The 2020 edition of the prestigious Indian Premier League (IPL) is scheduled to get underway on March 29. The retention and trading took place to start with. In December 19, 2019, the auction took place in Kolkata where 62 players were sold and a plethora of names couldn’t find a buyer.
Ahead of the next season, a few amendments have been made. For the first time ever, an All-Stars will be played three days before the start of the T20 extravaganza. It was decided during the IPL governing council’s meeting on Monday where BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was also present.
Brijesh Patel, the chairman of the governing council, was also present. One of the teams in the match will comprise of players from franchises of the south and west- namely Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
The other team will have names from the north and east- Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Delhi Capitals (DC). While the team for the latter will be a power-packed one, choosing a captain may not be an easy task owing to presence of some huge names.
In the article, let’s take a look at five probable captains of the team in the IPL: –
1. Andre Russell
Andre Russell doesn’t have IPL leadership experience. But he isn’t alien to the captaincy mantle. The Jamaican prefers to stay oblivious of his surroundings and express himself on the field. In the CPL, the hulk-like all-rounder has captained the Jamaica Tallawahs with dignity.
Recently, Russell captained the Rajshahi Royals to their first title glory in the 2019-20 edition of the Bangabandhu BPL. There’s no doubt over Dre-Russ’ prowess. Last year, he won KKR games single-handedly, dragging the team out of precarious positions.
Even as the rest of his teammates showed signs of inconsistency, Russell amassed in excess of 500 runs to go with as many as 52 sixes. Even with the ball in hand, he was the Knights’ leading wicket-taker. There are very few things, Russell couldn’t do.
2. Steve Smith
Steve Smith was stripped of the Australian team’s captaincy after the ball-tampering scandal. But he has come back stronger, physically and psychologically. Though he has mostly flourished in Test cricket, Smith’s numbers in ODI and T20I cricket can’t be undermined by any stretch of the imagination.
The New South Wales-born has the experience of leading in the cash-rich IPL as well. Smith had a stint with the defunct Rising Pune Supergiant and had players like MS Dhoni under him. The 30-year-old has also captained the Royals.
In the IPL, Smith has wielded his willow to good effect. In 81 matches, he has 2022 runs with eight fifties and one ton. Australia’s run-machine is likely to lead the Royals even next time and is more than a handy option for the all-stars team.
3. Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer became the Delhi Daredevils, now Capitals’ captain midway through the 2018 season. Gautam Gambhir stepped down from the role and Iyer had to resurrect the team’s wretched fortunes. Though he couldn’t take his team to the playoffs, he was retained as the skipper for the 2019 edition.
And last time around, the Mumbai batsman didn’t flatter to deceive by any means. After 2012, Delhi progressed to the playoffs where they lost to the Super Kings in the Qualifier 2. Iyer also flourished with the bat in the middle order, scoring 463 runs in 2019.
The efforts also helped him break in to the Indian ODI and T20I team after the World Cup. Even in 2020, Iyer will be leading the Capitals. Though he might not be an overly huge name, he is an option to lead the All-stars team.
4. Dinesh Karthik
Despite having Eoin Morgan in their ranks, KKR has gone for Dinesh Karthik as their leader in the upcoming edition of the IPL. Karthik was first made the Knights’ captain back in 2018 after Gambhir bid adieu to the franchise. The appointment worked to some extent as KKR progressed to the Qualifier 2 under him.
However, in 2019, the Tamil Nadu-born couldn’t make much of an impact. The Knights lost matches in heaps in the middle-phase of the league. Despite making a good start, the Men in Gold and Purple were left behind.
SRH edged them to the playoffs on the basis of a superior net run rate. Going into the next season, it remains to be seen how Karthik makes amends. Nevertheless, bearing in mind his experience, Karthik can be appointed as the All-stars captain.
5. Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell has a mere 1,397 runs in 69 IPL matches. But it’s his strike-rate of 161.13 that has made him a hot prospect in the shortest format. 2014 saw him amass 552 for the Punjab franchise at a jaw-dropping strike-rate of 187.75.
But ever since, he hasn’t shown much consistency. After missing the 2019 edition, the Victorian is set to be back with the KXIP for the upcoming season. Maxwell has a fair amount of leadership experience as well. In 2017, he was appointed as KXIP’s captain, albeit he didn’t taste much success.
It hasn’t been the case when he is captaining the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL). The Stars made the finals last time around and also carried over their form in 2019-20. Maxwell is one person, who can be zeroed in as All-Stars captain.
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