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Indian Premier League 2024 predictions and betting tips: CSK strong candidates for another play-off push

The Indian Premier League is back for the 2024 season, which begins on Friday, and the Planet Sport experts have gazed into their crystal ball to generate some top tips and predictions.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) draws nearer with the 2024 edition set to be significant if only for several major personnel changes.

As has become traditional two teams have emerged as the clear pre-tournament favourites Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.

The top two are the most successful sides in IPL history and between them have made far more play-off appearances than their rivals.

In recent seasons the established top two have been challenged by the upstart new franchises, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants.

The chasing pack features the talent-loaded but often inconsistent Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Sunrisers Hyderabad thrive on being underdogs and they will still be inspired by the 2016 season when David Warner led them to their only title.

The Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals will be desperate to shake the also-rans tag and Kolkata Knight Riders will be just as eager to chip away at their 'mercurial' label.

Here we take a look at the recruiting and form stars of each team and make predictions for the 2024 campaign.

 

Chennai Super Kings

CSK have had too many underwhelming auctions followed by unprecedented success for the loss of certain star players to spark any sort of panic for the Chennai side.

Ben Stokes was released by CSK and has opted to undergo surgery on a knee niggle instead of taking part in the next IPL.

CSK didn't need to break the bank to find his replacement after securing New Zealand's in-form all-rounder Daryl Mitchell but a bidding war probably forced them to spend more on him than they might have hoped.

Other than the release of ageing veteran Ambati Rayudu, they have retained most of their Indian stars.

MS Dhoni is set for yet another IPL campaign and is out to lead this team to yet another title. Dhoni has senior India performers Ravindra Jadeja and Deepak Chahar returning and CSK have also brought in Shardul Thakur.

Their best piece of business might be the bargain they got on Black Caps breakout star of the 2023/24 campaign Rachin Ravindra who enjoyed a great ODI World Cup in India not too long ago.

CSK look like strong candidates for yet another play-off push in 2024.

Prediction: Win the IPL

 

 

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians have won the IPL five times and reached the play-offs in nine of the series' 16 seasons making them the team to take part in the 'post-season' the most of any side.

MI are known for their ability to recover from a slow start to the tournament to somehow reach the play-offs and often going on to win the tournament.

The players they have released, barring Chris Jordan, haven't really been impactful for the franchise.

Mumbai Indians secured the blockbuster return of India star and IPL-winning skipper Hardik Pandya with a pre-season trade that could prove more important than any of their buys at auction.

They retained huge stars in Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Jasprit Bumrah and held onto 'Baby AB' Dewald Brevis and underrated Aussie batter Tim David.

Mumbai didn't jump into the auction that often early on but made a pair of smart buys in pacemen Gerald Coetzee and Dilshan Madushanka who have been on fire for South Africa and Sri Lanka respectively.

This team has a great championship pedigree and could go all the way to the final for the seventh time.

Prediction: Lose the IPL final

 

Gujarat Titans

In their two seasons in the IPL, Gujarat Titans have made a mockery of teams who struggle to reach the play-offs as they finished as champions and runners-up.

The loss of Hardik Pandya could prove crucial given that he was the skipper of the side and a top performer but the team have retained many of their top India and international players. 

The team keeping hold of the likes of Rashid Khan David Miller and Kane Williamson ensures that they have players with more IPL experience than their franchise. Mohammed Shami stays on the books but is likely to miss the entire IPL as he recovers from Achilles tendon surgery.

The Titans raised a few eyebrows when they got involved in an auction bidding war for Australian bowler Spencer Johnson and we will need to track the left-arm quick through the tournament to see if he performs according to that price tag.

They have the talent but leadership changes could cost the Titans at the business end of the competition.

Prediction: Lose in the play-offs

 

Lucknow Super Giants

One of the two teams added to the IPL for its expanded 15th season in 2022, LSG have also reached the play-offs in both seasons they have competed in.

They have yet to reach the promised land of an IPL final despite being a very consistent team in the round robins.

LSG have wisely retained most of their core including a raft of international stars who agreed to stay. West Indies stars Kyle Mayers and Nicholas Pooran have bags of IPL experience as do Proteas star Quinton de Kock and Australian allrounder Marcus Stoinis.

LSG came into the auction with the smallest purse and as you'd expect they weren't out to do too much big business given their headline retentions including their skipper KL Rahul.

They were on the hunt for bargains and got them when they snapped up Australian batter Ashton Turner and veteran England seamer David Willey for their respective base prices.

Capped India seamer Shivam Mavi proved to be their most significant investment of the auction and along with Willey bolsters the only real weak area for this team.

The balance of their squad means that they should be able to match the consistent standard they laid down in 2022 and 2023.

Prediction: Lose in the play-offs

 

 

Rajasthan Royals

Rajasthan Royals have been chasing the high of an IPL win since they claimed the inaugural championship but so far they keep on coming up short.

They came closest in 2022 as the losing finalists and last term narrowly missed out on the play-offs after their form fell off a cliff towards the tail-end of the season. 

Ahead of the auction, the Royals announced their retention list which includes six players who stand to earn more than $1 million for their 2024 IPL seasons, namely Jos Buttler, Shimron Hetmyer, Trent Boult and India stars Sanu Samson, Avesh Khan and Prasidh Krishna. Krishna has been withdrawn from the squad with injury with no replacement named.

The Royals opened up three international player slots by releasing Jason Holder, Obed McCoy and Joe Root and could add eight players in total but had the second-smallest auction purse to work with.

Still, with a quality squad, they would also have a lowkey auction. They would get in a little bit of a battle for Rovman Powell's services and also paid a premium for uncapped Indian batter Shubham Dubey.

Even with Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal in the same team, the Royals might end up coming up just short again.

Prediction: Finish fifth missing the play-offs

 

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Royal Challengers Bangalore have become synonymous with Virat Kohli's unfulfilled obsession with IPL glory.

No side has reached the playoffs as many times as RCB without actually winning the IPL. They have also been runners-up three times which puts them second only to five-time winners CSK in coming up with silver.

They released six overseas players ahead of the campaign while trading in Cameron Green from Mumbai prior to the auction.

RCB bought Alzarri Joseph at auction following a short duel with their rivals and secured Tom Curran for his base price to add quality to their all-rounder stocks and pace bowling department.

They picked up another bargain when they found themselves alone in bidding for Lockie Ferguson, who has returned to form for New Zealand at just the right time for RCB to take advantage.

Retaining Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Faf Du Plessis has to be considered better than any signings they could have made in this auction. They have also retained the services of underrated England T20I stalwarts Will Jacks and Reece Topley.

The team is starting to lean towards looking like a dad's army but the same criticism has previously been levelled at the likes of CSK. Some will question the expense of $690,000 on veteran Dinesh Karthik.

RCB have always been a team to watch for great moments but haven't been able to string that together.

Prediction: Finish sixth

 

Sunrisers Hyderabad

The Sunrisers Hyderabad may have cut off their nose to spite their face in a feud with former skipper David Warner and have also made missteps in their recent recruiting efforts that have seen them slip away from the elite of the IPL.

How this team uses the brutal power of Heinrich Klaasen could go a long way towards determining where they end up on the log.

Klaasen was among a trio of South Africans retained by the franchise while they released Englishmen Harry Brook and Adil Rashid and West Indies left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein.

India stars Washington Sundar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were both retained with the latter showing great loyalty considering the salary he could have pulled at auction. Mayank Agarwal and Rahul Tripathi are on higher pay packages and are merely India fringe players right now.

The Sunrisers bagged another hot batter at auction when they put in the top bid for Australia star Travis Head.

Their headline piece of business was paying a record fee to see Pat Cummins return to the IPL but that huge sum will be considered a pittance if he can lift this team like he so frequently does in the gold and baggy green of Australia.

They have a great squad but the Sunrisers will find that isn't enough to make it to the IPL playoffs.

Prediction: Start well but taper to finish seventh

 

Delhi Capitals

It stings the Delhi Capitals that their franchise is winless in the IPL and even a name change to shed a moniker associated with failure hasn't provided the rebirth they might have hoped for.

They made the play-offs in their first three seasons as the Capitals but endured a terrible 2023 season with several stars absent with injuries.

There is still an injury cloud hanging over their star Proteas pacemen Anrich Nortje who only returned from a long injury layoff earlier this week when he stepped out for the Warriors in South Africa's T20 Challenge competition.

Nortje's Proteas teammate Lungi Ngidi pulled out of the IPL with Jake Fraser-McGurk named as his replacement.

Other notable retentions include Aussies David Warner and Mitchell Marsh who bring quality and competitive spirit in spades.

Their highest-paid player, Rishabh Pant, returns to action in the IPL after 14 months after recovering from a road accident that threatened to end his career.

They secured star England batter Harry Brook at auction only to see him withdraw from the tournament citing personal reasons.

The Capitals have yet to make a move on a replacement but the decision only became public on March 13.

With all this upheaval at the Capitals, they would do well to even match their ninth-placed finish last year.

Prediction: Will finish eighth on the table

 

 

Kolkata Knight Riders 

KKR give the impression of being a team that could smash 250 or be bowled out for 80 and the swings to extremes have kept them from competing for IPL glory. 

They have also been hit by problems associated with England internationals pulling out of the IPL with Jason Roy withdrawing for personal reasons while Gus Atkinson has seen his IPL stint yanked away by the ECB's workload management policy.

KKR have acquired a form England star in return though with Phil Salt coming in as a replacement for Roy meanwhile Sri Lanka paceman Dushmantha Chameera was drafted in to replace Atkinson.

They went all in to get Mitchell Starc at auction paying the all-time record fee for the Australian left-armer with one of the deadliest yorkers in the game.

Considering they also released Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur and Tim Southee, KKR might be asking a lot for Starc to remedy their pace problems.

Despite holding onto stalwarts Sunil Narine and Andre Russell who can still win matches on their own this team looks set to struggle.

Prediction: They will finish second from bottom

 

Punjab Kings

The Punjab Kings have probably got the weakest return on their money spent dollar for dollar with big-name marquee players unable to lift the IPL's traditional strugglers.

After paying a little too much for Shahrukh Khan, they have released the batter with 426 IPL runs to his name in three seasons at a little over $1 million per season.

That is just the latest piece of catastrophic business conducted by the Punjab Kings.

Sam Curran would do well to live up to the $2.3 million he will be paid for this campaign as the Kings retained the man they broke the bank for. Curran delivered 10 wickets and 275 runs in the 2023 campaign.

Kagiso Rabada and Shikhar Dhawan stand out as the true stars of this team but both will need to be at their best to help Punjab Kings avoid the IPL wooden spoon.

One might argue that they overpaid to secure Harshal Patel at auction but they were able to get Chris Woakes on board for a very reasonable fee so perhaps their auction game is improving after years of busts.

They have also taken on board several younger talents from India and appointed Sanjay Bangar as Head of Cricket Development.

It will be surprising if Punjab Kings put in a strong display in the 2024 IPL.

Prediction: Will finish last

 

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