The start of the 2020 IPL has been delayed until April 15 at the earliest. But it has not been cancelled and the cricketing world remains hopeful that the thirteenth edition of India’s biggest domestic cricket carnival with take place this year.
May it be gigantic consignments out of the park or may it be the crunching obliteration of the stumps, or even gravity-defying catches, the Indian throng will laugh, cry, scream and even silently bow down in agony for the duration of the tournament.
With new faces raking up the expectations of the franchise, experienced campaigners are still set to play a massive part in this enthralling contest between bat and ball.
They say that this game is the batsmen’s favourite and to honour devastation from the wooden blade, the IPL came up with the idea of the Orange Cap. The player with the highest number of runs will be capped with this prestigious award at the end of every edition of the fray.
Australian Shaun Marsh won the maiden Orange Cap after making a magical appearance from the middle of the league. Ahead of the 2020 tournament, we take a look at the three biggest contenders for this award:
#1 David Warner:
Predominant amongst previous winners of the Orange Cap are Australian openers.
Out of twelve editions, Australian openers have gone on to clinch this award a staggering five times and on three of those five occasions, David Warner has walked away with the bragging rights.
Leading the charge for the Orange army, Warner will once again be the favourite to win the Orange Cap.
Having already smashed two emphatic half-centuries out of three T-20 games in 2020, Warner will step into the Indian extravaganza with bubbling confidence.
His last tally in the IPL read 692 runs from 12 games, averaging almost 60. With Hyderabad still to zero in on a fine opener, Warner will take the field to prove a point after his return to the game.
To add to his remarkable statistics, Warner has also notched up a century in the new calendar year, though that came in the elder sibling of T-20, preferably known as ODI.
Warner will almost certainly be a massive name to lead the charge.
#2 Virat Kohli:
At times cricket can be a very cruel game. Even the best has bitten the dust in the most awful ways one can envisage.
Take Virat Kohli, for example, who had a distinctly underwhelming season in the last IPL, managing just 464 runs at a disjointed average of 33, way below par for a prolific batsman who has smashed 70 centuries in his cricketing career.
However, Kohli is widely touted as one of the best batsmen in the world at the moment and is acing the ICC rankings in the ODI batting chart. When it comes to T20, Kohli has dropped down to 10th position but he still ranks amongst the world’s top batsmen.
After Bengaluru finished rock bottom in the last IPL, Kohli will have a pivotal role thrust upon him to turn their fortunes around. It won’t be easy though as 2020 really hasn’t been the run-machine’s year. With a highest score of 89 in all formats of the game so far, Kohli is still to hit the heights.
But one thing that can always be said for Virat Kohli is that he has an incredible ability to stage heroic comebacks. Classic cover drives, blistering sixes, ingenious sweeps, vintage straight drives, you ask for anything, Kohli will deliver it all. So wide is his repertoire that he can even flip around the best of deliveries for the optimum results. Labelled a bowlers’ nightmare, King Kohli will eye this edition of the tournament as a chance to come back strongly and answer his critics in the most emphatic fashion.
#3 KL Rahul:
Probably the most exotic name of this chart is that of Lokesh Rahul. Plying his trade for Kings XI Punjab, Rahul is a highly instrumental player who can single-handedly change the complexion of the game. Known for his dynamic approach, Rahul’s chance to ace the list is even more prominent as he opens the batting for Punjab.
Already in fine form in 2020 in all formats of the game, Rahul played a pivotal role in leading India’s whitewash of New Zealand.
With staggering figures of 657 and 593 runs in the last couple of seasons, exposure to international caps has given him an even broader spectrum to carefully handpick his shots from.
Though Rahul is not an illustrious finisher, his lightning fast knocks laced with phenomenal consistency make him a strong contender for this award.
With a century and a couple of half-centuries already to his name in the ongoing calendar year, Rahul will take to the pitch, aspiring to be the Orange Cap holder after missing it by whiskers in the last two years.
A few notable mentions would include Kane Williamson, Andre Russell, Rohit Sharma and definitely Abraham Benjamin Devilliers.
Once the new start date is confirmed, ComeOn will have numerous betting markets for the IPL, including the Orange Cap winner.