MS Dhoni and CSK step aside as Graeme Smith names his IPL 2024 winner

Graeme Smith and MS Dhoni

Legendary South African captain Graeme Smith has picked the top contenders for victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. Graeme Smith overlooked Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the race for the trophy of IPL 2024.

The Chennai Super Kings and the Mumbai Indians (MI) are the two most successful teams in the history of the tournament, having won five titles each. However, Royal Challengers Bengaluru failed to secure a title despite participating in all IPL seasons.

CSK are aiming for a record sixth title with Ruturaj Gaikwad as the new captain, succeeding MS Dhoni before the start of the season. Meanwhile, RCB are striving to replicate the success of their women’s counterparts in WPL 2024 by clinching their first IPL title.

IPL is going to be very competitive – Graeme Smith

On his Betway Insider blog, Graeme Smith identified Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals as their main contenders for victory in IPL 2024. Smith emphasized the balanced composition of both teams, with a mix of talented Indian and international players.

“As always, the IPL will be very competitive. But I really like the balance between the Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals teams. “They have a strong combination of talented Indian players and impactful international stars, which should give them a good chance of going far in the tournament.” Smith wrote.

Mumbai Indians, under the leadership of Hardik Pandya, are yet to get their first win this season. Mumbai suffered a narrow 6-run defeat in their first game against the Gujarat Titans, followed by a 31-run loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the next game.

Rajasthan Royals won both matches played in the tournament, placing third in the points table behind CSK and Kolkata Knight Riders. The Sanju Samson-led team maintains a lower net run rate (NRR) compared to the top teams, despite their good performance.

Jasprit Bumrah is a strong contender for the purple cap – Graeme Smith

“For MI, it will be interesting to see how the leadership change from Rohit Sharma to Hardik Pandya plays out. They struggled with their bowling attack last year, but getting Jasprit Bumrah back is a big boost. In fact, I think he is a strong candidate for the purple cap.” Smith added.

Rajasthan Royals had a good team – Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith highlighted the formidable opening partnership of Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal and their potential as strong contenders for the Orange Cap. He praised the bowling prowess of Trent Boult as well as Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal.

“Rajasthan had a good team last year. Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal are an incredible opening partnership. Both are serious candidates for the orange cap. You have Trent Boult with the new ball, followed by a fantastic spin duo of Ravi Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahal, in particular, could give Bumrah a run for his money in the race for the purple cap. They have options for all phases of the game, turning them into a complete team,” he added.

Rajasthan Royals won the title in the inaugural edition in 2008. However, they have not won the title since then. The Jaipur-based team came close in the 2022 edition but suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Gujarat Titans in the final clash.

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