IPL 2020 Prediction: Overseas players are an essential part of any IPL season. They bring glamour to the team and do really well commercially. Needless to say, they are outstanding players in their own right and are a great value addition to any team.
Here's our prediction of which 4 overseas players will start for each team in the upcoming much-awaited IPL 2020.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
AB de Villiers
The team from Karnataka is known for possessing a star-studded overseas lineup and this year is no aberration. The Royal Challengers Bangalore roped in Proteas all-rounder Chris Morris for a whopping 10 crore price tag to join fellow countryman and franchise legend AB de Villiers in their overseas contingent. While the latter walks into the side both as a batsman and probably a wicket-keeper, occupants of the other overseas slots seem a little less certain. For the balance of the team, it is vital that Morris starts, and the RCB think-tank would be expecting him to deliver the goods in the death overs both with the bat and the ball. Up top, the Royal Challengers desperately need Aaron Finch to play and fire, for they hay have been too dependent on Kohli and de Villiers to take the team home for a long time now. That leaves us with a choice between Dale Steyn and Moeen Ali. While Steyn had a sort of a dream run in the few matches that he had played last season, RCB seems to already have two bowlers exactly like him-who take the new ball and bowl out by the twelfth or thirteenth over- namely Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Siraj. Ali, on the other hand, can play the role of the glue that connects the middle and lower-middle order. His off-spinners will also prove to be handy in what is most likely to be slow, dusty tracks, and therefore it would not come to me as a surprise if Ali were to be picked ahead of Steyn.
Quinton de Kock
Nathan Coulter Nile
The Mumbai Indians have, in the past couple of years, managed to build a squad around their strong Indian core. The overseas players are just supplements added for galvanization. Although the spotlight will yet again shine over Indian faces when it comes to IPL 2020, the role of foreign players should not be discounted for. Mumbai Veteran Keiron Pollard will be joined by Quinton de Kock and will take care of the firepower in the Indians’ batting line up. The absence of Lasith Malinga is most likely to be filled by Trent Boult, who needs no introduction. Aussie quick Nathan Coulter-Nile can come in very handy upfront in the powerplay with the ball and can also tonk a few about with the bat. He would most likely complete the overseas quartet of the Mumbai Indians and give them the near-perfect balance that every franchise yearns for.
Chennai Super Kings
Faf du Plessis
These are the four players that the Chennai Super Kings would’ve fielded in the last season of the IPL too. Probably in the last to last one too. It is just bewildering how a cricket team can make next to zero changes in their squad and still be the most consistent team in the history of the tournament.
Nonetheless, Faf starts up top, for the pitches in Dubai are more likely to suit his style than anybody else’s. An ageing Dwayne Bravo also makes the cut, and one would believe his crafty slower ones and cutters would react perfectly on the slow, low UAE wickets. Imran Tahir walks into the squad, having taken 15 wickets in 11 games at an average of 15.93 in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League. Lungi Ngidi is also most likely to be included the Chennai first eleven and it won’t come as a surprise if the South African is given new ball duties along with Deepak Chahar.
Kagiso Rabada is usually the first pick in any team he plays for, and the Delhi Capitals team is no different. Arguably the best fast bowler in the world right now, ‘KG’ can do it all for his team, be it take wickets upfront with the new ball or bowl economically at the death.
When it comes to the middle/ lower middle order, it is hard to look beyond Shimron Hetmyer and Marcus Stoinis. Hetmyer is in great form at the moment, while Stoinis is a genuine all-rounder who is capable of changing the course of the match with both bat and ball in hand. But the Sandeep Lamichhane-the leg spinner from Nepal- can prove to be just the X-factor that the Delhi Capitals will need to go the extra mile. He’ll have complete help from the conditions and his inclusion in the side might completely work in the favour of the Capitals.
Kings XI Punjab
The side from Punjab is in with a decision to make. Can they afford to play Chris Gayle? The man’s IPL record is unrivalled. But does he still have it in him to hit it out of the park in dry, dusty pitches? And more importantly, should he be chosen over the likes of Maxwell, Pooran Mujeeb and Cottrell who are at the peak of the career? Pooran doesn’t seem droppable in this format of the game. Maxwell has good memories of playing U.A.E. for the Kings XI When the tracks turn, he might also be able to chip in with a couple of overs here and there. Mujeeb is in red hot form and might just assume the role of Punjab’s primary spinner in the absence of Ashwin. Cottrell needs to start, for the KL Rahul’s team needs a partner for Shami. Mayank Agarwal can open along with fellow Karnataka teammate Rahul. And therefore Chris Gayle doesn’t seem to fit in.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The four overseas players seem to be picking themselves for KKR. Narine and Russell-both indispensable all-rounders in this format. Eoin Morgan-hard hitting middle-order batsman, glues the top order and the lower middle order together. Pat Cummins -million-dollar-baby- went for a whopping 15.5 crores, deserves every bit of it. The Knights from Kolkata will have for themselves an assortment of match-winning foreigners whenever they step onto the field.
Williamson or Nabi? Williamson or Nabi? This one’s a toughie for newly appointed Trevor Bayliss. While Kane Williamson is the local favourite back in Hyderabad, Mohammad Nabi’s recent form has been just too outstanding for anybody to ignore. The former Afghan captain has claimed 12 scalps in 11 matches and has gone at only 5.08 runs per over while at it. He’s also capable of hitting the long ball lower down the order and does wonders for the team balance. While the other three players again pick themselves, it is going to be interesting to see if the Sunrisers go for Nabi over Williamson.
No real debates or dilemmas here. The Royals shall field who are now becoming their four core players. Stokes and Buttler seem to be in the form of their lives, delivering the goods for the English team. While Smith and Archer are not so rich in form, they are proven match-winners who can never be discounted for.
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