Winning games of T20 cricket is one thing. But how would the IPL 2020 table look if the positions were based on how good each team’s Twitter handle was? Wisden India editor Manoj Narayan ranks the teams.
As IPL 2020 approaches its business end and the league table takes more concrete shape, we happened on a novel idea – what would the table look like if each team was graded on their Twitter handles?
What we ended up with was a rather lopsided table on many counts. Mumbai Indians, the four-time champions, were nowhere near the top. Royal Challengers Bangalore did make the playoff spot, and the much-vaunted No.4 position went to a team you’d least expect it to on current cricketing form.
We decided to look at each team’s Twitter account through a set of parameters – fan engagement, unique content, ‘banter’ and shock value, and ended up with the following: Wisden’s IPL 2020 Twitter league table.
8. Mumbai Indians
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) October 22, 2020
MI might be the defending champions and the most succesful team in IPL 2020, but as far as their Twitter game goes, they have plenty to do to catch up. To be clear, they don’t do anything wrong, as such. It’s just there’s not much on it apart from the usual.
The tone is straight out of the PR handbook. Their feed has the usual sponsor plug, the merchandise promotion, and filler posts. The number of hashtags used on every post is an eye sore, though, and their fan engagement is minimal to non-existent. And their tone? You could replace it with an AI, and we’d never know.
7. Sunrisers Hyderabad
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) September 14, 2020
SRH have done some good things on their Twitter feed. There was a particular video, posted ahead of the IPL, in which they showed an SRH training session through the point of view of VVS Laxman, the India legend and their mentor. The viewers were taken straight into the heart of a professional net session, with Laxman’s candid comments to players a particular highlight.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been more than that. SRH are an exciting account to follow during a match and their feed is largely colourful and attractive – but that goes for every other IPL team account. In 2020, you need a bit more to truly stand out.
6. Kolkata Knight Riders
— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) October 20, 2020
The KKR bunch run a fun account. They are quick to respond to fans who have legitimate redressals, their use of the Bengali language is always nice to see, and their GIF game – seen the DDLJ one? – is right up there. The KKR account does a lot of things right, including with videos and in fan engagement. And of course, the content featuring their co-owner Shah Rukh Khan is a guaranteed winner.
But in a tight race for the fourth place (yes, in this list as well), they finish No.6 on NRR. A valiant effort, but not quite as eye-catching as some of the other teams that finished above them.
5. Kings XI Punjab
— Kings XI Punjab (@lionsdenkxip) October 18, 2020
From references to Jimmy Paa (Neesham) to BTS footage, including of the legendary Jonty Rhodes pulling off a phenomenal catch, KXIP have been on fine form on Twitter so far in IPL 2020. The account is always happy to post in Punjabi – a guaranteed points haul – and their live cricket tweeting is from the POV of a KXIP fan, which is what you’d like to see these days.
They also score highly on banter, like when they QT-ed an old Salman Khan tweet to much merriment. Unfortunately, they fall just out of the play-off spot – a fate that they might meet on the field as well – if only for the fact that they haven’t done much stand out original content to really grab the eyeballs. Great effort, though.
4. Chennai Super Kings
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) October 20, 2020
If we’re talking fan engagement, no one does it better than CSK. They’re pioneers when it comes that, among IPL teams, having done so well before the rest of the teams caught on. CSK have always worn proudly their ethnicity. But they make the fourth spot in this list for more than that.
In what is an unprecedented season for CSK where their form has suffered, the account has won some fans for its self-deprecatory tone at times. The deliberately lame puns are always a win, and if the team had given them more occasions to celebrate, they might well have placed higher on this list.
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore
You’ve seen cricketers carry huge kitbags filled with their favourite gear. From bats to shoes and everything else, here’s Captain Kohli showing what he’s got in his kit. Watch out for a special appearance from a special someone.#PlayBold #IPL2020 #WeAreChallengers #Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/VtYRUfgrIz
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) October 14, 2020
The year 2020 has been a peculiar one for everybody, not in the least RCB – they’re doing well! The form has also reflected on their Twitter account. RCB have been superb with the videos – the one with Virat Kohli taking everyone through his kit bag was a sure-shot winner, but just as fun were the BTS videos of the team quiz session or the RCB game room. It’s the sort of access fans crave.
Mr. Nags has never been more popular than this season, and we’re sure everyone’s seen the tweet that’s gone around which ranks RCB among Barcelona, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea in Instagram interactions. They’ve stepped up their social game big time.
2. Delhi Capitals
The times are tough, but Dilli ka Dil toh aaj bhi ek misaal hai na? 💙
Dilliwalon, our local businesses need your support in these testing times. Let’s turn these tears into tears of joy starting tomorrow!
— Delhi Capitals (Tweeting from 🇦🇪) (@DelhiCapitals) October 7, 2020
DC have had a string season so far on the field, but they’ve been even better off it. Their feed has everything from player banter, quirky graphics, fan engagement, and most of all, they know what keeps the fans ticking – the video in which the families of all DC players sent in messages to surprise their erstwhile loved ones went viral.
DC were also quick to spread the word about the struggling dhaba waala in Delhi, who attracted sympathy from the whole nation. They, in short, have got it right in every way this season.
1. Rajasthan Royals
In a complicated relationship with Sharjah. https://t.co/7TwY7AZdhs
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) October 16, 2020
The RR account ticks all the boxes. They’re extremely engaging with the fans, they have a strong GIF game, they banter with the best of them, and they aren’t hesitant to push the barrier. Take for instance how they celebrated their new hero, changing their Twitter bio to “Hoping 2020 does a Tewatia”, attracting nationwide applause, while their interactions with Tinder India made for a laugh riot.
Perhaps their post on National Boss Day, featuring Jos Buttler, takes the cake – it was the talk of the country that afternoon, and the thing is, we’re not quite sure if it was all a mistake yet!
In essence, they have been everything an IPL team account has to be this season. The only question is, can their cricket team now match up the standards of their Twitter team?