With the Indian Premier League auctions done and dusted it’s time for the franchises to look forward to this year’s IPL and how their teams will fare at the tournament and one major aspect is to align the team with their captain and the support staff.
While teams like Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore had decided to go with MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli respectively as their captains for IPL 2018, other teams had to ponder over their new leader with the different nature of auctions this year.
Kolkata Knight Riders hurting from a poor auction
Kolkata Knight Riders saw their plans fall one by one after losing Gautam Gambhir and Manish Pandey at the auctions. Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab bought too many players and yet to decide on their captain. Rajasthan Royals have a convenient choice in Steve Smith but they have different options to fall back as well.
We take a look at the best possible choices of captains for all the Indian Premier League sides for the next season in 2018.
Kolkata Knight Riders Captain in IPL 2018 – Robin Uthappa
It was a long-stated fact that Gautam Gambhir had asked to leave Kolkata Knight Riders and had requested KKR to honour his wish and that is exactly what the franchise did. Having let Gambhir leave, Kolkata’s next captaincy choice was Manish Pandey but that plan was scuppered with SRH signing Manish for INR 11 crore.
The team is currently shuffling through the options they have at their disposal and Robin Uthappa seems to be the ideal fit for this role. Barring Chris Lynn, Uthappa will be Kolkata’s best batsman and will be responsible to bridge his team’s top and middle order batting.
With Dinesh Karthik signing for the KKR, Uthappa will be relieved from his wicketkeeping duties of the past and he can now focus on being the leader that Kolkata Knight Riders are desperate for. Uthappa is expected to be named as the new KKR captain in coming days as the Nigh Riders prepare for a competitive IPL 2018.
Delhi Daredevils Captain in IPL 2018 – Gautam Gambhir
Having left Kolkata Knight Riders, Gautam Gambhir was adamant on returning to his hometown club in the IPL and Delhi Daredevils wasted little time in signing Gambhir for INR 2.8 crore.
The moment Delhi signed Gambhir, they announced that the former Kolkata man will be their captain for the IPL 2018. Gambhir had previously led Kolkata Night Riders to two IPL titles and that is what Delhi are hoping for by naming Gambhir as their new captain.
Kings XI Punjab Captain in IPL 2018 – Ravi Ashwin
Kings XI Punjab will have plenty of options at their disposal when they look to name their new captain for the next season of IPL. In Ravi Ashwin, they have a senior figure who has played closely with MS Dhoni and has a strong head on his shoulders.
However, with Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh, and KL Rahul within the squad, Virender Sehwag will have a tough call to make. Ashwin’s bowling in the IPL has not been the best in recent seasons and if his form escapes him, Punjab could even decide to play without Ashwin in key games as well.
Having said that though, Finch’s captaincy in the Big Bash 2018 was not impressive and after buying Ashwin for INR 7.6 crore, it is kind of obvious that Ashwin will be named the new captain for Kings XI Punjab ahead of the IPL 2018.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Captain in IPL 2018 – David Warner
Was there ever any doubt about this call from the Sunrisers Hyderabad when they decided to retain the Aussie opener? David Warner has been an exceptional leader for the Sunrisers winning 2 IPL titles and being their batsman as well.
Sunrisers team management made sure they retained their core of their squad with Rashid Khan, Kane Williamson, Mohd Nabi and Bhuvneshwar Kumar retained ahead of the new season. Not only that, Warner will have the luxury of having Manish Pandey in his side as he looks to lead Hyderabad’s challenge to win another IPL title.
Rajasthan Royals Captain in IPL 2018 – Steve Smith
Rajasthan only retained one player at the auction and it was Steve Smith. Although Smith was an upcoming talent when Rajasthan last played the IPL since then, the unconventional batsman has gone on to achieve remarkable things as both batsman and as the Australian captain.
Smith led Rising Pune Supergiants to the IPL final last year and has earned his right to lead Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2018 as well. He will have the able support of Ajinkya Rahane and Ben Stokes with him when the Royals make their Indian Premier League return.
Mumbai Indians Captain in IPL 2018 – Rohit Sharma
A no-brainer this one as Rohit Sharma has arguably changed the fortuned of Mumbai Indians since taking over as their skipper. Rohit is never shy of putting the team ahead of himself and has played at the number 4 for Mumbai Indians.
Rohit has been keen to blood young talent to the Mumbai Indians setup which has seen the likes of Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah make their transition into the International cricket as well. There is no denying that Rohit Sharma will once again be Mumbai’s captain going into the IPL Season 11.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Captain in IPL 2018 – Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli’s obsession to win an IPL trophy with Royal Challengers Bangalore is well known to the people close to him and that was the precise reason why Kohli decided to stay up with RCB and wanted a stronger side this season to go all-out for the glory.
RCB management took a different and consolidated approach at the IPL 2018 auctions and have put together a balanced side for Kohli continue his Midas touch and take the RCB closer to winning an IPL title.
Chennai Super Kings Captain in IPL 2018 – MS Dhoni
The Thaliava will be back in his most loved yellow jersey as Chennai Super Kings mark their return to the IPL. The 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League almost feels like a swan song for Dhoni to go out on a high and more importantly on his own terms.
Chennai Super Kings have given a familiar team to Dhoni where he will be callingthe shots and would hope to turn back the clock a few years to make CSK the most competitive and feared team in the Indian Premier League. Dhoni will definitely keep wickets and captain CSK in the IPL 2018.