In a breeze, we have already crossed the midway mark of the 2020 Indian T20 League season and I now have a clearer picture on which teams are the cream of the crop and which need a bit of fine-tuning (or a big overhaul) through the rest of the way.
Teams in the top four will be eager to build on the gap to the chasing pack while those outside the playoff spots will be aiming to cut the lead of those leading the way.
With all eight teams in action during the weekend, a lot can change on the standings table by Monday. So, with teams eager to score points, here are the players I’ll be keeping a keen eye on this weekend.
Rajasthan – Rahul Tewatia
If the tournament ended today, I don’t think many would argue against Rahul Tewatia winning the Most Valuable Player award. The all-rounder has been sensational for Rajasthan this season with both bat and ball and has won them games with his performances. With over 200 runs with the bat and an economy of just 7.39 with five scalps to his name, Tewatia has been invaluable to Rajasthan and I believe he holds the key to his team’s fortunes.
Bangalore – Aaron Finch
In a season where rookie Devdutt Padikkal has been brilliant with the bat, while AB de Villiers and of late, Virat Kohli, continue to be their incredible selves, it’s Aaron Finch who has been the black sheep of that batting order. In eight innings, Finch has mustered just 191 runs at an average of just 23.87 and a high score of 52. What has been more surprising to me is that Finch, who is among the hardest hitters of a cricket ball in the game today, is striking at just 113.69, a poor return for an opener, let alone a player of his calibre. Bangalore are doing quite well this season and are looking in prime position to make it to the playoffs. However, Finch’s form will be an area of grave concern for Virat Kohli and his men.
Delhi – Anrich Nortje
Nothing gets a fielding side more pumped than a fast bowler steaming in and clocking over 150 clicks with the ball. Anrich Nortje’s incredible spell against Rajasthan was a thing of beauty and by far the most scintillating show of fast bowling that I have seen so far this season. He’s been a tremendous partner with the ball for compatriot Kagiso Rabada and it’s brilliant to see two fast bowlers feeding off the pressure that the other builds and picking up wickets aplenty for their side. Delhi have the best bowling side in the league and Nortje is a big contributor in that unit.
Chennai – Ravindra Jadeja
It’s been a rather strange season for Jadeja. Usually pretty reliable with the ball, he has struggled this season, giving away almost nine runs an over and averaging 50. Perhaps the best fielder in India, he’s also dropped a couple of sitters in the field, a sight as rare as they come. He is, however, excelling with the bat and has already scored more runs this season than he managed in the last two. He hit his maiden 50 in the Indian T20 League against Hyderabad, which ultimately proved to be the difference between the two sides on the day. Ironically though, despite his pretty impressive form with the bat, he’s consistently batted at No. 7 and even No. 8 at times, a rather baffling decision given his form. What I’d like to see is Jadeja batting higher up the order and continue taking on the opposition as he has in his limited opportunities this season.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @Anrich Nortje02