Runs at top of the order, runs at the death, runs throughout the middle overs. Runs matter everywhere and they are so important in the construction of a T20 inning. Unlike the rest of the formats where you have 3-4 specialist batsmen to accumulate the bulk of runs, T20 cricket demands different specialist batsmen at each and every phase of the innings. With the advent of franchise cricket and mainly IPL, teams have packed themselves with suitable batting options to meet these demands. And hence the leading run-scorer of a team always need not be an opener or a number three batsman. A batsman who bats lower down the order can also end up as the leading scorer within a team, much like Rishabh Pant or Andre Russell in the previous seasons.
Here we look at the players who could be the possible highest run-getters for their respective franchises in IPL 2020.
CSK batting has suffered a huge blow since Suresh Raina, one of their all-time top run-scorer decided to opt-out of the IPL 2020 citing personal reasons. He had been the pillar of strength for CSK batting line-up ever since the birth of the franchise. Having scored almost 400 runs consistently every season, he is someone who cannot be replaced quite easily. But that being said, someone from the existing team has to step up and fill his void at the much important number three position. One man who is well equipped to do it is Ambati Rayudu. His experience will come in handy for CSK, much more than ever in this season. He is expected to rise up to the challenge and emerge as the top run-scorer for the three-time IPL champions.
Mumbai Indians' line-up is packed with T20 superstars. Picking just one possible top performer from that line-up is a task in itself. Captain Rohit Sharma and domestic Indian talents like Surya Kumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan are all probable candidates. If Hardik can replicate his IPL 2019 form, or if Pollard can replicate his CPL form, they too stand a chance. But one player who had been scoring runs consistently in the T20 format, not just for MI but for all teams that he plays for is South African captain Quinton De Kock. Highly under-rated, the dashing southpaw scored 529 runs for the Mumbai based franchise last year. To add to that he has a stunning average of 47.33 in the UAE. Watch out for him in IPL 2020.
Star all-rounder Andre Russell and captain Dinesh Karthik had dominated the batting charts for KKR in the last couple of seasons. But now, with the promotion of young talented Shubman Gill up the order, he is expected to carry forward the havoc at top of the order. His ability to find gaps and score runs consistently In each and every phase of the T20 innings makes him an ideal candidate to top the batting charts for KKR this year. Will IPL 2020 be the breakthrough season for Shubman Gill? The chances are very high.
If King Kohli is part of a batting line-up then there is no question on who will be the top run-scorer for that team. Such has been his domination in all formats over the last decade. The ability to anchor the innings while striking at 130+ and the power to finish games from nowhere makes him one of the greatest ever white-ball players. With COVID-19 forcefully taking away 6 valuable months of his cricket career, the run-machine will be hungry for runs much more than ever. Expect a replica of the 2016 IPL master-class from the RCB captain.
This is an absolute no-brainer. David Warner had been a prolific run-scorer for SRH ever since he joined the team. He could not just be the leading run-scorer for SRH, but could also be the leading run-scorer of the entire tournament. The three orange caps that he has secured over these years are a justification for this statement. Moreover SRH, unlike the rest of the other IPL franchises, does not boasts of a stable middle order or even a powerful finisher. Hence the pressure of accumulating the runs had always been on the top order ever since the birth of this franchise. Warner being the leader of the pack has taken care of these limitations of the team and has scored more than half of the team runs in each and every season. He is more or less expected to continue the same for this year.
Jos Buttler has been in the form of his life ever since cricket resumed after the forced COVID-19 break. He holds the key for Rajasthan Royal’s chances in the thirteenth edition of the IPL. With 859 runs coming in at an average of 47.72, that too at a staggering strike rate of 153, he had been one of the prolific run-scorer for the Royals in the last two seasons. He expected to continue this form to this season as well.
The newly appointed KXIP captain had been in tremendous form with the bat ever since he moved over to Punjab from RCB. Even though KXIP has so many well established T20 batsmen like Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, and Nicholas Pooran in their line-up, Rahul is expected to top the charts and continue his dream run with the bat. The highest-ranked Indian T20 batsman will hopefully do justice to his credentials as a classy and reliable opening batsman this year as well.
He may not be batting at top of the order. But that doesn’t necessarily prevent him from accumulating more runs than the rest of his teammates. Already a prominent member of the DC squad, his skills will prove to be valuable for the team in the middle as well as death overs. He has scored 1172 runs in the last two seasons combined at a stunning average of 45.08. To add to his credentials, all these runs have come at a marvellous strike rate of 168.88. Pantastic!
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