IPL 2020: The Tournament of the Underdogs

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IPL 2020: The Tournament of the Underdogs

30 Oct 2020 129 Views Cricket News

IPL 2020: How the table-toppers have been battered by the strugglers?

Indian Premier League 2020 has been statistically the most competitive season among all the IPL editions. It took 49 IPL matches to get to the first team that has qualified for the playoffs. And there are still three spots left. And it's the underdogs who continue to impress the most as the fight for an IPL Playoff ticket gets tighter and tighter.

About two weeks ago what looked like a race for one spot has been expanded to six teams fighting for three spots. And this has happened due to one single phenomenon: lower-ranked teams defeating the table toppers. MI, DC, and RCB and they have been given a tough time by the IPL bottom 4. Especially the Kings Xi Punjab who have made a phenomenal comeback from the bottom of the IPL Standings.

Bharat Army explores how it all opened up and became such a cat and mouse act. How the top three teams who had almost a foot in the IPL playoffs were wounded during the last few days of action:

3. Delhi Capitals:

Out of all the top three, DC have slumped the most. Three back to back defeats against lower-ranked teams have made their IPL campaign in deep waters. After winning against Chennai Super Kings at Sharjah, DC have lost to Kings Xi Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Sunrisers Hyderabad. And these games haven't been close at all.

Bharat Army | Shikhar Dhawani of Delhi Capitals scoring consecutive IPL Centuries

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Against Punjab, they were only able to post 164 on the board, despite the fact that Shikhar Dhawan scored a century. The chase was fairly comfortable for their opponents and they did so with an over left. The match against KKR was a thumping defeat by 59 runs. And the most recent one was a drubbing by SRH (88 runs).

Bharat Army: Sunrisers Hyderabad defeating Delhi Capitals by 88 runs

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

The last two defeats have come while chasing. And while Dhawan hasn't been able to fire the way he had before, questions have to be asked of the other DC batsmen. Their last two games will be against the other two teams who have been looking at the top two spots, RCB and MI. Which is where these defeats against lower-ranked sides may come back to haunt them.

2. Royal Challengers Bangalore:

RCB won five of their first seven games in the first half of IPL 2020. Which is their best mid-season start that they have produced in the history of IPL T20. But they have won only two in their last five IPL games.

Bharat Army: Royal Challengers Bangalore lose a close one against Mumbai Indians

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

While losing to Mumbai wouldn't have hurt them that much, given how brilliant and cut above the rest this MI squad is, the defeats against Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab have really put RCB in a testing position now. Their first game in the second half of the season was against the tournament's feel-good story team this year, KXIP. And while it looked almost a certain win for KXIP with just two required off the last six, they took the game to one off the last ball. And lost it from there.

Bharat Army: Virat Kohli' RCB lose against MSD's CSK in IPL 2020

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Even the batting department couldn't deliver up to the mark at the short ground of Sharjah. The defeat against Chennai pretty recently was under tough conditions. But with CSK being at their all-time low, RCB would be asking themselves, "could we have averted this catastrophe?"

1. Mumbai Indians:

One can't say that MI were derailed from their path to the IPL playoffs. They have become the first team to qualify this season. But they did experience a couple of hiccups courtesy of Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. The game against KXiP which went to two Super Overs cannot be considered as a defeat, even though technically they lost two points. The game was well fought for by both the teams and Punjab won it, in the end, owing to a margin of individual brilliance over the defending champions.

Bharat Army: Kings Xi Punjab come out on top after 2 super overs against Mumbai Indians

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

The defeat against Rajasthan Royals though was soul breaking, at least for the Mumbai Indian Cricket fans. With Hardik Pandya's carnage of 21 balls 60*, MI took their total to 195 which looked big enough for the RR batting line-up, especially after they had lost two wickets for 44. But a Ben Stokes show, also featuring Sanju Samson at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium gave a glimpse of how the Mumbai Indians bowling unit can be thrashed all over the place.

Bharat Army: Rajasthan Royals defeat Mumbai Indians in a thriller as Ben Stokes scores his maiden IPL Century

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult, have been the two key bowlers for MI and they remained wicketless during that game. The match against Rajasthan must be a reel that will be kept safe in the analyst's vault and assessed before the playoffs to cut down on areas that can be improved upon.

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