IPL team profiles
Biggest names in the game ready to compete in new tournament
Last Updated: 17/04/08 1:48pm
Littered with international stars handed massive contracts, the Indian Premier League gets underway on Friday with the first of 59 matches.
A total of eight teams have been put together through an auction process to try and win the inaugural tournament that could well change the face of international cricket.
The likes of Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Shaun Pollock all feature, along with Indian superstars such as Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar.
Here skysports.com takes a look at the squads who will be in action over the next six weeks...
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
Squad: MS Dhoni, Matthew Hayden, Stephen Fleming, Mike Hussey, Jacob Oram, Makhaya Ntini, Muttiah Muralitharan, Albie Morkel, Joginder Sharma, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Abhinav Mukund, Suresh Kumar, Arun Karthik, Shadab Jakati, Napoleon Einstein, Subramaniam Badrinath, Lakshmipathy Balaji, R Ashwin, Srikkanth Anirudha, Viraj Vilas Kadbe, Palani Amarnath, Manpreet Gony.
Coach: Kepler Wessels - South Africa's first captain post isolation who also played 24 Tests for Australia, Wessels' last coaching assignment was with Northamptonshire and ended in 2006.
Captain: Mahendra Singh Dhoni - The explosive wicketkeeper-batsman drew the highest auction bid of $1.5 million and will also draw in big crowds. Has shown he has leadership qualities in leading India's one-day team Down Under.
Outlook: Dhoni has fellow big hitters Matthew Hayden and Jacob Oram alongside him for the start, while South Africa all-rounder Albie Morkel was a star at last year's ICC World Twenty20 Championships. The bowling will be boosted by the signing of Muttiah Muralitharan but the side will rely on the Indian players, including internationals Suresh Raina and Lakshmipathy Balaji, to make contributions if they are to do well.
KINGS XI PUNJAB
Squad: Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Ramesh Powar, Sreesanth, James Hopes, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Luke Pomersbach, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Kyle Mills, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Ajitesh Argal, Piyush Chawla, Pankaj Dharmani, Rishi Dhawan, Karan Goel, Uday Kaul, Sahil Kukreja, Wilkin Mota, Nitin Saini, Vikram Singh, Sunny Sohal, Tanmay Srivastava
Coach: Tom Moody - A member of Australia's World Cup-winning squad in 1999, Moody guided Sri Lanka to the World Cup final in 2007.
Captain: Yuvraj Singh - The left-hander blasted his way into the record books at the ICC World Twenty20 with six successive sixes in one over from Stuart Broad. The short nature of the games should suit him down to the ground and he has plenty of experience in the squad to help him out.
Outlook: A strong core of India's star players should mean the Kings XI prosper, as well as attract plenty of spectators. Sri Lankan duo Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are classy stroke makers, just like Ramnaresh Sarwan, but the batting looks a little lacking in terms of big hitters. In contrast, the bowling looks well balanced with Brett Lee spearheading an attack that has pace, swing and spin - at least until international commitments come into play.
Squad: VVS Laxman, Sanjay Bangar, Halhadar Das, Herschelle Gibbs, Adam Gilchrist, Doddapaneni Kalyankrishna, Pragyan Ojha, Dwaraka Ravi Teja, Sarvesh Kumar, Shahid Afridi, Rohit Sharma, Chamara Silva, RP Singh, Scott Styris, Andrew Symonds, Chaminda Vaas, Venugopal Rao, Paidikalva Vijaykumar, Arjun Yadav, Nuwan Zoysa.
Coach: Robin Singh - The West Indian-born Singh is stepping away from his role of full-time fielding coach with India to take on the top job with the Chargers. He has the chance to take a squad of players renowned for their individual feats and turn them into a triumphant unit.
Captain: VVS Laxman - Perhaps more suited to the Test arena than limited overs action, the right-handed batsman unselfishly downgraded himself from being the 'Icon' player to allow his side to sign some big names on big deals.
Outlook: The Chargers suit Twenty20 cricket down to the ground - it's going to be all or nothing. As if letting loose Herschelle Gibbs and Adam Gilchrist at the top of the order wasn't enough, they have Andrew Symonds and Shahid Afridi to continue the carnage down the order. Their bowling may be a little light but with four international all-rounders they have decided that pace is not the best way to take wickets.
BANGALORE ROYAL CHALLENGERS
Squad: Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Jacques Kallis, Zaheer Khan, Cameron White, Wasim Jaffer, Dale Steyn, Nathan Bracken, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Mark Boucher, Misbah-ul-Haq, Ross Taylor, Abdur Razzak, KP Appanna, Balachandra Akhil, Jagadeesh Arunkumar, Bharat Chipli, Shreevats Goswami, Sunil Joshi, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Devraj Patil, Vinay Kumar.
Coach: Venkatesh Prasad - Prasad is India's bowling coach and will be helped out by New Zealand legend Martin Crowe, who has been drafted in as Chief Cricket Officer to deal with strategy as well as marketing and branding.
Captain: Rahul Dravid - Given a big role in the selection and formation of the side, the former India skipper has been working hand-in-hand with Crowe (whom Dravid appointed) to create a thoughtful, regal approach to the campaign.
Outlook: Unlike many of their rivals the Challengers have decided the key to success is bowling, not batting. Zaheer Khan, Dale Steyn and Nathan Bracken are a formidable pace trio, when they are all available, who will be backed up by the spin duo of Anil Kumble and left-armer Sunil Joshi. However, don't think they lack when it comes to hitting fours and sixes - Misbah-ul-Haq has starred for Pakistan in this form of the game and anyone who saw domestic Twenty20 action last year in England knows Cameron White can clear any boundary.
Squad: Shane Warne, Aditya Angle, Swapnil Asnodkar, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Kaif, Kamran Akmal, Sumit Khatri, Taruwar Kohli, Darren Lehmann, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Parag More, Morne Morkel, Pankaj Singh, Munaf Patel, Niraj Patel, Yusuf Pathan, Mahesh Rawat, Anup Revandkar, Dinesh Salunke, Jaydev Shah, Graeme Smith, Sohail Tanvir, Siddharth Trivedi, Shane Watson, Younis Khan.
Captain/Coach: Shane Warne - The great leg spinner combines the two leadership roles and will demand the very best from his players. As a skipper, his wealth of leadership experience with Hampshire will stand the tournament's only non-Indian captain in good stead.
Outlook: The Royals spent wisely and picked up some bargains in Morne Morkel and Sohail Tanvir, two quality seam bowlers who should pick up wickets. Although Pakistan pair Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal are paired together in a batting line-up that also includes the only Englishman in the competition - Dimitri Mascarenhas - Graeme Smith's absence in the opening games will be felt, meaning runs could be a problem. At least with Warne in charge you know they will make any total a challenging one. He's already used his powers of persuasion to tempt Darren Lehmann to come back and play again.
KOKLATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Squad: Sourav Ganguly, Ishant Sharma, Murali Kartik, Ajit Agarkar, Chris Gayle, Ricky Ponting, David Hussey, Brendon McCullum, Mohammad Hafeez, Salman Butt, Umar Gul, Tatenda Taibu, Laxmi Shukla, Saurasish Lahiri, Siddarth Kaul, Iqbal Abdulla, Wriddhiman Prasanta Saha, Rohan Banerjee, Yashpal Singh, Aakash Chopra, Debabrata Das, Cheteshwar Pujara.
Coach: John Buchanan - Buchanan coached Australia's all-conquering team from 1999-2007, a period during which they won two World Cups and a record 16 consecutive Test matches. However, he has not had too much experience of Twenty20 cricket.
Captain: Sourav Ganguly - Having made a successful comeback to the Test team after a spell out in the cold, the IPL will now give the former Indian skipper an opportunity to prove that he is far from finished in the shortest version of the game.Outlook: Big hitters at the top of their order mean the Knight Riders could drive opposition bowlers to insanity. Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum should love trying to outdo each other until they disappear due to international commitments, something which will also mean the loss of Australian captain Ricky Ponting. The bowling attack will be based around India's latest seam star, Ishant Sharma. He'll be backed up by Umar Gul and a host of home-based talent led by Ajit Agarkar.
Squad: Sachin Tendulkar, Loots Bosman, Ankeet Chavan, Siddharth Chitnis, Gaurav Dhiman, Dilhara Fernando, Harbhajan Singh, Sanath Jayasuriya, Musavir Khote, Dhawal Kulkarni, Lasith Malinga Abhishek Nayar, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Rajesh Pawar, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohan Raje, Luke Ronchi, Pinal Shah, Swapnil Singh, Yogesh Vijay Takawale, Dominic Thornely, Saurabh Tiwary, Robin Uthappa, Vikrant Yeligati.
Coach: Lalchand Rajput - India's team manager for the inaugural World Twenty20 in September 2007, Rajput recently vacated his post with the national team, he is now looking to carry on his successful run into the IPL.
Captain: Sachin Tendulkar - One of the greats of the game, Tendulkar takes charge of a team again and will be eager to show that he is still good enough to deal with the fast-paced nature of Twenty20 cricket. That is, providing he overcomes a groin injury that forced him to miss the final two Tests against South Africa.
Outlook: With the hopefully fit Tendulkar to be joined by Shaun Pollock and Sanath Jayasuriya, you could be confused in thinking Mumbai is taking part in a veterans tournament. But the three old heads have around them some talented players, particularly in the bowling department. Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh are both wicket-takers and in Australian all-rounder Dominic Thornely the Indians could have the surprise player of the entire competition.
Squad: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary, Mohammad Asif, Daniel Vettori, Dinesh Karthik, Shoaib Malik, Glenn McGrath, AB de Villiers, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof, Rajat Bhatia, Shikhar Dhawan, Brett Geeves, Yo Mahesh, Mithun Manhas, Pradeep Sangwan, Mayank Tehlan.
Coach: Greg Shipperd - A former Australian first-class cricketer who coaches the Victoria Bushrangers, Shipperd is renowned for his expert tactical thinking
Captain: Virender Sehwag - The opener is a man who needs no excuse to play his shots, so expect Sehwag to lead from the front with an aggressive approach.
Outlook: The Daredevils, an appropriate name for a team led by a cavalier like Sehwag, have packed their squad with all-rounders, including two international captains in Daniel Vettori and Shoaib Malik, although neither are available for the entire event. Glenn McGrath is after retiring from Australia and although he may be a little long in the tooth it shouldn't take him too long to get back in the swing of things, something Mohammad Asif also needs to do after a lengthy period out of action.