Indian Premier League(IPL), a cash-rich tournament and a most-watched cricket league in the world is set to start in the month of September. The tournament is going to be held from 19th September to the 10th of November. Amidst the COVID crisis, ICC postponed the T20WC to the next year 2021, which was planned to be played in the month of September before. So this helped BCCI to look on for an IPL season late this year.
The eight teams of IPL are looking for some good cricket after a long break, even fans expect too. Some started their training for this year’s IPL. Auction for this season was held last year’s December 18th. Looking forward to this season all eight teams are looking strong in the paper. Let’s analyze the strengths and weaknesses of all the eight teams and their probable playing 11. So what are you waiting for, let’s get into it!!
Let’s start off with the defending champions Mumbai Indians, one of the most followed cricket club in the world. Overall MI had very good past records, most IPL titles won by a team (4 times), and they are holding the record of most wins in the history of IPL. They are looking for a good start to this season.
This pre-season they had some good buys in the auction. They bought Australian opening batsman Chris Lynn at the base price of 2 crores INR. This was a great steal for them. Lynn along with Rohit their captain can provide some powerful start to their innings, which is a great add-on to their batting line-up.
Suryakumar Yadav can be their ideal fit for their nN.3. Suryakumar will be handy for them because he can play both spin and pace good, who is ideal for the UAE dry conditions. De Kock can play as an opener too.
Middle and lower-middle order
Ishan Kishan will be their possible No. 4 Batsmen. He will keep wickets too. The dashing left-hander can be aggressive at times. Mumbai Indians are known for their hard-hitting middle-order batsmen. Kieron Pollard will be their possible no. 5 batsman and has played great for them in their past.
Following Pollard, the Pandya brothers will be playing at No. 6 and No. 7. Hardik is known for his finishing skills, he and Pollard combined can give some great finishes. Hardik is handy with his bowling, he can give you some additions in the bowling attack. While Krunal Pandya can be a crafty left-arm orthodox, who can bat too.
MI’s bowling attack is loaded with pacers. Bumrah, Malinga, Mitch McClenaghan, Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Dhawal Kulkarni. Possibly MI will play Bumrah, Boult, and Malinga, while Coulter-Nile may play in place of Malinga. Boult has said he is not sure of playing this season, but we hope he would play. Rahul Chahar will look after the spin duties.
Strengths and weaknesses
They have ticked all the boxes. They have a perfect team to play for this season. In a team surrounded with strengths, their weakness is quite hard to point out. If all the batsmen go out for an attacking play, there may be a chance for falling off like a pack of cards. In such a strong squad, they lack quality off-spinners, especially they lack experience who will be handy in dry UAE conditions. They also have a problem of plenty, too many quality overseas players, maybe a headache for the captain to come up with a well-composed playing 11. Might sound too harsh, but can’t point out a weakness in such a strong team.
MI’s possible playing 11
Rohit Sharma(c), Chris Lynn/De Kock(wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan(wk), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Bumrah, Malinga/Coulter-Nile.
Despite winning the first season IPL, Rajasthan Royals couldn’t provide a notable season for their fans. Although they played some good cricket here and there. Some great legends were part of this franchise in the past, let’s see the current players who can make the playing 11.
Most probably Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler will be the best choice of opening pair for the double R’s. Samson with his flamboyance in his batting has to make sure to create an impact in this season of IPL to stand s chance to get into the Indian team.
Jos Buttler has played crucial innings and had the best season for RR in 2018. Following them, Steve Smith was announced to lead Rajasthan Royals this season and will be a perfect batsman for No. 3.
Middle and Lower-middle order
Robin Uthappa has played for KKR for so long years and he will be a perfect fit for No. 4. Ben Stokes will play at No. 5 and depending on the overs left in the innings, they will be sent in to play. In at No. 6 possibly youngsters will be given a chance, Riyan Parag or Manan Vohra will do that role. Finally, at no. 7, Shreyas Gopal will play as an all-rounder. The leggie has played some notable innings with the ball as well as with the bat.
They have a mix of both good pace attack and two good leggies which is too good to play in a dry UAE conditions. With Jofra Archer leading the pace attack, Varun Aaron and Jaydev Unadkat can give some good support for a decent attack. Considering spinners, they can play two leg-spinners Shreyas Gopal and Mayank Markande. Markande had some good notable season for MI in 2018 can be handy for RR this season IPL.
Strengths and weaknesses
Considering the strengths of RR would be their overseas players and their weaknesses is they don’t have the Indian firepower, especially in the lower-middle order to finish the innings perfectly. This adds burden on Ben Stokes to stay till the end. Considering their bowling attack Jofra Archer is their strength. Similar to MI, RR too lack quality in their off-spinning attack. Even though they have two leggies, they don’t have variety in their spin attack.
RR’s possible playing 11:
Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler(wk), Steve Smith(c), Robin Uthappa , Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag/Manan Vohra/Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande, Varun Aaron, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat.
Hope you enjoyed it, See you again with two great teams in the next part. Stay Tuned.