Can Stokes and Mill help deliver IPL glory?

Ben Stokes is the hottest property in English cricket AFP

The stars of Monday's IPL auction were undoubtedly the England duo of Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills, who were snapped up for £1.7 million and £1.4 million respectively by Rising Pune Supergiants and Bangalore Royal Challengers. But will their acquisitions help deliver some elusive silverware to the two franchises, who have yet to lift the trophy in its previous nine seasons?

Well, to judge by the pre-tournament betting at Bet365, both teams are very much in the running, with RCB - last year's beaten finalists - rated as the 7/2 favourites before a ball has been bowled.

Bangalore have a batting line-up featuring some of the most formidable hitters in the world game, not least the captain Virat Kohli, who is the world's outstanding batsman across all formats at the moment. But Mills' ability to bowl at regular speeds in excess of 95mph, as well as change it down with a devastating slower ball (just ask Yuvraj Singh, who was utterly bamboozled during last month's T20 series) could prove vital at the front and back of the innings.

As for Stokes, his allround abilities make him the hottest property in the sport at present, and his reputation, if anything, has been enhanced by the traumas he experienced at the end of the World T20 final in Kolkata last year, when he was hit for four consecutive sixes by West Indies' Carlos Brathwaite. With him in Pune's ranks, the Supergiants are 11/2 to secure their first title - the same odds as the defending champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad.