While the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been dominated by only a few teams over the past decade, the gladiators of the arena have been cycled and recycled regularly. Hence, although a new era of Indian cricketers is ready to rule the world’s biggest T20 stage, they will have veterans impeding their way to sit in the pantheon of all-time IPL greats.
Here is a look at the top Indian cricketers who we predict will impress all in IPL 2020.
RISHABH PANT (Delhi Capitals)
Rishabh Pant has arrived at the IPL 2020 at the back of topsy-turvy stint with the national team, where the wicketkeeper-batsman averaged less than 30 in ODIs and T20Is before losing his place to fellow Indian cricketer KL Rahul in India’s white-ball team. However, the southpaw knows where to seek his redemption and he is exactly there – the Indian Premier League. Breaking into the first team in 2016, Rishabh Pant has been one of the biggest Indian stars to come out of IPL.
Pant started wielding his willow with more flair in 2017, where he tallied 366 runs in 14 matches. He followed it up with his most successful IPL season in 2018, where the Delhi-lad garnered a whopping 684 runs with an average of 52.61. Pant displayed consistency last season as well, where the Indian cricketer amassed 488 runs to take his IPL career tally to 1769 runs. Having 11 fifties and a century in IPL so far, the 22-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in the tournament. With the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup further adding extra motivation to his cause, Pant is expected to outshine many Indian cricketers in IPL 2020.
KL RAHUL (Kings XI Punjab)
Not known for his wicket-keeping wit or game reading abilities, like his predecessor behind the stump, KL Rahul is still India’s first choice in that position because of his batting prowess. With an envying blend of flamboyance and consistency in his batting, KL Rahul is one of the most exciting Indian cricketers of the new generation and IPL takes huge credit for it.
After two unnoticeable seasons in 2014 and 2015, KL Rahul came of age in 2016 with Royal Challengers Bangalore. He had scored 397 runs with an average of 44.11 as an opener and his threat was gradually coming to the fore. KL Rahul’s best IPL season was in 2018 after a shoulder injury forced him to miss the 2017 edition. He had garnered 659 runs with an average of 54. 91 in 2018, which included six half-centuries. He extended his consistency in 2019 as well where he tallied 593 runs.
Captaining Kings XI Punjab now, the opener remains their biggest hope if they are to achieve anything exceptional this season.
AMBATI RAYUDU (Chennai Super Kings)
One of the veterans of the game, Ambati Rayudu has been lingering on the domestic and international circuit for over a decade now. Though his career in India’s blue shirt has been forgettable, to put it mildly, Rayudu boasts of an impressive IPL career that easily places him among the legends of the tournament.
Rayudu has played 148 IPL matches so far, amassing 3371 runs with an average of 29.06, which includes one century and 19 fifties. However, the top-order batsman has shown a renewed vigour in the Chennai shirt, which also saw his best IPL season in 2018. He has already signalled his intent in CSK’s IPL 2020 opener against Mumbai Indians and MS Dhoni will be happy to have a contender for the Orange Cap in the top-order batsman.
JASPRIT BUMRAH (Mumbai Indians)
From a good find by Mumbai Indians’ scout team to becoming India’s best fast bowler, Jasprit Bumrah’s journey has been that of an astronaut’s. Born a talented bowler, Jasprit Bumrah has worked on his art extremely hard and it reflects in his progress in IPL over the years.
After experimenting with his ability to check runs in IPL back in 2014, Bumrah had gotten his full-fledged start in 2016, where he went on to take 15 wickets. The figures were impressive enough to land him a national call-up and the Ahmedabad bowler hasn’t looked back.
Over the years, Bumrah has become Mumbai’s strike bowler and he has been performing his duty with utmost consistency. He has claimed 83 wickets in 78 matches in a format that favours the batsmen almost criminally. Bumrah remains one of the Indian cricketers to watch out for in IPL 2020.
DEEPAK CHAHAR (Chennai Super Kings)
The Rajasthan fast bowler has gradually turned into a seasoned IPL player and given how much the three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) now rely on him, both with bat and ball, Deepak Chahar is quite a find.
Despite his international career getting stunted by a series of injuries, the bowling all-rounder holds the best-ever figures in T20Is. Apart from star IPL bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav, Deepak Chahar is unlikely to face any major competition in IPL 2020.
After a decent outing in 2018, where Deepak Chahar took 10 wickets to turn few heads, his graph saw a steep rise. The 2019 IPL season saw Deepak Chahar taking a whopping 22 wickets in 17 matches as CSK reached the final. With India looking at bowling combinations ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup next year, Deepak Chahar’s IPL 2020 display will play a huge impact.
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