The Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to make a return to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after six years as the tournament got moved out of India due to COVID-19 pandemic. The pitches in UAE are expected to remain a little slower compared to the Indian tracks. Hence, it is going to be crucial for the players to adapt to such conditions where the ball tends to play low and slow.
Here are the top five players whom we expect to dominate with the bat in the IPL 2020:
5. Ajinkya Rahane:
Ajinkya Rahane is a handful in the T20 format as a stabilizer. The Indian Test vice-captain could well find a home on UAE surfaces which on most occasions will be two-paced ones. Even scoring at 120 strike rate on such tracks will be useful for the team’s cause. His performance during the UAE leg of 2014 proves the same as Rahane was the top run-getter among Indian players back then and also recorded the highest individual score among Indians.
4. Shane Watson:
Among the top-order overseas player, the batting record of Shane Watson in UAE is among the best. The opener amassed over 1200 T20 runs which came at a healthy strike rate of 134 and an average well over 30. However, his performances in the upcoming tournament would rely on his fitness levels and the preparations. At the age of 39, it won’t be easy for him to excel.
3. Suryakumar Yadav:
Suryakumar Yadav is one of the top batsmen against slow bowling in Indian domestic cricket. If Mumbai Indians slot him in the top three, he could be consistent alongside being destructive. He did excel with the bat during the 2014 UAE leg despite batting in KKR’s lower middle-order. Surya scored 110 runs across five innings during that tournament which he scored at an average of 55 and at an impressive strike rate of 177.
2. David Warner:
David Warner has been one of the best performers in the T20 format since his return to the cricket at the start of 2019. He scored 1202 runs across 25 T20 games in 2019 and recorded 15 scores of 50+ runs which included two hundreds. Despite being a left-handed batsman from Australia, Warner has not shown any major struggle against turning deliveries. Davey does possess a pretty good record in the UAE where he scored 328 runs across nine T20s at an average of 46.25 with help of four fifties.
1. KL Rahul:
It won’t be an overstatement to say that KL Rahul has been India’s best batsman in T20I cricket and also the best in all T20 format. Rahul’s turn around in the shorter format began from the 2016 IPL. Since the start of 2016, he has amassed 3423 runs at an average of 48.9 and has a strike rate of 147.16. Rahul struck three hundreds and 30 fifties across 86 innings he has batted in this period. Rahul is known to excel irrespective of the conditions and scores a majority of runs in the powerplay itself.