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IPL Preview: 3 – 6 October 2020

IPL Preview:

The Indian Premier League has been a wild ride so far and shows no signs of slowing down. The weekend includes the first double-headers of IPL13 and makes for an action-packed series of matchdays.

Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone
Saturday 3 October 2020| Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi | 12:00

To Win Match 
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Rajasthan Royals
The Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals get their first outing in Abu Dhabi this term on Saturday 3 October. The Royals have thrived at the smaller venue of Sharjah while RCB has looked better suited to a larger playing surface.
RCB’s death bowling will get a real examination from one of the biggest finishing batting lineups in this edition of the IPL.
Jofra Archer has found his radar with ball in hand and looks set to be a key man for his side.
Adam Zampa did well coming in for RCB, and the big boundaries at the Sheikh Zayed stadium could suit his deceptively flighted leg-spin.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers seem up for the challenge, but they will have to be at their best to outgun a Royals top order that features Jos Buttler, Steve Smith and form man of IPL 2020 Sanju Samson.
Verdict: Rajasthan Royals

Saturday 3 October 2020| Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah | 16:00

To Win Match 
Delhi Capitals
Kolkata Knight Riders
Two teams in decent touch meet when the Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders line up in Sharjah.
The Capitals are coming off a loss but have won both times when they have been defending a score. It will be hard to replicate that feat in Sharjah which saw more than 400 runs scored in the opening two matches at the ground.
After losing their opening match, KKR have started to gel and get the most out of Australia speed demon Pat Cummins. Their batting is an area where they will look to improve. They have shown great patience with Sunil Narine as an opening batsman but time must be running out for him to make an impact.
The Capitals need their India batting core to fire to back up Proteas seam duo Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje who have been excellent in the campaign to date.
It will take some adjusting for these sides to get used to the smaller dimensions of Sharjah and the team that achieves that best will likely come out on top.
KKR have the greater batting potential, and at this ground, their power-hitters may have the edge over the deft touch of the Capitals top-order.
Verdict: Kolkata Knight Riders

Sunday 4 October 2020 | Sharjah Stadium, Sharjah | 12:00

To Win Match 
Mumbai Indians
Sunrisers Hyderabad
While both sides come into the match off the back of victories the fluidity of the Mumbai Indians batting could give them an edge in Sunday’s early game.
It will be tough to defend a score at this venue, but equally, neither side is likely to be dreadfully keen on getting into the field in the heat of the day.  
The Sunrisers have yet to hit upon the perfect balance of their potent top-order weapons but should look to accommodate Kane Williamson, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow in the ideal XI.
Rohit Sharma unsurprisingly leads the run-scoring for Mumbai so far, and he is one of the candidates to top the overall list come the end of the season. He went past 5000 IPL runs in his last outing and has two fifties from four knocks this season so far.
The runs have not flowed so smoothly for the Sunrisers with Bairstow and Mayank Agarwal the only men with 50s to their name in their squad.
Verdict: Mumbai Indians

Sunday 4 October 2020 | Dubai International Stadium, Dubai | 16:00

To Win Match 
Kings XI Punjab 
Chennai Super Kings
In Lokesh Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, the Kings XI Punjab have the most productive opening partnership of this IPL campaign, and they meet a Chennai Super Kings side who have gone back to the drawing board.
CSK have had a week off to contemplate what they have been doing wrong, but little of it will have to do with Sam Curran who has been a key contributor.
MS Dhoni hopes the return of Ambati Rayudu will paper over the cracks in CSK’s batting and their bowling balance still poses more questions than answers.
Mohammad Shami was the tournament’s leading wicket-taker coming into the weekend, but the Kings XI’s big concern is the runs they have leaked.
Between Agarwal and Rahul, the Kings XI openers have hit 20 sixes already this IPL and if they fire its tough to see how CSK can keep up.

Verdict: Kings XI Punjab

Monday 5 October | Dubai International Stadium, Dubai | 16:00

To Win Match 
Royal Challengers Bangalore 
Delhi Capitals
After a hectic weekend, the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals will be pressed back into action on Monday.
The turnaround time will make the weekend’s results that much more significant with neither side likely to be afforded a full day’s training between games.
RCB have the edge in terms of batting power, but there are questions about their ability to contain in the death overs.
The Capitals could back themselves with runs on the board while RCB are more likely to be interested in chasing.
Devdutt Padikkal has been the surprise package for RCB, and the Capitals will need plans for him as well as Aaron Finch and the De Villiers and Kohli axis.
Verdict: Royal Challengers Bangalore

Tuesday 6 October | Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi | 16:00

To Win Match 
Mumbai Indians
Rajasthan Royals
The Royals have been great in Sharjah but less impressive at the bigger grounds suggesting the Mumbai Indians may be favoured in Abu Dhabi.
Rohit and Mumbai Indians opening partner Quinton de Kock are capable of clearing the fence at any ground and will want to lay a good platform for Kieron Pollard to play destroyer.
The Royals have an impressive batting lineup on paper and might expose a Mumbai Indians attack that has missed the experience of Lasith Malinga.
In Buttler, Archer and Smith the Royals have three names that should go straight onto the team sheet while Tom Curran should occupy the fourth overseas player slot.
Jasprit Bumrah has taken some tap, but he bounced back well to be the key man in the Indians victory over Kings XI Punjab on Thursday 1 October.
Verdict: Mumbai Indians

Written by James Richardson 

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