Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has come up with ratings for each Indian Premier League (IPL) side as per their batting strength. IPL 2020 will be played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) starting from September 19.
On his official Twitter handle, the cricketer-turned-commentator rated the franchises keeping in mind that the pitches in UAE are likely to offer turn.
Despite Suresh Raina pulling out of IPL 2020 and the team having too many players on the wrong side of 30, Manjrekar believes the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have the best batting unit.
The Kings XI Punjab have undoubtedly the best opening combination with captain KL Rahul and the explosive Chris Gayle, and are second on Manjrekar’s list. The Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi Capitals bagged the bronze medal after a lot of promise last season – qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2012. They have also traded in Ajinkya Rahane from the Rajasthan Royals.
The Mumbai Indians (MI) have just missed out on a podium finish. The reason probably is that the franchise is studded with world-class all-rounders and does not have many specialist batsmen apart from skipper Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Chris Lynn and Suryakumar Yadav.
A team, which is perennially regarded as the best batting side, is fifth on Manjrekar’s list. The reason being the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have tried to strengthen the bowling line-up. It has been their soft underbelly for many years now, and RCB probably have missed out on boosting their batting line-up. The Bangalore side only have Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Aaron Finch in their ranks that can be considered world-class.
The bottom three IPL 2020 teams have a shortage of quality Indian batters
Sixth are the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), and it is understandable because they have been over-reliant on all-rounder Andre Russell and the occasional cameos from Sunil Narine at the top of the order. The bottom two teams are the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the Rajasthan Royals (RR).
SRH bank on foreigners like David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson, who may not be the best option on the slow, turning wickets in the UAE. The Royals are also a side which lacks quality Indian batters, and that could be their shortcoming in IPL 2020. While Ben Stokes is likely to miss the IPL this season, they can avail the services of Steve Smith, Jos Buttler and David Miller.
IPL 2020 is scheduled to be played behind closed doors at three venues – Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah – with the final slotted for November 10.Published 04 Sep 2020, 12:15 IST