IPL 2019 is all set to kickstart in a few days. Defending champions Chennai Super Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match at Chennai on March 23. This IPL promises a lot of excitement as it marks four months of non-stop limited-overs cricket as World Cup will start right after this T20 extravaganza.
Last year, Cricwizz has predicted accurately that CSK will emerge winner while Sunrisers Hyderabad will be runners-up. You can check out Cricwizz’s IPL prediction last year.
Cricwizz makes a list of predictions for IPL 2019 and hopes it will come true again this season.
Mumbai Indians have always won an IPL title in every alternate and odd years. They won in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Hence, going by this trend, they are likely to win the 2019 edition as well. \
But keeping these statistics aside, Mumbai Indians have the squad to beat the best in the business. They were unlucky to lose a few close games in last edition’s IPL and fell just a win short of a playoff berth. Being wiser from last year’s experience, Mumbai Indians would go for the kill this time around.
Rohit Sharma has announced he will open the batting in IPL 2019 and that is good news for Mumbai. He will form a devastating opening pair with Evin Lewis.
They have reliable batsmen in Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya in the middle-order to bail the team out in case of top-order collapses. Kieron Pollard had an awful season last time, but the team management has shown faith in him. He is expected to do well.
Besides, they have brought back Lasith Malinga to add firepower to their bowling line-up. Mumbai Indians will be the team to beat this season. They are most likely to go all the way.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders, led by the finisher Dinesh Karthik, had a great season last time, but fell at the second-last hurdle to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Qualifier 2. They will look to do better this season and qualify for final and then have a crack at the title bid.
But Cricwizz feels Mumbai Indians will have its way. Kolkata Knight Riders will emerge one of the top two teams along with Mumbai Indians in the league phase. But it might fall at the title hurdle. Dinesh Karthik would lead from the front and target a World Cup berth.
Orange cap holder
Last year’s Virat Kohli was recuperating from a shoulder injury during the initial few matches in IPL and had to miss out. He was not at his best in last year’s IPL campaign. But this time around, he is in great form with the bat.
His consistency is second to none in the current cricketing world. He would lead from the front and emerge the highest run-getter in IPL 2019, but once again, his teammates will fail him and RCB might fail to qualify for playoffs.
It will be a one-man show for RCB again this season. Like how KL Rahul waged a lone battle for Kings XI Punjab last season, Kohli would too turn up a similar show this IPL. However, he will have the consolation to bag the orange cap.
Purple cap holder
Last year, Rashid Khan was the second highest wicket-taker in IPL with 21 wickets, behind Andrew Tye of Kings XI Punjab with 24 wickets. But the young Afghanistan spinner will pose more than a treat to the opposition this IPL season.
Cricwizz predicts he will do one better this season, and emerge the highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Rashid is coming off a maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket against Ireland as Afghanistan posted their first win in the five-day format in just their second match.
Rashid Khan will be the trump card for SRH this season as batsmen will struggle to decode his googlies and fall to him.
Fair Play Award
Chennai Super Kings
CSK are led by the cool MS Dhoni who hardly loses his temper in crunch games. Even in the most pressure-filled situation, Dhoni is calm as a cucumber and that rubs on his teammates. With such a cool captain, there’s hardly any chance of confrontations, arguments or agitations between CSK cricketers and other players or umpires. Hence, CSK are favourite to win the Fair Play Award once again.
Emerging player award
The talented opener had a great Test debut, cracking a ton against West Indies, to mark his arrival in international cricket. He will be expected to take the IPL 2019 by storm and knock at the selector’s door for World Cup selection. Rishabh Pant won the award last time.
But this time around, Prithvi Shaw is expected to dominate the bowling attacks and take his Delhi Capitals on course to a playoff berth. He will open the batting with Shikhar Dhawan to make one of the best-attacking pairs in IPL 2019.