IPL 2020 was probably one of the most awaited tournaments to take place this season. Considering the pandemic scenario all over the globe, BCCI did an amazing job by moving everything to the UAE. However, here we are almost reaching the halfway mark of this season and only one prediction has stood out, that is regarding the excitement and thrill the tournament evokes from an individual. But this article is not about how fun it has been rather about showing and proving the ‘sheer unpredictability’ of the competition.
Let us see how the teams performed last season compared to the current season ‘this season that time.’
1) Delhi Capitals
The team that has not managed to play a single IPL final until today is finally looking so dominant on the pitch. Everyone expected Delhi to do well as a few key additions were made. Rabada’s availability was a big boost too but such a depiction of confidence by all three departments of Delhi has shown that they are surely a force to reckon this IPL.
Looking at the video, everyone would think how Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Rabada were instrumental in Delhi’s decent 2019 season but the emphasis needs to fall on how well Delhi have only carried their strengths from last season, adding more to the bank. Marcus Stoinis has been a boon to DC as his batting in the middle-order has completely stabilized DC’s batting concerns.
Prithvi Shaw has been doing well too but he still needs to keep up with his numbers. These are some key factors responsible for Delhi’s top position after 6 games this season, in comparison to last time’s 5th spot after five games.
2) Mumbai Indians
There is a reason why Mumbai Indians are the most successful IPL side. Seeing the video, it is very hard to find any difference in both the seasons for Mumbai. In fact, the position they are in this season is better than what they did after five games last season. Mumbai Indians are side known to have poor starts but it’s different this year.
However, what people forget is how quickly they rectify their errors and come back on the pitch with more confidence and the ambition to win. It was hard to pick who were completely responsible for Mumbai winning the title last season and it is the same this season too. The team has been collective but the addition of Trent Boult in the arsenal has relieved a lot of pressure from Bumrah and Rohit Sharma.
3)Kolkata Knight Riders
The table-toppers after five games last season were still very far away from the trophy. However, this team has a lot of positives too. It was Andre Russell last season who was firing from all ends but this season has not been the same for him. Kolkata now have another set of players to rely on and now, they are finally feeding on the fruits they had held on to.
Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti have been great this season and Pat Cummins’ addition has not only given the young bowlers a senior to learn from but also a mentor who is willing to help the speedsters produce better results. Last season’s criticized Shubman Gill has been in great touch lately, while KKR’s last two wins have shown that Narine is still very lethal with the ball.
4)Chennai Super Kings
One of the most successful teams in the IPL have not been anywhere near their best this season. Chennai Super Kings have the highest win percentage in the IPL and are the only team to have a 100% record in making it to the playoffs. However, this season the chances are just not been taken and Chennai Super Kings seem to be off their plan.
The video showed how consistent they were last season and stood 2nd just after five games in the tournament. Faf du Plessis has been their most reliable batsman this season but everyone knows that they have many more who are capable enough.
5)Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB were a mess last season but they have bounced back pretty well comparatively. Losing two players to a team that is at the top must hurt but Kohli and Co. have shown signs of promise this season. Devdutt Padikkal has been a huge revelation for the team this season, while AB de Villiers’ consistency has helped their batting to blossom.
The skipper is back in form and the death bowling, perhaps their weakest link is showing signs of improvement with Isuru Udana’s addition. The team needs to keep up collective performances and make no mistake, RCB may well be a part of the playoffs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are one of the most underrated teams in the IPL and one of the biggest reasons is their lethal and modest bowling line-up. However, the video reveals how the tables have turned as Hyderabad were third after five games last season, while they are fourth this season after six games, courtesy of some promising performances recently.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury was a big blow and if SRH manage to maintain their performances with the ball, they will end up better as their batting is competent for big totals.
7) Rajasthan Royals
Royals started off really well this season but their batting has been way below-par in the recent games. The bowling hasn’t been great either but considering batting as their strength, a line-up with Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, Robin Uthappa should do much more. It seems that Rajasthan are very eager to get their last season’s key player, Ben Stokes back in the side.
However, being completely dependent on a player who has just arrived will not be fair on his side. It would rather add more pressure on him and despite his capabilities of handling pressure, a new pitch, new conditions and several other factors may play a huge role in the all-rounder’s performance.
Rajasthan will have to step up and start asking questions to their middle-order for a better future.
8)Kings XI Punjab
The reason why Punjab should be talked about last is because of how stagnant the team has been. Make no mistake, Punjab are easily one of the top sides on paper but the team has not managed to pull the strings together.
Watching Punjab’s section in the video must have felt that team was 6th last time after five games while this season they are at the bottom this season post 6 games. The important thing to notice here is how their last season’s key player has not made it to the XI even once this season. Although that is not the main reason behind Punjab’s poor performances, the openers have done their job in the majority of the games and the team has already scored 200 multiple times in the tournament.
This shows the growth in the side but if Punjab want to really achieve a higher position in the tournament at least, they will have to start winning the small moments in the game that eventually turn out to become big.
featured image credits- t20slam.com