Coming from the City of Dreams are the Mumbai Indians, the IPL’s most successful team. Owned by Reliance Industries, India’s biggest conglomerate, the team has won the title for a record four times – 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019.
The franchise was founded 12 years ago in 2008 and plays at the iconic Wankhede Stadium. Having won the title in odd years, can the Mumbai Indians make an exception in the 2020 edition?
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The word ‘unlucky’ perfectly describes Royal Challengers Bangalore’s IPL campaign so far. Based in the Chinnaswamy Stadium, the franchise has had some of the most high-profile players of the game, including the likes of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, and Dale Steyn amongst others. Unfortunately though, they are yet to win the coveted title. The United Spirits-owned team would hope that a change in identity earlier this year will help turn their fortunes around in the league like it did for Delhi last term.
The inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals have been an epitome of the phrase ‘punching above their weight’. The franchise never had a legendary face to show for, but still made it to the playoffs on four occasions. In the recent past, the Steve Smith-led team has given more impetus on developing promising young talent and that has paid dividends to a certain extent. The Royals have a long list of exciting youngsters including Yashasvi Jayswal, Shreyas Parag, Oshane Thomas and Riyan Parag amongst others.
The major revamp in 2019 seems to have done wonders for Delhi Capitals, formerly known as Delhi Daredevils. After failing to make it to the Playoffs on 8 of their past 11 occasions, Delhi were amongst the best-performing teams in the 2019 edition. 2020 is expected to be an even bigger year for the Capitals, considering the incredible firepower they have in the batting department.
This includes the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Jason Roy and Shimron Hetmyer. Phew!
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders are one of the most loved teams in the league which is hardly surprising considering it is owned by King of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan. The franchise’s motto ‘Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo Re’ perfectly reflects it’s rise in the league. Even after finishing in the bottom half of the IPL table for first three years in a row, KKR fought back and won their maiden title under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir in 2012.
This was followed by another one in 2014. KKR have arguably the world’s most lethal all-rounder in Andre Russell who almost single handedly guided his team to the Playoffs in 2019 edition.
Kings XI Punjab
From the land of five rivers come the Kings XI Punjab. Amongst the founding members of IPL, the franchise is yet to open its account in the league, with their best-ever finish being in the 2014 when they were the runner-ups. However, think twice before underestimating this team since Kings XI have one of the most explosive combinations in the IPL this season.
The batting order is graced by biggies like KL Rahul, Glenn Maxwell, and Chris Gayle while the Mohammed Shami and Sheldon Cottrell take charge of the bowling department. Moreover, KXIP also have promising youngsters like U-19 star Ravi Bishnoi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Sarfaraz Khan amongst their ranks.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have been arguably the most consistent teams in the IPL despite serving a two-year suspension. Led by the enigmatic ‘Thala’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni, CSK have been crowned as the Champions on three occasions while being runners-ups for a record five times.
The most memorable of these three have to be the last one in 2018, their comeback year. The team plays at the MA Chidambaram Stadium although a few matches are played at Pune’s Gahunje Stadium and Ranchi’s JSCA International Stadium Complex as well.
In a short duration eight years, Sunrisers Hyderabad have risen to become one of the most consistent contenders for the title. In the past seven seasons, the Hyderabad-based team has managed to reach the Play-offs on five occasions apart from winning the title in 2016.
The Sun TV Network-owned franchise has one of the most lethal opener in David Warner, amongst the best spinners in Rashid Khan and the world’s most loved captain in Kane Williams.