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Indian Premier League 2020

Five takeaways from the first week’s action of IPL 2020

IPL 2020
by Sankalp Srivastava 4-minute read

As the first week of the IPL 2020 action comes to a close, we take a look at the major takeaways from the first eight matches of the tournament.

Spinners yet to dominate proceedings in IPL 2020

Ahead of the commencement of the IPL 2020, Wisden India writers chose their respective favourites for the Purple Cap, and all of them picked a spinner to finish as the top wicket-taker.

However, the quicks have been much more influential so far – Kagiso Rabada and Sam Curran are the joint-top wicket-takers with five apiece, while only three spinners have taken four wickets in the tournament as compared to six seam bowlers.

Out of the 40 bowlers to have picked a wicket, only 16 are spinners. But with the entirety of the tournament being played across three stadiums, the conditions are bound to become conducive to spin bowling, which is when we can expect the tweakers to rise up the charts.

Expect Sharjah to throw big totals in IPL 2020

Both IPL 2020 matches at Sharjah so far have been run fests. Rajasthan Royals’ clash against Chennai Super Kings equalled the record of the most sixes hit in an IPL encounter (33) and a combined 416 runs were scored, while the former’s next game against Kings XI Punjab saw them break the IPL record for the highest run chase after a scarcely believable flurry of sixes at the death

The shorter boundary dimensions at the Sharjah cricket stadium, which is the smallest of the three venues, are bound to play a decisive role in the 10 matches that will be played there in the coming weeks.

None of the teams will be at a disadvantage as all of them will play three matches each at Sharjah.

SRH’s middle-order conundrum

The David Warner-led side is the only team yet to register a win in the tournament. While SRH made a mess of a straightforward chase against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening encounter, the Kolkata Knight Riders outplayed them in every department in the next match.

The one area that demands immediate attention is their middle order. Warner and Bairstow, who broke the record for the highest IPL opening stand in 2019, haven’t quite managed to get going – adding 18 and 24 respectively for the first wicket in the two matches.

Their fragile middle order has been exposed as a result. Manish Pandey has tried to play rescue acts in both the matches but his run-scoring hasn’t been quick enough and none of the other middle-order batsmen have rallied around him.

Whether the inclusion of Kane Williamson is the solution or if persisting with Mohammad Nabi is the right way to go forward, the SRH coaching staff, boasting the likes of Trevor Bayliss, Brad Haddin, Muttiah Muralitharan and VVS Laxman, have to make a crucial decision early on in the tournament.

India young guns set the tone at IPL 2020

India’s next generation have come out roaring in the first week of the IPL 2020. Dedutt Padikkal, the RCB opener, led the way with a 42-ball-56 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in their tournament opener.

Sanju Samson followed suit, slamming 32-ball-74 against CSK, which featured nine maximums. Prithvi Shaw was the next among the talented bunch to put his hands up, coming up with a player of the match 64-run knock to help the Capitals beat Chennai.

Shubman Gill didn’t fancy being left behind as he followed up a disappointing start by hitting 70 against SRH to lead KKR to their first win.

Could this be the first season CSK fail to qualify for playoffs?

Though Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis saw CSK through in the season opener against MI, an injury to the former and a lack of support for the latter has seen the MS Dhoni-led side lose two of their three matches so far.

Both their defeats have come chasing – their only win came while batting second as well – as the middle order has failed to keep up with the asking rate. Dhoni’s indifferent form – his knock against RR in a 217-run chase was heavily criticised despite its explosive finish – the absence of Suresh Raina and the ineffectiveness of their spinners, who have been one of the leading forces in the franchise’s history, is hurting them.

Chennai hold the prestigious record of qualifying for the playoffs in each of their 10 IPL seasons. But could IPL 2020 be the one where their streak comes to an end?

This article was brought to you in association with Wisden’s official betting partner, bet365. For all the latest IPL odds and in-play markets, visit bet365

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