The 2014 cricketing season is on us! Soon, the national team will be venturing to New Zealand to play a full series and once they return, the players and many stars from all over the world will be seen on Indian soil for a couple of months taking part in what has come to be identified as the single most important cricketing event outside the national calendar – the Indian Premier League.

 

The auction is set to take place during February 12 and 13 and this time around franchises will be able to retain 5 players each. However, if they retain the 5 players, every franchise will lose out on INR 390 million from the maximum permissible purse of INR 600 million and that would severely restrict the chances of recruiting other players or even retaining the players outside the big 5 who they want to keep in the side.

 

In such a situation it will be interesting to see which players are chosen by the individual franchises as a lot of factors such as availability and financial viability will come into play. However good performers rarely miss out and so there is a possibility that the franchises may settle for the following players come 2014:

 

Chennai Super Kings:

 

  • MS Dhoni – still the best player in the team and a deserving leader
  • Ravichandran Ashwin – the main spinner and also a decent batsman down the order
  • Suresh Raina – one of the leading batsmen in the middle order and also handy with the ball
  • Ravindra Jadeja – a decent allrounder with electric fielding skills
  • Albie Morkel – the main new ball bowler with the capability to be devastating with the bat

 

Delhi Daredevils

 

  • Unmukt Chand – the future captain and a very good batsman
  • Virender Sehwag – the iconic player who can maul any attack on his day
  • Irfan Pathan – the best allrounder in the team and key to the team’s balance
  • Morne Morkel – the best fast bowler in the team
  • David Warner – an explosive batsman and an equally good fielder

 

Kings XI Punjab

 

  • Azhar Mahmood – the best allrounder, he provides runs in the middle order and is capable of bowling at the death as well as with the new ball
  • Piyush Chawla – the leg spinner is also a capable batsman and brings a lot of energy to the side
  • Praveen Kumar – the best seam bowler in Kings XI, the combative cricketer from UP can also make a splash or two with the bat
  • Shaun Marsh – easily the best top order batsman in the side, he may be asked to play the role of the recently retired Adam Gilchrist
  • David Miller – the best finisher with the bat, he will play a major role down the order

 

Kolkata Knight Riders

 

  • Gautam Gambhir – the captain and the best batsman in the team but will need to up his game to make sure KKR at least qualify for the Champions League
  • Manoj Tiwary – a magnificent batsman and also an athletic fielder to boot
  • Sunil Narine – the mystery spinner of the team and a decisive factor in many of its successes
  • Mohammed Shami – the quick bowler is in good form for the national team and it shall be a major mistake to let him go
  • Jacques Kallis – easily the best allrounder, he can take the new ball and also bat up the order

 

Mumbai Indians

 

  • Rohit Sharma – the skipper has been successful with his leadership as well as batting and is also one of the better fielders in the country
  • Harbhajan Singh – he may be out of the national team but is still a lionhearted performer with both bat and ball
  • Mitchell Johnson – he can be scarily fast and also land telling blows with the bat and is a dependable fielder to boot
  • Lasith Malinga – the best bowler with the old ball in the limited over games he will be crucial to the team’s success in its future endeavors
  • Dinesh Karthik – the wicketkeeper batsman is a useful player down the order and with his energy and vivacity is capable of lifting the team in trying circumstances

 

Rajasthan Royals

 

  • Brad Hodge – the best batsman down the order, he could very well be the new captain
  • Shane Watson – the premier allrounder in the team, he can take the new ball and also bat in the opening position
  • Kevon Cooper – the canny seamer has been one of the best performers for “double R”, to quote Danny Morrison, with his tricky changes of pace
  • James Faulkner – the combative allrounder will be a prized asset in 2014 for his capability to regularly produce decisive performances
  • Ajinkya Rahane – the finest batsman in the upper middle order, his cavalier displays have often laid the foundations for his team’s success

 

Royal Challengers Bangalore

 

  • Virat Kohli – he is a promising captain besides being the best Indian talent available to the franchise
  • Zaheer Khan – the seamer is on a comeback trail and with his immense nous and experience could very well play a decisive role
  • Chris Gayle – the explosive batsman is also capable of bowling a couple of cheap overs
  • AB de Villiers – the best batsman in the team, he may also be required to don the gloves to lend the team some much needed balance
  • Tillekratne Dilshan – he is an explosive batsman up the order and can also keep wickets or bowl a few overs of offspin

 

Sunrisers Hyderabad

 

  • Shikhar Dhawan – the most explosive Indian batsman, much will depend on how he starts every game – he could also be asked to lead the side as well
  • Parthiv Patel – is an important contributor on either side of the wicket and can play the role of vice captain
  • Ishant Sharma – he is one of the better seamers in India and could play an important role with the new ball
  • Dale Steyn – the best fast bowler in the world, he can be a destructive force for the franchise
  • Darren Sammy – an ideal T20 cricketer with hard-to-hit bowling and good batting – he can also offer some valuable advice by virtue of being a T20 World Cup winning captain