The ruckus around the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is just not coming to an end. The tournament has been in the news ever since its postponement in April in the wake of the COVID pandemic. The BCCI and the best minds of the management kept deliberating upon how to make it happen and as the possibility of conducting the league in India became grimmer with every passing day, the inevitable decision regarding the shifting of the IPL was taken by the BCCI in the due course.
There were innumerable speculations pertaining to the IPL, the presence of overseas players, the organizing, and the logistics. However, with the governing council receiving the government nod and subsequent successful tie-ups with other stakeholders in the United Arab Emirates, a sigh of relief came in the form of final confirmations that the league will be conducted in the UAE in its entirety. After weeks of toil and labour, the final dates of the tournament were locked as the BCCI started brainstorming over how to conduct the tournament a smooth ride.
Leaving no stone unturned, the apex body took painstaking efforts and came up with a nuanced plan of action in the form of Standard Operating Procedure addressing and catering to all the possible issues that could appear either prior or during the tournament. As the teams finally started to leave India to reach the UAE acting in consonance with all the bio-secure bubble guidelines and following the quarantine schedules upon reaching the destination, it seemed that finally, the arduous journey is over. Only that it was not to be.
The UAE has been sending piles of bad news as around a dozen members of the CSK setup tested positive and that has led the BCCI to contemplate over the permutation of the opening clash of IPL. In the midst of the ongoing crisis, it is certain that CSK will not be in action against in the tournament opener against the Mumbai Indians on 19th September as was planned according to the schedule released earlier by BCCI.
On this note, let us take a look at teams that will be best suited in the opening act of IPL 2020-
1. MI vs KKR
This was a defining rivalry in the initial years of the league as both the teams were led by two legendary players of the game: Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. Two of India’s favourite players who scripted innumerable records playing with each other and brought truckloads of laurels to the nation as partners in both the format of the games.
With the passage of time, both teams have undergone various changes. However, their rivalry still remains dear to the fans and both the teams have insane support in the league. In the 4 years running from 2012, these two teams marked their dominance over the tournament as they played a Tom-and-Jerry affair over titles with KKR winning in 2012 and 2014 with MI bagging the trophy for 2013 and 2015.
However, in the face to face battles, MI pips KKR as they have won 19 matches out of the 25 times that these teams have faced each other while KKR has won on 6 occasions. All in all, MI versus KKR is a fierce affair and a top option to act as an opener.
2. MI vs RCB
Arguably one of the most glamorous battles in the tournament given the kind of players these two teams flaunt. With AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Dale Steyn, and Lasith Malinga all in action in a single game of cricket, what more could one ask for! They might not have a renowned rivalry like a CSK or MI, but both the teams bring a lot on the table when pitted against each other.
From the days of being termed as a battle between Sachin Tendulkar-Sanath Jayasuriya’s opening pair against the calmness of Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble to the days of being termed as a battle of two of India’s finest modern-day stars Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, their competition has come a long way.
Although Mumbai has dominated the Challengers, the encounters between them have been the most entertaining ones. Out of 25 encounters so far, Mumbai Indians have won 16 and Royal Challengers have won 9.
3. MI vs SRH
Mumbai’s rivalry with the Sunrisers Hyderabad is not as heeded an affair as many others in the tournament, however, these two teams have met and scripted some of the most gripping and edge-of-the-seat encounters while facing each other.
The two teams sport some marvellous players such as Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga representing MI whereas the likes of David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Mohammad Nabi, and Rashid Khan donning the orange jersey.
SRH’s record of IPL is not as successful as that of MI as they have only one title to MI’s four. But in the head to head battles of the two teams certainly narrate a story of their rivalry as they both have won 7 games against each other and have lost as many in 14 encounters. Given their star-studded line ups and some great player-versus-player rivalries within the team, this could be another cracking contest to open the proceedings of the IPL this year.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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