We are almost there. The wait is almost over. The first game of the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is just a few hours away.
While it will be a behind-the-closed-doors event, there will not be any shortage of entertainment as the blockbuster Mumbai Indians (MI) versus Chennai Super Kings (CSK) game will kick-start the IPL proceedings at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The two teams, who last faced each other in the IPL 2019 final, have always been involved in fascinating contests and it won’t be different when they square off in the IPL 2020 opener in the United Arab Emirates.
The big game means that the teams will stack up their line-up with their match-winners.
Here are top five players to watch out for:
Class, finesse, timing and clean-hitting ability. Rohit Sharma is a delight to watch with the bat in hand. Add to it, his leadership credentials. He has been one of the finest openers going around and can easily change the course of the game on his own.
Crafty, proven match-winner for CSK and someone who can play the sheet anchor’s role and attack when needed. Ambati Rayudu, with 3300 IPL runs against his name, can open the innings and can also bat in the middle-order, and hence, can be a key component to CSK’s success.
He may have announced his retirement from international cricket, but ‘Thala’ MS Dhoni continues to be a fan favourite.
With his astute leadership, ability to anchor the Chennai Super Kings’ middle-order, with a good mix of caution and aggression, and lightning-fast glovework, you just cannot take your eyes off this champion cricketer.
Hard-hitter, acrobatic fielder and an immensely handy bowler, Hardik Pandya ticks all the boxes a team will look for in a player. He has been a pivotal member of the Mumbai Indians unit and it won’t be too surprising if he starts the IPL 2020 with a bang.
Pace, swing, control, ability and experience. Jasprit Bumrah, who will be spearheading the Mumbai Indians bowling attack, possesses all the traits a team will look for in a bowler and hence, remains a clear-cut contender in the list of the players to watch out for.
The young Mumbai Indians leg-spinner made a solid impression in the previous IPL season, scalping 13 wickets. With the IPL to be played in the UAE, where the tracks will be helpful for the spinners, Rahul Chahar will be a vital cog in the MI wheel.
Highest team total at this venue in IPL
206-4 by Kings XI Punjab against Chennai Super Kings in 2014
If CSK wins the IPL 2020 opener under MS Dhoni, it will be the Captain Cool’s 100th IPL win as a CSK skipper.
Rohit Sharma needs 6 more sixes to reach the 200-six mark in the IPL