It was almost three weeks ago that squads of each franchise were finalised after the IPL auctions. A total of 62 players were sold on an action-packed day in Kolkata. There were teams who went in with settled squads and just plugged in some holes while there were a few teams that went through a revamp.
In the end, all teams now have at least 21 players in their squad and they will be busy jotting down various combinations. Each team has its own strengths and weakness but there are particular players who contribute to those strengths and weaknesses as well.
Thus, here we look at the strongest and the weakest capped player of each IPL team for the upcoming 2020 season of the IPL.
RCB: Strongest – AB de Villiers, Weakest – Mohammed Siraj
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have often been a team of big superstars but they’ve failed to deliver as a unit. They’ve flattered to deceive over the last few seasons and they will continue to search for the elusive IPL title in 2020. They have a few excellent T20 players but none better than AB de Villiers. There is skipper Virat Kohli but few can match the madness de Villiers brings to the table.
He can change games in no time and has been a big part of RCB since 2011. He’s been excellent for them in the last few years and had a wonderful 2019 as well. The South African star scored 1580 runs last year which is the second-most by any batsman in T20 cricket. He averaged 52.66 and also had a strike-rate of 156.90. De Villiers had a significant impact almost every time he walked out to bat.
Meanwhile, the weakest capped link in RCB seems to be Mohammed Siraj. There’s no doubt about the promise but he hasn’t had the best of times in the IPL. The Hyderabad-born pacer has played three IPL seasons so far, including two for RCB and he’s been very expensive. He has an economy of 9.20. For RCB, Siraj has taken 18 wickets from 20 games.
KXIP: Strongest – KL Rahul, Weakest – Karun Nair
If there is someone who is at par with Virat Kohli in the Indian team as far as T20s are concerned, then it is KL Rahul. The Karnataka batsman has been excellent in the shortest format. Be it IPL or international T20s, he has stepped up and got runs consistently.
The way Rahul adapts and goes through different paces in a T20 game is simply brilliant. He has all the shots in the book and is an all-round batsman. Moreover, the opener has had a couple of excellent seasons at KXIP where he’s got 1252 runs at an average of 54.43. Moreover, he will also be leading the team which underlines the fact that he is the best player in the KXIP squad.
On the other hand, he has his Karnataka teammate Karun Nair who seems to be a weak link. He’s been around for a while now and has blown hot and cold. With multiple top-order batsmen in the KXIP ranks, Nair doesn’t fit well in the middle-order. Moreover, he played a mere one game last season.
DC: Strongest – Kagiso Rabada, Weakest – Mohit Sharma
A change in name worked wonders for Delhi as they made it to the playoffs after seven years. One of the reasons for their success was the performance of Kagiso Rabada who was simply brilliant with the ball. Be it at the start or at the death, the ace South African pacer always got wickets.
In fact, he finished the tournament with 25 wickets which came at an average of 14.72. Moreover, Rabada was striking once every 11 deliveries. If he hadn’t gotten injured towards the end of the tournament, he would’ve ended the season with the Purple Cap as well. There’s no doubt that he is amongst the best-capped player in the DC camp.
However, there is Mohit Sharma who DC bought in the auction this time who seems to be the weakest. He’s barely played any cricket over the last year. In fact, in 2019, he played just one game and that was in the IPL. He turned out for CSK when they played against MI in early April. Since then, he hasn’t played a single game. Moreover, Mohit’s pace and variations have gone down over the last few years.
CSK: Strongest – Deepak Chahar, Weakest – Karn Sharma
This might be a surprise as in a team which consists of the likes of MS Dhoni, Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo and others, Deepak Chahar has been picked as the strongest player. One of the reasons is that the Rajasthan fast bowler is one of the most improved pacers in the Indian circuit over the last couple of years.
He seems to have added an extra yard of pace as well and has also got better bowling at the death. In fact, in the 2019 IPL, Dhoni used him a lot at the death. Moreover, he was CSK’s wicket-taker last year and has become one of India’s preferred pacers in T20 cricket. Chahar has come up the ranks pretty quickly and will be CSK’s lead pacer in the 2020 season.
Meanwhile, Karn Sharma is arguably their weakest capped option they have in their squad. The 32-year-old leg-spinner has played just seven games for CSK in the last couple of seasons. Moreover, with a plethora of spinners in the squad, Karn may be among the last in the pecking order. He hasn’t been in great form either and picked just one wicket from seven games in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this season.
SRH: Strongest – David Warner, Weakest – Khaleel Ahmed
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have been consistent over the last few years and one of the big reasons for that has to be the form of David Warner. The Australia opener has become a beast in the IPL and has turned into a run-machine. Season after season, he tops run charts and leads the charge with the bat for SRH.
In fact, since the start of 2014, Warner has played five seasons and has won the Orange Cap thrice, the most for any player in the history of the IPL. He has amassed at least 500 runs every season for SRH and scores fifty or more once every two innings. Hence, there’s absolutely no doubt that he is SRH’s best player.
SRH is known to have one of the best bowling line-ups in the tournament. But Khaleel Ahmed, the bowler who plays most matches, has been disappointing over the last few months. He seems to have lost his venom and has also been dropped from the Indian team. The left-arm pacer leaks a lot of runs at different stages of the game and needs to improve a lot to make it to the playing XI consistently.
KKR: Strongest – Andre Russell, Weakest – Lockie Ferguson
It hasn’t been an easy ride for Kolkata Knight Riders over the last couple of seasons. They did make it to the playoffs in 2018 but injuries and form of key players haven’t been kind to them. However, there is one player who has been in prime form and has won matches single-handedly. That is Andre Russell. Be it with bat or ball, he creates a massive impact and is huge to the team composition.
Till Russell is at the crease, no target is safe. It doesn’t matter how big the boundaries are either, he smashes them a long way. And it’s not mindless slogging, Russell plays the situation well and goes after the bowling. Moreover, the power he possesses makes him lethal.
Lockie Ferguson has the pace but lacks control in the shortest format. He’s been guilty of leaking too many runs and had a tough season in 2019. He played five games and went at 10.76 runs per over. The Kiwi pacer picked just two wickets.
MI: Strongest – Hardik Pandya, Weakest – Jayant Yadav
There’s no doubt that the Mumbai Indians (MI) have one of the best scouting teams in the IPL. Year after year, there is a new star unearthed at MI. And a few years ago, one such star was Hardik Pandya who has gone on to become India’s premier all-rounder. It was in 2015 that he made his IPL debut and since then, he’s become a vital member of the MI setup.
Pandya bats as a floater and goes in according to the situation. But irrespective of that, he’s been batting beautifully and was in top form in 2019. The Baroda all-rounder scored 402 runs at a strike-rate of 191.43 in the 2019 season. Add to that, 14 wickets with the ball and his impact in the field. Thus, he is among the best players for MI.
Jayant Yadav’s retention was an interesting choice. He’s played just 12 IPL games in his career so far and in a season, the maximum number of games he’s played is five which was in 2016 for Delhi. Last year, the Delhi-born all-rounder played a couple of games for MI and had very little impact. Also, he hasn’t been in the best of forms and had a tough time in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well where he could take just six wickets from 11 games.
RR: Strongest – Jos Buttler, Weakest – Robin Uthappa
The best thing that Rajasthan Royals (RR) did in 2018 was to move Jos Buttler to the top of the order. The England wicket-keeper batsman was batting in the middle and was getting wasted. RR took cue from the BBL where Buttler opened the innings and had a big impact. Thus, ever since he turned into an opener, Buttler has been excellent.
In the last couple of seasons, he has scored 859 runs at an average of 47.72 and a strike-rate of 153.94. The England stumper uses the powerplay really well and has the ability to bat big as well. Thus, Buttler is the best player in the RR side and he will need to shoulder quite a bit of responsibility in the 2020 season as well.
RR’s choice at the auction to go for Robin Uthappa was rather interesting. They have a packed top-order and moreover, they also bought the exciting Yashasvi Jaiswal. Also, Uthappa hasn’t been at his best either. He struggled quite a bit last season and had a low strike-rate of 115.10. The Karnataka lad hasn’t had a great run in the Indian domestic white-ball competitions either.
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