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What Makes An IPL Champion?

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The IPL is the official cricket league in India. It is contested annually and is one of the most unpredictable tournaments in the world of sport. Since its inception in 2008, there have been twelve seasons. And this year’s thrilling games are set to begin on September 19, 2020, with the finals scheduled to take place on November 10, 2020.

But what-makes-an-ipl-champion? And who will you be betting on this season? To understand this, let’s look at past trends to foretell how this year’s competition might end.

Does the most expensive squad always win?

The staggering amount of money involved in the Indian league has made the tournament synonymous with spending. However, based on past experience, the team with the most expensive squad never wins the championship.

Does this mean that we can rule out five-time defending champions, Mumbai Indians? They have the most expensive squad in the 2020 league. And what about the Delhi Captain’s who are at the bottom of the spending list?

Who to spend on

In all 12 previous seasons, only once was the highest-paid player not from India. Applying in the 2020 tournament means forgoing teams like the Kolkota Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, and the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Following this trend, we can eliminate the above as they have overseas players on their teams on their biggest contracts. The KKR have Sunil Narine from the West Indies, the Rajasthan Royals have England star, Ben Stokes, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad boasts of skipper David Warner, who is the opening batsman for Australia.

Should you consider internationals?

Does the number of international players in the squad help determine the next IPL champion? Well, a theme has developed over the past 12 tournaments that teams with at least 15 players capped at the international level are most likely to emerge as the champions.

This exempts the Kings XI Punjab and the Rajasthan Royals from the running, who each have 13 internationals. Not forgetting the KKR who only have 9. The odds seem to work against the Royals and the Knight Riders. They also lost support in the most expensive player category.

Does age matter: Youth vs Experience

IPL franchises strive to strike a balance between experience and naivety. Statistics reveal that no team with an average age of more than 30 has emerged winners. And only one team has won with an average age of 25, the Rajasthan Royals in 2008.

This means we can rule out defending champions, Chennai, as they have the oldest squad led by 39-year-old India legend MS Dhoni. Ultimately, dropping the Delhi Capitals out of the running, with an average age of just below 25.

So, Who Do You Place Your Bet On?

Taking all factors into account, who would you say is most likely to win the 2020 IPL title of champion? Amazingly, only one team satisfies all the criteria, The Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The RCB ranks fourth in the IPL’s most expensive squads. However, they are aggressive in nature, epitomized by their highest-paid player, India’s captain Virat Kohli.

Kohli will lead big-hitter AB de Viliers, wily Yuzvendra Chahal, wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel, and Bowler Umesh Yadav. They might just bring home the long-anticipated title in 2020.

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