IPL kicks off today with a lot of hope, expectation, and longing. Over the years, it is not just a mere sporting tournament, but rather a festive event. Hence, the 2018 edition was aptly dubbed as "India ka Tyohar" which translates to "India's festival" in English. Fans will be looking forward to seeing their team lift the trophy in 2020.
Every team is positioned in its own unique way to win the coveted trophy this edition. Let's have a look at the strengths of each IPL franchise in 2020. You can use this as a reference for your team analysis and predictions.
1. Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians are arguably the most successful team in the history of IPL. They've won the tournament the most number of times: 5. Every season they have most of the bases covered, whether it be batting, bowling, or bench strength. The 2020 edition is no different. That's why they are the favorites to win this year IPL. They start off their campaign today against their arch-rival Chennai Super Kings.
Greatest Strength: Destructive Middle Order
It's not easy to pick the greatest strength of the greatest team in the IPL. They're formidable in so many departments. But after doing the team analysis, we can conclude to some degree that MI's middle order is perhaps the most destructive of all teams. If we look at their middle order, they have players like Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, and Kieron Pollard. All of these players are capable of playing at a strike rate of above 150. If any one of Rohit Sharma or Quinton de Kock bats deep, then you've got a force to reckon with. The middle order can win MI many matches and hopefully the tournament.
2. Chennai Super Kings
Greatest Strength: More than Reliable Top Order
If MI has the best middle order, then CSK has the best top order. Best in terms of quality and experience. Opening the games, you'll have Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis. Next spot belonged to Mr. IPL Suresh Raina, but he's likely to miss the entire tournament. As per some sources, MS Dhoni will be coming up the order. But he's most likely bat at no.4. No. 3 will be open to either Kedar Jadav or Ambati Rayudu. All of these players are above 35 years of age and bring in years of experience with them. Going through the top order will demand strong planning.
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB have never won an IPL in 12 years of IPL, although they've featured in 3 finals. But if in one category they can outdo CSK and MI, it has to be fan following. RCB has among the best and craziest fan following.
Greatest Strength: The top Four
To win the IPL, RCB have formed the best top 4. Yes, they've purchased a lot of death bowlers like Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, Isuru Udana, but it's the top order that opponents will be more fearful of. Their top 4 includes Aaron Finch, Devdutt Pallikad, Virat Kohli, and AB De Villers. In backup, they have Parthiv, Josh Phillipe, and Moeen Ali. So you can say the top 4 can help them win the tournament.
4. Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR is another hugely popular franchise backed by Shah Rukh Khan. under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir, they've won two titles, their last one in 2014. To win it again in 2020, they need to back their greatest strength.
Greatest Strength: Best T20 Finishers
If you look at KKR's finishers, you'll first see Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik. Both are expert in finishing. To this, they've added Eoin Morgan who can take the batting deep. So KKR would always have an advantage in chasing.
5. Sunrisers Hyderabad
The SRH squad is the most balanced for 2020 and they've got a couple match winners. They've been to the playoffs in every IPL season since 2016, the year in which they won.
Greatest Strength: The Top 3 in Batting Order
To win the IPL again in 2020, they need to explore their greatest strength which is top 3 players in the batting order. You have David Warmer, Jonny Bairstow, and Kane Williamson -- three top class T20 batsmen. Warner and Williamson have won the orange cap. 2019 was the first IPL for Bairstow, but he left everyone impressed with his opening partnership with David Warner.
6. Kings XI Punjab
If we could name the unluckiest franchise in IPL, we'd name KXIP. They always seem like winning the IPL in the first half of the tournament only to bottle it in the latter stage. Can they improve this time around?
Greatest Strength: Top-Heavy Batting Prowess
Punjab's greatest strength lies in their top-order. You've got KL Rahul along with Chris Gayle. Following him are Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, and Glenn Maxwell. So they need to capitalize on this and score as much as possible freely.
7. Delhi Capitals
DC's title drought might come to an end this season. Many cricket pundits acknowledge they are a strong contender to win the IPL this time.
Greatest Strength: Indian Core Players
The main strength of the Capitals lies in their Indian core. They've bought and traded some excellent Indian players. Their mix of Indian players who've represented India are Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Rishab Pant, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra. So they can field an all-India team if needed.
8. Rajasthan Royals
Since winning the first edition of IPL, the coveted trophy has eluded them. Can they win it this year? They need to make full use of their greatest strength.
Greatest Strength: The four overseas
RR has perhaps the top 4 overseas players currently. Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, and Steve Smith are the best in their department. If all of them fire at once in a single match, they can take down any opponent.
While the strength alone wouldn't win any team the tournament, it'll definitely make them look potent. It remains to see which team uses their strength to the fullest while coping with their weaknesses.
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