The 2020 Indian Premier League season begins on Saturday in Abu Dhabi as the Mumbai Indians begin the defence of their crown.
The coronavirus pandemic threatened to cause the cancellation of the tournament this year, but the BCCI shifted the tournament out of India to ensure that it went ahead.
Mumbai face off against Chennai Super Kings in the first game in a rematch of the 2019 IPL Final.
The Indians edged out the Super Kings by the tightest of margins, winning the final by one run and the Super Kings will be out for revenge in the opener.
Read our prediction for that match and the rest of week one in our tips below.
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Mumbai held their nerve in last year’s IPL final to defeat the Super Kings by a single run. Lasith Malinga went from zero-to-hero after previously being dispatched for 20 off his previous over.
The Sri Lankan held his nerve to guide the Indians to their fourth crown. Mumbai will once again be led by Rohit Sharma, and the opener will be the foundation of their charge.
Overseas players Chris Lynn, Trent Boult and James Pattinson have been added to the squad, bolstering an already powerful unit.
The Super Kings have been dealt a blow by the absences of Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh. It places further pressure on MS Dhoni along with the other senior players Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis and Imran Tahir to perform and lead on the field.
The Indians have a good record against Chennai, winning 17 of their 28 contests. Therefore, we back them to send out a statement by triumphing in the season opener.
Mumbai Indians To Beat Chennai Super Kings – 1.72 bet365
The Delhi Capitals were beaten semi-finalists in last year’s competition, but will have confidence of going one further this time around in search of their first title.
Kings XI were underwhelming last term, winning only six of their 14 matches. Mike Hesson left as a result of their poor performance and Anil Kumble has taken the reins as coach.
Kumble’s side are stocked with talent, including Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Chris Jordan and skipper Lokesh Rahul. So, there will be hope of an improved display over the course of the campaign.
Delhi will be without England players Jason Roy and Chris Woakes for the tournament after they pulled out due to the pandemic.
There is still ample quality in the ranks having signed Ajinkya Rahane, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis and Ravichandran Ashwin. Expect good things out of Ricky Ponting’s men this term and take our tip to back them to win their opening match against Punjab.
Delhi Capitals To Beat Kings XI Punjab – 1.72 Betway
Virat Kohli enters the fray in the third match of the competition. Bangalore and Kohli have never won the Indian Premier League and have performed extremely poorly in their last three seasons.
There is no shortage of talent on their squad. Kohli returns with AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Dale Steyn and Moeen Ali and are joined this term by Aaron Finch, Chris Morris and Adam Zampa – fresh off his impressive ODI performances against England.
There should be an improvement from RCB, but Sunrisers will be determined to knock them off course. Trevor Bayliss returns to the IPL after a five-year stint coaching England, boasting a previous IPL win and now a World Cup triumph on his record.
Hyderabad boast a formidable batting line-up, including David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson. Potent spinners Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi are also excellent and will play a huge role for the franchise this term.
Watch out for Sunrisers this season. Most cricket betting sites rightly make them the favourites for this game, so back Bayliss’ men to triumph.
Sunrisers Hyderabad To Beat Royal Challengers Bangalore – 1.73 1xBet
Steve Smith will lead the Royals this season, although there will be concerns about his head injury that ruled him out of Australia’s final two ODIs against England. Ben Stokes could also be missing due to personal reasons.
Without the duo, the Royals look exposed in the batting ranks. Jos Buttler will likely open, but outside of David Miller there’s not a lot of experience. The bowling unit is stacked, featuring Jofra Archer, Varun Aaron, Tom Curran and Rahul Tewatia.
There will be pressure on them to deliver in their opener. Chennai will be sharp after their first match and they boast a great record against Rajasthan, winning 14 of their 21 games. Due to the key absences on the Royals, our verdict would be to back the Super Kings for the victory.
Chennai Super Kings To Beat Rajasthan Royals – 1.66 1xBet
Kolkata missed the post-season for the first time in four years in 2019. Brendon McCullum has taken the reins as coach and the franchise made a splash in their recruitment drive.
Eoin Morgan, Tom Banton and Pat Cummins were all signed – the latter for the most expensive overseas contract in IPL history. Their arrivals will boost the current talent of Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav. Expect better from the Knight Riders this term.
McCullum’s men face a challenge in their opener against the reigning champions. Their overseas core may not arrive in time for the contest.
Mumbai have dominated their past matchups, defeating the Knight Riders 19 times out of a possible 25, including their last contest by nine wickets. Our cricket tip for this match would be back to back the Indians to triumph once again.
Mumbai Indians To Beat Kolkata Knight Riders – 1.76 1xBet
This contest will be an important match for two sides that have struggled in the competition of late. Depending on their outcome of their respective openers, it will be a chance to get back to form or build off a victory. A strong start could put them in contention for a playoff berth down the line.
The past matchups could not be more even. Both teams have won 12 apiece in their 24 games, although RCB have held the edge in recent times.
Kohli’s men have triumphed in the last four matches on the bounce, including a 17-run victory in their last encounter courtesy of a fine performance from De Villiers. Star power could be crucial therefore back Bangalore to continue their recent good record against Punjab.
Royal Challengers Bangalore To Beat Kings XI Punjab – 1.72 1xBet
The Super Kings have a great opportunity to put down a statement in the opening week. Their third game draws them against the Capitals. Chennai have an incredibly strong record against the Capitals, notably defeat them in the semi-final last season by six wickets.
Du Plessis and Watson were on form to guide their side over the line with relative ease. Although the Capitals have made significant improvements to their side – the experience on the Super Kings should be enough to guide them to the victory once again.
Chennai Super Kings To Beat Delhi Capitals – 1.8 1xBet