According to BCCI's latest update, the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League will be held in India from March 23. There were a lot of speculations around where the tournament will happen because of the general elections in India during the month of May, however, the official confirmation is that the tournament is not going anywhere.
Now that the date and venue are finalized, the teams can start planning things for the mega event. The auction for IPL 2019 happened in December and some of the franchises have made a major overhaul to their squad for the new season.
Overseas players are always a big attraction in IPL and this year is going to be no different. In fact, IPL will have some exciting newcomers in the form of Sam Curran, Hardus Viljoen, Shimron Hetmyer, Oshane Thomas etc.
Without much ado, here we rank all the IPL teams based on the strength of their overseas players.
#8 Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians retained the core of the team for IPL 2019 and did not make any major signings at the 2019 IPL auction. Quinton de Kock was traded from Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lasith Malinga was bought at the auction for his base price.
Mumbai Indians have two good overseas openers in the form of Evin Lewis and de Kock. Both these players are expected to play a key role in IPL 2019. Despite his great record in IPL, Pollard had a quiet IPL 2018 for Mumbai. The form of Pollard is key to Mumbai Indians' success this season.
One of Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Lasith Malinga, and Jason Behrendorff will open the bowling alongside Jasprit Bumrah. However, looking at their overseas players, one may feel that they don't have adequate depth in the squad to win the IPL title.
Overseas players: Evin Lewis (WI), Kieron Pollard (WI), Ben Cutting (Aus), Mitchell McClenaghan (NZ), Adam Milne (NZ), Jason Behrendorff (Aus), Quinton de Kock (SA), and Lasith Malinga (SL).
#7 Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore have one of the best T20 cricketers of all-time in their ranks. AB de Villiers has been a consistent performer for the Bangalore-based franchise in the past and the fans would hope that he can bring the title this season.
Bangalore spent big on Hetmyer in the auction and bought Stoinis in the trade. However, they let Brendon McCullum and Quinton de Kock leave the franchise. In the past, we have witnessed that RCB relied a lot on de Villiers and Virat Kohli to deliver the goods with the bat.
Though they have bought a few names, Stonis has struggled in IPL 2018 with just 99 runs and three wickets and Hetmyer has never played in the tournament before. Baring a few, RCB certainly lacks a couple of quality overseas players.
Overseas players: AB de Villiers (SA), Nathan Coulter-Nile (Aus), Colin de Grandhomme (NZ), Tim Southee (NZ), Marcus Stoinis (Aus), Shimron Hetmyer (WI), Heinrich Klaasen (SA), and Moeen Ali (Eng).
#6 Kolkata Knight Riders
The two-time IPL champions will look to win their third IPL title when they take the field in March. Mitchell Starc is a huge loss for the franchise. They have some great T20 cricketers with Lynn, Russell, Narine, and Brathwaite expected to take the field in their opening game.
Chris Lynn's form will be a worry for Kolkata Knight Riders. Though he has scored some runs in the ongoing BBL, he was dropped for the ODI series against India. Sunil Narine and Andre Russel are expected to do a bulk of the work for KKR in IPL 2019.
The addition of Carlos Brathwaite provides them depth in the middle-order and he can also bowl. The major concern for KKR is that they don't have any quality replacement for these overseas stars.
Overseas players: Chris Lynn (Aus), Andre Russell (WI), Sunil Narine (WI), Carlos Brathwaite (WI), Lockie Ferguson (NZ), Anrich Nortje (SA), Harry Gurney (Eng), and Joe Denly (Eng).
#5 Chennai Super Kings
There is not a lot to talk about the defending Champions that one may not know. Chennai Super Kings won the IPL title last season and retained most of the players for the new campaign. The only big name they signed in the auction was Mohit Sharma.
CSK has a good set of overseas players. With 555 runs at a strike rate of 155, Shane Watson is still going strong and they have Faf du Plessis as well. in the bowling department, they have Dwayne Bravo, who is the fourth highest wicket-taker in IPL history.
They also have Imran Tahir and Mitchell Santner to take care of the spin department. Lungi Ngidi had a great 2018 for South Africa and is expected to share the new ball with Mohit Sharma. All in all, CSK have a settled squad for IPL 2019.
Overseas players: Sam Billings (Eng), David Willey (Eng), Mitchell Santner (NZ), Lungi Ngidi (SA), Imran Tahir (SA), Faf du Plessis (SA), Shane Watson (Aus), and Dwayne Bravo (WI).
#4 Rajasthan Royals
The biggest news for Rajasthan Royals is that Steve Smith will be back. Even without the former Australian captain, Royals qualified for the playoffs last season and Smith's availability will enhance their chances in IPL 2019.
They have also signed the West Indies speed sensation, Oshane Thomas, in the auction. Jos Buttler was phenomenal at the top last season with 548 runs at a strike rate of 155.24. Jofra Archer played his part with the ball and picked up 15 wickets in 10 games.
Ben Stokes gives the much-needed stability to Royals' lineup. Ish Sodi, the Kiwi leg-spinner, is a good player to have in the squad. WIth some dangerous T20 players (domestic and overseas) in the squad, Rajasthan Royals could put up a show in IPL 2019.
Overseas players: Steve Smith (Aus), Ish Sodhi (NZ), Oshane Thomas (WI), Ashton Turner (Aus), Ben Stokes (Eng), Jos Buttler (Eng), Jofra Archer (Eng), and Liam Livingstone (Eng).
#3 Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab has signed a couple of great overseas talents in the form of Nicolas Pooran and Sam Curran in the 2019 IPL auction. Sam Curran was exceptional for England in 2018 and has played seven Tests and two ODIs.
Nicolas Pooran, on the other hand, was brilliant in the 2018 Carribean Premier League and finished as the highest run-getter in the 2018/19 T10 league with 324 runs at a strike rate of 245.45.
KXIP have Andrew Tye and Mujeeb Ur Rahman, two of the best T20 bowlers in the world. The duo picked up 38 wickets in IPL 2018. Chris Gayle could certainly play a couple of match-winning knocks and Miller is there to provide runs in the middle order.
Overseas players: Chris Gayle (WI), Andrew Tye (Aus), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afg), Nicholas Pooran (WI), Moises Henriques (Aus), Hardus Viljoen (SA), David Miller (SA), and Sam Curran (Eng).
#2 Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals has a very good squad for IPL 2019. The rise of Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw has made a lot of difference to the Delhi-based franchise. Though Colin Munro has failed to hit the peak last season, one cannot count him out. Morris missed the most part of last season because of an injury and will look to make amends.
Sandeep Lamichhane provides an X-factor in the bowling and the Nepali sensation was brilliant in the 2018/19 Big Bash League with eight wickets in just four games. Delhi paid a whopping Rs 6.4 Crore to sign Colin Ingram and the Glamorgan star is expected to play a huge role for the team.
Sherfane Rutherford and Keemo Paul are typical T20 players who proved their abilities with some good performances in 2018. Rabada and Boult are two of the best fast bowlers in world cricket at the moment.
Overseas players: Colin Munro (NZ), Chris Morris (SA), Kagiso Rabada (SA), Sandeep Lamichhane (Nep), Trent Boult (NZ), Colin Ingram (SA), Sherfane Rutherford (WI), and Keemo Paul (WI).
#1 Sunrisers Hyderabad
The return of David Warner strengthens Sunrisers Hyderabad's batting lineup. The 2016 Champions are one of the most consistent sides in IPL for the past few seasons and even reached the finals in 2018.
Kane Williamson finished as the highest run-getter in IPL 2018 with 735 runs at a strike rate of 142.44. They also have Rashid Khan, who finished IPL 2018 as the second highest wicket-taker with 21 wickets.
Mohammad Nabi and Shakib Al Hasan have the ability to win games with both the bat and ball. Billy Stanlake's pace and bounce is a huge asset to Sunrisers. Martin Guptill and Jonny Bairstow complete their overseas roaster. All in all, SRH have a great squad for IPL 2019.
Overseas players: David Warner (Aus), Mohammad Nabi (Afg), Kane Williamson (NZ), Billy Stanlake (Aus), Shakib Al Hasan (Ban), Rashid Khan (Afg), Martin Guptill (NZ), and Jonny Bairstow (Eng).