Another gameweek has drawn to a close in the 2020 Indian Premier League, with Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore taking the early ascendancy in the tournament.

There were several overseas and Indian stars who turned up the heat in the UAE in the past week, with individual brilliance being a stand out feature in what is a team competition.

Head over to our Instagram stories to vote for your IPL Team of the Week. Below, we look at some notable candidates and their performances to help you make up your mind.

OPENERS

Devdutt Padikkal (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Image credit – BCCI/SPORTZPICS

The young batsman’s blazing start to his IPL career continued, with the left-hander registering back-to-back fifties against Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. His elegant batting style has invited comparisons with former India stalwart Yuvraj Singh, and the performances too are starting to back up that tall claim.

It is three half-centuries now in just four outings for Padikkal, who is living up to every expectations built by the RCB fans ahead of the season.

Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)

The Mumbai Indians skipper will be disappointed with his most recent display, but that does not take away from the fine 70 he registered against Kings XI Punjab. Consistency has certainly not been Rohit’s forte in the ongoing campaign, with the India star blowing hot and cold in the four matches so far.

Two half-centuries though, in those four appearances, means that the right-hander has been one of the better openers on display in the tournament.

Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Capitals)

Shaw’s campaign has followed the same script as Rohit as the young star has alternated between the sublime and the ridiculous. His cracking 66 against Kolkata Knight Riders was his second half-century in four innings and it set the tone for a big Delhi Capitals win in Sharjah.

Taking the attack to the opposition from the very go is the only way Shaw knows to play and it will not always come off for the youngster. When it does come off though, the opener is a delight to watch.

Shubman Gill (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Image courtesy - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Image courtesy – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Giving Shaw company in the opening department is his former India U19 team-mate and deputy. The right-hander has come into his own after a poor start in the campaign opener, and has been a steadying hand for Kolkata at the top.

A classy player of both pace and spin, Gill has played the anchor to perfection for Kolkata’s big hitters at the other end. An unbeaten 70 against SRH and a fluent 47 against Rajasthan are the opener’s best contributions in the season so far. There will be plenty more to come at this rate.

NUMBER 3

Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Capitals)

The Delhi Capitals skipper was getting the starts previously, though he was unable to convert them into a knock of substance. That changed on Saturday in the shorter boundaries of Sharjah, with Iyer blasting his way to a match-winning 88 against Kolkata.

Iyer is the ideal No3 for a star-studded Delhi batting line-up and his ability to switch gears at will provides them with an enviable flexibility. He can play the anchor role and he also possesses the skill set to turn tormentor as shown by his Saturday fireworks.

Nitish Rana (Kolkata Knight Riders)

He might not have blown the competition away, but Nitish Rana has been adept at giving Kolkata some much needed impetus at the top of the order. The left-handed batsman is always good for a quick-fire 25 or 30 and that can make the world of difference to a side containing Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan lower down the order.

His valiant 58 against Delhi took Kolkata agonisingly close to the target of 229 before they ultimately fell just short. KKR will count on him for more of the same in the remainder of the campaign given his consistency over the years in the IPL.

NUMBER 4

Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals)

The IPL has been Pant’s competition for the past two editions and the same is looking likely this year after a promising start. The wicketkeeper batsman has shown a different side to his game by curbing his attacking instincts when the situation requires.

While there have been no fifties so far, Pant has chipped in with a substantial contribution in each of his four innings. With an average of over 44 in the campaign, the southpaw has given Delhi plenty of reliability at No4.

AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Image credit - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Image credit – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

If consistency was a person, AB de Villiers would be a prime candidate. The South African veteran has gone about his job at RCB with minimum fuss while also shouldering the additional burden of wicketkeeping.

He is yet to let the side down in four matches and has already helped himself to two explosive half-centuries. An average of 73 is remarkable, but it is de Villiers’ strike-rate of over 178 which makes him such a fearsome batsman to face for any bowler.

NUMBER 5

Eoin Morgan (Kolkata Knight Riders)

The England skipper has surprisingly never impressed in the IPL previously, though that could soon change if the start to his 2020 campaign is anything to go by.

Scores of 42*, 34* and 44 in his last three innings for KKR do not tell the whole story behind Morgan’s brilliance. Quite often, he has had to provide the late spark for Kolkata when others above him have failed to do their job. With him and Russell in the side, Dinesh Karthik’s men will believe they can go far in the competition.

MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings)

Chennai Super Kings might not be having a great time in the UAE with the three losses in a row. However, there are signs of vintage Dhoni coming back to life and his fighting 47 in the defeat to Rajasthan Royals was a commendable display.

He might not have the same explosiveness he once carried, although the veteran is still a force when it comes to performing the rescue act. A big Dhoni innings might just be around the corner if Chennai can sort out their top-order woes.

ALL-ROUNDER

Sam Curran (Chennai Super Kings)

Image credit - BCCI/SPORTZPICS

Image credit – BCCI/SPORTZPICS

In the midst of Chennai’s gloom and doom, Sam Curran has been a rare bright spark. The young England all-rounder is proving doubters wrong through his performances with both bat and ball.

With the ball, Curran’s intelligent use of his variations has seen him rewarded with five wickets in four games. He has been the surprise package with the bat and shown the ability to be a dangerous pinch-hitter. There is an argument for him to be sent higher up the order to extract the maximum of his six-hitting power.

Rahul Tewatia (Rajasthan Royals)

The IPL 2020 will forever be synonymous with Rahul Tewatia’s incredible redemption arc in the space of a single innings against Kings XI Punjab. The plucky all-rounder has not even come close to hitting those lofty heights ever since, though there have still been some notable contributions in losing causes.

He can clearly clear the fence in the death overs, while his unorthodox wrist-spin has been tidy for Rajasthan’s cause whenever called upon.

Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians)

Pollard has been accused of flattering to deceive over the course of an entire season, but his consistency has been right up there with the very best in the ongoing edition. His batting average after five innings reads an impressive 163, while the strike-rate has been even more outstanding at 208. 97.

He was unfortunate to end up on the losing side after a sensational 60 against RCB, while his unbeaten 47 off just 20 deliveries against KXIP changed the complexion of the game completely.

Shivam Dube (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

The India-capped all-rounder has not been given many opportunities with both bat and ball, but he has done the business whenever he has been asked. Be it the quick runs down the order or providing some much needed breakthroughs for his side, Dube has performed both roles with distinction.

His medium pace has already fetched four wickets for Bangalore so far, while he has been able to bring out the big hits when it comes to batting in the death overs. He is turning out to be a very useful cricketer for his skipper Virat Kohli.

SPINNER

Yuzvendra Chahal (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

The India leg-spinner has taken to conditions in the UAE brilliantly and has been Royal Challengers Bangalore’s primary wicket-taking threat. His 3-24 against Rajasthan was instrumental in stitching together the comfortable RCB win, while his overall tally for the season now stands at eight wickets.

Be it the powerplay or death overs, Chahal has been utilised in nearly every phase with great success. The leggie is currently tied as the highest wicket-taker in the tournament alongside Kagiso Rabada and Trent Boult.

Rahul Chahar (Mumbai Indians)

The youngster had an excellent debut IPL campaign last year for the champions, and he has started off the 2020 edition on the same footing. The Mumbai leg-spinner’s forte is his ability to bowl economically and he has done that admirably in the five games so far in the UAE.

An economy-rate of less than eight is always a good return in the context of the T20 format, especially considering that one of his appearances has come in Sharjah. Among spinners, only Chahal has a higher wicket-tally than Chahar’s six.

Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Image - BCCI/SPORTSZPICS.

Image – BCCI/SPORTSZPICS.

There has hardly been a bowler who has not been spared punishment in this IPL, which makes Rashid Khan’s numbers all the more astonishing. The Afghanistan star has five wickets in as many matches this campaign, but it is his economy-rate of just 5.20 that puts him in an exclusive category.

Such is Rashid’s brilliance that teams have once again decided to play out the overs safely instead of attacking him. Four quiet overs from Rashid in every match has played a large part in SRH’s resurgence after a slow start.

PACERS

Kagiso Rabada (Delhi Capitals)

Image - @IPL/Twitter.

Image – @IPL/Twitter.

The South African copped some serious punishment in Delhi’s most recent win over KKR, although Sharjah has not been kind to most bowlers in this year. Despite that expensive showing, Rabada remains the most impactful pacer of the tournament so far.

His wickets have come at an economy-rate of less than eight, while his Super Over against Kings XI Punjab was decisive in Delhi’s win. Rabada was also excellent in the win over SRH as his two wickets proved critical for the Capitals. His partnership with compatriot Anrich Nortje is shaping up nicely.

Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals)

archer (1)

It has not been a good week for Rajasthan Royals, with Steve Smith and his men falling to two successive defeats. However, Jofra Archer’s reputation remains untarnished after the England pacer’s solid showings against RCB and KKR.

Archer has really cranked up the pace in the UAE and has even touched speeds over 150 kph. That his economy-rate has remained below seven despite playing two matches in Sharjah is quite the feat.

Trent Boult (Mumbai Indians)

The New Zealand ace is turning out to be a great acquisition for the defending champions, with his clever change of pace doing wonders on the UAE pitches.

Boult has now caught up with Rabada as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker after his two pivotal wickets in the win over SRH on Sunday. What he brings to the table is an ability to prise out wickets with the new ball in the powerplay, while he is also a dependable asset to have at the death.

Anrich Nortje (Delhi Capitals)

Replacement picks like James Pattinson and Anrich Nortje are proving to be inspired additions for their respective sides. Nortje has taken no time to find his feet in his debut IPL campaign, with the South Africa pacer hitting excellent lengths in the UAE.

His 3-33 in Sharjah against KKR clinched victory for Delhi in a high-scoring clash. Nortje has pace to burn in his locker, while a cleverly disguised slower delivery makes him the ideal bowler for the death overs.

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