IPL 2020: winners & losers
Updated: Feb 19
Jofra Archer (RR)
Who else? As the MVP of the league stage, Archer was simply unstoppable. His powerplay bowling was as good as I’ve ever seen it, picking up 10 of his 20 wickets in the first six overs of the innings at an economy rate of 4.34. Five of these wickets came in the first over of the game which helped the Royals start matches with great impetus. Unfortunately, they often failed to capitalise on these, and it is worrying to think how they would have performed had the England international not been playing for them. Archer also showed what he was capable with bat in hand. We all knew he was a devastating striker of a cricket ball but at a strike rate of almost 180 this was more than most would have expected. English cricket fans will be hoping he can maintain this brilliant form and there is no reason he shouldn’t be able to reproduce such exploits in the future as he will find himself playing on pitches more suited to his bowling than the slightly slower UAE surfaces.
Chris Morris (RCB)
Over the last few years I have failed to be convinced by Chris Morris, but after recovering from the injury that kept him out of the start of the tournament, he was excellent. The yorker has seemed fairly unfashionable in recent times in t20 cricket but Morris’ execution of it was superb. When on song, he possesses one of the most threatening yorkers in world cricket. This was nowhere near the top of Morris’ top wicket-taking seasons in the IPL, but to have only played a part in nine matches and coming off the back of an injury showed how good he can be. What really demonstrated the improvement to his game was how low his economy rate was (6.63), second only to Jofra Archer in terms of pace bowlers (5 games minimum). Morris has been plagued by inconsistency over the years but if he continues to perform to the level he did in the tournament, there is no reason why he can’t do so for South Africa.
Anrich Nortje (DC)
Few would have heard of Anrich Nortje before he burst onto the scene in the test series against England in 2019. Fewer still would have picked him to perform as well as he did in this year’s IPL tournament. Having only played 22 t20s before his first game for the Delhi Capitals there were possibly more than a few raised eyebrows when Nortje was brought in to replace Chris Woakes in the Capitals’ squad. Nortje went originally unsold in the initial auction but has now more than doubled his t20 wicket tally from prior to this tournament. He surprised many with his pace and appears to have put on a yard or two since the England tour, which has really helped his game. He hits a hard length and troubles the batsmen by hitting the splice of the bat with regularity. With the incredible pace-bowling talent that has played in the IPL over the years, it seems a surprise that Nortje produced the fastest ball to have been bowled in IPL history (clocking over 156km/h). He was up there with the best at this year’s tournament.
Rahul Tewatia (RR)
Tewatia could make this list solely for his Sharjah heroics against the men from Punjab. Sent in at number four to attack the spinners he failed to get going and had made only five from 13 balls. The Royals needed 90 from 32 and the plan was backfiring. Tewatia then managed to pummel 30 from one Sheldon Cottrell over, and with help from Jofra Archer, managed to see their side over the line with three balls remaining. For a bowler who bats a bit, scoring 255 runs at an average of over 40 with a strike rate of almost 140 is phenomenal. He also took 10 wickets with an economy rate of just over 7. If the Royals want to keep him next year, and they certainly will, they will need to fork out quite a bit more for him.
Chris Gayle (KXIP)
After a run of five straight losses near the start of the tournament, Punjab were looking favourites for an early exit as they simply could not find the right combination of overseas talent. Enter Chris Gayle batting in the unfamiliar role of number three to almost pull them into the playoff spots. He played one of the innings of the tournament in a losing cause against the Royals before being dismissed on 99 by a special delivery from Jofra Archer. His scoring rate may have dropped slightly as he takes longer to get settled, but he is still averaging over 40 in all of the last three IPL seasons. The 41-year-old still has the ability to clear any boundary, so let’s hope he still has another season at least left in him.
Moeen Ali (RCB)
That dismissal in the Eliminator epitomised the last two years of Moeen’s cricket. To me it showed just how frazzled his brain seems. Run out off a free hit, first ball after pushing a kamikaze single to extra cover. The Moeen of old would have stood still and tried to whack it into the stands, but this is where he has lost it over the last few years. He now no longer clears the boundary with the ease he used to and looks a shadow of his former self. Moeen only played three games over the course of the tournament making 12 runs and bowling only five overs. England seriously need to consider whether Moeen makes any of their first-choice line-ups currently because his confidence looks shot to pieces. The fact that he was given the captaincy in the absence of Buttler and Morgan suggests there is still future for him in the eyes of the selectors.
Tom Curran (RR)
The elder Curran was never likely to be a regular member of the Royals side this tournament as he was simply a placeholder for when Ben Stokes returned. But he had the chance to stake his claim to compete with Stokes for the all-rounder spot. However, Curran really struggled with the few opportunities he did get. His bowling was expensive in his five games, with an economy rate of over 11 across the season and only taking a wicket once every six overs on average. The economy rate is a similar story to the previous IPL, when, again in five games he also went at above 11. With a t20 World Cup approaching, Curran will need a successful tour of South Africa to show that he deserves his place in the squad.
Tom Banton (KKR)
This was supposed to be the tournament where Tom Banton really showed his international pedigree in front of a TV audience of millions. To have his international skipper in the setup would be a massive advantage for Banton to secure a starting spot at the top of the order. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the way things panned out. Even when Morgan took over as skipper from Dinesh Karthik midway through the season, he still could not find room for Banton in the side. Just 18 runs from two innings represented a wasted opportunity for Banton because if he had played, I’m sure he would have flourished on the tiny surface of Sharjah. It was always going to be difficult to displace KKR’s overseas players so it might be that Banton is better off being picked up by another franchise where he has a better chance of starting.
Chris Lynn (MI)
Having been a regular starter over the last few years, it would be a massive surprise to see Chris Lynn not play a single game this season. Mumbai have had the most settled side, which is the result of winning four titles in the last seven years. Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma have been very good at the top once again, so to force his way in there would have been a struggle. However, seeing how Chris Gayle managed to slot in at number three and perform essentially the same role as he does opening, there should be no reason why Lynn couldn’t have done the same at the expense of an overseas seamer. Having been absent from the Australian setup for some time it seems unlikely that Lynn will be able to force his way in soon.
David Miller (RR)
One match. Run out. Didn’t face a ball. Sorry David...