This year's squad -
Adam Gilchrist (capt/wk), Azhar Bilakhia, Andrew Symonds, Arjun Yadav, Bodapati Sumanth, Chaminda Vaas, D Ravi Teja, Dwayne Smith, Harmeet Singh, Ashish Reddy, Herschelle Gibbs, Kemar Roach, VVS Laxman, Mohnish Mishra, Pragyan Ojha, Rohit Sharma, RP Singh, Ryan Harris, T Suman, Venugopal Rao, Anirudh Singh, Rahul Sharma, Mitchell Marsh.
Gilchrist and Gibbs seems like an amazing duo, but Gibbs, usually hit-and-miss, is more 'miss' than 'hit' these days. Gilchrist could emerge from a cryogenic state and still hit sixes at will. Symonds will be looking to prove he can still bat and bowl in a big stage after being chucked from the national side, and Dwayne Smith is always good for a quick 30, and he bowls too. I don't know what kind of role Chaminda Vaas has or why he's still here, and I'm not sure Laxman should be playing T20 either. It's a good all-round mix apart from that, with three good middle-order batsmen, who all bowl handy off-spin, in Rohit Sharma, Venugopal Rao and T Suman. Ravi Teja is another very good batsman who is yet to prove his talent in the IPL, while the bowling looks strong as it is, led by RP Singh and the crafty Pragyan Ojha.
Kemar Roach is the replacement for Fidel Edwards, and more than adequate, as he lacks the 'spray-around' quality that Edwards has but matches the pace. Ryan Harris has risen to international level since last year, and another great buy is Mitchell Marsh, younger brother of Shaun Marsh and no less talented. My preferred line-up is:
Adam Gilchrist (c) (wk)
D Ravi Teja
Y Venugopal Rao
I've gone with an extra batsman in the above line-up, as there really isn't another Indian pace bowler apart from RP Singh, and there's no need to play an extra spinner as most of the batsmen there bowl, too. Symonds will probably have to chip in with medium-pace rather than his off-spin. RP and Harris can shoulder the pace responsibilities well, or there's always Roach.
My Official-sounding prediction for DC this year: Semis. They've found a good balance, they have talented batsmen and variation (somewhat) in the bowling. And Gilchrist. So 3rd Place it is.
Kings XI Punjab up next. Until then, Go Chargers. Really, go.