IPL 2019: Why Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals are among the favorites to lift the trophy this year

  • Both Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals have very strong squads that will take the field in IPL 2019.
Modified 25 Feb 2019, 17:58 IST

IPL 2019 will start on 23rd March, and cricket fans all around the world are excited. This year, all the squads are brighter, younger and ready to set the tournament on fire. With the ICC World Cup 2019 just around the corner, all the players are expected to use the IPL as a platform to fine-tune their game.

Among all the IPL teams, there are two teams that stand out as the favorites to clinch the title this season: Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals. Here’s why.

Rohit Sharma is captaining Mumbai Indians
Rohit Sharma is captaining Mumbai Indians

Reasons why Mumbai Indians can win the title

The hard-hitting capabilities of their captain Rohit Sharma are well-known. With the world's 7th best T20 batsman in their side, Mumbai Indians are easily one among the favorites this year.

The likes of Evin Lewis (4th best T20 batsman) and Quinton De Kock are bound to increase their batting strength even further as both these players are sweet timers of the ball. Lewis looked good in the BPL and his innings of 109* and 71* proved why he is considered among the best T20 batsmen today.

Mumbai also have Indian talent in the form of Ishan Kishan, who recently scored 113* against Manipur in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. They’ve taken in Yuvraj Singh this year too, and although he isn’t expected to play all the matches, the star player can surely prove his worth.

Jasprit Bumrah is the lead bowler of the team. His 19th over against the Australians in the first T20 match is one of the reasons why he is ranked among the best in the business. Bumrah, along with Lasith Malinga and Jason Behrendoff, can strike early wickets and send the batsmen back to the pavilion.

The young Mayank Markande, who has been proving his worth in the domestic matches, would also be an absolute delight to watch.

Bumrah is at his career best
Bumrah is at his career best

T20 cricket has always been an all-rounder’s game, and Mumbai have got excellent all-rounders in the form of Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ben Cutting and Kieron Pollard. The Pandya brothers had a good series in New Zealand while Cutting was in tremendous form in the Big Bash League.

Reasons why Delhi Capitals might claim the title

Delhi is the only team that hasn’t reached an IPL final. Even after playing 11 seasons, the team has not made any major impact. But this year, they seem to be fully geared up.

In fact, they are one of the strongest sides this season. They’ve roped in Shikhar Dhawan from Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Dhawan is one of the most solid T20 batsmen around. He has a strike rate of 132.2 in T20s and is expected to open the innings with Prithvi Shaw.

Shreyas Iyer holds the record for the highest score by an Indian in T20
Shreyas Iyer holds the record for the highest score by an Indian in T20

Shreyas Iyer and Colin Munro are expected to come in next. Everyone is aware of Munro’s destructive style of play. Though he is a hit-or-miss player, he has frequently proved his worth in the shortest format of the game. He is currently ranked 2nd in the ICC T20 rankings, and a couple of overs is all he needs to take the game away from the opponent.

Iyer, on the other hand, is is in the best form of his career. His last three innings – 103*, 46, 147 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy are among the most destructive T20 innings seen in recent times. His 147 off 55 balls (at an astonishing strike rate of 267.27) is the highest score recorded by an Indian in a T20 match.

The previous record of 128 was set by Rishabh Pant in the last IPL, who also happens to be in the Delhi side. Pant proved his worth in the Australian series and would be looking forward to hitting hard in the upcoming season.

Rishabh Pant is all set to ignite the stage.
Rishabh Pant is all set to ignite the stage.

They also have Chris Morris, Colin Ingram, Trent Boult and Sandeep Lamichhane. Morris is one of the best all-rounders in the format; his 2/27 and 55* against Pakistan in the third T20 reinforced his credentials yet again.

Boult, meanwhile, is at his fiery best lately. But hasn’t he been at his best for three years now? His 5/21 against India in the 4th T20 shows why is one of the best bowlers in the world.

Boult is one of the best bowlers in the world today.
Boult is one of the best bowlers in the world today.

Lamichhane, the sensation from Nepal, along with Kagiso Rabada, Jayant Yadav and Keemo Paul, can also set the stage on fire.

Delhi has one of the most balanced sides this year. With the World Cup around the corner, the foreign players might not play all of the matches, but with the talented local players that Delhi Capitals have, they are surely in the front seat to clinch the title this year.

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Published 25 Feb 2019, 13:01 IST
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