The first half of IPL 2020, the 15th edition of India’s grand T20 tournament is approaching. It has been a supercharged, enthralling and outstanding action in the city of Mumbai and Pune. Multiple records were broken in the ongoing edition. Two records were made in the last match itself. Yuzvinder Chahal took 5 wickets and as well scored a hattrick. There are numerous occasions of scores above 200, both while setting the target and chasing the target. The successful run chases have been tremendous with the game of Cricket winning the ultimate battle.
Top-notch performances are usual practice in the IPL. This year has not been any different. There are several close matches. Surprisingly, the defending champions Chennai Super Kings and the most successful team ‘Mumbai Indians’ have suffered the highest defeats in the tournament. Almost all the teams have played 6 or more matches. The only team to have played less than 6 is Delhi Capitals. When I first wrote the post on IPL 2022, I made my predictions on the top four.
That day I said, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Gujarat Titans will make it to the top four. Things haven’t been in favour of my predictions since then. Both the new teams Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans have been amazing in their campaign so far. So I will try my luck this time to see if I can be right to predict the top 4 by the end of all the league matches. Let us first look at the team-wise performance for the matches so far.
Gujarat Titans: The new entrant under the leadership of Hardik Pandya have been amazing in all the departments. Both the batting and bowling are balanced for the team. Currently the table toppers, Gujurat Titans need just 3 more wins to be able to qualify for the playoffs. Which in all certainty the Younger Pandya will assure. I look forward to Rashid Khan’s all-around performance and Shubman Gill’s consistent batting efforts.
Chennai Super Kings: Defending champions started on a shocking note with MSD quitting captaincy. Though he played one of his best innings as a Chennai Player, CSK hasn’t been on the winning side for most of the matches. They are 9th in the table and need nothing less than a miracle to make it to the playoffs. Will they make it to the playoffs? My feeling is No. But, CSK should at least aim to create a squad that will take forward its legacy.
Mumbai Indians: Mumbai Indians are the most successful team. But this time, they are the least successful team with not a single win from six matches. Except for being big players on the paper and with buy price, none of the players was playing match-winning knocks. The senior pros are not up to the mark. The only saving grace has been SKY’s performances and the youngsters Dewald Brevis and Tilak Verma.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: E sala cup namde… Not going to voice out if this can come true. But the RCB team is looking confident to make it to the playoffs. Virat Kohli had given up the captaincy and that made way to experience Faf Du Plessis. All the RCB fans must be enjoying the way the Reds have played so far. With 5 wins from 7 matches, RCB is the favourite to make it to the qualifiers.
Rajasthan Royals: Rajasthan has had a brilliant tournament so far. Won 4 out of the 6 matches played so far, Rajasthan team is playing a different brand of cricket. Something that Shane Warne would be happy about. Just like the Gujarat Titans, the Rajasthan team also has a good balance. Buttler is merciless when it comes to batting. He has scored two centuries, Chahal has 17 wickets and a hattrick. Rajasthan Royals have been upsetting good teams. They have a good chance of making it to the playoffs.
Lucknow Super Giants: Under the captaincy of KL Rahul, the new team LSG has taken the experienced teams by surprise. They have found heroes in both young players and experienced players. Ayush Badoni, KL Rahul and Quinton De Cock have played decent innings to win the matches for their team. Not completely safe, but LSG is in a better position to make it to the top 4.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad has not started its campaign well. But they have made a great come back. After losing the first two matches, the Hyderabad team won four successive matches. Another team wherein the young players are making their mark. Suddenly from a team with no confidence, SRH is having full confidence. They have great chances of making it to the playoffs.
Delhi Capitals: Delhi Capitals haven’t had the best start. Ricky Ponting would’ve loved better performances from the top players. Even though the top two have played outstandingly well, the rest of the week wasn’t keeping up their efforts. Shaw and Warner played good innings in the matches. But just not enough team performance to win the games. With COVID also affecting their team, it is a bit hard on DC now.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Kolkata has not been their best always. Rather the performances by the KKR’s Shreyas Iyer were also a mixed bag. KKR have won 3 out of 7 matches. There have been close encounters that didn’t go their way. Pat Cummins and Iyer have found the form. But will that help them reach the qualifiers? I feel no.
Punjab Kings: Another season of immediate success and immediate failure for Punjab. Initially, the Mayank Agarwal’s Punjab has played well but with have failed badly in the last few matches. This kind of inconsistency in a tournament like IPL will not help any team. Unfortunately, this season also could be an offseason for Punjab.
Finally here are the top four as per my predictions…
- Gujarat Titans
- Royal Challengers Banglore
- Delhi Capitals
- Rajasthan Royals