With just a few weeks of wait left, fans all across the country have started prepping for the upcoming, 2020 edition of the IPL in style. Lately, social media has been abuzz with fans offering speculations and opinions about their favorite franchises their performances. Some notable names in the cricket fraternity have also taken up such part-time analyst roles; former Indian batsman turned TV commentator, Sanjay Manjrekar, being one such name.
The erstwhile Star Sports commentator recently took to his Twitter and shared a ranked list of each team’s batting lineup. Some of his choices were rather interesting, prompting fans to counter-question his decisions- some of which he even responded to. But he couldn’t explain his stance behind every choice; so we’ll try to decode his rankings as we analyze his rankings here.
CSK, KXIP and DC feature in Sanjay Manjrekar’s top-3 rankings
Last season’s runners-up and three-time champions, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) featured at the pinnacle of the rankings. Not a controversial pick by any means- but an important factor to consider is that CSK will, for the most part, miss the services of their ace batsman, Suresh Raina, this year. Having said that, the team still has much flamboyance in their batting; should the likes of MS Dhoni, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, and Shane Watson, live up to their strong reputation.
Next on Sanjay’s list are the KXIP- a team jam-packed with strong, Indian batting-options like KL Rahul, Karun Nair, and Mayank Agarwal. Hard-hitters like Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, and Jimmy Neesham also add to Punjab’s foreign-flavor. The Delhi Capitals- featuring stars like Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, and Alex Carey- rank below Punjab- and some people weren’t entirely sure about this placement and asked Sanjay to explain. Which he did, by tweeting, “Good point… but KL Rahul tilts it for me. Also competence of playing spin in Karun, Mayank, Mandeep, Sarfraz etc. and just in case Maxwell fires.”
Defending champions Mumbai Indians ranked fourth
Arguably the most ‘controversial’ spot on the rankings list, was defending champions Mumbai Indians slotting in at the fourth-spot. The presence of stalwarts like Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, and the Pandya brothers wasn’t sublime enough for Sanjay to feature in the top-3.
IPL’s perpetual dark-horses, Royal Challengers Bangalore, slotted in at five. There could be some arguments, but given their barren, silverware-cabinet so far, one can empathize with their slot. 2-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders occupy the sixth-spot. Given all the explosive options they have in Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, and Andre Russell; this choice, too, didn’t sit down well with many fans, the author included.
SRH and RR the weakest teams batting-wise: Sanjay Manjrekar
Penultimate on the list are the David-Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad, who do seem to lack some firepower on the domestic side of things. The likes of Warner, Mitch Marsh, and Jonny Bairstow won’t be available for the entire duration of the tournament; which will certainly increase the burden on Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, and Priyam Garg’s shoulders.
Rajasthan Royals finish the list at the number eight spot. While the presence of strong, local campaigners like Robin Uthappa, Manan Vohra, and Sanju Samson does inspire some confidence among fans; the fact that their English and Australian stars will be missing chunks of the tournament considerably weakens the side. Much of their success depends on if and when Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, and Ben Stokes perform. So they’d be eager to avail the most of their services.
Right, here we go guys! 😊 As promised, my rating of batting units, if pitches turn in UAE.
Next : Rating of seam attacks on slow, 140/150 average score, pitches.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) September 4, 2020