IPL 2019: Three bold predictions for the tournament
The Indian Premier League is a ruthless and unsparing tournament, given its awe, the stage it provides and the influence it has in the cricketing career of involved players. At the same time, IPL is also pretty unpredictable as miracles have taken place in the past and there's no reason why one can say it won't happen today and tomorrow in the tournament.
Despite all odds, all the eight franchises aim to hand over cherishable moments to their fans and followers by reaching the playoffs and presenting a strong case for themselves to be crowned as the victorious team, the champions, the winners of the tournament. Mumbai Indians have proved it time and again how a team can bounce back even after the poorest of starts. RCB have proved how easily a team can lose the finals of a tournament even after defeating the opposition mercilessly throughout the season in 2016.
Predicting the results and outcomes in this game of uncertainty is certainly a tough task to do; that's why every big call made in the context of IPL becomes bold inevitably. Here are three such predictions for the remainder of this IPL:
#3 Hardik Pandya to smash IPL's fastest fifty
Is there even a hint of doubt regarding Hardik Pandya's power-hitting abilities, especially in the shortest format of the game? Well, we all have watched Pandya sailing the ball over the boundary ropes more often than not. Pandya's three sixes in three balls against the likes of Adam Zampa, Shadab Khan and so on. In fact, Pandya has hit a hat-trick of sixes five times across all the formats.
With Pandya gaining his lost touch in Mumbai's encounter against Chennai by scoring 25 off just 8 deliveries, he has sent a message that the current record of fastest IPL fifty, off 14 balls, is under threat.
Assuming that Pandya gives continuity to his Midas touch and gets to bat for a longer period of time, expect him to break the current record of fastest IPL fifty, held by his close friend KL Rahul in the ongoing tournament.
#2 Delhi Capitals to make it to the playoffs
Delhi Capitals might not have started the campaign in the best manner possible, but there's no doubt that their team has shown utter dedication and energy on the field to win every battle they face. A team ingrained with the talented, zealous youths running high on adrenaline can surely give headaches to the opposition.
This Delhi team looks balanced and all set to make way for themselves to the playoffs. Delhi, in their first four games, have won two; ideally, it should have been three but Sam Curran had other plans for his team. However, their defeats were not one-sided at all. At some stage of the lost matches, it seemed as if they could eventually win but things don't go as expected on every occasion, do they?
With good team management, comprising of legends like Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, and Mohammad Kaif, as well as a squad of energetic, dexterous and slick performers, I predict Delhi Capitals to capitalize on the smallest of advantages or opportunities and finally book a spot in the IPL playoffs.
#1 Sam Curran to win the Purple Cap
The wunderkind from England, Sam Curran has gained all the hype after replacing a legend like Chris Gayle in the opening slot and then winning a nearly-lost match with unprecedented bowling miracles.
After getting a hat-trick against Delhi Capitals, which resulted in a batting collapse, Curran has got six wickets in his name, in just 6.2 overs. KXIP have done well in the tournament and enjoy the first seat in the IPL points table. So, the probability of KXIP booking a spot in the top 4 is high. It allows Curran to bowl more overs compared to equally threating bowlers like Shreyas Gopal and Yuzvendra Chahal who could have also achieved the feat, only if their teams were as likely to reach the playoffs.
Thus, my bold prediction tells that Sam Curran will end up as IPL's leading wicket-taker in this edition of the grand tournament.