New hires raise expectations that teams will put best foot forward

New Delhi, Mar 26 (IANS): After the end of every IPL season and before the start of the next edition, there are always changes happening in terms of personnel and coaching staff. Some players retire, while a few are traded. In terms of coaches too, some dont renew their contracts or are replaced by fresh faces.

IPL 2023 will be no different in both above-mentioned terms. Robin Uthappa, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo will never be seen playing in the IPL. While Uthappa could be seen in a broadcasting role, Pollard has now become the Mumbai Indians batting coach in place of Robin Singh while Bravo will don the hat of bowling coach for the Chennai Super Kings in place of Lakshmipathy Balaji.

In terms of transfers as well, many players will be seen in new camps. Australia's left-arm fast-bowler Jason Behrendorff was traded from Royal Challengers Bangalore to Mumbai Indians, a franchise he had previously in 2019. With no Jasprit Bumrah and Jhye Richardson, Behrendorff's left-arm angle can prove to be handy, like he does for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League (BBL).

Gujarat Titans chose to trade Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz and New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson to Kolkata Knight Riders. Delhi Capitals too traded pace all-rounder Shardul Thakur to Kolkata, and got all-rounder Aman Khan from there. Aman recently left a huge impression on head coach Ricky Ponting in the ongoing pre-tournament camp in New Delhi.

In terms of leadership too, there's been some change. With Mayank Agarwal released, Shikhar Dhawan was made captain of Punjab Kings. With fair experience of leading India in ODIs as well as part experience of captaining Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dhawan will be aiming to show his leadership skills in taking Punjab to the last four stage.

Aiden Markram, who carried Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the inaugural SA20 title, has now been given the responsibility to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2023. Markram, who led South Africa to Men's U19 World Cup title in 2014 and is now their senior Men's T20I captain, has a chance to replicate what Shane Warne and David Warner have done:- win IPL trophy as an overseas captain.

Warner himself will be back in the leadership seat, this time for the Delhi Capitals. With no Rishabh Pant, Warner will have to get the team around and make them function as a well-gelled unit, apart from ensuring he and Prithvi Shaw give the team good starts with the bat. For Kolkata Knight Riders, they are still stuck over who can be the captain if Shreyas Iyer isn't fit to play.

In terms of support staff, there's been a lot of movement too. Delhi Capitals have got former India captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly as Director of Cricket, marking his reunion with a side where he was their mentor in 2019 IPL.

With Brendon McCullum being England's Test coach, Chandrakant Pandit, a doyen in Indian domestic cricket coaching who led Madhya Pradesh to their first Ranji Trophy title last year, is the new head coach. James Foster has earned promotion in the Kolkata camp as assistant coach, while Netherlands batting legend Ryan ten Doeschate, a former KKR player is the new fielding coach.

Lucknow Super Giants too have new names in Morne Morkel (fast-bowling coach), Jonty Rhodes (fielding coach) and Pravin Tambe (spin bowling coach). Apart from Pollard, Mumbai Indians have new head coach in former South Africa coach Mark Boucher, with ex-USA coach and experienced Indian domestic coach J Arunkumar being assistant batting coach of the side.

Punjab Kings have gone for an overhaul of their coaching staff. For IPL 2023, Trevor Bayliss, England's 2019 ODI World Cup winning coach and won IPL 2012 as well as 2014 as Kolkata's head coach, is the side's new head coach. Ex-Australia wicketkeeper-batter Brad Haddin is the new assistant coach, with Wasim Jaffer (batting coach), Charl Langeveldt (fast bowling coach) and Sunil Joshi (spin bowling coach) completing rest of coaching staff.

Sunrisers Hyderabad too have some changes in their coaching staff. With Tom Moody out, West Indies batting legend Brian Lara is the new head coach after being the batting coach last year.

Hemang Badani, who was the side's fielding coach last year, has been promoted to being the batting coach. Netherlands head coach Ryan Cook has been appointed as new fielding coach. Now time will tell whether these changes will help teams get past the league stage and enter the playoffs to be in contention for the coveted IPL 2023 trophy.



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