T20 cricket revolves around the cricketers who make this happen. A game is often changed by a single person’s match-turning knock or a magical spell of bowling. So we call those types of cricketers in a team as Impact players. More often than not, they can win the game on its head. Such cricketers usually provide a multidimensional aspect. They can bat, make the ball talk, or electric in the field.
In a long tournament such as IPL, MVP is an award given to a player who has created the maximum impact in that season. Guess who wins the award more often? It is an all-rounder. There were instances where batsmen like Adam Gilchrist, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat, Gayle have won, but most times, it is an all-rounder who ends up as MVP. You can also read here our 5 top predictions for the MVP Award contenders this year.
So we will look at who can be that impact player for each of the sides from IPL 2020 edition:
Mumbai Indians – Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya is one of the best things that has happened to Indian cricket through IPL. He can launch an attack on the opposition during any phase of his batting innings. The Mumbai All-rounder had his best IPL season yet last year, with 404 runs with the bat at a strike rate of 191.42. To go with this, he took 14 wickets with the ball.
His contributions were only eclipsed by the eventual MVP Andre Russell. Mumbai Indians will expect a similar performance this season as well. Hardik was one of the reasons why Mumbai did well in the league and could clinch the title for a record 4th time. He is an impact player and one to watch out for this season. Here is what you can expect from Mumbai Indians as a whole this year’s edition.
Chennai Super Kings – Ravindra Jadeja
This might surprise many who may expect to see MS Dhoni or Shane Watson’s name to feature here when talking about CSK. In the slow, low tracks of UAE, especially in the latter half of the tournament. Given that Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh will not be part of CSK this year, there is much responsibility on the shoulders of Ravindra Jadeja.
Jaddu has not set the IPL on fire by any means with his performance, but he has been consistent. This could be the year where Jadeja can come on his own in the IPL.
Delhi Capitals – Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant has had a tough last one year in international cricket. He was, and is, still touted to fill MS Dhoni’s big void in limited-overs cricket, but so far, consistency has eluded him. The Indian wicket-keeper soon lost his place to KL Rahul. But it is a different case with him in the IPL where he performed admirably in the last two seasons with over 1000 runs.
Pant will be again expected to put in such effort by the entire DC management. You can check here our list of 5 Key Players for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020.
Rajasthan Royals – Jos Buttler
Under normal circumstances, I would have gone with Ben Stokes as he has already done similar things when playing for the Pune franchise. Since he won’t be part of the IPL for at least the first half, I am going with Jos Buttler. Buttler became a completely transformed player since taking up an opener role for the Royals and England.
He has a strike rate of over 150 while opening the innings, which is probably the best. The Royals will hope Jos will fire all cylinders in their bid for a 2nd IPL title. Here is what you can expect from Rajasthan Royals as a whole this year’s edition.
Kolkata Knight Riders – Andre Russell
When talking about impact players in KKR, we cannot look beyond Andre Russell or Sunil Narine. But I am going with the powerhouse Andre Russell to be the man who will do wonders for KKR once again. Last year he scored over 500 runs at a strike rate of 204 while also picking 11 wickets. Rightfully, he was the MVP of the tournament. It’s because of him KKR came so close in clinching a playoff spot.
Andre Russell is coming off from a great CPL and will once be the man to watch out for.
SunRisers Hyderabad – Rashid Khan
The wily leg spinner will get much support from the pitches in UAE. A crafty bowler is already a renowned bowler in T20 across the world. He is one among the favorites to win the purple cap this year and is useful with the bat. The SRH has a strong bowling attack but relatively weak when it comes to the middle order.
So his performance with the ball will become all the more crucial for SRH in IPL 2020.
Kings XI Punjab – Glenn Maxwell
As he is fondly called, the Big show returns to Kings XI setup after a hiatus of few years. We can get this as a coincidence, but UAE is the same nation where Maxwell hammered bowlers all over the park when playing for Kings in 2014. So, he will have fond memories of playing here.
In the same year, he also won the MVP, and Punjab will hope that he can repeat or better his performance to give KXIP its first IPL title.
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Virat Kohli
No one can forget his IPL exploits in 2016, the year where he was simply unstoppable across formats. The highest run-scorer in the IPL will want an IPL title win added to his already glittering career. They have a balanced line up next to MI and looks a great team on paper. Kohli will want to lead from the front as always and look to inspire his team to a maiden IPL title triumph.
Having already won the MVP award once in IPL, this is not something new for Virat Kohli.