The eighth edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is all set to begin on 18 August with three-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders taking on the runner-ups of last season Guyana Amazon Warriors in the inaugural game.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all games are scheduled to be played in Trinidad and Tobago. With all teams having announced the replacements for players missing out due to various reasons, there is a complete picture of how the final squads shape up ahead of the tournament.
Here we look at the probable playing XIs for all six teams for CPL 2020:
Trinbago Knight Riders
The three-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders have one of the best batting lineups. The explosive top order constitutes Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons and Colin Munro, all of whom are proven T20 customers. All three are known for their power game and can tonk the ball with ease.Kiwi wicket-keeper Tim Seifert can be used as a floater in the middle order, which also includes the likes of Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sikandar Raza. The explosive, yet reliable, middle order makes the Knight Riders a very good chasing side. They also have a minimum of 10 overs in their top 7, which indicates the depth of the side.
Sunil Narine, Khary Pierre, Pravin Tambe, Fawad Ahmed and Sikandar Raza form the spin department. The spin attack has versatility as well as the quality required to take the team to the top.
The vulnerable pace attack of the Knight Riders is something CPL oppositions can target. Along with the experienced Dwayne Bravo, the pace unit comprises M Ali Khan, Anderson Phillip and Jayden Seales.
Probable Playing XI: Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert, Kieron Pollard, Sikandar Raza, Dwayne Bravo, Khary Pierre, Jayden Seales, Fawad Ahmed, M Ali Khan
Guyana Amazon Warriors
The Warriors have one of the most formidable lineups this CPL season. Chanderpaul Hemraj and Brandon King form a terrific opening pair. At 3, they can slot in the explosive Shimron Hetmyer. Ross Taylor will most likely be playing the role of an anchor at 4. He can also be used as a floater, having the experience of finishing games.
Nicholas Pooran, one of the best batsmen in middle overs in the CPL, slots in at 5. Sherfane Rutherford and Keemo Paul at 6 and 7 will be tasked with finishing duties. With the overseas spinner Chris Green coming in at 8 the batting depth can be considered good enough.
Imran Tahir, Chris Green and U-19 spinner Ashmead Nedd constitute the spin department. Pace bowling is an area which Guyana might be little concerned about this CPL. There are not many big names in the pace department with Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd and Naveen-ul-Haq having to do the bulk of the task.
Probable Playing XI: Brandon King, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Ross Taylor, Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul, Chris Green, Romario Shepherd, Imran Tahir, Naveen-ul-Haq
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
The top order has a promising look with the experienced duo of Chris Lynn and Evin Lewis at the top. At 3 they can fit in the young Joshua Da Silva who has been impressive of late.
The middle order, including Ben Dunk, Denesh Ramdin, Nick Kelly and Dominic Drakes, does not give enough confidence on paper and they will surely miss the services of Fabian Allen this CPL. The skipper Rayad Emrit has to do the finishing job coming in at 7.
The Patriots have one of the most lethal pace attacks this CPL season. The pace bowling unit comprises the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Alzarri Joseph, Sohail Tanvir and Rayad Emrit. The spin department is decent and versatile, but lags behind other CPL teams in terms of quality. Jon-Russ Jagessar and Imran Khan will fight for the spinner's slot, which might also go to the Kiwi wrist spinner Ish Sodhi.
Probable Playing XI: Evin Lewis, Chris Lynn, Joshua Da Silva, Ben Dunk, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Nick Kelly/ Dominic Drakes, Rayad Emrit, Sohail Tanvir, Imran Khan/ Ish Sodhi, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell
Kiwi Wicket-keeper batsman Glenn Philipps is set to open with Chadwick Walton this CPL season for Jamaica. One among Nicholas Kirton, Nkrumah Bonner and Jermaine Blackwood will be slotted in at 3, none of whom have been great in T20 cricket so far.
The middle order, comprising Andre Russell, Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite and Asif Ali, has enough firepower to chase down any total. Though they are vulnerable against quality spin, the fact cannot be denied that Jamaica will be the most difficult teams to defend against.
The spin attack is led by Sandeep Lamicchane, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Veerasammy Permaul, with Ramaal Lewis coming in as an all-rounder who bowls off-spin.
With a scary pace attack comprising Fidel Edwards, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas and Carlos Brathwaite, Jamaica have the potential to bounce out CPL oppositions. Because of the fact that they can get a minimum of 8 overs from the top 7, they have the luxury of playing a batting all-rounder in the form of Ramaal Lewis at 8 instead of a pure bowler.
Probable Playing XI: Glenn Philipps, Chadwick Walton, Nicholas Kirton, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Asif Ali, Carlos Brathwaite, Ramaal Lewis, Fidel Edwards, Sandeep Lamicchane, Oshane Thomas
St Lucia Zouks
Rahkeem Cornwall and Andre Fletcher form the opening pair which is capable giving the side explosive starts. Jonathan Wells, who came in as a replacement, can be slotted at 3. He has the ability to steady the ship as well as take the attack to the opposition.Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran along with skipper Daren Sammy form the middle order. All three can hit out of the park with ease and are proven finishers in T20 cricket and will look to bring those skills to the CPL. Kavem Hodge can be used as a floater in the middle order and in an ideal scenario should abt at 4.
Noor Ahmed, the 15-year old chinaman bowler from Afghanistan, has been replaced by his more experienced fellow countryman Zahir Khan. Zahir and Nabi will hold the key in spin bowling for the Zouks this CPL.
Chemar Holder has shown a lot of promise and is touted to be West Indies' future star with the ball. His pace and bounce can trouble any batsman. Kesrick Williams, known for his skillful bowling in T20 cricket, is the most experienced of the lot along with Darren Sammy. The left arm fast bowler Obed McCoy brings in much-needed versatility.
Probable Playing XI: Rahkeem Cornwall, Andre Fletcher (wk), Jonathan Wells, Kavem Hodge, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Darren Sammy, Chemar Holder, Kesrick Williams, Obed McCoy, Zahir Khan
The Jason Holder-led side Barbados Tridents are the defending CPL champions and will start as one of the favorites. They have a squad full of multi-dimensional players. Shai Hope and Johnson Charles should open the innings, followed by Shamarh Brooks at 3. Alex Hales and Rahmanullah Gurbaz not being available surely weakens the Tridents' top order this CPL.
The middle order holds a decent and reliable look. Corey Anderson, Jonathan Carter, Jason Holder and the U-19 sensation Nyeem Young will constitute the middle and lower middle order.
With the likes of Rashid Khan, Mitchell Santner, Ashley Nurse, Raymon Reifer and Hayden Walsh Jr coming in next, the tail is good enough to bail the team out with the bat.
Barbados have one of the best spin attacks in the CPL comprising Rashid Khan, Mitchell Santner, Hayden Walsh Jr and Ashley Nurse. They can easily fit in 3 of the four frontline spinners in the XI.
Skipper Holder leads the pace attack but does not have enough experience in the side to assist him apart from Raymon Reifer. The pace attack consists of Jason Holder, Raymon Reifer and nyeem Young.
Probable Playing XI: Shai Hope, Johnson Charles, Shamarh Brooks, Corey Anderson, Jonathan Carter, Jason Holder, Nyeem Young, Ashley Nurse/Mitchell Santner, Rashid Khan, Hayden Walsh Jr, Raymon Reifer