The 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is around the corner and it’s time for some predictions. So, who is going to win the Orange Cap in the 2020 season of the IPL? Orange Cap is one award where only two players have won it multiple times – David Warner and Chris Gayle. Moreover, only three Indians (Sachin Tendulkar – 2010, Robin Uthappa – 2014 and Virat Kohli – 2016) have won the Orange Cap.
There has been a lot of cricket going around and a few players have been in red-hot form and a few of them have big reputations. Therefore, there will be a lot of batsmen who will come to mind. But here are our five picks who could possibly be in the fray to be the leading run-getter this IPL.
It may not be wrong to say that KL Rahul is among the best Indian T20 players at the moment. The Karnataka lad has been in sublime form in white-ball cricket in recent times. He’s scoring big runs consistently. He averages 45.65 while amassing 1461 runs in T20Is.
Rahul has been in the top five run-getters for the last two IPL seasons. In fact, no player has more runs than the Karnataka opener in the last two IPL seasons. In 28 games, he has scored 1252 runs at an average of 54.43 and a strike-rate of 146.60. He has been Kings XI Punjab’s (KXIP) premier batsman.
This year, he has been named the captain and the extra responsibility may well bring out the best in him. Rahul has been in excellent form and the way he’s batting, it won’t be a surprise if he finishes with the Orange Cap.
It isn’t said often enough. David Warner is an absolute beast in IPL cricket. No cricketer even comes close to the kind of record he’s had for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). The consistency that the left-handed opener has shown ever since switching to SRH in 2014 is simply remarkable.
Warner has won the Orange Cap thrice (2015, 2017, 2019) which is the most for any player in the history of the IPL. The Aussie opener has played 71 games for SRH and has got 3271 runs. He averages a staggering 55.44 and strikes at 142.39. He also has 34 half-centuries and two hundreds for SRH which converts to a fifty-plus score every two innings.
Warner didn’t really have the kind of consistency for Delhi but once the SRH switch happened, he went into beast mode and has stayed there. Hence, there’s no doubt that Warner will be among the favourites to win that Orange Cap once again.
You look at Rohit Sharma’s IPL record and you’ll find that it’s decent. 4898 runs at an average of 31.60, strike-rate of 130.82, 36 half-centuries, one ton and the third-highest run-getter of all-time. These are decent stats but not outstanding ones that grab headlines.
The Mumbai Indians skipper has never had a smashing season in the IPL. Only once has he managed to score over 500 runs in a single season and that came in 2013. There have been six other instances of him getting more than 400 runs and only once did he fall short of the 300-mark in a single season. It shows that Sharma is consistently getting runs but not big runs.
It could well be down on the fact that his batting position in MI has moved around quite a bit. But this season, with him likely to open the batting like last year, it may well be time for him to own the IPL. If he gets going, Rohit Sharma might just end up with the Orange Cap this season.
This might be a slightly surprising name in this list. But Shubman Gill has been batting beautifully for some time now. He’s been topping most run charts irrespective of where he plays. Be it red-ball cricket or white-ball cricket, the 20-year-old has dominated.
Gill has been brilliant in domestic cricket. He’s scored runs across all three formats and has been Punjab’s and also India A’s best batsman for a while now. This will be his third IPL season. His batting position has been up and down with KKR but midway through the 2019 season, he was moved up to open the batting which brought the best out of him.
The Punjab top-order batsman has been hitting the ball really well and he’s scoring big runs as well. He has the hunger to bat big and long and can get the big scores. Gill could be the dark horse among the top run-getters this season.
When there’s a list of best T20 openers around the world, it is unlikely that Jos Buttler will feature in the top five. There may not be a mention of him at all, especially when it comes to the IPL. However, Buttler is one of the most consistent performers in T20 cricket. The England wicket-keeper batsman has been excellent for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the last couple of years.
Ever since Buttler has been moved to open the batting, it’s worked wonders for RR. Over the last two seasons, he has aggregated 859 runs at an average of 47.72. Moreover, he has registered eight fifties and has a strike-rate of 153.94 in 2018 and 2019. Buttler has been the key for RR at the top of the order.
There’s no doubt that will remain the same and a significant part of RR’s success will rely on Buttler’s form. He may have blown hot and cold in the recent past but he will come out all guns blazing in this IPL. Watch out for him, he could be the leading run-getter and for the first time in three years, Buttler is likely to stay for the entire duration of the IPL.