There is just less than a week remaining for the much-awaited 13th edition of Indian Premier League. The cash rich tournament will mark the return of many players to full-fledged competitive cricket after the pandemic enforced hiatus.
Fancy11 fraternity can’t be more excited in sharing insights into what we can expect from the top five teams in IPL 2020, that’s set to begin from September 19. With the new normal set to bring many unprecedented changes, it will be interesting to note how teams cope and adapt themselves to the new restrictions. How would teams perform to produce some high quality cricket for the eager fans also remains to be seen.
The Thala Return – Will We Get A Glimpse of the Vintage Dhoni?
The retirement of two of their most loved players – Captain Dhoni and Suresh Raina – has been sad as that marks the last that all fans will ever see any of them in a blue jersey again. But much to their jubilation, the duo were all set to return in yellow before Suresh Raina had to depart for his home due to personal reasons.
Raina, being one of the leading run-makers in the IPL, although hinted on his return to the CSK camp, after his participation chances looked really bleak at one point. Termed as MR. IPL for his consistent performances in the fantasy league, his case will have be a massive decision for the franchise that has picked up the IPL trophy on three occasions.
The recent reports of as many as 13 COVID-19 cases also upsets the preparation of the side with quarantine periods increased. Even their front-line Indian pacer for the recent few years in Deepak Chahar had tested positive some time ago but has now confirmed his recovery.
Amongst other reasons, the huge fan base for Chennai Super Kings will know that their side have had the history of making comebacks after tough phases and this should just be a mere blip.
Daddy’s Army have Josh Hazlewood in their ranks and given the slight changes in conditions with UAE hosting the big league this year, his incision might as well prove decisive.
The emotional exit of MSD will ignite the support of billions for India’s most successful captain. Don’t be surprised at all if CSK end up being as invincible as they have always been.
Will the most successful team in IPL history win an unprecedented fifth title?
There are many photographs shared in social media by all IPL players travelling to the UAE with all those protective gears that included the family of their captain, Rohit Sharma. But the latest news of Lasith Malinga deciding to stay back in Sri Lanka due to family reasons – wanting to spend time with his close ones certainly comes in as a setback.
But Mumbai Indians Owner Akash Ambani in his statement said that his franchise backs the veteran and senior bowler, who’s been the leading wicket taker in the history of the world’s toughest T20 tournament.
Replacement for Lasith Malinga has been named – tall and a well-built Aussie pacer in James Pattinson has been summoned for his services, strengthening the foreign pace battery of the side. Owing to the fact that UAE pitches have something in offer for the pacers makes adds to all the fervour when teams are looking for pace options in their side.
Having won the title for the 4th time – most by any other IPL team – last year, Rohit Sharma return with his soldiers who have been loyal providers to the side. Kieron Pollard is enjoying a dream captaining stint with the Trinbago Knight Riders in CPL 2020, yet to lose a match after eight league games. Mumbai Indians, like always, will bank on his expertise and value the match practice that the burly all-rounder will be coming into the IPL with.
Jasprit Bumrah, the Pandya brothers and an exciting top order batsman in Chris Lynn has made Mumbai Indians a formidable side ahead of 2020. All teams will know that the defending champions is the side to defeat this year.
Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo with an eye on the future stars of Indian cricket?
Newly appointed to the post of Head Coach, Brendon McCullum in one of his statements before the team collectively left for UAE a couple of weeks ago said that he’s looking forward to nurture young batting sensation in Shubman Gill as their future captaincy material.
With MSD making his international journey a thing of past, and the present India captain in Virat Kohli not growing any younger, it is fitting for the pundits to look beyond and scout the leaders of tomorrow. Gill – who turns 21 on September 8 – is a promising batting mainstay.
With almost 500 IPL runs in two seasons where’s he’s not got as much opportunities at the top as compared to his World Cup winning U-19 teammate Prithvi Shaw has got for Delhi Capitals, Gill has built his reputation to be a calm guy with a cool head on his shoulders.
His consistent performers makes him a good candidate for inclusion to your teams in apps similar to Dream 11.
International players in Sunil Narine, Andre Russell who are currently part of the ongoing Caribbean Premier League in West Indies have been seasoned players for them and opposing teams are no strangers to the damage they can inflict on their given day. World Cup winning skipper in Eoin Morgan is in the ranks this season for the two-time IPL champions, adding to their quota of experienced players.
The most expensive player that went under the hammer for the IPL 2020 Auctions last year was the growing Australia pace bowler in Pat Cummins. The speedster has made remarkable progress in international cricket in all formats of the game that made him the most valuable player and hot property for owners.
Kolkata Knight Riders, led by Dinesh Karthik who’s been at the helm since 2018 has been able to stitch good performances against some of the top teams with youngsters in Nitish Rana and the above-mentioned Shubman Gill making useful contributions. It has complemented the mayhem that Dre Russ has been unleashing on teams.
The die-hard Kolkata fans will be hoping for an encore of those blinders from the blade of Andre Russell. Easier said than done, as the star all-rounder has not been up to the mark so far while playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs in CPL 2020.
The long lasting yearn for ‘Ee sala cup namde’
Three-time finalists have come close but have failed to cross the final hurdle to win an IPL trophy. The side has have never been short of star players but their inability to perform at similar levels have made them the talk of the town each time they lose – which in recent times has often been the case.
Their captain Virat Kohli, leading run scorer in the history of the IPL competition will return to the field for the first time in more than six months. His family life has been good – sharing pictures with his wife, actress Anushka Sharma, who is expecting their first child.
In an interview, he reinstated the need of players to feel privileged to perform during this tough time that the world’s going through.
He has enforced discipline to be of paramount importance, for everyone to have complete knowledge of why they are here for and never to lose sight of it – play cricket.
But Virat Kohli has to be backed-up by his team if his team plans to get anywhere near to win their elusive IPL trophy, that would bring an end to their presence in social media as mild meme content – having been underperforming all these years even after having the best players.
His camaraderie with Protea legend and good friend in AB De Villiers is well-known in the IPL circuits. Together, the duo have made absolute wreckage of opposition bowling attacks but the team lacks depth. Their bowling sides have been unable to deliver the goods on far too many occasions than expected. Losing performances have also led questions to Virat Kohli’s leadership credentials.
It does not define him as captain – having done so well for India – but even he will know that while he has it in him, but will it be possible for his team to come together as a closely knit group and lead them to IPL glory. Maybe this is their year? Calm down RCB fans, don’t let your expectations go over the clouds.
Will the change in name continue to bring change of fortunes?
The last season in 2019 was a breakthrough run for the perennial underperformers when it comes to the side’s history. Having star young players in Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw and even their captain Shreyas Iyer – the Delhi Capitals have added some solid experienced IPL campaigners to their side in the past two years.
Signing regular India opener, Shikhar Dhawan in 2019 and sending him straightaway to start things off at the top along with those young and upcoming Indian batting talents had worked in their favour last year when they made it to the playoffs – a feat last achieved by the team back in 2012 when Protea pacer Morne Morkel had won the Purple Cap for them.
This year, they made two notable signings made by the franchise that strengthed their Indian core with experience. India’s leading spinner in Ravi Ashwin – former skipper for a two-year tenure at Kings XI Punjab – was the first of the dealings that was initially made to make full use of the slow and turning pitch at their home ground, Kotla.
Even though the caravan shifts to UAE, Ravi Ashwin’s contribution is going to be immense. Also sharing the dressing room with him this year will be young spin talent – Mayank Markande who had made a promising start to his IPL career with the Mumbai Indians before Delhi Capitals summoned him this year.
Delhi Capitals signed yet another previous IPL team captain when former Rajasthan Royals leader in Ajinka Rahane was traded to the team.
As he had shared in a recent interview, the Indian Test vice-captain is eyeing for a return to the Indian middle-order limited overs scheme of things. Playing with a team that already has a surplus of opening options, Rahane might as well be slotted to bat in the middle order.
With the right blend of youth and experience and a talismanic Head Coach in Ricky Ponting, Delhi fans can be confident of their side’s chance for a second successive play-off spot.
For all the enthusiastic fantasy cricket site and app users looking to make cricket money – the IPL ensures a good time ahead with each time coming into the contest with it’s fair share of strengths and weakness.
The CPL 2020 marked the resumption of T20 leagues and if we are to go by the trend that’s been observed over there – we might as well expect some rustiness on part of the players as they will be returning to cricket fields after a long time. Scores might be on the lower side during the first half of the tournament.
That being said, we can very much possibly see the odd occasion where the bowlers fail to hit the groove and get their lines erratic. Only players from England, the ones participating in the CPL 2020 will have match practice.
But it’s the carnival for T20 cricket and you can all start making your plans and actions on whom to keep an eye on, and whom to go for while looking for fantasy apps to download.
The clock is ticking and taking us close to what we haveve all been waiting for a long time – IPL 2020!