IPL 2020: A look at key matches this season
After days of speculation, the much-awaited schedule of 2020 IPL is finally out. As expected, defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener on September 19. Overall, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will host 24, 20 and 12 matches respectively. The impending edition will see a total of 10 double headers. Here are the key clashes.
The season will commence with a blockbuster clash between arch-rivals Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi. Notably, it will be a repeat of the 2018 season opener, wherein the MS Dhoni-led side stole victory from the jaws of defeat against MI. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma's MI, who clinched the trophy last year, will come down hard on the Yellow Army.
Shreyas Iyer's Delhi Capitals will begin their campaign on the second day when they face Kings XI Punjab in Dubai. The Delhi-based franchise are deemed the front-runners for the title race this time, owing to their star-power. Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab have a new skipper in the form of KL Rahul, who will open the batting along with Caribbean superstar Chris Gayle.
The third day of this year's IPL edition will witness Royal Challengers Bangalore taking on Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai. While the Virat Kohli-led side begin their campaign in quest of a maiden title, the Orange Army will have the back of regular skipper David Warner. Notably, leg-spin will take the centre stage with the presence of Yuzvendra Chahal and Rashid Khan.
After three days, the action will move to Sharjah wherein Rajasthan Royals will take on Super Kings. The rivalry dates back to 2008 when Shane Warne led Royals to a maiden IPL title as they won the final-ball thriller against CSK. However, CSK have had the edge over RR in recent past. It will be interesting to see who gets on top in UAE.
The following day will see the battle of giants as Kolkata Knight Riders play their first game against Mumbai Indians. The likes of Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya are expected to launch some heavy blows in Abu Dhabi. Besides, KKR captain Dinesh Karthik will also have the experience of Eoin Morgan, who has established himself as an astute leader of late.
The first of 10 scheduled double-headers, will be held on October 3. While the afternoon games will start at 3:30 PM (IST), the evening games will begin at 7:30 PM (IST). The Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals will battle it out in the first game of Saturday's double-header in Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, Sharjah will host the evening game between DC and KKR.