The IPL season so far...
We are at the halfway stage of the IPL 2020, this has been the most exciting season so far we have seen some spectacular chases, teams choking in the death and also team jailbreaking in the death. It also has not been a regular-season team there were some role reversals where your general table toppers are right at the bottom and vice versa. Even though you can see a picture of which teams can make it to the playoffs but, we suggest you not to come to any conclusions because this IPL and anything can happen here! Let’s look at the teams how has there journey been so far
1) Mumbai Indians:
It has been quite a dominant show by the defending champions. They have excelled in all the departments and have been a class apart. After their comprehensive defeat against CSK, it looked as if MI will not have an easy season. The game against RCB has been a turning point for the team, even though they have lost the game, they have shown a glimpse of what their batting order is made when they almost managed to chase 80 runs on 5 overs and from then on there was no looking back. Doubts were raised against the MI’s bowling attack which consisted of mostly pacers but, boy they have risen to the occasion, they have 3 bowlers in the top 10 wicket-takers for this season Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and James Pattinson have been a trio to watch for they share 31 wickets among them and they choke the batsman for runs, they share 208 dot balls among them which is the highest for any team at this point. If they maintain the same form going forward, likely, we will not be seeing a new champion this year!
2) Delhi Capitals:
If you are Delhi fan you know how difficult the past few years has been. Years of sulking at. the bottom, it must have been tough. But, since last year DC have stood up to their tag line “Nayi Delhi”, they have made it to the playoffs last season and looked to ghosts of the past to bed. Lady luck has shone on them in their first match where they won in a super over against a not so lucky KXIP. They have looked solid all the season except the match against MI where they have made some changes which did not pay off. DC’s bowling has been top-notch with Kagiso Rabada leading the attack and being complemented by the likes of Nortje, Ashwin, Axar and sometimes by Stoinis. Their fielding has been sub-par, and it definitely has been a factor in their loss against MI, and if there are no significant tinkering made with the playing XI, they are really up for the fight.
3) Royal Challengers Bangalore:
“E Saala Cup Namade”, finally RCB fans believe this slogan might come true this year! They have looked a very complete side this year. With the latest addition of Chris Morris to the side, they are looking the side to beat. They have had some interesting additions this season, young Devdutt Paddikkal has been phenomenal at the top of the order scoring some quick and important runs. But I would say the whole dynamic changed when ABD decided to keep wickets giving space for one more player to be part of the squad. ABD and Virat Kohli are very crucial for RCB to lift their maiden IPL trophy, and by the looks of it they don’t seem to slow down anytime soon, they are sort of Achilles heel as well, if you want to beat RCB you definitely need to make sure both ABD and Virat are back in the pavilion, even if one of them remains it will be a tough time for the opposition!
4) Kolkata Knight Riders:
I would say they have been the most confusing side in this tournament. Initially, they have struggled with their batting order and still struggling with it. We expected a lot from Andre Russell, who till now has had a quiet tournament with the bat. Eoin Morgan too has been struggling lately and their frequent change of opening pair is not helping the cause. With Naraine reported for suspect bowling action is like a blow in the stomach for KKR as he has been a crucial part of this KKR team and he has been bowling phenomenally well in the death overs. The concerns are not around their bowling, with everybody stepping up and Varun Chakravarthy has been brilliant throughout the tournament. If they can sort out their batting order issues and even if one of Morgan or Russell start firing, its just a matter of time for them to be in the top 2 of the table.
5) Sunrisers Hyderabad:
The team from the city of Nawabs has been having a tournament filled with ups and downs. Their campaign has been bogged down with injuries with Mitch Marsh injuring himself in the very first match and their ace bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar also has been ruled out due t injury concerns. Initially, they struggled to find the right team combination, and all these injuries meant the job to finish the games has been thrust upon to a young and inexperienced lineup of Abhishek Sharma, Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad. Also, the concern has been Warner’s form, he has been scoring runs but, not at the rate what he is capable of, the batsman has been getting starts but they have failed to convert them into significant contributions have been hurting the team. The bowling has been on par with the new find Natarajan proving to be a game-changer. But, the way they have lost the game against Royals from a winning position is a concern for SRH management and we hope this is just a one-off match for the team. Team’s success is heavily dependent on both the openers and once they start firing it will be difficult to stop them.
6) Rajasthan Royals:
RR have made quite a noise at the start of the tournament with 2 wins in 2 matches owing to the brilliance of Sanju Samson and one Rahul Tewatia. But, it has been downhill from there, mainly due to their batting. Sanju Samson was brilliant in the first 2 games and it looked as if he was there to boss around the bowlers. As the Sharjah magic wore off it has been a difficult season to him, and the same applies to Steve Smith as well, after twin ’50s at Sharjah, Smith crossed double figures only once and looked more like a walking wicket. They are struggling with their top 4 slots maybe they should be using Robin at the top of the order rather than in the middle. Rahul tewatia has been a revelation and 2 out of 3 wins have been due to his batting prowess. But, we believe if RR can sort out their top order dilemma, they will be a force to reckon with.
7) Chennai Super Kings:
A team which generally stands in the top 2 spots at this juncture of the tournament, is struggling to show intent in their games. Their campaign hit a blow when Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh withdrew from this season, they never looked at ease. There were some questionable performances, it seemed the entire team are following the wait and hit strategy and leaving out too many runs in the end. They have to win at least win 5 out of 7 matches with a better run-rate to make it to the playoffs. It might look dim for the men in yellow but, they have been in the same position in 2010 and if my memory serves me right they have won the championship that year! So, it's too early to write them off!
8) Kings XI Punjab
With a set batsman at crease scoring 1 run in 3 balls shouldn’t be an issue, with another set batsman in crease scoring 30 runs from 3 overs should be a walk in the work. But, KXIP spectacularly lost matches, they have been the chokers of this IPL throwing away matches which they should have won comfortably. The top 2 leading scorers in this IPL are from KXIP, saying that there middle-order except for Nicholas Pooran, never looked comfortable. Their team selection and batting order have raised some serious questions, sending an inexperienced Simran ahead of Glen Maxwell in their match against KKR raised some eyebrows. Their bowling has been off the radar since some matches, leaving out M Ashwin who had a decent outing against RR didn’t make any sense either, they could have also tried with Hardus Viljoen even though he had a below-par IPL in 2019, considering all the South African pacers are doing well this season they should have given a chance to him.