The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is only a couple of months away and the teams are in readiness for the same. Preparations have already started with the retentions and auction already taking place. The auction took place in Kolkata back on December 19 and it was the first time when the City of Joy hosted the same.
62 players were sold even as 62 cricketers remained unsold. The other 202 players’ names didn’t come up. The tournament is now set to get underway on Sunday, March 29 and will continue until Sunday, May 24. The schedule for the T20 extravaganza is yet to be announced though.
Delving deep into the respective squads, there are trump cards, the teams will depend heavily on. However, a few players also exist who could end up failing miserably.
In the article, let’s take a look at the probable best and worst performers in IPL 2020: –
Chennai Super Kings
Best Performer- Imran Tahir
Imran Tahir is 40 years old, yet has been going great runs. The former South African is still a sought-after player in domestic T20 leagues across the globe. Even the Super Kings pinned hopes on him for the next season. In 2019, the Lahore-born Tahir churned out 26 wickets at an economy rate of 6.69.
Tahir was one of CSK’s five players, who played all the 17 matches. On a slow-and-low Chepauk strip, it won’t be a surprise if he weaves magic. After last year’s IPL, Tahir plied his trade, first for the Guyana Amazon Warriors and then the Jozi Stars. The spinner did well both in the CPL and the MSL.
Worst Performer- Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur has loads of potential on his shoulders, something which has earned him a spot in the Indian national team. But the Mumbai pacer has often been guilty of leaking too many runs in crunch moments. The 28-year-old was a part of the Super Kings last season and had a torrid time.
Though he took eight wickets, he was one of the most expensive bowlers for CSK with an economy of 9.36. Despite the poor show, the franchise has shown faith in him and retained him for the next edition. It now remains to be seen whether or not the fast bowler can pull of a spectacular show.
Best Performer- Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada was one of the primary reasons behind the Capitals’ impressive run last season. The speedster was DC’s standout bowler by a country mile. The pacer hardly let his skipper, Shreyas Iyer, down when he was brought on to pick up wickets. In 12 matches, Rabada churned out 25 wickets.
The pin-point yorker he bowled to Andre Russell in the Super Over at the Arun Jaitley Stadium remains to be an absolute spectacle. Rabada hasn’t had the best times ever since the IPL. But bearing in mind the quality he has, it’s a matter of time before the speedster gains back rhythm.
Worst Performer- Axar Patel
Axar Patel came to the limelight from the IPL itself, representing the Kings XI Punjab. The performances also helped him break into the Indian team. But gradually, he lost his mojo and isn’t in contention for a berth in the national side. The Gujarat cricketer has been playing IPL regularly.
Last year, he was a part of the Capitals and seemed off colour. In 14 matches, the left-arm spinner could only manage 10 wickets. Among the regular bowlers, he had the worst bowling strike-rate of 30.6, showing his travails. With the bat in hand, Patel managed a pretty mediocre average of 18.33.
Kings XI Punjab
Best Performer- KL Rahul
KL Rahul’s IPL career has flourished ever since he started playing for KXIP in the T20 league. In 2018, he started the tournament with a blistering fifty against the Delhi franchise. The right-hander didn’t look back and was Punjab’s leading run-scorer, though his team couldn’t qualify for the playoffs.
Rahul carried over his form even in 2019. Yet again, he shone for his franchise, scoring 593 runs at an incredible average of 53.90. His maiden IPL ton came against Mumbai Indians in a losing cause. Next season, Rahul will be leading the team after Ravi Ashwin’s departure and a lot will depend on him.
Worst Performer- Jimmy Neesham
James Neesham has turned up with crucial roles for his teams. But at times, he has floundered miserably. The New Zealand all-rounder had a pretty indifferent year in 2019. He played some whirlwind knocks against Sri Lanka and then travelled with the national side for the World Cup.
He wasn’t outstanding, but effective enough to see his team through to the Final. He hasn’t had the best of T20 careers with the ball, leaking runs at 9.10. Last year, he was twice trusted to defend around 17 runs in the last over. But, he flattered to deceive and the games went to the Super Over.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Best Performer- Andre Russell
It won’t be wrong in saying that Andre Russell was a lone ranger for the Knights in the last season. The Jamaican had quite a few injury concerns, but despite that he kept tormenting the opponents. In 2019, Russell churned out 510 runs at an incredible average of 510, striking at a monstrous 204.81.
He smacked 52 sixes, showing his brutal character on the field. Dre-Russ flourished with the ball as well. The 31-year-old picked up 11 wickets, the highest among the KKR bowlers, though he had an economy of 9.51. It goes without saying that Russell is again expected to play a huge role next time.
Worst Performer- Prasidh Krishna
Prasidh Krishna came into the Knights setup in 2018 as an injury replacement and impressed right away. However, in the 2019 edition of the IPL, the Karnataka fast bowler turned out to be rusty. Out of the 14 matches, KKR included him in 11 games, and the young seamer couldn’t survive the heat.
He could manage only four wickets an abysmal average and strike-rate of 94.25 and 60.5 respectively. The Kolkata team didn’t lose faith in him and retained him for the upcoming season. He has been in good form in domestic cricket, but the IPL will again present him with tough challenges.
Best Performer- Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma has been a fulcrum of the Mumbai Indians over many years now. He is the most successful skipper in the T20 championship with as many as four titles in his kitty. The veteran has done exceptionally with the bat. Last year, he scored 405 runs in 15 games at an average of 28.92.
Though Mumbai haven’t won back-to-back titles thus far, Rohit can bring the same to reality in 2020. Rohit has carved a niche for himself in the IPL and it’s unlikely that MI will ever release him of his services. In 188 games in the IPL, Sharma has 4898 runs at 31.6 with 36 half-centuries and a century.
Worst Performer- Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan has been with the Mumbai Indians ever since he made his IPL debut back in 2015. The left-arm speedster has turned up with magical spells over the time period, but he has found it tough to contain the batsmen at times. It’s palpable from his IPL economy rate of 8.49.
In 56 matches, the pacer has picked up 71 matches. For the upcoming season, the franchise already has overseas pacers in Lasith Malinga and Trent Boult. So, McClenaghan may end up warming the bench for the chunk of the tournament. Oppositions are likely to line him up for some quick runs.
Best Performer- Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler started his IPL career for Mumbai Indians in 2016 and stayed with them in 2017. But his move to the Rajasthan Royals worked wonders, more so after he started opening the batting in the 2018 season. The England batter racked up half-centuries at will, taking his team to the playoffs.
Even in 2019, the Taunton-born carried on from where he left in 2018. Though the Royals couldn’t make the playoffs, Buttler stamped his authority. In 45 IPL matches, the Englishman has 1386 runs at an average of 35.54 with nine half-centuries. Most importantly, he strikes the leather at 150.82.
Worst Performer- Jaydev Unadkat
Jaydev Unadkat’s incredible 2017 with the Rising Pune Supergiant earned him in excess of 10 crore from the Royals in 2018. But he succumbed under the pressure of price tag. RR didn’t lose faith in him and again roped him in at a hefty price. Yet again, the left-arm was taken for quite a bit of runs.
To everyone’s surprise, the Royals splurged a massive sum of money on the speedster. It remains to be seen if he gets third time lucky or not. In 73 IPL encounters, Unadkat has 77 wickets with a couple of five-wicket hauls. But it’s his economy of 8.73 that is being perceived as a matter of concern.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Best Performer- Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch forayed into the IPL back in 2010, representing the Rajasthan Royals. From there on, he has played 75 games in the tournament and has notched 1737 runs at an average of 25.93 with 13 half-centuries. Though his numbers aren’t intriguing, he has grown in stature in the last 12 months.
After Finch was given the mantle of Australian leadership, the responsibility has rubbed off positively on his batting as well. He piled on runs in the 2019 World Cup and then carried his form in the bilateral series as well. Royals Challengers Bangalore would be hoping for him to fire on all cylinders.
Worst Performer- Kane Richardson
Kane Richardson has been in and out of the Australian team after he made his debut in 2013. In the same year, he made his IPL debut for the Pune Warriors, but he failed to a large extent. The pacer’s last appearance in the T20 tournament came while representing the Challengers back in 2016.
In 14 IPL games, the South Australia-born has 18 wickets at an economy of 8.38. Of late, he has been plying trade for the national team in the limited-overs formats. The 28-year-old is now back with the RCB, who shelled out INR 4 crore for the fast bowler after a bidding war with the Rajasthan Royals.
Best Performer- David Warner
David Warner is one of the all-time leading run-scorers in the IPL. In 126 matches, the southpaw has 4706 runs at an average of 43.17 with four tons and 44 half-centuries. Among the all-time top run-getters in the championship, he has played the least number of games and has the highest average.
The left-hander has won the Orange Cap three times in 2015, 2017 and 2019, representing the Sunrisers Hyderabad. In 2016, he also led SRH to their maiden IPL title. Oppositions have always marked him as a cynosure while chalking out plans. In 2020, a lot will be expected off the veteran.
Worst Performer- Basil Thampi
Basil Thampi came into the fore after impressing for the Gujarat Lions back in the 2017 edition of the IPL. Then in 2018, the Kerala fast bowler moved to the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the season turned out to be alike a nightmare for him. In four games, Thampi got five wickets at an economy of 11.21.
In 2019, Thampi’s economy (9.16) saw an improvement. But to his agony, he returned wicketless in the three matches he played in. The franchise earlier decided to retain him for the next edition and the onus will be on him to replay the faith. Overall, Thampi has 16 wickets in 19 games in the IPL.
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