IPL 2020 Season Preview: Can anyone defeat the Mumbai Indians?Cricket Web Team |
The 2020 IPL season is almost upon us and the eight franchises will once again be battling it out to win the prestigious crown. The Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions, having secured their fourth title last season by beating the Chennai Super Kings in a thrilling final by one run.
The Indians will be aiming to become the first side since the Super Kings in 2011 to retain the crown, although they will face stiff competition.
Chennai will be desperate to battle for the title to bounce back from their agonising defeat, while Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore have also retooled their outfits and will provide intense competition.
We’ll now look at the leading contenders for the IPL 2020 season and the standout players that will be striving to make an impact at this year’s tournament.
The Indians were grateful to a fantastic final over from Lasith Malinga, who held his nerve after being dispatched for runs aplenty in his previous spells with the ball. The Sri Lankan was outstanding when his team needed him the most to guide them over the line.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 12, 2019
Malinga will once again be a crucial part of Rohit Sharma’s side in their bid to win the IPL for a historic fifth time. There have not been many changes to their squad for the upcoming campaign. Australia batsman Chris Lynn has been added along with his compatriot Nathan Coulter-Nile to shore up the batting and bowling ranks respectively.
Trent Boult was traded into the squad from the Capitals, although there will be concerns over the New Zealander’s recent injury problems. The main positive for Mumbai is that they’ve kept the core of their team intact. Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya all remain and will be the foundation of their charge along with overseas talent Kieron Pollard and Quinton de Kock. They will be a formidable outfit to contend with once again and it will take some effort to knock them off top spot.
Chennai Super Kings
Shane Watson almost dragged the Super Kings over the line with a super innings of 80, but his run out in the final over ended their hopes of successive titles. Stephen Fleming’s men will return the majority of their squad that made the surge all the way to the final. They’re in a strong position to go one better this time around, strengthening their line-up, especially in the bowling ranks.
Sam Curran and Josh Hazlewood will add their deadly accuracy to the team, providing Mahendra Singh Dhoni with control from his seamers. Lungi Ngidi will provide the express pace, while the Super Kings have an embarrassment of riches in the spin department as Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla will be jostling for places in the team.
Outside of Watson and Dhoni, their batting ranks could be a concern. Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Murali Vijay were not overly convincing last season and will have to raise the levels of their respective games to allow Chennai to win the crown this term. There is a lot of experience in the team, although there is a lack of youthful exuberance outside of Curran.
Sunrisers made the savvy move to hire Trevor Bayliss as their coach for the 2020 season. Bayliss finished a four-year spell in charge of England and now returns to the IPL where he won two titles as head coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2012 and 2014.
Hyderabad could have a dominant batting line-up, featuring David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson. Outside of their two spinners from Afghanistan, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, there are no outstanding bowlers. If a surge were to come it will be through the strength of their batting and coaching with the addition of Bayliss.
— The Field (@thefield_in) July 18, 2019
Delhi Capitals were impressive last season and only the experience of Super Kings in the playoffs halted their charge. The Capitals have made significant moves in the off-season to improve their squad – notably adding Jason Roy and Shimron Hetmyer at the top of their batting order. Roy is one of the best openers in the white-ball game, while Hetmyer is developing into a very talented player in all formats for the West Indies.
Ajinkya Rahane adds depth to the middle order, while Marcus Stoinis and Chris Woakes are two savvy additions. The spin of Ravichandran Ashwin will provide the perfect complement to the pace of the IPL’s second-highest wicket-taker from 2019 – Kagiso Rabada. The Capitals are extremely well placed with their squad on paper to make a charge for the crown, and their odds will certainly be worth monitoring with Asiabet.org’s top bookmakers for the Indian Premier League.
Royal Challengers Bangalore are a threat with the presence of Virat Kohli in their side. No batsman has scored more runs in the tournament than the India skipper and he will lead RCB’s effort to win the title for the first time. However, he will need support from his team-mates to improve the fortunes of the franchise, who finished bottom of the table in 2019.
Aaron Finch, Chris Morris, Kane Richardson and Dale Steyn were added to bolster the squad. It will take special performances from the elite players in the team to carry them towards the playoffs as there is not a lot of depth available for new head coach Simon Katich and captain Kohli to work with.
It appears as though it will be a case of the usual contenders battling it out for the title in the 13th edition of the IPL crown. Outside of the Super Kings and the defending champion Mumbai Indians, the Capitals appear the strongest side ready to charge towards the crown.
They appear to have the perfect balance between their batting and bowling ranks, with quality and depth readily available for head coach Ricky Ponting. Experience could count against them and it will take a strong effort to knock off the two sides that competed for the title last season. However, Delhi are certainly ones to watch and have decent value in the betting odds for the 2020 season.