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IPL 2023 preview: Rivals bid to topple title-winning Gujarat Titans

The 16th season of the Indian Premier League starts on Friday and Gujarat Titans are aiming to follow up their triumphant debut campaign in 2022.

The Titans, one of two new franchises who joined the IPL last season, beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in the final and are 11/2 to retain the trophy in 2023.

Indian Premier League 2023
WhereMatches staged at 12 venues across India; final at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
WhenFriday 31st March to Sunday 28th May 2023
How to watchLive on Sky Sports Cricket
OddsGujarat Titans 11/2, Mumbai Indians 7/1, Delhi Capitals 7/1, Rajasthan Royals 7/1, Royal Challengers Bangalore 7/1

Rajasthan Royals primed to make up for 2022 near miss

Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya led from the front in last season's IPL final, scoring 34 and taking 3-17 in a player-of-the-match performance, with the 11/2 Titans expected to go well again in 2023.

There was no fluke about their title-winning campaign as they finished top of the table in the league stage, winning 10 of their 14 matches and they have kept the core of the squad together. 

Pandya is joined by India teammates Mohammed Shami and Shubman Gill, who scored 126 not out off just 63 balls in his most recent T20 international innings against New Zealand in February. 

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade and South Africa middle-order ace David Miller have been retained by the Titans and former Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson adds a wealth of international and IPL experience for the defending champions. 

Rajasthan Royals, last season's runners-up, could again pose the biggest threat to the favourites and they are worth supporting at 7/1

England's Jos Buttler played a huge part in the Royals' success in 2022, scoring four centuries to finish as the leading runscorer in the tournament, but they are far from a one-man team. 

Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal and Adam Zampa are class acts along with New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult, while Joe Root and Jason Holder, two former international captains, should provide wise counsel for skipper Sanju Samson.

Lack of bowling depth could hamper big-hitting Mumbai

Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are the two most successful franchises in IPL history but both endured miserable 2022 campaigns. 

Mumbai propped up the table, winning just four of their 14 games, and they are 9/1 To Finish Bottom in 2023.  

Brilliant India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out for the season and there are question marks over their bowling department despite the fact that England paceman Jofra Archer is fit again. 

Mumbai's batting unit is packed with quality, with India's Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan joined by big-hitting Australians Tim David and Cameron Green, and they are 7/1 to claim a record-extending sixth IPL title. 

England's Ben Stokes is an eye-catching signing for Chennai who, like Mumbai, suffered 10 defeats out of 14 in 2022, and his fellow all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali could shine on spin-friendly pitches at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. 

Jadeja started last season as Chennai captain but stepped down after only eight matches due to their poor results and 41-year-old India legend MS Dhoni will once again lead the Super Kings this term.

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Bangalore's long wait for first IPL crown may continue

Royal Challengers Bangalore are still waiting for their maiden IPL title despite reaching last season's playoffs, along with Gujarat, Rajasthan and Lucknow Super Giants. 

Bangalore veteran Virat Kohli, the leading runscorer in IPL history, has looked in good touch recently but the Royal Challengers' preparations have been disrupted by injuries to exciting England prospect Will Jacks and top-order batsman Rajat Patidar, who scored a brilliant century in last term's Eliminator win over Lucknow. 

The Super Giants impressed in their debut season in 2022 and have splashed out on West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran in the player auction, easing the runscoring burden on openers KL Rahul and Quinton de Kock. 

However, Lucknow's bowling unit has been weakened by a shoulder injury to left-arm quick Mohsin Khan, who took 14 wickets at an economy rate of just 5.97 runs per overs in 2022 but is likely to miss the majority of the 2023 season. The Super Giants are 4/1 To Reach the Final after losing in the playoffs last year. 

Delhi Capitals are missing captain Rishabh Pant, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a serious car accident, although coach Ricky Ponting and new skipper David Warner are vastly experienced campaigners. 

Three teams with something to prove in the trophy betting are 10/1 Punjab Kings, 10/1 Sunrisers Hyderabad and 11/1 Kolkata Knight Riders. 

Punjab have signed Matthew Short, player of the tournament at the 2022/23 Big Bash in Australia, to replace the injured Jonny Bairstow while Hyderabad and Kolkata both won six and lost eight of their league matches last season. 

Kolkata were runners-up to Chennai in 2021 but are likely to be missing their captain Shreyas Iyer for at least the first half of the tournament due to a back problem. 

They are keeping the faith in their experienced players with Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Namibian all-rounder David Wiese all aged 34 or older and other teams are preferred in the betting. 

Hyderabad look a more progressive unit, with South Africa's Aiden Markram leading a side including Harry Brook, England's breakout star of the past 12 months, and exciting India fast bowler Umran Malik. The Sunrisers are 9/2 To Reach the Final. 

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