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Thread: !^! Players to watch out for in Indian Premier League second season: !^!

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    Default !^! Players to watch out for in Indian Premier League second season: !^!

    Rajasthan Royals

    Shane Warne

    Shane Warne did the trick in the first season of the IPL when he led a team branded 'the weakest' to the Twenty20 tournament title. It was not only his captaincy that worked wonders, but equally effective was his leg-spinners that saw him claim 19 wickets in 15 games. At 39, the Australian still looks fitter than some of the current cricketers and no one will bet against him doing well in this second IPL season, especially since it is being hosted in South Africa, where he always excelled with the ball.

    Graeme Smith

    The left-hander deserves much of the credit for South Africa's rapid rise in international cricket in the last couple of years. Smith enjoys batting at the top of the order and on his day is capable of shredding any bowling attack to pieces. In the last IPL, he smashed 441 runs in 11 matches and formed a lethal opening combo with Swapnil Asnodkar. With the IPL being staged in his home country this year, one can bet on Smith playing a major role with the bat yet again.

    Shaun Tait

    Shaun Tait has a major role to play for the Royals after Pakistan's Sohail Tanvir, the highest wicket-taker in the inaugural IPL, was ruled out along with other Pakistan players on security grounds. Tait is regarded as one of the best fast bowlers in the world and is expected to make most of the seamer-friendly conditions in South Africa. He surely must be itching to come up with some good performances, which could earn him a recall to the Australian team.

    Yusuf Pathan

    On his day, Yusuf Pathan can destroy any bowling attack. Twenty20 is his cup of tea, as he proved in the last IPL. His powerful strokeplay saw him smash 25 sixes and 43 boundaries in 16 matches. Not only did he smash quick runs but was consistent throughout for a return of 435 runs and the highest strike rate of 179. His part-time off-spinners can also prove handy. He is central to Royals plans of retaining the title and hoping to repeat last year's magic.

    Dimitri Mascarenhas

    Shane Warne, during his time with Hampshire, regarded Dimitri Mascarenhas as the best finisher with the bat in all situations, while terming his bowling clever and accurate. He played just one match in the IPL last year but this year he could be expected to feature in more games since the conditions in South Africa suit him. Indian fans vividly remember his assault of five sixes in an over against Yuvraj Singh in a one-dayer.

    Tyron Henderson

    Tyron Henderson is regarded as a Twenty20 specialist and his successful exploits for Middlesex and Cape Cobras are a testimony to it. The 34-year-old, who has played just one Twenty20 international, was purchased by the champions for a whopping US $650,000. Surely, there was reason for it. The bulky all-rounder played a stellar role in helping Middlesex win the Twenty20 Cup last year. Now Royals are hoping he can repeat some of his magic for them too. He is a useful bowler in the Twenty20 format and can bowl tight overs in the closing stages; besides, his explosive batting can turn around any match.
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    Chennai Super Kings

    Mahendra Singh Dhoni

    India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has the world at his feet, virtually. Last season he all but took his team to the IPL crown, as they lost to the Royals off the last ball in a thrilling final. This season, as India captain, he captured everything that came this way and will no doubt be itching to win this second edition of the IPL. He has a strong, balanced team at his disposal and can pull it off.

    Andrew Flintoff

    England's premier all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is the most expensive player in the IPL. He has the ability to turn a match on its head both with the bat and ball. Like Dhoni, he also can clear the boundaries at will and his bowling is more than handy, especially in conditions suited for fast bowling. Clearly, his presence will make a lot of difference to the Chennai's team balance this year.

    Matthew Hayden

    Matthew Hayden may have quit international cricket but will still enter the tournament as one of the batsmen to watch out. Fresh from a long break, the bulky left-hander is itching to do what he does best -- smash the bowlers all around the park. Last year he played just four matches, smashing 189 runs at 63.00, before returning home for international duty. Chennai Super Kings must be delighted that the veteran is available for the full tournament this year.

    Albie Morkel

    South Africa's rising stature in international cricket has unearthed quite a few young stars, Albie Morkel being one of them. Recently in a Twenty20 International against Australia, he hit 37 off 19 deliveries to lead South Africa to an unlikely victory. He also played crucial roles with both bat and ball in South Africa's twin ODI series triumphs against Australia recently. The left-hander looks in great form and could take the tournament by storm in home conditions.

    Muttiah Muralitharan

    The Sri Lankan off-spinner can never be written off no matter what the conditions and whatever opposition are. Even at 36 he looks fitter than most and many batsmen around the world still don't have a clue how to tackle his spin bowling. In a format considered difficult for spinners, he made his mark last year claiming 11 wickets in 15 matches at 36.72.

    Suresh Raina

    Suresh Raina has emerged one of India's brightest stars in the last few months. The left-hander can destroy any bowling attack on his day and few would bet against him doing that in this year's IPL. He smashed 125 runs in the five-match ODI series in New Zealand but what stood out there was his strike rate of 148. That made many stand up and take notice of this young prodigy's talent.
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    Kolkata Knight Riders


    Sourav Ganguly

    Sourav Ganguly may be the most affected by coach John Buchanan's multiple-captain strategy (or shall we say 'one captain, many strategists' theory) in the second season of the IPL, but things were certainly bright for Dada in the inaugural season. An aggregate of 349 from 13 matches was better than any of his Kolkata Knight Riders' colleagues. Besides, there weren't too many flaws in his captaincy. Only his luck ran out after the first few matches.

    Brendon McCullum

    His 158 not out in the opening match of the inaugural tournament -- against Bangalore Royal Challengers -- remains the highest individual score in the IPL. And in each of his last three innings in the Twenty20 format, McCullum has scored half centuries, including back-to-back match winning knocks against India. Need we say more?

    Chris Gayle

    Injuries meant he couldn't take the field in the IPL last year. But everyone knows how dangerous Chris Gayle can be. His 117 against South Africa in the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup makes him the only batsman to have hit a century in a T20 international. And his partnership with McCullum is potentially lethal.

    Ishant Sharma

    Shah Rukh Khan had to dish out a whopping US $950,000 to acquire Ishant for the Kolkata Knight Riders. However, in the inaugural season the lanky paceman wasn't as effective. Just seven wickets from 13 matches and an economy rate of 7.80 are figures that didn't do justice to his immense potential. Hopefully, the second season will work out well.

    David Hussey

    Kolkata Knight Riders offered David Hussey a contract of $625,000. He repaid them by scoring 319 runs, an aggregate second only to captain Sourav Ganguly's (349). More importantly, he was one of the few consistent performers in the KKR side. The Kolkata outfit will need Hussey to be as consistent in the second season if they are to go far in the tournament.

    Ajantha Mendis

    The Sri Lankan mystery spinner was an unknown entity during the inaugural edition. Not surprisingly, he featured in only a single game, taking one for 24. Things have changed a lot since and Mendis goes into the second edition of the IPL with his shoulders weighed down by the ever-increasing burden of expectations. It's up to him to fulfill those expectations.
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    Royal Challengers Bangalore


    Kevin Pietersen

    Vijay Mallya did not hesitate to pay $1.3 million to acquire the former England captain. In fact, he had come prepared. This made Kevin Pietersen the most expensive player in the IPL -- along with England teammate Andy Flintoff. Does Pietersen deserve that much money? On the basis of talent, he does. As regards performance, only time will tell.

    Mark Boucher

    The South African wicketkeeper was one of the few success stories for Bangalore Royal Challengers in an otherwise disappointing season. Boucher amassed 225 runs in 10 matches, an aggregate second only to captain Rahul Dravid's 371 in 14. In the second season, RCB will expect more from the South African as they strive for a better result.

    Nathan Bracken

    The Australian is just the kind of bowler any team will require to make crucial breakthroughs. Bracken, who signed up for Royal Challengers for $325,000, underwent knee surgery and that cut short his participation in the inaugural edition. However, now fit and raring to go, the Australian might just be the weapon the Bangalore team needs in its armoury.

    Ross Taylor

    Ross Taylor's contribution to Royal Challengers' cause in the inaugural edition was decent -- 149 runs from four matches. The New Zealand batsman was also in remarkable form in the just-concluded series against India. The Bangalore team's wish-list pertaining to Taylor will comprise two things � one, Taylor continues with his good form; two, that he plays for a longer period this season.

    Jesse Ryder

    An expensive player bought cheaply. That must be Royal Challengers' assessment of Jesse Ryder after witnessing the New Zealander blast the hapless Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground in the just-concluded series. Ryder was effective in all three formats against India. And his attacking game makes him a potential threat in the Twenty20 tournament, a threat to all of Bangalore's rivals.

    Dale Steyn

    Dale Steyn took 10 wickets in the inaugural IPL but failed to help his team finish higher than seventh. Steyn was bought for $325,000 and among the many South Africans -- Kallis, Boucher et al -- who bolster the Royal Challengers' squad. With Steyn again in good form, RC will need him to form a good bowling partnership with Bracken to help carry the team through.
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    Mumbai Indians


    Sachin Tendulkar

    He didn't play the first seven matches last year as he was recuperating. The team suffered, losing four of those seven games. But when the Mumbai Indians captain did finally take the field, their fortunes started changing. The lucrative line-up won a few games but by the then the damage had been inflicted. Tendulkar amassed 188 runs from the seven matches he played. This time he has a crucial role to play if Mumbai Indians are to go the distance. Knowing the Master Blaster's caliber, he won't disappoint.

    Sanath Jayasuriya

    Arguably the biggest success story for Mumbai Indians in the inaugural season. Sanath Jayasuriya finished the tournament with 514 runs from 14 matches (@ 42.83), an aggregate that included a century and two half-centuries. He also chipped in with four wickets. How Mumbai Indians will perform in the second season depends a lot on how this Sri Lankan opener performs. That is his importance in the team.

    Harbhajan Singh

    Three matches, five wickets. That's Harbhajan Singh's stats for you in the inaugural season before a slap on Sreesanth's face resulted in him getting banned for the rest of the tournament. Add to that a woeful debut as captain, in Sachin Tendulkar's absence. Mumbai Indians will be praying that the temperamental spinner performs on the field rather than off it in the second season.

    Zaheer Khan

    He has swapped teams. Having taken 13 wickets for Royal Challengers in the inaugural edition, Zaheer felt it is the Mumbai Indians whom he can serve better. The result -- an exchange that witnessed Robin Uthappa going to Bangalore and Zaherr joining Mumbai Indians. The left-armer is in good form, and in the absence of Shaun Pollock, takes over the mantle of the most experienced bowler in the Mumbai squad.

    Jean-Paul Duminy

    The Ambanis did not mind shelling out $950, 000 from their purse to acquire this South Africa during the auction in February. Duminy has done enough to prove himself as a threat in any form of the game. Now that the expectations from him have increased considerably -- thanks to the above price and the fact the second edition is being held in his country -- it remains to be seen how he performs.

    Dwayne Bravo

    He was available for eight matches in the inaugural edition before joining the West Indies for their series against Australia. However, such was his impact that the Mumbai Indians bosses kept him back for one more match -- even providing a chartered flight. And he repaid by winning the man-of-the-match award in that particular match. For the record, Bravo scored 178 runs and took 11 wickets. That explains why he assumes so much significance in the Mumbai Indians' scheme of things.
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    Deccan Chargers


    Adam Gilchrist

    The Australian wicketkeeper was arguably the best player for Deccan Chargers in what was otherwise a disappointing campaign. Gilchrist aggregated 436 runs from 14 games, with a flamboyant 109 not out against Mumbai Indians being his best. He also had three half-centuries to his credit. And when he was entrusted the responsibility of the captain following VVS Laxman's injury, he did a commendable job. He will have to play a crucial role again for the Hyderabad team to make an impact in the second season.

    Andrew Symonds

    He played just four matches in the inaugural season before leaving to join the Australian national side in the West Indies. But he was impressive all along, particularly his unbeaten 117 against eventual winners Rajasthan Royals, an effort that earned him the man-of-the-match award. With him now making a comeback into the Australian team, after a series of controversies and disciplinary issues, Deccan Chargers can expect a significant contribution from his blade.

    Herschelle Gibbs

    A disaster in the inaugural season, Gibbs managed just 167 runs in nine matches, failing to cross fifty even once. However, the South African is back among the runs and has the ability to dictate terms, two factors the Deccan Chargers' hope will work in their favour. Alongside Gilchrist and Symonds, Gibbs is the man who can change the course of a match at any time.

    Chaminda Vaas

    The Sri Lankan managed just five wickets in the inaugural edition. And with age catching up, he is no more the force he once used to be. But his responsibilities keep on increasing. In the absence of big names, he remains the strike bowler for Deccan Chargers. What might just work in his favour is the experience factor.

    Rudra Pratap Singh

    15 wickets @ 29.46 and an economy rate of 8.61. Impressive numbers in the context of Twenty20 cricket. Equally impressive was RP Singh during the inaugural IPL. The above stats belong to him. But since then not much has happened in his career. The second edition might just be the platform he needs to resurrect his career.

    Rohit Sharma

    404 runs in 13 matches. Four half centuries. Impressive statistics that define Rohit Sharma's contribution to the Deccan Chargers' cause in the inaugural IPL. Alas, it turned out to be an exercise in futility as the Hyderabad team finished last. Rohit hasn't been in as good form recently but with the kind of ability he has, he can spring a surprise once the Deccan Chargers begin their campaign in season two.
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    Delhi Daredevils


    Virender Sehwag

    The Delhi captain is regarded as one of the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket. He can destroy bowling attacks in the space of few overs and is virtually unstoppable when in full flow. He scored more than 400 runs in last year's tournament and on one occasion came to close to scoring a century, finishing unbeaten on 94. Harbhajan Singh has already tipped the Delhi opener to score a century in this year's IPL.

    Gautam Gambhir

    The left-hander has emerged as one of the most improved batsmen in modern day cricket. The New Zealand tour saw Gambhir's batting soar heights never seen before as he plundered runs in every format of the game. If you go by the records, Gambhir surely has to be the best batsmen in Twenty20 cricket. He had a ball in the last IPL, finishing the second highest scorer with 534 runs in 14 matches at 41.07. He also emerged the second highest scorer with 227 runs in seven matches in India's triumph in the 2007 ICC Twenty20 World Cup. South Africa watch out for India's latest run machine!

    AB de Villiers

    AB de Villiers is seeking redemption after a moderate showing last year. He scored just 95 runs in six matches in the IPL last year and struggled to cope with the conditions in India. But, at home things should be different and he will no doubt be looking forward to show off his batting prowess in his front of his own fans. Also the fact that he has been in good form recently should come as good news for his Delhi team.

    Glenn McGrath

    In his prime, Glenn McGrath was the most difficult bowler to score against. That was the same even during in last year's IPL, when he took 12 wickets with an economy rate of 6.6. Back after a long hiatus from cricket, the 39-year-old fast bowler seems desperate to get back to doing what he does best, bowling a good line and length.

    Daniel Vettori

    Just like Glenn McGrath, the Kiwi captain is a miserly bowler. His deceptive flight and variety makes him a difficult bowler to score against, especially in the slam-bang Twenty20 format. He is also very handy with the bat, as was proved by his exploits during the just-concluded Test and ODI series against India in New Zealand.

    David Warner

    This unknown Australian could well take the IPL by storm. David Warner announced himself with a blazing 89 from 43 deliveries, opening the innings in his Twenty20 International debut against South Africa last year. Even in limited-overs cricket for New South Wales, he showed eagerness to take on the bowlers. Imagine what can happen if he and the dangerous Virender Sehwag get going.
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    Kings XI Punjab


    Yuvraj Singh

    Yuvraj Singh rules princely when it comes to Twenty20 cricket. Not long ago he smashed Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over in the Twenty20 World Cup, in 2007. The IPL's second season is being held in South Africa, where the left-hander relishes batting on the fast bouncy wickets. If he gets going, spectators will surely have a field day.

    Shaun Marsh

    Little-known Aussie Shaun Marsh was definitely the find of the IPL last year. The left-hander left a telling impression with his tally of 616 runs from 11 matches in last year's tournament that fast tracked him into the Australian team. He will not be available for the first few weeks of the tournament as Australia will be playing Pakistan in the UAE. But one is sure when he does turn up he will be one of the players to watch out for.

    Kumar Sangakkara

    Much of the interest around the Sri Lankan players will be to see whether they have recovered from the Lahore terror attack. Regarded as one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen of the modern era, Kumar Sangakkara made a vital contribution of 320 runs in 10 matches at 35.55 in the last IPL. His wicketkeeping too was top-notch and he is expected to play a major role for the Punjab team this year.

    Luke Pomersbach

    Just like Shaun Marsh, this left-hander was unknown when he came into the IPL. But by the end of it, he had made many sit up and take notice of his class. The 24-year-old Australian played just five matches last year during which he scored 152 runs and was dismissed just once. His record in Twenty20 cricket is also excellent, with 443 runs in 18 games. He will be a crucial member in Preity Zinta's team, especially considering the fact that he could be available for the full tournament.

    James Hopes

    A lot of hopes rest on James Hopes after recent impressive performances for Australia in limited-overs cricket. Last year too he played a key role in helping Punjab reach the last four as he shone both with bat and ball. He scored 221 runs in 11 matches and claimed seven wickets in 11 games.

    Brett Lee

    The fast bowler could end up missing most of the tournament after being ruled out of the series against Pakistan in the UAE. It remains to be seen whether he can make a speedy recovery and play a part in the latter stages of the IPL. Without him Kings Punjab, with a depleted bowling attack at their disposal, has a tough task ahead. He played just four matches last year with a return of four wickets and rarely threatened on the dead Indian wickets, but it could be another story on the fast bouncy wickets in South Africa.
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    really looking forward to seeing em all in action!!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikkuartz View Post
    really looking forward to seeing em all in action!!!!!!!!
    It will be a gr8 entertainment ...
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