Mesmerising Mumbai Indians capitalise over Capitals
The 2020 Indian Premier League finally got underway in September, following postponement and relocation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the third time in its history, T20 cricket’s most exhilarating and resourceful competition took place outside of India.
The United Arab Emirates serves as familiar territory in the IPL, having hosted the opening stages of the tournament in 2014.
Woefully, live audiences were not permitted at this year’s spectacle. Three match venues were situated across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah.
The IPL 2020 auction took place last December in Kolkata, prior to the global pandemic-induced financial crisis.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians acquired the experienced Australian pair of Chris Lynn and Nathan Coulter-Nile for a combined $1,4M.*
Pace bowler Coulter-Nile joined after being released by Royal Challengers Bangalore; Lynn had been released by Kolkata Knight Riders.
The most expensive Indian player in the auction was Piyush Chawla, bought by Chennai Super Kings for $950K.
Chennai spent a further $1M on England all-rounder Sam Curran and Australia pace bowler Josh Hazlewood.
Aussie bowler Pat Cummins, 27, became the most expensive overseas player in IPL auction history, as he moved to the Kolkata Knight Riders for $2,2M.
Two-time champions KKR secured the services of England T20 captain Eoin Morgan for $740K, as well as opening batsman Rahul Tripathi and spin bowler Varun Chakravarthy.
English wicketkeeper Tom Banton, 21, also signed for the Kolkata-based side, costing $141K.
Delhi Capitals purchased a significant batch of overseas talent for a joint $2,5M – consisting of West Indies international Shimron Hetmyer, Australians Alex Carey & Marcus Stoinis, Englishmen Jason Roy & Chris Woakes, and South African pace bowler Anrich Nortje.
Former Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravi Ashwin also joined the reinvigorated Capitals outfit.
KXIP, too, signed a host of international stars for an accumulative $3,2M. Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell returned to the Punjab franchise for a second spell, and he was joined by pace bowlers Sheldon Cottrell (West Indies) & Chris Jordan (England), as well as New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham.
Kings XI may well have bagged the biggest bargain of the auction, buying 20-year-old spin bowler Ravi Bishnoi for a mere $280K.
After finishing rock bottom twice in the previous three years, Royal Challengers Bangalore were put on a serious recruitment mission. South African pace bowlers Chris Morris and Dale Steyn joined the Challengers for a combined $1,7M, while Australian duo Aaron Finch & Kane Richardson were also signed for $1,1M.
Experienced Sri Lankan all-rounder Isuru Udana was acquired for just $70K.
Rajasthan Royals purchased Indian batsman Robin Uthappa for $422K after the batsman was released by KKR following a six-year stint. The Royals also bought South African international David Miller and South African-born England international Tom Curran, jointly costing under $250K.
Sunrisers Hyderabad spent $535K on young Indian batsmen Priyam Garg, 19, and Virat Singh, 22.
SRH also paid $280K for Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.
After Marsh picked up an ankle injury in the Sunrisers' opening match, the franchise acquired West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder who had previously gone unsold in the auction.
This IPL season also saw the addition of new sponsorship deals as Indian fantasy sports platform Dream11 gained title sponsorship rights from Chinese tech company VIVO.
Indian online educational tech company Unacademy were also announced as a partner on a three-year agreement.
Five of the eight teams appointed new senior coaching staff and/or personnel ahead of the latest edition of the IPL.
Outgoing KKR head coach Jacques Kallis was succeeded by New Zealand icon Brendon McCullum. Kallis’ assistant Simon Katich was named RCB head coach, effectively replacing Gary Kirsten.
Royal Challengers also appointed a director of cricket operations in Mike Hesson, formerly of KXIP.
Kings XI, themselves, also secured several high-profile appointments. India legend Anil Kumble signed on as both head coach & director of cricket operations.
West Indies record wicket-taker and former captain Courtney Walsh was brought in as bowling coach, while Jonty Rhodes joined as fielding coach.
Rajasthan Royals appointed Andrew McDonald following the departure of predecessor Paddy Upton.
Sunrisers Hyderabad discarded coach Tom Moody and replaced him with ex-England coach Trevor Bayliss; former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was named as Bayliss’ assistant coach.
497 days after last year's Final – in which Mumbai Indians secured a 1-run victory over CSK – the opening match of the 2020 tournament got underway in Abu Dhabi and featured both 2019 finalists.
Out for revenge, the Super Kings claimed a 5-wicket victory over the reigning champions.
Of the 56 league stage matches, there were just 27 successful run chases. Five matches were tied and decided by super over while Match 36 had to be separated by two super overs, after both Kings XI and Mumbai scored 5 runs in their first allotted super over in Dubai.
With one round of fixtures remaining in the league stage, all teams bar CSK were in contention to reach the knockout stages.
Mahela Jayawardene’s Mumbai Indians topped the league standings with 9 wins from their 14 matches; pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah picked up 23 wickets in that span.
In Qualifier 1, Mumbai Indians faced league runners-up Delhi Capitals. Mumbai claimed a 57-run win to book their place in the Final for a sixth time. Bumrah collected another four scalps to steer clear of Delhi's Kagiso Rabada and be in outright possession of the IPL Purple Cap.
Qualifier 2 saw Delhi come up against Sunrisers Hyderabad, who previously saw off RCB in the Eliminator. Shikhar Dhawan scored 78 runs to guide the Capitals to their maiden IPL final in franchise history, and also put himself in serious contention for the IPL Orange Cap ahead of the Final.
Rabada took his wicket tally to 29 wickets and reclaimed the Purple Cap from Bumrah.
The Final in Dubai was a hotly-contested affair between Shreyas Iyer’s Delhi Capitals and the Mumbai Indians, led by Rohit Sharma.
Delhi suffered a major setback as they were down three wickets inside four overs. Iyer & Rishabh Pant steadied the ship as the skipper scored an unbeaten 65 runs, while Pant hit 56 as the Capitals posted 156/7 in their 20 overs.
After six overs, Mumbai scored 61/1 whereas their Delhi counterparts had managed just 41/3 in their opening 36 balls. In his 200th IPL match, captain Rohit achieved his 39th IPL fifty as he smacked 68 runs off 51 deliveries.
Mumbai claimed a 5-wicket victory to record back-to-back triumphs and their fifth IPL success in franchise history.
KL Rahul claimed the Orange Cap for his 670 runs in 14 innings. The KXIP skipper also scored the most runs in an innings with his unbeaten 132 from 69 balls against RCB in Match 6.
South Africa’s own Kagiso Rabada walked away with the Purple Cap, picking up 30 wickets throughout the tournament.
Cricket fans were treated to several rising stars who turned plenty of heads during the latest rendition of the big-hitting competition. RCB opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal, 20, scored 473 runs in just his 2nd IPL season. Padikkal scored the most 50's (five) in the tournament, along with teammate AB de Villiers & Orange Cap winner KL Rahul; the RCB youngster was awarded Emerging Player of the Tournament for his stellar efforts at the crease.
Mumbai batsman Ishan Kishan, 22, hit more maximum sixes (30) than any other player; more than 730 sixes were struck in this year's tournament.
Sunrisers Hyderabad duo Priyam Garg & Abdul Samad, both 19, had reasonable IPL debut seasons. Garg scored 133 runs while Samad notched 111 runs during the series.
KKR bowler Varun Chakravarthy recorded the best bowling figures as he took 5/20 in Match 42 vs Delhi Capitals.
21-year-old Shivam Mavi (also KKR) claimed figures of 2/15 in Kolkata's final league stage match vs Rajasthan Royals.
Franchise Head Coach Captain 2019 2020
CSK Stephen Fleming MS Dhoni Runners-up 7th
DC Ricky Ponting Shreyas Iyer 3rd Winners
KKR Brendon McCullum Eoin Morgan 5th 5th
KXIP Anil Kumble KL Rahul 6th 6th
MI Mahela Jayawardene Rohit Sharma Winners Runners-up
RR Andrew McDonald Steve Smith 7th 8th
RCB Simon Katich Virat Kohli 8th 4th
SRH Trevor Bayliss David Warner 4th 3rd
*Auction prices are estimates