IPL 2020: Performance of 5 players you should not miss

Renin Wilben Albert Updated: 31 August, 2020, 12:55 PM IST

The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to get underway from September 19 to November 10. The tournament will be different this time as the players and all those involved with the event will be in a bio-secure bubble, with various restrictions in place owing to the spread of COVID-19 across the globe. The huge crowds synonymous with IPL will also be missing, and fans will have to follow their favorite stars and franchises from the TV set or via online streaming. As the start of the tournament gets closer, here's a lowdown on five players to watch out for.

1. Yashasvi Jaiswal (Rajasthan Royals)

Picked up by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 2.4 crore at the auction, 18-year-old teen sensation Yashasvi Jaiswal was the leading run-scorer for India in the U19 World Cup held earlier this year. In six matches, he hit exactly 400 runs at an average of 133.33, including a fluent 88 in the final that India lost. He ended the World Cup with four fifties and a hundred. Even before the U19 World Cup began, Jaiswal had made his name as a future rockstar. He has to his name the record of being the youngest batsman to slam a List A double hundred. Jaiswal smashed 203 from 154 balls for Mumbai against Jharkhand to claim the record. Following the fine start to his List A career, 779 runs in 13 matches averaging 70.81, he will now be keen to leave his mark in the IPL.

2. Tom Banton (Kolkata Knight Riders)

It has been a while since England's dashing batsman Tom Banton has been making waves on the T20 circuit. The 21-year-old first came to prominence in 2019 when he smashed 454 runs in Somerset's victorious One-Day Cup campaign. His scores in the knockout games were 112, 59 and 69. Further, in the Vitality Blast, he blasted a rich 549 runs. This included a century off only 52 balls against Kent. Later, he also impressed in the Big Bash League with 223 runs from seven games for Brisbane Heat at a strike rate of 176.98. Rather surprisingly, he was picked up at his base price of Rs 1 crore by KKR. He is looking forward to playing alongside some of the legends of the game."I am particularly excited to play alongside Andre Russell and Pat Cummins," Banton told kkr.in

3. Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Australia's number one bowler in Test cricket, Pat Cummins was purchased by KKR for a record Rs 15.5 crore. With his fiery pace and wicket-taking ability, Cummins can prove to be a major asset for Kolkata. Rather intriguingly, KKR picked the Aussie pacer on the back of his phenomenal year in Test cricket in 2019. Cummins finished the year with 59 wickets in 12 Tests at an average of just over 20. In fact, he ended 2019 one short of hundred international wickets. His overall T20 stats though prove he is a match-winner across formats -- 96 wickets in 80 games at a strike rate of under 19. His addition will certainly boost the chances of Kolkata Knight Riders to receive better odds on the top betting apps. With his great statistics, most of the betting sites will take that into consideration when they’ll conduct their odds.

4. Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians)

One of the biggest pre-auction shockers was KKR releasing their dangerous big-hitter Chris Lynn. The 30-year-old responded by smashing the record for the highest individual score in T10 cricket, blasting his way to 91 from 30 balls for Maratha Arabians against Team Abu Dhabi the Abu Dhabi T10 League. Lynn is a batting star in no uncertain terms, having scored well over 400 runs for KKR in the last two editions of the IPL at a strike rate of over 130. Not surprisingly, he was snapped up by Mumbai Indians for his base price of Rs 2 crore. In his exclusive interview with the official website of the IPL, Dinesh Karthik, the skipper of his previous franchise, spoke about his exit from the two-time champion side. According to him, they had to let go of Chris Lynn with a heavy heart.

5. Shimron Hetmyer (Delhi Capitals)

One of West Indies' finest upcoming talents, Shimron Hetmyer is yet to display the consistency that would earmark him as an extremely dangerous batsman. However, on the infrequent occasions that he has shone, he has looked a class act. His bold stroke-making has the typical Caribbean touch. Hetmyer has kicked off CPL 2020 in awesome fashion, with 134 runs in two games for Guyana Amazon Warriors at a strike rate of 152.27. Following the stunning hundred against India in the Chennai ODI last year, he was picked by Delhi Capitals for an impressive Rs 7.75 crore.

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IPL 2020: I started crying after Brendon McCullum announced that I’ll be playing for KKR, says Ali Khan

Vedant Yadav Updated: 21 September, 2020, 8:29 PM IST

Days before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, Ali Khan's dream of playing in the cash-lucrative league got fulfilled.

The American pace sensation was roped in by the Kolkata Knight Riders as the direct replacement of bowler Harry Gurney.

Ali's surprise selection came after impressing during the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season, where he plied his trade for the Trinbago Knight Riders. He picked up eight wickets from eight matches with and an economy of 7.43.

Ali has won two of the last three CPL editions and he will be the first player to play in the IPL.

Acording to reports, Ali was also in KKR's radar, last year, after his solid performances in the 2018 Global T20 Canada with the Winnipeg Hawks. He was initially scouted by Windies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.

Just before their semi-final game against the Jamaica Tallawahs, the TKR squad had gathered for a team dinner when Khan came to know about the start of his journey with the Kolkata franchise.

“As soon as everyone sat in their seats, [Knight Riders coach] Brendon McCullum welcomed everyone to dinner and then he said, ‘A man from the USA will be joining us in Kolkata Knight Riders. I want to take this opportunity to announce that…’,” said Khan as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

Ali said that he started crying when Brendon made the announcement. He also revealed that the KKR coach gave him a big hug and said: "You deserve it".

IPL 2020: RR skipper Steve Smith available for selection after clearing concussion tests

Vedant Yadav Updated: 21 September, 2020, 7:44 PM IST

Ahead of their opening fixture against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals' skipper Steve Smith has been declared fit to play, having passed his concussion tests.

Smith has missed three ODIs against England in the UK due to a concussion issue, and there were doubts whether he will be fit to feature in Royals’ season opener.

Andrew McDonald, RR's head coach, confirmed that Smith is available for selection against CSK.

“Fantastic news that Steve is available. It’s fantastic especially on the back of some setbacks back in the UK. It’s obviously great to have your skipper available for the first game as I’ve said before we are in really good hands. In terms of the rest of the squad, we couldn’t be happier with their preparation. We have got what we needed, having been here nice and early to get our preparation going on the back of the long lay-off,” McDonald said in a RR's virtual press release

“We have got the bases covered and have some really good depth in the squad and really looking forward to seeing what it looks like in a real competitive match against CSK. They had a fantastic first game, they’re one game into the tournament which is a slight advantage when you come out against the team that’s already played and performed. So, we’ll definitely have our work cut out and really looking forward to what our guys can bring to the table and we’re really excited about what the journey presents,” he added.

Smith, meanwhile, revealed that he is eager to get back to action, having missed the ODI series against England.

The 31-year-old, Smith, is one of the four main overseas players in the team alongside English trio of Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.

Jofra is expected to be in the playing XI while both are Buttler and Stokes will play no part in the game. Buttler is serving a 6-day quarantine period with his family while Stokes has not yet arrived in UAE.

IPL 2020: Jimmy Neesham reacts hilariously after losing yet another super-over

Vedant Yadav Updated: 21 September, 2020, 7:10 PM IST

The Indian Premier League 2020 campaign finally went up and running after Delhi Capitals won a thrilling Super over against the KXIP on Sunday.

After being put out to bat first, DC suffered a massive top-order collapse, only for Marcus Stoinis to save the blushes with a match-deciding half-century.

In their reply, KXIP's openers couldn't better their counterparts but Mayank Agarwal's knock of 89 turned the game in their favour. However, the match forced to Super over after KXIP failed to score 12 runs in the final over.

In the super-over, DC's Kagiso Rabada showcased his class and restricted KXIP to a meagre 3-run target. DC achieved the target with four balls to spare.

However, KXIP's Kiwi all-rounder, Jimmy Neesham, couldn't believe that his team lost the Super over and posted a funny reaction on Twitter. Neesham is very famous for his social media banter.

Interestingly, Neesham was part of New Zealand's team which lost the 2019 World Cup final to England, which went all the way through to the Super over.

The BlackCaps haven’t been lucky, especially in Super Overs. They had also lost two back-to-back T20I's against India in the tie-breaker earlier in 2020.

Neesham posted a gif of famous American comedian/actor, Jim Carey, to express his feelings after losing the Super over. “Oh come on!” said Carey in the gif.

In their second match, Punjab will lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore on September 24.

IPL 2020: A loss for India for not selecting Ambati Rayudu for World Cup, says Shane Watson

Vedant Yadav Updated: 21 September, 2020, 6:17 PM IST

Ambati Rayudu was at his ruthless best as Chennai Super Kings outclassed Mumbai Indians on the opening day of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

He smashed 71 runs off just 48 balls, which proved substantial to guide his team to a famous win over their eternal rivals.

Rayudu knock was heavily appreciated by fans, who flooded the social media with memes targeting former BCCI selector MSK Prasad, who ignored the former during last year's World Cup squad selection.

Former Australian cricketer and Rayudu's current CSK teammate, Shane Watson, believes that Indian selection panel made a big mistake by not picking Rayudu in the World Cup held last year.

“He an incredibly talented batsman and I think so it was a loss for the Indian ODI team for not picking him in the World Cup squad,” Watson said in a YouTube show named The Debrief.

“He batted incredibly well with scoring options all over the ground,” the Aussie veteran added.

Rayudu was expected to take the crucial number 4 spot, but MSK Prasad decided to pick all-rounder Vijay Shankar, describing the latter as a 'three-dimensional player'.

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra posted a cryptic tweet to MSK Prasad, following Rayudu's match-winning knock on Saturday.

"Might not be a 3D player but still fairly efficient at the one dimension he has....top knock Ambati Rayudu," Chopra tweeted.

Kane Williamson should sit out in SRH’s IPL 2020 opener against RCB - Scott Styris

Garima Kotroo Updated: 21 September, 2020, 6:13 PM IST

As the Sunrisers Hyderabad are ready to face Royal Challengers Bangalore in the third match of the Indian Premier League 2020 in Dubai, fans are curious to know what will be the team combination of the David Warner-led side. SRH have plenty of quality batsmen in their ranks.

While David Warner and Rashid Khan will definitely be seen in action against RCB, the choice becomes difficult when it comes to in-form Jonny Bairstow and experienced player Kane Williamson or Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi.

Shedding light of SRH’s best possible team combination, former New Zealand all-rounder, Scott Styris said that the former SRH skipper, Williamson should warm the bench in the upcoming clash against Virat Kohli-led side. Explaining the reason behind his bold statement, the Kiwi great highlighted that Bairstow was in a blistering touch in the 2019 IPL and his opening partnerships with 33-year-old Australian stalwart gave SRH flying starts in several matches.

Afghanistan duo Rashid and Nabi will add more balance to the side

Speaking on Star Sports’ show Game Plan, Styris said, “Kane Williamson sits out, I know he is the orange cap holder. But I just think with the balance of that side, they have got a proven match-winner, David Warner. Bairstow’s performance last year and the relationship he has with Warner at the top. They just seem to gel and sink nicely.”

"Nabi is certainly in my eyes and so is Rashid. So, out of that group, unfortunately, Kane Williamson sits out,” the 45-year-old added.