After a lot of effort from all stakeholders, the thirteenth edition of the IPL is all set to begin on 19 September. Most players will be available for the season, except a few who have pulled out due to injury or personal reasons. As we get ready for the exciting season to get underway, we look at how each team’s batsmen have performed in the last couple of years:
Chennai Super Kings:
- Shane Watson leads the chart in terms of total runs, thanks to a scintillating 2018 season. He also has the highest strike rate and best boundary hitting frequency among batsmen having scored a minimum of 100 runs.
- MS Dhoni, despite batting mostly at 4 or below has the highest Runs per Innings. He scores more than 32 runs per innings on an average, followed by Faf du Plessis (31).
- Kedar Jadhav, except that one innings in 2018 against Mumbai Indians, has been below par for CSK. With Raina not available for this season, Kedar’s form will be crucial for CSK’s middle-order batting.
- David Warner, Kane Williamson, and Jonny Bairstow stand out from the rest of the lineup in all aspects. Williamson, the Orange Cap holder in 2018, was overshadowed by Warner and Bairstow’s outstanding season in 2019.
- Warner’s average of 57.67 runs per innings is the most for any batsman in the league in the last two seasons. In addition to that, he has scored those runs at a strike rate of 143.87.
- Manish Pandey, after having a below-par season in 2018, was back to his best when promoted to number 3 in 2019. While he has to improve a bit in terms of strike rate and boundary frequency, one can expect him to play the anchor’s role and bat out the middle overs without any casualty.
Kings Xi Punjab:
- KL Rahul has been a class apart in the last two editions, not only for KXIP but among all teams. While he played with his naturally aggressive style in 2018, the 2019 edition saw him looking to bat through the innings. Along with most runs, Rahul has the most runs per innings, and fourth-best balls per boundary.
- The sorry state of affairs is that nobody except Gayle and Rahul has stood up to the occasion. However, expectations will be huge from Pooran, who played well in the limited opportunities last season, and Maxwell, who is returning to his more favored venue.
- Rishabh Pant has set the stage on fire in the last two editions. Scoring nearly 40 runs per innings on an average at a strike rate of 168.88 (one of the highest in the tournament), Pant has been a sensation for Delhi. the match-winner will be expected to continue his terrific run and his performance holds the key to Delhi’s fortunes.
- The likes of Iyer and Dhawan have done reasonably well, with Prithvi Shaw rising up to the occasion at times. They will need all 4 of them to fire this season as the batting below Pant looks a little vulnerable.
- Whether they use Rahane at the top will be interesting to watch, given he has been more consistent and can play the role of an anchor on the slow and low pitches in UAE.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
- Andre Russell in 2019 was a different beast altogether, winning games from KKR from where only he can. His strike rate of 196.67 is the highest among all batsmen since 2018. Russell the finisher is what makes KKR such a successful chasing side.
- Narine at the top order providing nearly 201 runs per innings at a strike rate of 182.48 is a huge plus for KKR. Along with him, Nitish Rana has been fabulous and skipper Karthik also led them from the front with the bat.
- Morgan will be a key addition this season. With Lynn not in the side, Gill is certain to play at the top and Morgan will hold the key in the middle order.
- Jos Buttler, who started in the middle order in 2018, has not looked back once sent out to open the innings. Scoring more than 40 runs per innings at a strike rate in excess of 150, Buttler has been their biggest match-winner.
- Samson and Smith have been decent too, with both of them scoring more than 30 runs per innings. Smith has the scope of improving his strike rate though.
- Riyan Parag was a revelation last season and the Royals will expect much more from the youngster this season with increased experience.
- The defending champions do not have a batsman who can be regarded among the best in the last two years, but they have a bunch of players who have contributed well enough as a team on a consistent basis.
- Suryakumar and Quinton at the top, Hardik, Krunal and Krunal at the death have been terrific in their roles. Lynn’s addition only adds to the firepower.
- Rohit’s form is clearly a cause of concern, but they have the team to more than makeup for it.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
- As expected, Kohli and ABD lead the batting charts with no one else even close. One thing to note is that even the likes of Kohli and ABD have not been at their best in the last two seasons, as none of them have crossed the 1000-run mark in the two seasons combined.
- The biggest worry will be the runs per innings, none of them has an average of more than 30 runs per innings, and barring Kohli, ABD and Gurkeerat, nobody has more than 20. This shows how terrible they have been with the bat, They will certainly need more consistency from all their batsmen.
- Finch at the top is a good addition, and Moeen in middle overs is expected to negate the wrist spinners. Both of them will be crucial in terms of taking the burden of the two stalwarts Kohli and de Villiers.
The more successful teams like Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals have a better team effort. Sunrisers Hyderabad have been an exception in this aspect, being over-reliant on a few guys but still very much successful. The likes of Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore certainly need other batsmen to support the main players better.