Sourav Ganguly has played the first five editions of the IPL © AFP
Sourav Ganguly has played the first five editions of the IPL © AFP

That much-anticipated trumpet sound is hours away. IPL 2018 is knocking on the door and on the eve of the mega tournament, Sourav Ganguly predicted that this edition is set to be a huge hit as teams are neck-to-neck and equally well-balanced. Unlike the previous editions, Ganguly believes that even teams like Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will enter the tournament as strong teams.

“All the teams are equally balanced. Used to worry about certain teams. Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals are two of the strongest teams this season. Every team can be successful,” Ganguly told India Today.

IPL 2018: Watch Harbhajan Singh laud MS Dhoni as
IPL 2018: Watch Harbhajan Singh laud MS Dhoni as "one of the top leaders"

Interestingly, two of India’s finest off-spinners have switched venues. Ravichandran Ashwin, the Tamil Nadu stalwart, will captain Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), whose base it at Mohali. Meanwhile, Harbhajan Singh, who captains Punjab and has played for Mumbai Indians (MI) for 10 seasons, has headed to Ashwin’s home — Chennai. Harbhajan will be donning the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) yellow this season.

Ganguly wished them luck as he added, “Ashwin has a new role this time. Good luck to both Ashwin and Harbhajan for the tournament. Nobody will start favourites this season.”

Ganguly, who has led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the now defunct Pune Warriors India (PWI) in earlier editions, believes that the 11th edition of the tournament will be the most keenly contested and he is looking forward to it.

“Raina is a star in the IPL and that’s why CSK have retained him. Is Dhoni still good enough to win it for CSK, can Bhajji do for CSK what he did for Mumbai Indians for so many years? Most keenly contested IPL in the last 10 years,” the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President further added.

IPL 2018 kick-off on Saturday with defending champions MI hosting arch-rivals CSK at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.