The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) came to an end after seven weeks of high-quality cricket, intense competition and spectacular batting displays. While the overseas contingent left a mark, it was the Indian stars who made the tournament a smashing success. Mumbai Indians became just the second team in the history of the tournament to defend their title when they chased down just 158 runs against Delhi Capitals in the finals. It was also their fifth title overall, and the fifth in eight years.
Over the course of the 60 matches, we saw a number of Indian batsmen raise their game and adapt wonderfully to the tough conditions in the United Arab Emirates. While the track in the first half of the edition had help for the players with the willow, the second half saw tired wickets, which made run-scoring difficult. However, a few players did shine, and we look at the 5 best Indian batsmen from IPL 2020.
KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab):
The Kings XI Punjab skipper led his team from the front and was in exceptional form throughout. He batted with great intent and scored 670 runs throughout the 14 games that he played, including an unbeaten 132 and five fifties. Though he batted with a strike rate of less than 130 – his lowest in the last four seasons – he took on the responsibility well with big players such as Glenn Maxwell and Nicholas Pooran showing signs of inconsistency.
Shikhar Dhawan (Delhi Capitals):
The Delhi Capitals opener had a strike rate of just over 122 in the first six games of the season, but remarkably upped the ante in the second half of IPL 2020, and finished with 618 runs at an average of 44.14 with a strike rate of nearing 145. Dhawan also became the first-ever player in the league to score back to back hundreds, which came at a quick pace as well. The Delhi campaign faced a roadblock in the second half of the season, as they managed to win just three of their last seven games, and it was just Dhawan who shone through.
Manish Pandey (Sunrisers Hyderabad):
The SRH batsman had a number of impact showings this year and helped his team over the line in crunch games. The Karnataka player was crucial to his side’s chances and played a vital role at the number three spot. He ended the season with 425 runs at an average of close to 33 with three fifties. The SRH middle-order lacked firepower and thinned down after the top four, and it was heartening to see Pandey take on the responsibility and guide his team through game after game.
Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians):
The youngster was the star of the season for Mumbai Indians and was a revelation for the title-winning side. The left-hander moved up and down the order but that hardly seemed to affect his batting as he ended IPL 2020 with 516 runs – the highest by an uncapped player this year. Kishan’s defining knock was the 99 that he played in hot, humid and tough conditions against Royal Challengers Bangalore after his team had lost two quick wickets while chasing 202. The youngster from Jharkhand paced his innings to perfection and laid a solid foundation for Kieron Pollard but heartbreakingly his team lost in the Super Over.
Suryakumar Yadav (Mumbai Indians):
Yet another consistent performer for Mumbai Indians this season, Suryakumar Yadav made headlines with his knock of an unbeaten 79 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Yadav, who has been making waves in domestic cricket with his big hits and consistency, was left out of India’s T20I squad for the tour of Australia, which only prompted him to bat with more hunger a day after his omission. The knock against RCB was just one of the many technically perfect and aesthetically pleasing knocks that he played in IPL 2020. He ended the season with 480 runs and four fifties, which were scored at a strike rate of just over 145.
Devdutt Padikkal (Royal Challengers Bangalore):
One of the finds of the season, Devdutt Padikkal reminded fans and critics alike of Yuvraj Singh when he was in full flow. The left-hander played his flicks to perfection and gave RCB steady starts game-after-game. He managed 473 runs in 15 matches with as many as 5 fifties, and though his strike rate of 124.80 was a bone of contention on occasions, there is no denying the talent that he possesses.