Aussie Brad Hodge and Kiwi wicket-keeper opener Brendon McCullum will be most likely to open the batting for the Tuskers, with the captain to follow before several home grown lads take guard as well. These include Balachandra Akhil, Deepak Chougle, local boy Raiphi Gomez and the supremely-talented VVS Laxman who has shifted over from the Deccan Chargers.
The pace department looks fairly impressive with local star S Sreesanth given the backing of R Vinay Kumar, R P Singh, John Hastings and Thisara Perera, while the spin requirements will be shared by the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Steven Smith, Steve O'Keefe and the wily old fox Muttiah Muralitharan (avg: 18.23, e/r: 6.16).
Meanwhile, the Royal Challengers Bangalore can consider themselves fortunate to have Kiwi mainstay Daniel Vettori as skipper, as he has shown that he is capable of leading his team (as seen the in World Cup) to a few upsets. The batting for the RCBs looks quite promising with Tillakaratne Dilshan and any of the local choices for his opening partner, opening up the way for the likes of A B De Villiers, Saurabh Tiwary, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, etc.
However, RCB might just find themselves wanting where their bowling is concerned. Zaheer Khan who had a wonderful world cup, ending up joint top wicket-taker with 21 scalps, doesn't have much support. He will have to draw from the assistance of Abhimanyu Mithun, Dirk Nannes, Johan Van Der Wath and Charl Langeveld. But the side's spin options are looking good with as many as 7 part-time and specialist spinners.
Kochi might just find that they hold the edge on account of being a more balanced side, but RCB as seen in previous IPLs, set very high standards and strive with might and main to reach the same.