milestone in an IPL match played in Jaipur until now, with the Royals holding that unique record.

They are onto 10 points and sit top of the pile.

Jaiswal the star of the show

While Zampa impressed with the ball, it was Jaiswal's knock that really put the Royals in command.

The opener struck 12 boundaries, including four sixes, with his 77 coming at a strike rate of 179.06.

Joe Root is plotting to make "unbelievable memories" with England this year ahead of The Ashes and their Cricket World Cup title defence.

The former Test captain has eschewed red-ball cricket with Yorkshire in order to play a debut season in the white-ball Indian Premier League.

In a Rajasthan Royals side packed with talent such as fellow England man Jos Buttler and India's Ravichandran Ashwin, though, he is yet to play a game.

Root is unconcerned, however, seeing his time in the IPL as key to broadening his all-round game before two major contests later this year.

"When I was England captain, I didn't feel it was fair on the rest of the team for me to go and play, given what the [Test captaincy] role needed and what it deserved," he told Sky Sports News.

"Now I feel like there are more opportunities to do that without the responsibility, and I'm just trying to look to keep developing as a player. I love county cricket and I think it is so important for the English game.

"[But] looking ahead to the rest of the year, the chance to play white ball cricket out in India, ahead of a World Cup for England in these conditions as well, I think will benefit me hugely.

"You look at 2019 and how incredible that was with a World Cup and [The] Ashes. There are so many opportunities for players to do wonderful things and create unbelievable memories.

"They are the things that you play for, to be a part of some special memories and cool experiences and they certainly all lay ahead for us."

England will face Australia for the first time since Root stepped down from the captaincy, with successor Ben Stokes overseeing a dramatic turnaround in fortunes.

They will then return to India for the latest edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup, which they famously won in a dramatic Super Over finale against New Zealand in 2019.

Harshal Patel showed composure at the death as Royal Challengers Bangalore sealed a nerve-jangling seven-run win against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

The experienced seamer was handed the ball for the final over as Rajasthan needed 20 runs for victory, and despite conceding 10 runs from the first three deliveries, Harshal then applied the brakes, dismissing Ravichandran Ashwin on the way to completing figures of 3-32.

RCB lost Virat Kohli to a first-ball duck as the match began, pinned lbw by Trent Boult, but it got better for them. They totted up 189-9 to set a testing target, with their innings propped up by the twin pillars of Faf du Plessis (62) and Glenn Maxwell (77). Du Plessis and Maxwell collaborated for the highest third-wicket partnership for RCB in the IPL, putting on 127 runs.

Both thrashed the ball around with gusto, probably wondering why nobody else was following suit as Dinesh Karthik, who made 16, was the only other home player to reach double figures.

Mohammed Siraj then bowled Jos Buttler for a duck in the first over of Rajasthan's reply. A second-wicket stand of 98 between Yashasvi Jaiswal (47) and Devdutt Padikkal (52) looked to have tilted the match Rajasthan's way, but the end of that alliance heralded a slowing of the run rate.

Captain Sanju Samson fell for 22 and Rajasthan needed 61 from the final four overs, with their task made all the more difficult when Shimron Hetmyer was brilliantly run out by Suyash Prabhudessai.

Dhruv Jurel (34no) went on the attack and the Royals required 20 from the last set of six, which soon became 10 runs from three balls, but then Ashwin holed out to deep midwicket to give Harshal his third wicket, and a pair of singles from the next two balls left Rajasthan short.

Royals rolled over

This defeat at M Chinnaswamy Stadium means Rajasthan, who led the IPL at the start of the day, have followed a run of three wins with back-to-back defeats, having also lost last time out against Lucknow Super Giants. Home hero Harshal was introduced to this contest as an impact substitute for Du Plessis, having been unable to bat because of a finger injury, and he made his mark in grand style by removing Jaiswal and Samson before completing the job.

Maxwell and Du Plessis dominate

Maxwell's third fifty-plus score of this IPL season was the pivotal performance, with his 77 runs coming in just 44 balls. His previous two fifties came in losing causes, so this will have come as sweet relief. Du Plessis is enjoying a stunning campaign and showed his pedigree again, extending his lead in the list of the IPL's top run-scorers with his fifth half-century of the 2023 tournament, moving to 405 from seven innings.

Rajasthan Royals retained their place at the top of the IPL points table with a remarkable backs-to-the-wall run chase to beat Gujarat Titans by three wickets.

The winners of Sunday's match would lead the competition through five rounds, with the big-scoring Royals in command coming into this meeting.

But their hopes of protecting that position were hit by the early wickets of openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler in reply to 177-7.

Shubman Gill (45) and David Miller (46) had led the Titans to that strong total, meaning Rajasthan required an improbable turnaround after losing their two leading scorers and initially struggling to get going thereafter

Captain Sanju Samson stepped up with a swift 60, though, and Shimron Hetmyer got them over the line despite a fine bowling performance from Mohammad Shami, who added to the dismissal of Buttler with two more late wickets.

Hetmyer crucially remained in the middle and completed the comeback with his fifth six to finish on 56 off 26, with the Royals 179-7 with four balls remaining.

Titans take out Rajasthan openers

Jaiswal and Buttler opened together for the fourth time this year, aiming to build on the success of those previous three matches, all of which ended in Rajasthan victories. Buttler made fifties in each of those matches, with Jaiswal joining him on two occasions, too.

But both batters were out before the end of the third over, a wicket maiden for Shami (3-25) that reduced the Royals to 4-2. At that stage, it seemed the Titans had halted the reply before it had even got going.

Royals rally to another big score

Even with Jaiswal and Buttler contributing only a run between them, the Royals retained some spectacular batting power. They have scored 175 or more in every one of their five matches this year, showing the scale of the task for any opponent looking to take them out of the game.

Jos Buttler scored 79 from 51 balls to lead Rajasthan Royals to a 57-run victory against Delhi Capitals on Saturday.

An opening partnership of 98 from Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal from just 8.3 overs gave the Royals a foundation to build from, eventually setting the Capitals a target of 200.

Three wickets each for Trent Boult and Yuzvendra Chahal then reduced Delhi as they could only muster 142-9 from their 20 overs.

Buttler and Jaiswal set the tone before the latter was caught and bowled by Mukesh Kumar for 60 from just 31 deliveries.

Delhi gave themselves hope of causing a batting collapse as Kuldeep Yadav removed captain Sanju Samson for a duck, before Rovman Powell bowled Riyan Parag for seven to reduce the Royals to 126-3 as the run rate began to slow down.

Buttler continued to keep the scoreboard ticking along with Shimron Hetmyer (39 not out), though, before also being caught and bowled by Mukesh.

Boult dismissed Prithvi Shaw and Manish Pandey for ducks as the Capitals slipped to 0-2 inside the first over of their reply.

After Rilee Rossouw was out for 14, David Warner and Lalit Yadav started to finally allow Delhi to get a foothold in their innings before the latter was bowled by Boult for 38.

Warner started to quickly run out of partners before finally succumbing himself for 65 as the Capitals struggled to ever threaten the target to give the Royals their second win to go top of the Indian Premier League, while Delhi suffered their third loss from three outings.

Buttler storms the Capitals

It was a mature knock from the England white-ball captain, who hit 11 fours and one six, though he did have a lucky moment when he was dropped on 18 by Anrich Nortje.

He briefly sat atop the IPL's list for most runs in the early stage of this year's competition (152), only for Warner (158) to overtake him in Delhi's reply.

Warner landmark no consolation for Delhi

The Australian is the third batsman to score 6,000 runs in IPL history and the fifth to score 2,000 runs for the Capitals in the competition, and is only the second to score 2,000+ runs for two teams (also Sunrisers Hyderabad) after Shikhar Dhawan for the same two teams.

However, the Capitals have won just one IPL game from the last 14 times they have chased a target of 200 or more, which was a seven-wicket win when chasing Gujarat Lions' score of 208 in May 2017.

Punjab Kings fended off a Rajasthan Royals fightback after a stunning spell from Nathan Ellis had teed up a five-run win that saw them start the 2023 IPL with back-to-back victories.

Both teams had enjoyed opening wins, and this match too could have gone either way despite the Kings appearing to be in complete control thanks to Ellis.

After Punjab captain Shikhar Dhawan did the heavy lifting with 86 not out to see his side finish on 197-4, Ellis (4-30) took a series of vital wickets to slow the Royals' response.

Luck was initially on the Australia bowler's side as an inside edge looped up off Jos Buttler's pad for a smart catch for 19.

Sanju Samson carried the scoring burden, making 42, before he too departed off the bowling of Ellis, who also accounted for Riyan Parag (20) from his next delivery, then bowled Devdutt Paddikal (21) later in the same over.

A deep Royals line-up still contained Shimron Hetmyer (36 off 18) and impact player Dhruv Jurel (32 not out off 15), and the pair combined for a quick 61.

But even with Ellis' allocation up, Hetmyer had himself run out in the final over as Sam Curran (0-44) just about kept the batting side at bay.

Chahal's slow progress

This was not a night IPL veteran Yuzvendra Chahal will reflect on particularly fondly, even if it saw him edge closer to the tournament's wickets record.

His figures of 1-50 were damaging – Punjab scoring easily despite some fine fielding, including from Buttler – but the wicket of Jitesh Sharma was his 171st in the IPL, moving ahead of Lasith Malinga and now trailing only Dwayne Bravo (183).

Electric Ellis excels

Both teams named unchanged XIs, meaning Ellis was preferred to 99-wicket Kagiso Rabada. The Australian had only five IPL wickets to his name prior to this match.

Ellis significantly added to that tally, however, his spell turning the tide and providing a reminder of the talent that saw him take a hat-trick on his T20I debut in 2021 – even if Curran's contribution was still required to get the job done.

Early dominance in both innings from Rajasthan Royals saw them cruise to a comfortable 72-run triumph over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday to open their IPL campaign with a win.

Runners-up last season, Rajasthan had strong performances from Jos Buttler with the bat and Trent Boult with the ball to thank as they overwhelmed their opponents.

Hyderabad won the toss and put the Royals in to bat first, a decision that proved to be a poor one as openers Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal smashed a team record of 85 runs in the powerplay, with the former reaching his half-century off just 20 balls before he was cleaned up by Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Though the Royals' run rate slowed following Buttler's dismissal for 54, Jaiswal (54) and captain Sanju Samson (55) both reached half-centuries while Shimron Hetmyer added 22 in an important cameo as Rajasthan set Hyderabad a target of 204.

The Sunrisers' chase faltered almost immediately, Boult removing Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi in the opening over without a run on the board before danger man Harry Brook saw his first IPL innings ended with just 13 from 21 deliveries when he was bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal.

Wickets continued to tumble as Chahal impressed, taking 4-17 to eradicate any chances of a miraculous Hyderabad chase and see his team to an emphatic victory.

Royals' top order set unassailable target

Despite taking just 43 runs off the final five overs, Rajasthan's top order had already put them in good stead, recording the fifth most powerplay runs in IPL history.

Their top three batsmen all reached 50 as Buttler and Jaiswal piled on the runs early before a captain's innings from Samson helped the Royals set a target that Hyderabad never looked like knocking off.

Boult blitz stamps out Hyderabad's hopes

Any chance of a successful Sunrisers' run chase was essentially stamped out within the first over as a double-wicket maiden from Boult had them staring down the barrel of defeat.

Rajasthan opted to use Boult's pace early and often, the New Zealander bowling three of the first five overs, conceding just eight runs in that spell before eventually finishing with figures of 2-21.

The Ashes is coming up this year, and so too is the Cricket World Cup.

But the roaring success of the Indian Premier League means its 16th season is anticipated on a similar level to those totemic events on the cricket calendar.

And why not? There is no greater franchise competition in cricket, featuring star names from across the globe playing to vast crowds and huge television audiences.

A measure of the boom in IPL popularity came when its broadcast rights were sold in the wake of last year's tournament, with five-year deals bringing in 48,390.5 crore (£4.8billion), testament to the tournament's enormous appeal.

Among leagues worldwide, only the NFL is said to have bigger per-game TV deals, with the spectacle of T20 cricket becoming a big winner with spectators, sponsors, broadcasters and advertisers.

Heading into the 2023 season, which begins on Friday with an eye-catching tussle between defending champions Gujarat Titans and 2021 winners Chennai Super Kings, Stats Perform has identified potential key storylines for the new campaign.

How can Buttler follow his MVP season?

Jos Buttler had a staggering campaign last time out for Rajasthan Royals, hitting 863 runs in 17 innings at an average of 57.53, with four centuries to his name. That was as many centuries as everyone else in the IPL combined managed to score.

He finished 247 runs ahead of KL Rahul, who was second on the batting list. Buttler cracked 83 fours and 45 sixes, and he has since been appointed England's white-ball captain.

This is a huge year for Buttler, with England defending their title at the World Cup, and all eyes will be on the 32-year-old to see how he contributes for the Royals.

Chris Gayle, in 2011 and 2012, is the only batter to have finished as top scorer in consecutive IPL seasons.

This is a league that brings explosive moments, and Australian bowler Pat Cummins surprisingly managed the fastest fifty with the bat last year, achieving the feat from 14 balls for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians.

With the ball, Buttler's Rajasthan team-mate Yuzvendra Chahal took a league-leading 27 wickets, at an average of 19.51 and with a 7.75 economy rate. He was the only bowler to take a hat-trick in the 2022 IPL, doing so against KKR.

The economy rate king was two-time former MVP Sunil Narine, who gave up an average of 5.57 runs in his 56 overs, albeit taking just a modest nine wickets.

CSK seek immediate statement win

Gujarat were champions in their debut season last time around, while defending champions Chennai finished a miserable ninth out of 10 teams.

This time CSK are determined to start strongly and banish memories of 2022, and one way or another it promises to be a memorable campaign.

It appears likely to be MS Dhoni's final IPL campaign, with the 41-year-old giant of the game and former India captain reportedly considering whether to call time on his illustrious playing career.

Dhoni would want to go out on a high, and in the hope of building a winning team CSK have taken an expensive plunge by bringing in England Test captain Ben Stokes.

There are suggestions Stokes could inherit Dhoni's talisman status at CSK, although there has been an early blow with the all-rounder not expected to bowl in the early stages of the tournament due to concern over his left knee.

CSK suffered another setback to their bowling department when they lost New Zealand fast bowler Kyle Jamieson to a back injury, replacing him with South Africa paceman Sisanda Magala.

Could pulling the Short straw work out well for Punjab Kings?

Jonny Bairstow would have been lining up for Punjab Kings, but a freak golf course injury continues to keep the England wicketkeeper-batter out of action.

In his place comes Australian Matthew Short, who has yet to play international cricket or feature in the IPL, but the 27-year-old is experiencing quite a moment in his career.

Short was player of the tournament in Australia's Big Bash League, the domestic T20 competition, when he scored 458 runs for Adelaide Strikers and became just the third player in 12 seasons to hit 400 runs and take 10 wickets in a single season.

He will fancy stepping up to IPL level and continuing his rich run of form, and joins a franchise that has seen significant change since finishing sixth last year. Punjab have a new captain and new coach, with Shikhar Dhawan and Trevor Bayliss replacing Mayank Agarwal and Anil Kumble.

PBKS will hope Short makes a long-lasting impact, while they are trusting a huge investment in Sam Curran pays off after making the England all-rounder the most expensive player in IPL history, landing him in the draft for 18.5 Cr (£1.85million).

Changes across the board

A year is a long time in the IPL, and there have been a host of new appointments.

Australian veteran and IPL master blaster David Warner has taken over as captain of Delhi Capitals due to Rishabh Pant being ruled out while he recovers from the major car accident he experienced in December.

Brendon McCullum's move to coach England means Kolkata needed a new man in charge, and they have brought in Chandrakant Pandit, while Brian Lara has taken over from Tom Moody with Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Mark Boucher will pull the strings with Mumbai Indians after Mahela Jayawardene became global head of performance.

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