The 2020 IPL is just a few days away and the betting action on IPL games has spiked at most online sportsbooks. The opening match of the 2020 IPL will take place on September 19, when the defending champions Mumbai Indians take on their arch-rivals in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Bookmakers have the Mumbai Indians as the favorites with odds of 1.72 while CSK have odds of 2.10. We take a look at both squads and give you our views on who we think is going to win.
Mumbai Indians – Rich In Talent
The defending champions not only go in as the favorites to win their opening game against CSK but are also betting favorites to win another IPL Championship in 2020. One of the reasons why the Mumbai Indians have been so dominant has been due to the astute leadership of captain Rohit Sharma.
Sharma has the respect of the entire Mumbai Indians squad because he has led them to multiple IPL championships and has lived up to his reputation of being one of the most feared T20 batsmen in the world. Rohit Sharma has a squad that is packed with talent and it will be up to the Mumbai Indians to get their playing XI right from the start as it will help them start things on a winning note.
Openers: Rohit Sharma opens the batting for India when they play T20 cricket but he will not open for the Mumbai Indians. This is because they have a dynamic pair in Quinton de Kock and Chris Lynn who are two of the most destructive players when on song.
All-Rounders: One of the reasons why the Mumbai Indians have been so dominant is because they have three very good all-rounders. The brothers Hardik and Krunal Pandya have been a mainstay along with Kieron Pollard. These three provide a lot of depth to the batting order and can also bowl their full quota of overs.
Bowlers: Trent Boult and J Bumrah will lead the attack while Dhawal Kulkarni and Rahul Chahar will look to keep things tight. In the absence of L Malinga, the Mumbai Indians have brought in Aussie fast bowler James Pattison.
Chennai Super Kings – Weak On Paper
CSK have faced a few issues in the lead up to IPL 2020 and their performance against the Mumbai Indians will reveal if they have sorted things out or are still battling issues behind the scenes. They will be without the services of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh who have withdrawn themselves.
CSK has done well in the IPL because they have followed a formula of keeping their core team together under the leadership of MS Dhoni. This formula has worked well for them in the past but given the fact that a number of their players are now past their prime, we will have to wait and see if CSK is still a force to be reckoned with.
Overseas Players: CSK has generally gone with Shane Watson, Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir and Faf du Plessis as their four main overseas players. All four players are clearly past their prime and it will be interesting to see if MS Dhoni backs them for the opening game or will use fresh overseas talent in the form of Sam Curran, M Santner, Lungi Ngidi and Josh Hazelwood.
Domestic Players: The experienced domestic players that CSK now has are also players that have either retired from international cricket or have been dropped by the selectors because they are past their prime. Dhoni will have to rely heavily on these players to deliver consistently if CSK is going to make the playoffs. These players include Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay and Karn Sharma.