IPL 2020: Ranking the openers of the 8 teams
The auction for the 2020 IPL season provided the perfect opportunity for the teams to address certain issues which affected their performance in the previous IPL seasons. While some teams strengthened their existing squads, there are certain teams that still have certain voids to be addressed.
The role of the openers in T20 cricket is extremely vital as they set the pace for the remainder of the innings. Be it taking advantage of the fielding restrictions or batting through the innings, the openers are of vital importance in T20 cricket.
Mumbai Indians acquired Chris Lynn in the auction as a specialist opener whereas Kolkata Knight Riders successfully bid for Tom Banton for the 2020 IPL season. Royal Challengers Bangalore have the services of Aaron Finch for the upcoming season and will look to add solidity at the top of the order. Delhi Capitals will have the experienced Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order to bat through the innings.
Also see – IPL 2020 Teams
On that note, here is a look at the opening options for the teams in their order of potency.
#8 Kolkata Knight Riders
Options: Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi, Tom Banton and Shubman Gill
Chris Lynn was released by Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of the 2020 IPL auction and their opening combination will be affected due to his absence. KKR have four options in Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi, Tom Banton and Shubman Gill to open the batting for KKR.
Though Sunil Narine has done well as an opener for KKR in few IPL matches, he cannot be termed as a specialist opener.
Rahul Tripathi has struggled in the last couple of seasons in the IPL. He averaged a mere 23.50 in the 2019 season and batted in the middle order on most occasions. It will be interesting to see if KKR open the innings with Tripathi who made a name for himself in the 2017 IPL season while opening the batting.
Tom Banton was acquired by KKR in the recent auction and the 21-year-old in all likelihood will open the innings for KKR. Banton is an aggressive batsman at the top of the order and has tasted success at the domestic level. However, IPL is a different ball game and he will be tested in conditions alien to him.
Though Gill has opened the batting for KKR in the past, the management will be keen to have Gill in the middle order. The presence of Russell, Morgan, Karthik and Gill in the middle order adds balance to the team.
KKR may have Banton and Narine as openers at the beginning of the IPL season. However, if the experiment with Narine fails, they may back Tripathi to open the innings with Banton.
KKR lack experience and openers who have tasted success in the past in IPL and will be hopeful that Narine and Banton get them to a flying start each time they open the innings.