IPL 2020 Preview: Outright odds, favourites and underdogs, plus the player to look out for…
The 13th edition of one of the cricket’s most entertaining and arguably the most-awaited event to take place – the IPL, will be played from 19th September to 10th November in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Due to the pandemic, the tournament will be played behind closed doors.
Still, the cricket battle promise to be fierce. We are all eager to see the return of Dhoni, who has not played professional cricket since July, 2019.
The Mumbai Indians are the defending champions after a nail-biting 2019 final that saw the Chennai Super Kings fall just one run short. In the end, Lasith Malinga’s perfect yorker with the last ball of the match proving too good for tail-ender Shardul Thakur, who was adjudged LBW.
Champions Mumbai are leading the Outright odds…
We make Mumbai the favourites at 5.50. Understandable given they’re not only the defending champs but the most successful side in the IPL with four wins.
Next up are the Sunrisers Hyderabad at 6.00, who can count on such dangerous overseas stars as David Warner and Rashid Khan. The ever-reliable Chennai Super Kings, led by MS Dhoni as per usual, are also priced at 5.25.
They’re followed by the Delhi Capitals at 7.25, who have an embarrassment of riches in their batting line up, starring such names as Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Australian Alex Carey.
Then it’s the two-time winners the Kolkata Knight Riders, with Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore next in the betting at 7.50.
The outsiders for the 2020 edition of the IPL are Rajasthan Royals and the Kings XI, both priced at 10.00.
*Odds may vary.
Who are the IPL betting favourites?
As mentioned, at 10CRIC we simply cannot split the Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Hyderabad can boast two trump cards. The first is the opening partnership of Jonny Bairstow and David Warner. Last season the Aussie and the Englishman were paired together with devastating effect, scoring extremely quickly during the Powerplay overs and getting their side off to excellent starts. If they can repeat the trick this time, they’ll have bowlers under pressure from the word ‘go’.
Their second trump card is Rashid Khan. The Afghan leg-spinner was recently the first pick in the Hundred draft, testament to his status as arguably the most valuable T20 player in the world. His four overs of spin can often rip the heart out of the opposition’s innings.
Chennai have some dangerous weapons of their own. Few players know the T20 game better than skipper MS Dhoni, a master in man-management, bowling changes and quirky field settings. He is of course also one of the game’s great finishers with the bat.
The Super Kings have tended to favour experience over youth and the result is a series of players who aren’t particularly agile in the field but have seen it all before and handle the pressure like the old pros that they are. Players such as Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Harbhajan Singh, Ravi Jadeja and Ambati Rayudu.
The Super Kings also boast one of the longest batting line-ups in the competition, meaning there’s always one more man who can come in and save the day by smashing some quick boundaries.
These three are certainly the deserved favorites: the Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Can reigning champions Mumbai do it all over again?
You wouldn’t bet against it. In Rohit Sharma they have one of the finest T20 openers in the game and one of the best captains in this format.
Quinton de Kock and Kieron Pollard provide the firepower with the bat while Lasith Malinga’s yorkers are as hard to get away as they ever were. From among the local players, look out for the Pandya brothers. Krunal is a left-arm spinner and Hardik a medium-pace bowler. But both are genuine all-rounders who can bat anywhere in the order and can score very quickly on their day.
But what Mumbai really have that makes them so dangerous is a winning habit. When you get used to winning so many close games and handling pressure situations it becomes a habit and they’re arguably better at that than anyone.
Who is the pick from among the underdogs?
The Delhi Capitals. They can count on current Indian internationals Dhawan, Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer to help form just about the strongest batting order in the IPL. Australian Alex Carey should be a part of that batting line-up but they may even decide they can make do without the likes of Jason Roy and Marcus Stoinis in it.
Instead, they can allocate the other overseas spots to paceman Kasigo Rabada, spinner Sandeep Lamicchane and maybe Chris Woakes.
Add to the equation the three-pronged Indian spin treat of Ravi Ashwin, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra and you can see how they have just about every base covered. ‘Just about’ because if there’s one area of concern it would be in the pace bowling department, where Rabada may need more support.
The only other area of concern is that they simply haven’t been good enough over the past few seasons so may lack confidence at crucial times. But if they get off to a good start, that lack of confidence could disappear very quickly.
Player to watch for the IPL 2020 season
Glenn Maxwell has played plenty of IPL cricket over the years and not always with great success. Last year he chose to sit out the IPL entirely as he prepared for the Cricket World Cup but this year he was picked up by the Kings XI Punjab in the auction, who he’s played for before, and he looks set on making it count.
He’s been in scintillating form in the Big Bash for the Melbourne Stars this season and looks set on playing longer innings rather than just quickfire cameos, like he has in the past.
Few players can turn a game on its head like Maxwell, especially now that he’s adding brans to his brawn when it comes to his batting.