Fantasy Focus: The biggest players need to show up and show out
After 56 enthralling fixtures, we are now down to the final four that will compete for the right to be crowned champions of the Indian T20 League in 2020.
With the season just four games away from its conclusion, the fantasy season is also in its endgame, and if you are looking to make the final push to the top, here are the must-haves from the teams left in the competition:
Mumbai – Jasprit Bumrah
Mumbai speedster Jasprit Bumrah recovered from an early-season slump midway through the season, and since then, he’s been an unstoppable force, carrying Mumbai’s bowling unit on his back and putting himself in contention for the Purple Cap. The 26-year-old has picked up 10 wickets in his last five matches and has already made this his most prolific campaign with 23 wickets, surpassing his previous best of 20 that he managed in 2017. Bumrah is on song and will be difficult for any team to contain during the playoffs.
Delhi – Kagiso Rabada
Speaking of in-form speedsters, Delhi's Kagiso Rabada has perhaps been the best bowler in the Indian T20 League this season. The South African has picked up 25 wickets in 14 matches, matching his career-high from last season, and with Delhi guaranteed at least two more matches, it will be hard to bet against him surpassing that mark. Rabada sits seven wickets shy of Dwayne Bravo's all-time record of 32 wickets in a season, and while that might be a bridge too far, it won’t stop Rabada from trying and possibly succeeding in breaking that record.
Bangalore – Virat Kohli
Like Bumrah, Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli weaved his way out of an early-season slump and finished the league stage with 460 runs, the fourth-most in the Indian T20 League this season. The league’s all-time leading run-scorer has five scores of over 40 this season and been playing the anchor role to perfection, keeping the scoreboard ticking through the middle overs and accelerating towards the end to guide his team to big scores and successful chases. With a 40, Kohli could become the second batsman after David Warner to score 500 runs in six different seasons of the Indian T20 League, and few would bet against him doing so.
Hyderabad – David Warner
The league’s most consistent and dependable batsman, David Warner has had another stellar season, aggregating 529 runs in 14 matches and guiding his team to the playoffs. Warner has scored over 500 runs in six consecutive seasons and is the only batsman to have achieved that feat. The lack of talent in the middle order means that Hyderabad is heavily reliant on their top order to do the bulk of the team’s scoring. Hence, Warner needs to bring his A-game to the playoffs if Hyderabad are to stand any chance of going all the way this season.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / Mumbai