With the 2020 season almost at the midway mark of the league stage, we now have a fairer idea of which teams rank among the contenders and which are the pretenders.
Every weekend, the league will serve up doubleheaders, meaning all eight sides will be in action every Saturday and Sunday. I have certainly kept a close eye on the entire league and here’s one player from each side that I think you too would do well to keep an eye on this weekend!
Punjab – KL Rahul
There isn’t a team that is more reliant on a player than Punjab is on their skipper KL Rahul. The stylish batsman is leading the race for the Orange Cap and has been sensational so far in the Indian T20 League.
The prolific batsman has already notched over 300 runs this season and I reckon he is the frontrunner for both, the Orange Cap and the MVP award.
Punjab and Rahul would be cursing their luck having come out on the wrong end of all their close encounters, but that in no way has deterred KL’s performances. They are languishing at the bottom end of the table but a couple of wins on the trot can turn the tide in their favour given how tight the league table currently is. But for that to occur, Rahul needs to lead the batting unit by example and continue to pile big scores.
Kolkata – Dinesh Karthik
More than Dinesh Karthik the batsman, everyone’s been highly critical of Dinesh Karthik the captain.
Sure, Karthik has taken some really bold and unpredictable calls from the looks of it but they seem to be decisions taken by the Kolkata management. Irrespective of all the criticism, he continues to remain the captain of the side and will play a key role if Kolkata are to make it to the top four and he will want to prove one and all that he is the right man for the job.
Chennai – Faf du Plessis
Bar KL Rahul, few batsmen can claim to be enjoying this Indian T20 League season in the desert as much as Faf du Plessis.
The South African is keeping pace with the Punjab skipper in the race for the Orange Cap. He has already struck three fifties this season and while his form has been sensational, it is his ability to be malleable to his team’s needs which has stood out so far. The veteran has been able to anchor the innings as well as be the aggressor up top depending upon the situation. Faf isn’t only running for the Orange Cap but is also a prime contender to win the MVP award.
Bangalore – Virat Kohli
Another batsman who has found some form of late is the Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli. The leading run-scorer in the history of the league had gone eight innings without a 30, let alone a half-century, but finally curbed that run against Rajasthan with a brilliant knock of 72.
Kohli and Bangalore have failed to reach the playoffs since their appearance in the 2016 final and as far as I know him, he will be desperate to end that run this season. The impetus will be on the skipper to lead his men to another win.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Seshadri Sukumar