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IPL 2024: How Delhi, Lucknow, Punjab, Rajasthan shape up – a SWOT analysis | Cricket News

TOI takes a look at what may lie in store for Delhi Capitals, Lucknow Super Giants, Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals in the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League beginning on March 22.
ALSO READ: Watch IPL in Qatar
While DC, LSG and Punjab are searching for their maiden IPL title, RR won the inaugural edition in 2008 under the captaincy of legendary Australian leg-spiner, late Shane Warne.
DELHI CAPITALS

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In seven seasons under head coach Ricky Ponting, the team has reached the IPL final only once. Captain Rishabh Pant’s comeback from a horrific car accident is a definite boost to their push for the trophy this year.
STRENGTH: Powerful top order with David Warner, Rishabh Pant and Mitchell Marsh. If these three get going, they can run away with any match. Then there’s the spin partnership of Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, which is as effective as any spin combo in the IPL.
WEAKNESS: Like last year, the scarcity of proven domestic talent in the middle order will put extra pressure on Pant and Axar. Besides Ishant Sharma, the pace-bowling department too relies on foreign recruits.
OPPORTUNITY: Mukesh Kumar could enhance his reputation as an emerging pace bowler. A good IPL here could pave the way for a spot in the subsequent T20 World Cup team. Same goes for Pant.
THREAT: Pant, like always, will be the X-factor. Coming back after a year, his form and fitness will be unknown to opponents. He could exploit that.
LUCKNOW SUPER GIANTS

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Having started their IPL journey by qualifying for playoffs in their first two seasons, LSG will turn up this year with a
new-look coaching staff that will be headed by Justin Langer.
STRENGTH: LSG boast of having an explosive batting order made up of T20 specialists like Quinton de Kock, Nicholas Pooran and Kyle Mayers along with the stability of captain KL Rahul.
WEAKNESS: The pace attack has suffered a dent with Mark Wood pulling out. The bowling department wears an inexperienced look. Krunal Pandya will
have to lead the spin attack.
OPPORTUNITY: This is Ayush Badoni’s chance to grow as a player. The franchise backs the young middle-order bat to provide them with a powerful finish. Left-arm seamer Mohsin Khan will look to resurrect his career, which has been hampered by a terrible shoulder injury.
THREAT: Raw West Indies pacer Shamar Joseph will be in focus following his sensational international debut in Australia.
PUNJAB KINGS

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The forever underachievers of IPL will give it another shot at proving their worth in the tournament. Sanjay Bangar, who triggered a turnaround for the franchise in 2014, is back as the head of cricket development.
STRENGTH: The presence of established international T20 stars like Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh lends balance
to skipper Shikhar Dhawan’s team. Dhawan himself has been one of the most consistent players in IPL history.
WEAKNESS: Lack of proven allrounders could be a disadvantage. Sam Curran and Chris Woakes are the only to established names but putting them in the XI will be tough.
OPPORTUNITY: Wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma could push for a spot in India’s T20 World Cup team. He has been impressive over the last two seasons but this season could determine his maturity and consistency.
THREAT: Arshdeep Singh’s wicket-taking ability with the new ball combined with his expertise in the death overs could tilt a lot of matches PBKS’ way.
RAJASTHAN ROYALS

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The limelight is on youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Dhruv Jurel. However, the old guard has to step up too.
STRENGTH: Opener Jaiswal is in tremendous form. The 22-year-old finished the 2023 IPL as the fifth-highest run-getter and goes into 2024 as the top scorer in the Tests against England. Jaiswal and Buttler provide the assurance of a solid start.
WEAKNESS: The Royals fast-bowling department lacks spark. A lot will ride on how their aging spearhead Trent Boult responds. The Indians in the pack —
Avesh Khan, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Sen, Sandeep Sharma — need to step up. It will be interesting to see where Nandre Burger fits in this setup.
OPPORTUNITY: Sanju Samson is one of the most experienced T20 players but he has not been able to get rid of the tag of being inconsistent. It’s time he makes this opportunity count and makes the national selectors take notice when they sit down to pick the squad for T20 World Cup.
THREAT: On paper, Rovman Powell’s inclusion in the squad makes it appear that Royals have fixed their middle-order woes. The West Indies skipper has not set the IPL on fire so far. But if he and his teammate from the Caribbean, Shimron Hetymer, get going, Rajasthan Royals will have a lot to smile about.

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