In a month’s time, the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will kick-start with Mumbai Indians facing off against Chennai Super Kings in the season opener. This year, IPL promises to be better, bigger and exciting than ever before. With some fine young Indian talents in the domestic circuit, who will gear up to rub shoulders against the world’s best overseas players, will yet again induce greater interest among the cricket fans across the globe.
In the mini IPL auction 2020 held in December 2019, most franchises looked to plug-in certain loopholes by roping in players of their interest. With limited overseas spots available in their squad of 25, each team had a dedicated strategy to bid for utility players. The formation of each squad gives a fair idea of how will the team perform in the upcoming edition of the IPL. Overseas players always form the key for any team especially with their experience that they offer to their franchise.
Based upon reserves of overseas players this season, here’s a look at 3 teams with best overseas players in IPL 2020:
1. Mumbai Indians
Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, Quinton de Kock, Trent Boult, Chris Lynn, Nathan Coulter Nile, Sherfane Rutherford
One of the strongest IPL squads among all the 8 franchises, Mumbai Indians didn’t make a plethora of changes to their IPL squad. With a settled core, Mumbai included a few overseas players who could add value to their original squad. Ahead of the auction, they traded a few of their players to include Boult, Rutherford in their squad.
It was a wise decision from the franchise to add variety to their fast bowling attack. Mumbai made an opening bid for Lynn and were fortunate to get the opener for a decent price in the auction. Lynn might partner de Kock as an explosive due at the top of the order. In Pollard, Mumbai boast of one of their key members in the squad.
2. Kolkata Knight Riders
Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Tom Banton, Sunil Narine, Chris Green, Harry Gurney, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins
One of the strongest looking squad this season, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) did exceedingly well in making some smart moves at the IPL auction. KKR made the most expensive bid of the IPL auction 2020 by including Pat Cummins for a hefty auction price of INR 15.5 Crores. The franchise has almost all bases covered if their overseas players are concerned for IPL 2020. In Andre Russell, KKR have a run-away match-winner who can deliver both with bat and ball.
The inclusion of Morgan was a good snap for the franchise. Morgan will provide power to their middle-order and can even don the finisher’s role. The likes of Gurney and Ferguson will be a useful aid to Cummins in the fast bowling department while Green will be a back-up to Narine in the spin department.
3. Kings XI Punjab
Chris Gayle, Hardus Viljoen, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Nicolas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Sheldon Cottrell
Kings XI Punjab was one of the busiest franchise at the auction table in IPL auction 2020, After releasing a chunk of their players, KXIP included some quality T20 specialists to boost their IPL squad ahead of the upcoming season. Punjab preferred to bank upon overseas players who can play the multi-utility role for the franchise. Glenn Maxwell, who was in terrific form in the BBL 09, was a major addition to the KXIP squad.
The likes of Neesham, Jordan, and Viljoen will shoulder the all-rounders’ duties for the team. Pooran, being an explosive middle-order batsman can decimate bowling attacks in the middle-overs. While Gayle will open the innings for Punjab, Cottrell might be seen taking the new and the old ball.