The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to get underway from September 19 to November 10. The tournament will be different this time as the players and all those involved with the event will be in a bio-secure bubble, with various restrictions in place owing to the spread of COVID-19 across the globe. The huge crowds synonymous with IPL will also be missing, and fans will have to follow their favorite stars and franchises from the TV set or via online streaming. As the start of the tournament gets closer, here’s a lowdown on five players to watch out for.
1. Yashasvi Jaiswal (Rajasthan Royals)
Picked up by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 2.4 crore at the auction, 18-year-old teen sensation Yashasvi Jaiswal was the leading run-scorer for India in the U19 World Cup held earlier this year. In six matches, he hit exactly 400 runs at an average of 133.33, including a fluent 88 in the final that India lost. He ended the World Cup with four fifties and a hundred. Even before the U19 World Cup began, Jaiswal had made his name as a future rockstar. He has to his name the record of being the youngest batsman to slam a List A double hundred. Jaiswal smashed 203 from 154 balls for Mumbai against Jharkhand to claim the record. Following the fine start to his List A career, 779 runs in 13 matches averaging 70.81, he will now be keen to leave his mark in the IPL.
2. Tom Banton (Kolkata Knight Riders)
It has been a while since England’s dashing batsman Tom Banton has been making waves on the T20 circuit. The 21-year-old first came to prominence in 2019 when he smashed 454 runs in Somerset’s victorious One-Day Cup campaign. His scores in the knockout games were 112, 59 and 69. Further, in the Vitality Blast, he blasted a rich 549 runs. This included a century off only 52 balls against Kent. Later, he also impressed in the Big Bash League with 223 runs from seven games for Brisbane Heat at a strike rate of 176.98. Rather surprisingly, he was picked up at his base price of Rs 1 crore by KKR. He is looking forward to playing alongside some of the legends of the game.”I am particularly excited to play alongside Andre Russell and Pat Cummins,” Banton told kkr.in
3. Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Australia’s number one bowler in Test cricket, Pat Cummins was purchased by KKR for a record Rs 15.5 crore. With his fiery pace and wicket-taking ability, Cummins can prove to be a major asset for Kolkata. Rather intriguingly, KKR picked the Aussie pacer on the back of his phenomenal year in Test cricket in 2019. Cummins finished the year with 59 wickets in 12 Tests at an average of just over 20. In fact, he ended 2019 one short of hundred international wickets. His overall T20 stats though prove he is a match-winner across formats — 96 wickets in 80 games at a strike rate of under 19. His addition will certainly boost the chances of Kolkata Knight Riders to receive better odds on the top betting apps. With his great statistics, most of the betting sites will take that into consideration when they’ll conduct their odds.
4. Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians)
One of the biggest pre-auction shockers was KKR releasing their dangerous big-hitter Chris Lynn. The 30-year-old responded by smashing the record for the highest individual score in T10 cricket, blasting his way to 91 from 30 balls for Maratha Arabians against Team Abu Dhabi the Abu Dhabi T10 League. Lynn is a batting star in no uncertain terms, having scored well over 400 runs for KKR in the last two editions of the IPL at a strike rate of over 130. Not surprisingly, he was snapped up by Mumbai Indians for his base price of Rs 2 crore. In his exclusive interview with the official website of the IPL, Dinesh Karthik, the skipper of his previous franchise, spoke about his exit from the two-time champion side. According to him, they had to let go of Chris Lynn with a heavy heart.
5. Shimron Hetmyer (Delhi Capitals)
One of West Indies’ finest upcoming talents, Shimron Hetmyer is yet to display the consistency that would earmark him as an extremely dangerous batsman. However, on the infrequent occasions that he has shone, he has looked a class act. His bold stroke-making has the typical Caribbean touch. Hetmyer has kicked off CPL 2020 in awesome fashion, with 134 runs in two games for Guyana Amazon Warriors at a strike rate of 152.27. Following the stunning hundred against India in the Chennai ODI last year, he was picked by Delhi Capitals for an impressive Rs 7.75 crore.