As the IPL approaches the Play Off stage, things are beginning to hot up as the franchises clamber for a place in the top four of the ladder and continued participation in the pursuit of the trophy which concludes in Dubai on November 10th.
The ladder has concertinaed in recent matches as sides like King XI Punjab have rallied after dreadful starts to the competition.
Although statistically, KL Rahul the Kings XI skipper & wicket-keeper is the Orange Cap holder with the most runs in the tournament at 595 at a strike rate of 132 has been a model of consistency throughout supported by Agarwal, Pooran, and recently Chris Gayle it has been the bowling that has seen a sharp performance upsurge which has turned their fortunes and arguably made them the form team in the competition.
Mohammed Shami has now taken twenty wickets in the event only to be topped by current Purple Cap holder Kagiso Rabada of the Delhi Capitals who has twenty-three wickets.
Kings XI have won their last six matches including a nail-biting Super Over victory in match 36 against favorites and current ladder leaders Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians who in recent games have been without their skipper and record scoring, six-hitting champion Rohit Sharma still look the team to beat.
Hopefully, Rohit’s hamstring injury will have healed before the business end of the event begins
Mumbai Indians seam bowling attack of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult has been impressive along with their middle order of the Pandya half brothers and veteran Mumbai stalwart Kieron Pollard who has also captained the side admirably in Rohit’s absence
The top two sides in the completed ladder ( when all franchises have played everyone twice over fourteen matches ) will contest the first Play-Off where the winners will go straight to the final in Dubai and the losers will play the winners of the second Play-Off between the third and fourth in the ladder in a semifinal eliminator.
|Match No.||Date||Match||Time (IST)||Venue|
|57||5/11/2020||Qualifier 1 : League Stage 1 vs League Stage 2||19:30||Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai|
|58||6/11/2020||Eliminator : League Stage 3 vs League Stage 4||19:30||Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi|
|59||8/11/2020||Qualifier 2 : Winner of Eliminator vs Loser of Qualifier 1||19:30||Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi|
|60||10/11/2020||Final : Winner of Qualifier 1 vs Winner of Qualifier 2||19:30||Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai|
This system also used in other cricket franchised events including the Big Bash in Australia which starts on December 3rd helped eradicate the number of dead rubbers as teams still benefit from winning even after mathematically securing a top-four berth.
Obviously, with such a system the sides who contest Play Off Qualifier 1 could also contest each other in the final
After another slow start, Virat Kohli s RCB look to have a serious chance of winning the IPL for the very first time in the competitions thirteen-year history, three times beaten in the final the Royals Challengers seem to have gotten the right balanced bowling attack to dovetail their talented batting line up who can afford to have Australian T20 captain and superstar Aaron Finch on the bench even though the Victorian has been woefully out of form in this event
Once this IPL is completed the global international cricket continues with India touring Australia in November with a four-match test series accompanied by two three-match T20 & ODI series
Meanwhile, England have a white ball tour to South Africa while West Indies tour New Zealand simultaneously over the same period
Even though domestic first-class cricket globally has been limited over the past six months since the pandemic thankfully international cricket will be continued as the sport’s elite move from bio bubble to bio bubble into 2021