As the IPL 2020 nears its commencement, we predict the bowlers who could finish as the top wicket-taker and win the Purple Cap this season.
With the IPL moving to the United Arab Emirates this season, the focus shifts further on the spinners to produce the goods for their respective sides on what are likely to be slow pitches that are receptive to turn.
Imran Tahir became only the second spinner, after Pragyan Ojha, to win the Purple Cap last season and we could have a third spinner to finish as the top wicket-taker this time round.
Ahead of the tournament, Wisden India writers made their predictions for IPL 2020’s top wicket-taker:
IPL 2020 Purple Cap Prediction – Shreyas Gopal (RR)
Surprising, some would say. Not quite. Gopal, with his Kumblesque bowling action, had a prolific season last year, capturing 20 wickets for Rajasthan at 19.39, including a hat-trick. There’s a good chance he could better the tally this time. The leg-spinner is a giant-killer, isn’t shy of taking on the batting bigwigs [ask Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers], captures big wickets in clusters and is a thinking bowler.
An ecstatic Shreyas Gopal after picking up a hat-trick at his home turf 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/UG1hufYFiQ
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 30, 2019
Among his variations, the deadly googly stands out, and he uses it to great effect in the middle overs. Having flown under the radar for years despite his strong domestic record, Gopal could make it big on UAE’s spin-friendly tracks this time. Aadya Sharma, Wisden India staff writer
IPL 2020 Purple Cap Cap Prediction – Yuzvendra Chahal (RCB)
Wrist spinners have been the way to go in T20 cricket and Chahal could be the standout performer in IPL 2020. After all the misery of the last three years, this could be the year for RCB and their chances rest heavily on Kohli’s premier wicket-taker. Conditions in the UAE could offer significant assistance to the spinners and the larger boundary dimensions (barring their three league games in Sharjah) gives him a great chance.
Ready to cast a spell on Dream11 IPL 2020. ✨ 🧙🏻♂️
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 10, 2020
Expect him to get genuine value for inducing mishits this time around, which he’s otherwise used to see sailing into the Chinnaswamy stands. Roshan Gede, Wisden India staff writer
IPL 2020 Purple Cap Cap Prediction – Rashid Khan (SRH)
In his three seasons in the IPL, the Afghanistan leg-spinner has taken 17, 21 and 17 wickets respectively. And with larger boundaries and spin-friendly conditions in the UAE, he has a great opportunity to go even better this season.
A hat-trick for Rashid Khan in #BBL09
Do we love him or do we love him😍pic.twitter.com/nDi5bFW7Uo
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 8, 2020
He took 11 wickets in 10 CPL 2020 matches and 19 in 15 BBL 2019/20 matches. His international record in the UAE – 57 wickets in 27 matches, 18 of which have come in 11 T20Is at 11.88 – gives a glimpse of how lethal he can be in these conditions. Expect him to be in a neck-and-neck race with another spinner, or two, for the Purple Cap this season. Sankalp Srivastava, Wisden India staff writer