Indian Premier League

IPL 2020 Exclusive: Rating the Strongest Playing 11 of each Team

Mumbai Indians have the strongest playing 11 rating among all the teams for IPL 2020.

With the IPL 2020 Auction done and dusted, every team is now ready with their potent squad that is going to compete in IPL 2020. While the squad of each team looks great when it comes to playing the strongest 11, it is important to do a relative comparison to identify the gaps. 

That is the focus of this unique article where we would be comparing the teams, basis their strongest playing 11. We would be judging them in 5 defined categories- openers, middle-order, all-rounders, spinners, and pacers.

Please note, the ratings are defined basis the IPL benchmark players for each category. The players are selected basis their last three IPLs performance, and their current International form.  

  • Opener: David Warner
  • Middle-order: Virat Kohli
  • All-rounder: Hardik Pandya and Andre Russell
  • Spinner: Rashid Khan
  • Pacer: Jasprit Bumrah

Alright then, let’s do a rating comparison of the strongest playing 11 of all the teams for IPL 2020. 

#8: Rajasthan Royals – 8.14

If we look at the strongest Rajasthan Royals squad for IPL 2020 closely, their strongest playing 11 contain 9 players that have already played for them in IPL 2019. They left out Ajinkya Rahane and K Gowtham, and got Robin Uthappa and Mayank Markhande instead. So, to be honest, RR’s IPL 2019 playing 11 was more potent than the IPL 2020 playing 11. 

Robin Uthappa seems like a like-for-like replacement of Ajinkya Rahane, which makes us wonder why did they let got Rahane? Their lower middle-order looks thin with responsibilities shared between Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, and Mahipal Lomrar. No doubt about the potential of the two youngsters, but there is a lack of experience there. 

The spin department looks good with two leggies, Shreyas Gopal and Mayank Markhande. The quicks are good too in the form of Jofra Archer and Jaydev Unadkat. So, overall, the squad looks good with some amount of inexperience in there. 

Rajasthan Royals (RR) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:

Jos Buttler (WK), Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson, Steve Smith (C), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomrar, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Mayank Markhande, and Jaydev Unadkat. 

#7: Kolkata Knight Riders – 8.27

Kolkata Knight Riders let go, Chris Lynn, Piyush Chawla, and Robin Uthappa from their IPL 2019 playing 11. They instead got Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakravarthy, and Rahul Tripathi for IPL 2020.

While Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi are like-for-like replacements for Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa respectively, Varun Chakravarthy kind of brings inexperience to the table with Piyush Chawla missing the action. 

If they play Sunil Narine at the top, which they definitely should, then their top 7 looks amazing with a good mix of youth and experience. Also, with Pat Cummins coming in, the bowling department looks a touch better than that of IPL 2019, which had an inexperienced pace battery.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:

Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin  Morgan, Dinesh Karthik (C&WK), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, and Prasidh Krishna.

#6: Kings XI Punjab – 8.36

With a completely revamped leadership team, Kings XI Punjab would begin their campaign for IPL 2020. In KL Rahul, KXIP have got a mature leader, who can bring fresh ideas and calmness to the team. 

Also, not just the leadership, KXIP seem to have revamped their team too. They have 4 new players coming in the playing 11 as compared to IPL 2019. This list includes Glenn Maxwell, K Gowtham, Ishan Porel, and Sheldon Cottrell. 

Looking at the squad, it looks quite good with the only point where they take a hit is their pace bowling. While they have really good overseas pacers, they don’t have good Indian backup pacers for Mohammed Shami.

Currently, Ishan Porel seems like the best bet for Kings XI Punjab when it comes to playing a second pacer, and this is a gap which they would have to look into for IPL 2020. 

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:

KL Rahul (C&WK), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Porel, Sheldon Cottrell, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. 

KL Rahul would Captain the KXIP's side for IPL 2020 | Image Source: BCCI
KL Rahul would Captain the KXIP’s side for IPL 2020 | Image Source: BCCI

#5: Sunrisers Hyderabad – 8.41

The entire focus of Sunrisers Hyderabad for IPL 2020 Auction was to purchase as many young talents as possible. While it is a brilliant long term strategy, how good it will turn out for IPL 2020 is something questionable. 

Also, there is no one who can be called a proper all-rounder. The likes of Vijay Shankar and Abhishek Sharma are more of make-shift all-rounders. Of course, there is Mohammad Nabi, but the overseas restrictions mean he would not get enough matches. 

Nevertheless, this SRH squad still look strong with the batting trio of David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, and Kane Williamson taking the limelight. The evolved Manish Pandey alongside Indian pacers and the world’s best spinner, Rashid Khan makes them a potent squad once again. 

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:

David Warner, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Priyam Garg, Kane Williamson (C), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, and Khaleel Ahmed. 

#4: Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8.45

Having retained the least number of players ahead of the IPL 2020 Auction, RCB’s strategy looked baffling in the auction. While the purchase Aaron Finch and Chris Morris seem logical, they letting go of Alex Carey (WK) and Chris Jordan was surprising. 

Looking from the outset, RCB have focused a lot on all-rounders – so much so that they currently have only 3 bankable batsmen in the line-up in the form of Virat Kohli, Ab De Villiers, and Aaron Finch. Hence, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, and Sundar would have to contribute a lot as a batsman too.

I somehow also hope they get Devdutt Padikkal in the playing 11 as soon as possible. The lad has been in terrific form in domestic competitions, and is a treat to watch. However, the only way that is possible is to either play him or Aaron Finch at 5.

Nevertheless, RCB’s strength this time around is their bowling with as many as 7 options available for Virat Kohli. This should somewhat make the fans happy as RCB have predominantly been batsmen centered team. I can see their fans echoing “Ee Sala Cup Namde” this year too. 

Royal  Challengers Bangalore (RCB) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:

Aaron Finch, Parthiv Patel (WK), Virat Kohli (C), Ab De Villiers, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, and Yuzvendra Chahal. 

#3: Chennai Super Kings – 8.68

Chennai Super Kings had their core already intact for IPL 2020. Their focus on IPL 2020 Auction was to ramp-up backups, and they did a pretty good job with that. The acquisition of Piyush Chawla, Josh Hazlewood, and Sam Curran gives them important backups and situational playing 11s. 

Overall, CSK’s strongest playing 11 looks quite similar to their IPL 2018 & 2019 playing 11 with Piyush Chawla being the only addition. The inclusion of Piyush Chawla for Imran Tahir gives CSK a luxury to play 2 overseas pacers or 2 solid overseas openers. 

While you can see experience and a potential match-winner in each of their players, it is the lack of x-factor that may cause a hurdle. Moreover, it would be important to see how Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav contribute in IPL 2020.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:

Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, and Lungi Ngidi. 

#2: Delhi Capitals – 8.73

Delhi Capitals did a wonderful job at the IPL 2020 Auction by acquiring some key players. The inclusion of Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, and Ravichandran Ashwin gives a fresh look to Delhi Capitals. 

With new players coming in, Delhi Capitals have so much luxury that they can play 6 proper Indian Batsmen in the line-up with Ajinkya Rahane playing at 3. However, the addition of Hetmyer makes things slightly tricky, and it is best to leave out Rahane to play Hetmyer in order to strengthen the lower middle-order. 

In IPL 2019, Delhi Capitals struggled somewhat with the lack of good all-rounders and backups. But, the addition of Marcus Stoinis, Chris Woakes, Ashwin to already present Keemo Paul gives solid batting depth to Delhi Capitals. 

The bowling of Delhi Capitals looks solid too with Kagiso Rabada leading the pace department alongside Chris Woakes and Marcus Stoinis. Ravichandran Ashwin would lead the spin department alongside Axar Patel and Amit Mishra.

Watch out for Delhi Capitals. This is the team that can certainly make it to the top 4 alongside CSK and MI. 

Delhi Capitals (DC) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:

Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (C), Shimron Hetmyer, Rishabh Pant (Wk), Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Chris Woakes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, and Kagiso Rabada.

#1: Mumbai Indians – 8.95

Probably the best playing 11 among all teams, the 2019 champions, Mumbai Indians didn’t have much work to do at the auction as their strongest playing 11 was already defined well before the auction when they traded Trent Boult and Sherfane Rutherford. 

Looking at the current line-up, Mumbai Indians also have so much luxury that they can even think of leaving out Ishan Kishan and Lasith Malinga to strengthen their batting by playing Chris Lynn and Dhawal Kulkarni instead.

However, to have a well-balanced squad, it is better Mumbai Indians play a strong bowling unit. The addition of Trent Boult to already present Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga make them the best pace bowling attack of the Tournament. 

Mumbai Indians (MI) strongest predicted playing 11 for IPL 2020:

Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton De Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, and Lasith Malinga.

So, that’s how the rating of all the teams stand when it comes to rating of the strongest playing 11 for IPL 2020.

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ALSO READ: IPL 2020: Auction Buys and Complete Squad list of all Teams

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