The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) is less than two weeks away, and all 8 teams are currently undergoing their preparatory camps in the UAE. The tournament, which commences on the 19th of September, is expected to be one of the most tightly-contested IPLs in years, given how balanced all the teams look on paper.
In any IPL, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the Mumbai Indians (MI), the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are usually the favourites before the league begins, with the other four teams often putting up impressive performances to challenge the top contenders.
IPL 2020, though, is expected to be much different - all teams will be on a level playing field after having been on a break for months, and most teams have been impacted by personnel changes ahead of the tournament.
In this article, we attempt to rate (out of 10) each team's chances of winning IPL 2020, based on their squads and recent circumstances.
#8 Royal Challengers Bangalore - 3/10
RCB come into IPL 2020 with a squad that does look better balanced on paper, but it is still nowhere near the tournament-winning teams of the recent past. The batting lineup is still heavily reliant on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, while Moeen Ali is the only world-class all-rounder in the team.
The death bowling will again be an issue for RCB and apart from Kohli, Parthiv Patel - who might not even be in the playing XI - is the only experienced Indian batsman. RCB might better their last-placed finish in IPL 2019, but there is next to no chance of them winning the tournament.
Also see: IPL prediction today
#7 Kings XI Punjab - 4/10
KXIP are led by new captain KL Rahul, who is at the helm of an IPL team for the first time. His inexperience, along with the team's threadbare spin attack, aren't encouraging signs ahead of IPL 2020.
KXIP's Indian batting contingent, which mostly comprises of Karnataka stars, doesn't inspire much confidence either. Perhaps the biggest factor in their favour is their flawless record in the UAE (5 wins in 5 games). Having said that though, the side is probably nowhere near good enough to win the IPL title.
KXIP might manage to sneak through to the playoffs, but even if they do, they won't be able to win three (or two) games in a row to claim the IPL 2020 crown.