The eleventh season of the festive Indian Premier League is upon us and the excitement in the cricketing fraternity is sky high. From flashing bails to murderous sixes to nail-biting finishes, the IPL presents two months of summer extravaganza every year and this edition is even more spicy with two teams returning to the fold after a two year ban.

While team sheets are prepared, team meetings are on their last hour and trainings are on in full swing. From captains to key players to ace bowlers, everything has been identified and made ready. But one of the most important category of players in a tournament of equals are the fearless finishers. Here we take a glance at the assigned finishers in each IPL team.

Chennai Super Kings

MS Dhoni

Why the hell would a team want another finisher when they have the best of them all in the side? MS Dhoni’s homecoming to Chennai was celebrated with fanfare and the rousing welcome proves how high he is regarded in this part of the nation. Dhoni will don the finishers role for Chennai Super Kings as they look to emulate their feats from previous years.

Delhi Daredevils

Chris Morris

The dynamic Proteas all-rounder was a revelation last season for Delhi Daredevils. His meticulous slogging and planned counter-attack wilted opponents and the franchise rightly chose to retain his services for this year. Morris has a Klusener-like reputation and is a six-hitting machine when in form as evidenced by his exploits for South Africa in the limited-overs side. Aside from batting in the death overs, Morris is also a fabulous death bowler, a combination that makes him one of the first picks in the team sheet.

Mumbai Indians

Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Ben Cutting

A team of finishers and big hitters, Mumbai Indians are by no means short of firepower. From the swag of Hardik Pandya to the reggae spirit of Kieron Pollard to the spectacular striking of Ben Cutting, Mumbai has a team of finishers this time around. Pollard and Cutting may not figure together in a starting XI but with Hardik in, they don't really need to. If Rohit Sharma, JP Duminy and Krunal Pandya can give Mumbai solid starts, safely assume Pandya and his team of finishers to take over pompously.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell

In a messed up IPL auction, Kolkata Knight Riders lost their plot and ended with a handful of players that may not ideally form a good enough team. But the same was thought of Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural season and we all know how that ended. With the new-found elan of Dinesh Karthik and the brawny biceps of Andre Russell, their finishers are better than their top order firepower. Karthik, buoyed by his last ball six in the Nidahas Trophy against Bangladesh, will look to play the anchor role while ideally staying out there till the end of an innings.

Rajasthan Royals

Heinrich Klaasen, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer

Boosted by the addition of Heinrich Klaasen (although they lost Steven Smith), Rajasthan have a solid group of finishers. Ben Stokes, bought for Rs 12 crore, was a revelation at Rising Pune Supergiant last season and would be itching to etch new memories in the minds of fans after the pub brawl. In Klaasen, they have a fine player of spin and pace alike. The South African made light work of the deadly Indian spin twins, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, in the limited-overs series in India and is a welcome addition to the IPL. Add in the murderous strikes of Jofra Archer, a cult figure in the Big Bash League and another of those big hitting all-rounders from West Indies, and you have a terrific list of finishers. This is without mentioning the likes of Jos Buttler and Stuart Binny who could also do an equally good job.

Kings XI Punjab

David Miller, Yuvraj Singh and Marcus Stoinis

Kings XI Punjab have a confidence-oozing new skipper in Ravichandran Ashwin and would want his assigned finishers to go berserk to boost their fortunes in the Indian Premier League. David Miller, a Kings XI faithful for a long time, and Marcus Stoinis another handy finisher can be expected to make the work of bowlers tough in the death overs. Miller is still known for his match-winning 38-ball hundred against Royal Challengers Bangalore several seasons ago. Stoinis, on the other hand, had shown his capabilities from down the order in a stunning hundred against the Kiwis for Australia. Add in the flamboyance and experience of Yuvraj Singh and Kings XI atleast have one less worry heading into the eleventh edition.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Carlos Brathwaite

Remember the name? The West Indian who stole England's thunder in the finals of the 2016 ICC World T20 in India still thrives on reputation from that match rather than actual results since then. He slammed Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the final over of the run-chase to seal the deal for West Indies. Two years down the lane, he hasn't quite lived up to his reputation but might get a full-time opportunity with Sunrisers this season as they are short on firepower from down the order.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Colin de Grandhomme and Sarfaraz Khan

Surprisingly retained for this season of the IPL, Sarfaraz Khan, the cheeky 360° batsman who made headlines for his de Villiers-like shots would be RCB’s go-to man down the order. Giving him company would be Kiwi all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme, fresh from his counter-attacking exploits in Tests against England. With a power-packed top order comprising of Virat Kohli, Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock, RCB might not need the services of their finishers quite often, but expect Sarfaraz and de Grandhomme to step up when the need arises. Kohli and his team would know that they have a terrific mix of players to win the league this time around.