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Kaushik Chatterji, Hindustan Times
Jaipur, May 12, 2013
A lot has changed in the six years since Rajasthan Royals beat the Super Kings in the final of the inaugural edition. This makes the similarities between the two teams' fates — then and now — all the more glaring. The Royals, who started the league as dark horses, have gone from being champions to also-rans. This time, though, they are back in contention.

A hitherto unknown Goan, Swapnil Asnodkar, has since fallen from grace, but there is the relatively unknown Sanju Samson.

The wrong-footed highest wicket-taker back then, Sohail Tanvir, is not welcome to take part in the league anymore — neither are his Pakistan compatriots — but the left-arm pace of James Faulkner is contending for the Purple Cap.

The versatile Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson - who was the player of the tournament in 2008 — is still around, but the other Aussie, captain-cum-coach Shane Warne, isn't.

However, in Rahul Dravid, they have another inspirational leader who, having retired, can focus solely on the league.