Virat Kohli, Tymal Mills, the UAE’s Chirag Suri and the 10 players to watch at IPL 2017

Ahead of the start of the new Indian Premier League (IPL 10) season, Paul Radley selects 10 players to watch out for.

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1. Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Given the way he thrives on conflict, it is tempting to say, just do not make him angry. But Kohli’s starting position is angry. So just try not to make him angrier. Damage limitation is the best opposition bowlers can hope for.

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2. David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Poacher turned game keeper ... turned champion in 2016. Few had the firebrand opener pegged as captaincy material before he was given the armband of Hyderabad last season. Then he went and made them winners at the first attempt.

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3. Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

The Afghanistan leg-spinner has an economy rate of 5.99 in 33 Twenty20s to date, and arrives at the IPL after an extraordinary series against Ireland. He took 32 wickets in nine matches across all three formats for his national team there, in a series that was played in India.

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4. Tymal Mills (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Bangalore have some rare bowling firepower on their books. They shelled out around US$1.8 million (Dh6.6m) to secure the unique skills of England left-armer Mills, while Billy Stanlake and Adam Milne are also capable of searing speeds with the ball.

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5. Kagiso Rabada (Delhi Daredevils)

Rabada’s numbers in T20 internationals are nothing flash: 22 wickets in 16 games and an economy rate of 8.75. Still, though, the South Africa fast bowler has a certain X-factor, which persuaded Delhi to part with around $746,000 to bring him in.

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6. Imran Tahir (Rising Pune Supergiants)

Surprisingly overlooked at auction in February, the world’s No 1-ranked bowler in both T20 and one-day international cricket has found a way in through the back door. When Mitchell Marsh was injured, Pune called on the South Africa leg-spinner.

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7. Ben Stokes (Rising Pune Supergiants)

The England all-rounder’s most salient performance in T20 cricket to date was when he was hit for four sixes by Carlos Brathwaite at the end of the World Twenty20 last year. He is still box office, though, and prompted Pune to part with around $2.2m to get him.

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8. Sarfaraz Khan (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Given Bangalore’s all-star batting line up, whizz kid Sarfaraz has had his opportunities limited. There should be an extra space in the line-up at the start, due to Kohli’s injury absence. That might give him a chance to show his worth.

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9. MS Dhoni (Rising Pune Supergiants)

Remember him? It feels like he has been quickly forgotten since Kohli assumed the India captaincy from him. The same has happened at his IPL franchise, with Steve Smith taking over the armband for this tournament. All of which will leave Dhoni to concentrate on himself.

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10. Chirag Suri (Gujarat Lions)

Because, to borrow the football song, he is one of our own. Born in Delhi, raised in Dubai, he is heading to India for a shot at his dream, having been signed by Gujarat Lions. All of UAE cricket will be hoping he goes well.

pradley@thenational.ae

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Published: April 2, 2017 04:00 AM

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