Chennai Super Kings
Despite having a sister franchise, Joburg Super Kings, at the SA20, Chennai doesn’t have a lot of players involved in the tournament apart from Moeen Ali.
Moeen started the league very slowly, with few impactful games, but like the franchise, he also picked up great pace towards the end, where he hit the ball so sweetly. In eight innings, the left-handed Moeen scored 169 runs, averaging 28.16 while scoring his runs at a rate of 127. He picked up five wickets with the ball, bowling many overs (24.1).
He had a vital hand in JSK’s qualification to the knockouts, with an extremely valuable knock - 26 off 12 - under pressure against the Durban’s Super Giants.
Mumbai had a lot of their players at the SA20 this year, four of them, to be precise, just like the Lucknow Super Giants. Dewald Brevis had a decent season but often batted way too low down the order. In nine innings, Brevis scored 150 runs at a strike-rate of 140, but his average - 18.75 - wasn't very impressive.
On the other hand, MI’s new recruit Gerald Coetzee wasn’t even part of the second SA20 with the injury keeping him away from the competition. To date, the status of his recovery is unknown. Romario Shepherd, however, did play at the SA20, where he finished the tournament with 34 runs and five wickets, averaging 30 with the ball.
Nuwan Thushara had quite a good SA20 season, with eight wickets in just five games, averaging just 19.25, and often bowling the tough overs for the Kieron Pollard-led MICT side. It will come as a big positive for the five-time IPL winners.
Despite being owned by the same franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Sunrisers Eastern Cape have been two extremes. While SRH have struggled, SEC have cruised at the SA20, winning the competition in back-to-back years.
SRH buying Pat Cummins really has messed up some sort of their plans, but what makes it worse is how Aiden Markram has led SEC. Markram has been a big reason behind the Eastern Cape winning twin titles with 261 runs, averaging well over 30 while striking at 138.
It doesn’t end there, Marco Jansen had a stellar season. The left-arm pacer picked up 20 wickets in the season, including a five-wicket haul in the final against a dominant DSG side, at an average of just 14.30. If SRH considered playing Cummins ahead of Jansen, it might now not be as straightforward, given Jansen also scored a 71* in the clash against the Royals.
Even in their wildest dreams, SRH can’t drop Heinrich Klaasen. Or rather, can’t even think about that. Klaasen is perhaps the best T20 batter in world cricket, and what he is doing is nothing short of stunning. Klaasen scored 447 runs this year at SA20, averaging 40. That’s just one part of it.
What made Klaasen’s SA20 season stunning was his strike-rate. 207.90. Without any filter, the right-hander had the best strike-rate this season, which jumps to 247.1 at the death, with 210 of his runs coming at that stage. Only one batter has scored more runs than him at the death.
And that batter is Tristan Stubbs. After Mumbai Indians let him go, Delhi Capitals did not waste one minute before snapping up the services of the 23-year-old. Not only is he a good wicketkeeping option, but his batting is at an all-time high at the very moment. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Stubbs had a major say in SEC’s title-winning season.
Stubbs scored 301 runs, out of which 214 came at the death, blasting the ball to all parts of the ground with an overall strike-rate of 168.2, averaging 60.2. With no update on whether Rishabh Pant would keep wickets, Stubbs’ form could keep Delhi in good stead.
Lungi Ngidi was also in decent form at the start of SA20, where he picked up 13 wickets, including figures of 4/39 in the clash against the Pretoria Capitals. But as the season progressed, his form started taking a dip, with only five wickets in the last six games, including going wicketless in the clash against SEC.
For Rajasthan, the form of their talisman batter, Jos Buttler, would be heartwarming, with 408 runs in the season, averaging a good 40, striking at 143.66. In all, Buttler continued to have a good SA20, carrying from where he left last season, with three fifties.
The same can’t be said about Nandre Burger, who had a very indifferent season. While he has 11 wickets in the season, his form wasn’t overly great for JSK, with five of his wickets coming in the last two clashes of the season. On four occasions, the left-arm pacer went wicketless, showing how he had a very hit-or-miss season.
We almost forgot Donovan Ferreira; such was his season at many points. Barring that 56* against the Capitals, where he led the JSK to a miraculous run-chase, he had quite a disappointing season. With only 125 runs in the season, with a strike-rate of 171.23, Ferreira could never translate that threat into danger for the opposition.
David Miller represented the Paarl Royals at the SA20, with 240 runs in the ten innings. However, Miller’s major strength, his strike-rate was nowhere close to what the Titans would have anticipated.
The left-handed batter struck at just 118.2 in the tournament and only managed to score one fifty in the entire competition. The other Titans’ star at the SA20 was Noor Ahmad, with the Afghanistan left-arm spinner picking up 12 wickets in the season, emerging as a real showstopper for DSG.
Ahmad also had the best figures of 5/11, showing his global worth. Gujarat will be mighty pleased with his performance.
Sam Curran’s SA20 season could be meme-worthy. Six wickets, an average of 52.66, conceding runs at 10.03, not one-bit elite. The fact that he conceded 17 runs in his last SA20 appearance against PC’s Senuran Muthusamy isn’t too heartening for Punjab, either.
If that was Curran, then Liam Livingstone’s season could also be a shocker for PBKS. Nine innings, 109 runs, a strike-rate of 104.80. 104.80. Let that sink in. With a bowling average of 46.33 with just three wickets, Punjab have to turn Livingstone’s season around.
However, not the same could be said for Kagiso Rabada, who finished the tournament strong with three wickets in the last two games, finishing with nine wickets, including winning the Player of the Match in the last encounter.
Lucknow Super Giants
It is no surprise that the Durban’s Super Giants had a lot of players on their side common to their sister franchise in India. There was Marcus Stoinis, Quinton de Kock, Nicholas Pooran, Naveen-ul-Haq and finally, Kyle Mayers.
Pooran and Stoinis only played eight games between them, with the former scoring 86 runs, including an unbeaten 60 in three appearances. Stoinis, on the other hand, scored a total of 63 runs in four innings but was rather effective with the ball, picking up ten wickets and averaging just 12.80.
Barring that 83* against the Royals, de Kock had a tournament to forget, with an average of 19.36 and a strike-rate of 123. Mayers, too, didn’t have a lot of games, with just one appearance. But Naveen-ul-Haq was pretty effective, with eight wickets, conceding runs at just 8.39. His fielding was also good during the tournament.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Last but not least, the trio from Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Faf du Plessis had a season of two halves, one terrible and the other just wow. In the first six matches of the season, the right-hander could only score 74 runs off 75 deliveries, averaging a paltry 14.8, where his struggles couldn’t have been more pronounced. However, his form saw an unreal turnaround in the last five matches, with 165 runs off just 94 deliveries.
It was in his last five knocks that Faf scored three half-centuries, including a 20-ball 50* against MICT. RCB would want him to come to the IPL in that very form.
For Reece Topley, it was yet again a confusing tournament. The left-arm seamer started with a spell of 0/53 in his first clash but turned his season around as the tournament progressed with back-to-back three-fers. But far and too little in between, averaging 25.3 in the competition.
Last year, Will Jacks and Phil Salt were beasts at the SA20. This time around, except for that scintillating century, which came at a crucial point, Jacks had a poor run, with just 245 runs in the competition. But there’s one thing that will give RCB plenty of hope: Jacks always came out with intent, maintaining a strike-rate of 180.2 in the tournament, with a boundary every 3.3 deliveries.
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