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Who are the favourites to win the 2019 IPL? Will Kohli, Buttler or Williamson get their hands on the trophy?

Ben Darvill 18 Mar 2019

Will Jos Buttler fire Rajasthan Royals to glory, can Virat Kohli at last help Royal Challengers Bangalore come through on their potential, and will Kane Williamson continue his awesome form with the bat with Sunrisers Hyderabad. Read on for our preview of the 2019 IPL outright winners market. 

The Indian Premier League (IPL) at last returns, with India’s premier cricket competition back for another instalment of the competition. Last year, the Sunrisers Hyderabad battled to the final after what proved to be a very strong regular season for the side, but they were once again downed by a Chennai Super Kings outfit that got stronger and stronger over the course of the competition. CSK’s triumph in 2018 was their third in their history, while SRH had to remain contented with their one title back in 2016. 

This year, the eight sides are back, although the Delhi Daredevils have been rebranded as the Delhi Capitals, and they will be looking to elevate themselves off the bottom of the table after picking up five wins in 14 last time around. This year, SRH, who were beaten in last season’s final, are the pre-tournament favourites at 9/2 with Ladbrokes, with the side more than likely to enjoy the return of Australia’s David Warner, who missed last year due being banned for his part in the ball tampering scandal. He will join up with Kane Williamson, who was the top scorer last year with 735 runs in 2018, as the two look to bat their way to the top once again. 

New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson will play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2019 IPL. (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images)

They will face firm competition from the likes of Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings (both 5/1). MI boast the likes of Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah and they are the joint-record winners of the IPL, meaning they are always a side much-fancied to win the competition. However, a less than stellar campaign last time out saw the side finish in fifth in the table, six points short of the top in a very disappointing season. This time, they will be desperate to right this wrong, and they seem like they have the squad to do it.

Joint-second favourites Chennai Super Kings arrive with a very exciting squad that is crammed full of talent. MS Dhoni is the headline player as one of India’s greatest players turns out for them while veteran spinner Imran Tahir, wicket-keeper batsman Sam Billings, Australian star Shane Watson and South Africa’s Faf du Plessis are just a few of the players in their squad, and it is easy to see why they are fancied to lift the trophy for the fourth time in their history. 

MS Dhoni of India will play for the Chennai Super Kings. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

One side that should not be discounted in this one are the Royal Challengers Bangalore who are 11/2. Despite being one of only three sides not to have won the IPL, RCB boast some of the best players in world cricket. Virat Kohli captains the side and is the greatest talent in the game right now, while Marcus Stoinis, South African veteran AB de Villiers and England’s Moeen Ali provide massive presences in the shorter format of the game. Last season they, like MI, struggled. Royal Challengers won six of their 14 matches as they found it difficult to make good on their promise. However, they will be buoyed by the fact that they only finished two points short of Rajasthan Royals in fourth after a poor campaign, meaning they playoff places could still be within their reach.

The rest of the betting sees the Kolkata Knight Riders (11/2), Rajasthan Royals (6/1), Delhi Capitals (8/1) further down the pecking order, while Kings XI Punjab are the outsiders at 9/1. All of the teams outside of the supposed top four have a good chance of winning the competition as there were so many top quality players available. One outfit that look particularly blessed with talent are the Rajasthan Royals. Steve Smith returns to the side after his ban, while Ajinkya Rahane will captan the likes of Varun Aaron, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi and Rahul Tripathi, and he can also call upon the incredible talents of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, with the latter in particular impressive last year as he notched 548 runs at an average of 54.80 to help RR continue their rise. 

Jos Buttler of England will look to fire Rajasthan Royals to victory. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

For us, we can see why the Sunrisers are the pre-tournament favourites this season as they starred last time around with a squad that was deprived of the batting ability of David Warner. Our pick to be something of a shock winner would by the Rajasthan Royals. The side get Steve Smith back this year, while Jos Buttler has looked to be right up there in world cricket in recent months, and if they can get a few wins in their opening games, then confidence could marry perfectly with their ability. 

Ladbrokes - 2019 Indian Premier League Winner betting odds:

Hyderabad Sunrisers - 9/2

Mumbai Indians - 5/1

Chennai Super Kings - 5/1

Royal Challengers Bangalore - 11/2

Kolkata Knight Riders - 11/2

Rajasthan Royals - 6/1

Delhi Capitals - 8/1

Kings XI Punjab - 9/1

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