The Indian Premier League will commence on Saturday with all matches played in the UAE. Under normal circumstances the IPL would be played in India as it has done for the past 12 seasons.
Circumstances have dictated that due to the Coronavirus pandemic this seasons IPL will be played at a different venue.
Can Mumbai Indians make it back-to-back wins
The defending champions and most successful side in the competition Mumbai Indians will be looking to win back-to-back titles for the first time.
Sounds easier said than done, but Chennai Super Kings remain the only side to successfully defend an IPL title. With MS Dhoni at the helm and key purchases in the IPL auction, they will be a threat this time around.
The other franchises all have strengthened ahead of the campaign, so it should be another fine spectacle.
Riders add Cummins to line up
Kolkata Knight Riders have added Australian paceman Pat Cummins to their line-up. In so doing becoming the most expensive overseas player in the history of IPL.
Another fellow Australian Aaron finch will join Virat Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore. West Indian batsman Shimron Hetmyer was picked up by Delhi Capitals.
Chennai Super Kings boast an astonishing record in the tournament with three titles and eight appearances in the finals. They also have a 100 per cent record to the tournament play offs.
Chennai Super Kings out for revenge
Last year they were denied the title by a single run by Mumbai Indians in the final. Coached by New Zealander Stephen Fleming they have added to their squad Australian Josh Hazlewood and Sam Curran of England.
Delhi Capitals are the only active franchise yet to qualify for an IPL final. No side have finished bottom of the table more times than they have.
This year the squad has been boosted by the signing of Ajinkya Rahane. They also possess the dangerous hitting Jason Roy at the top of the order.
With Chris Woakes opting out of the tournament a lot will rest on the shoulders of Kagiso Rabada.
Will Kings X1 Punjab break their duck
One of the original eight franchises, Kings X1 Punjab have never been able to lift the trophy. Punjab finished sixth last term and for this campaign have a mix of experienced T20 specialists.
With star names like Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glen Maxwell, Chris Jordan and James Neesham, they could be dark horses this year.
Knight Riders looking to improve
Kolkata Knight Riders have pulled of dramatic wins from impossible situations in the past few seasons.
Last season they finished in a disappointing fifth place. Apart from picking p Cummins they have also secured England white ball captain Eoin Morgan. Somerset’s exciting prospect Tom Bantom has also signed up for the Riders and have big hitting West Indian Andre Russell.
Mumbai Indians once again the team to beat
Mumbai Indians have won the IPL no less than four times in their history. Defending the title is still something they haven’t pulled off. In this years auction they snapped up both Chris Lynn and Nathan Coulter-Nile to enhance their chances.
On the whole Mumbai look to have a stronger squad than last season which is frightening news for the other sides. Undoubtably the side to beat once again.
Rajasthan Royals released 11 players ahead of the 2020 auction. England’s Jofra Archer and Tom Curran have been signed up alongside Andrew Tye and Ankit Rajpoot.
Challengers add Buttler, Smith and Stokes
The batting has been bolstered by the signing of David Miller. Along with Jos Buttler, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes runs shouldn’t be an issue.
Royal Challengers haven’t been able to lift the IPL in twelve attempts. In the past three seasons they have finished bottom in 2017 and 2019.
Challengers possess a frightening batting line up with Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Finch. In truth they have struggled with the ball in the past and have added Chris Morris and Moeen Ali.
Warner continues as skipper of Sunrisers
Sunrisers Hyderabad have reinstated David Warner as their captain for the forthcoming 2020 IPL.
Alongside Warner at the top of the order will be Jonny Bairstow which is a lethal opening partnership. Kane Williamson coming in at three is another quality batsman for the Sunrisers. Runs shouldn’t be an issue and with the ball they have Bhuvneshwar Kumar who is a bowler who will prosper.
This is a side that could well get into the final if everybody clicks, then they could go all the way.