The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is around the corner. In fact, preparation camps have begun as well and some of the inactive international cricketers (largely Indians) have started practice for the IPL as well, including Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Permutations and combinations of every team might be in full swing.
Each team will be eyeing a place in the playoffs and will want to end at the top of the table. As many as eight teams have held the top spot across 12 seasons. Mumbai Indians (MI) have finished at the top the most number of times – 3. It is no surprise that Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are at No. 2 with two top-spot finishes. Even Delhi have finished at the top twice. Five other teams have held the top spot at the end of the league stages once.
Thus, with just three weeks to go for this season, we look at three teams that could end the league stage at the top of the points table:
1. Mumbai Indians (MI)
When you look down at the eight teams, you won’t find a better one than Mumbai Indians (MI). Be it balance, depth or quality, MI will top each of those parameters. It’s tough to find or breakthrough a weakness in this current 24-man squad.
They have some of the most explosive batsmen at the top and some fabulous finishers as well. They are well served in the all-rounders’ department as well. Meanwhile, there are no questions regarding their bowling attack which will be led by Jasprit Bumrah. MI just seem to have assembled the perfect squad.
Moreover, they know what it takes to win IPL titles or even top league stages. They have done it in the past and could well be at it once again. Don’t be surprised if the Rohit Sharma-led side tops the points table yet again.
2. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) could be the real dark horse in the upcoming IPL. They are one of the only three teams that have never lifted the IPL trophy. For the last couple of seasons, they’ve had a decent side but they have been guilty of losing momentum and zip towards the back end of the tournament.
However, they have a new captain and a newish team to look up to this season. KL Rahul is at the helm now and has been in fine form. There will be some freshness in the leadership group. They have a couple of gun middle-order batsmen and finishers in Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran and Krishnappa Gowtham.
Meanwhile, their bowling attack looks pretty good as well with the inclusion of the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Jordan and Ishan Porel. Hence, they have a strong side and could well be one of the top teams in this IPL.
3. Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are the only team in the history of the IPL that has made it to the playoffs every single season. Irrespective of how they start or how they are stacked up before a season, the MS Dhoni-led side simply find a way to ascend to the top. Even from losing positions, they qualify by hook or crook.
After losing the 2019 IPL final, CSK retained most of their core. They did add some big names like Sam Curran, Piyush Chawla and Josh Hazlewood for this season. They are likely to go in with a tried and tested combination once they find their rhythm and flow.
The three-time IPL champions may not boast of the strongest or the most agile or even the best squad for this 2020 season of the IPL. However, just for the ability to find a way and get the job done, they make it to this list.
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