The long wait is finally coming to an end, and the biggest carnival in India is only a few nights away. While it will be too premature to assume the outcome of the tournament, we won’t shy away from our duty as armchair critics.

So, without further ado, we’ll put our predictor’s hat on and shoot right into the meat of things.

Winner – Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR have a strong team in all departments, and an able captain in Gautam Gambhir. Their team looks the most settled and we’re sure they’ll do everything, fight everyone and win the league (korbo, lorbo, jeetbo). And no, we are not saying that just because we love SRK.

Runners Up – Royal Challengers Bangalore

RCB will be pegged back by the absence of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the initial stages of the tournament, but we still think that they’ll progress to the playoffs and play the finals. However, given KKR’s experience of playing more matches where stakes are huge, they’ll eventually win the cup. Kohli and his men, just like last year, will have to contend with the runner’s up medal.

Orange Cap – Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is an IPL giant and he’ll be fresher than other Indian players as he wasn’t part of the long and gruelling Test season. Also, given the added responsibility of being the Mumbai Indians captain, Sharma is bound to lead from the front.

Purple Cap – Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Johnson might be ageing, but he can still produce some magic on his day. Also, since he has been out of the Australian team, Johnson will be eager to bring all his competitive reserves to the fore in this edition.

Man Of The Series – Ben Stokes

We really think Rising Pune Supergiants will progress till the playoffs if not the finals, given their star-studded team. Also, we’ll put our faith in this year’s most expensive transfer Ben Stokes to deliver the goods with both the bat and the ball making him our choice for the man of the series award.