After months of speculation, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 is finally set to happen. UAE has been picked as the venue and the 13th edition is set to go on for more than seven weeks. This will be the first cricketing action for quite a few players while England and Australian players will fly straight from the United Kingdom (UK) as soon as their white-ball series ends.
Also Read: IPL 2020: 3 Rajasthan Royals (RR) Players who can win the Orange Cap in UAE | Most runs in IPL 2020
The Orange Cap has been one of the big and prestigious awards in the IPL ever since it’s inception. Only three Indians (Sachin Tendulkar, Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli) have won the Orange Cap in the history of the IPL while Australians have won it six times (Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, David Warner – thrice). Chris Gayle (twice) and Kane Williamson are the others to win the Orange Cap.
Thus, here we look at five players who can end up scoring the most runs in IPL 2020 to win the prestigious Orange Cap.
Ever since the mega auction and big reshuffle took place in 2014, David Warner has arguably become the most consistent batsman in the IPL. The switch to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) has been a magnificent one for him. He has turned into a run-machine and a proper beast. His numbers are mind-boggling.
Despite missing the 2018 season, Warner has made 3271 runs for SRH and since the start of the 2014 IPL season, no player has scored more runs than Warner.
His average of 55.44 is easily the best for any player with 500 or more runs in the mentioned period. He has a strike-rate of 146.88. To add to that, 34 half-centuries and two hundreds in a mere 71 innings. That is a fifty-plus score in almost every two innings.
And Warner has been in excellent form in the last year or so in all formats. In T20Is, the New South Wales lad has made 415 runs at an average of 138.33 in nine innings since his return from the ban. These are ominous signs. Warner has already won the Orange Cap thrice (2015, 2017, 2019) and is the only player in the history of the IPL to do so. He could well do it again and make history once again.
Over the last few years, KL Rahul’s form in T20 cricket has been phenomenal. While the 2016 IPL season when he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore was his breakout one, it wasn’t before 2018 that he started becoming consistent. In the last couple of years, the Karnataka lad has scored the most runs in the IPL (1252) and averages 54.43 while striking at 146.60. He made 659 runs in the 2018 season while he aggregated 593 runs last season.
In fact, even in T20Is, Rahul has been in scintillating form over the last 18 months or so. Since the start of 2019, he has scored 679 runs at an average of 48.50 and a strike-rate of 143.55 with seven fifty-plus scores. In 2020, Rahul has never been dismissed under 25 in T20Is. Hence, it won’t be wrong to say Rahul is one of the best T20 players in the world at the moment.
He came close to the Orange Cap twice in the last couple of seasons but couldn’t really get the prize. Rahul can play spin and pace equally well and he can adapt beautifully as well. Hence, he is going to be a big contender for the Orange Cap this season.
Rishabh Pant is touted as the future of the Indian batting line-up and may not have lived up to the expectation on the international stage so far. He has flattered to deceive and has blown hot and cold in the India blue. However, the story has been different when he plays in the IPL. He made his IPL debut in 2016 and showed quite a bit of promise. He had a good season in 2017 as well but from 2018, he has been in top form in IPL cricket.
Pant is one of the only three players to have scored more than 1000 runs in the last two seasons of the IPL. The Delhi wicket-keeper batsman has scored 1172 runs in the 2018 and 2019 season combined. And those runs have come at a strike-rate of 168.88 which is the fourth-best for any player with more than 100 runs in the period.
Pant may not be in the best of forms in recent times. He has even struggled to find a permanent spot in the Indian white-ball XIs for the last few months. However, the dashing left-hander will have a point to prove. He is a quality player and has shown that he belongs at the highest level. And thus, this may well be another IPL where Pant dominates.
The move to open the batting with Jos Buttler was a masterstroke. It has changed the way he has performed in the IPL. It was in 2016 that Buttler made his IPL debut but played in the middle-order. However, he was promoted to open in the 2017 season by Mumbai Indians (MI) and while he was slightly inconsistent, the England wicket-keeper batsman found a new gear.
His numbers show a stark contrast and Buttler has gone on to become one of the best openers in the IPL since the 2017 season. Among players who have opened in at least 10 games in the last three seasons, only Sunil Narine has a better strike-rate (183.91) than Buttler’s 157.97.
Moreover, he has scored 1011 runs as an opener during this time. Also, Buttler has been the best batsman for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) over the last couple of years.
Not only in the IPL, irrespective of the league or even in T20Is, but Buttler also has excellent numbers batting at the top. He averages 42.25 and strikes at 162.50 while opening the innings in T20Is. And four out of his eight T20I fifties have come in the nine innings he has opened for England. Thus, with Buttler all set to open the innings once again for RR, watch out for him, this time he might have better numbers and will be a serious contender for the Orange Cap.
Shubman Gill is one of the most talked-about players in the domestic arena in India. He has been scoring tons of runs for Punjab and India ‘A’ and has been on the verge of a spot in the national team in both the ODI and Test teams. In fact, Gill is touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket.
As far as the IPL is concerned, he is another player who has played in the middle-order but dwelled as an opener. The Punjab top-order batsman made his IPL debut in 2018 and has played 27 games. He has batted in 24 innings and in 14 of them, he has batted at No. 6 or 7.
He has opened in just six innings and even in those, he has shown that he is a quality player. Out of his four IPL half-centuries, three have come while batting at the top. He averages 47.20 and has a strike-rate of 140.48.
Gill’s batting position has never been fixed and he’s gone up and down way too often. Yet, he has found ways to score runs. This year, things might be different. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) released Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa. Thus, Gill looks set to get an entire season at the top of the order. This could be Gill’s year and could be a serious contender for the Orange Cap if he opens the entire season.