Former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) player Brad Hogg has predicted Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) can be the winner of the Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL 2020). He has also named that MI allrounder Hardik Pandya can be the man of the tournament.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has re-arranged the 13th edition of the league in September-November in UAE behind closed doors amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Earlier, the league was scheduled to kick-off from 29th March.
With the league being confirmed to be hosted, fans are already anticipating which teams can perform well this year. Former Australian cricketer Brad Hogg was recently asked which teams he believed could be contenders for the IPL this year. In his response, Hogg named MI and RCB.
Mumbai Indians are going to be the champion: Brad Hogg
“Well, Mumbai Indians look like they are going to be champions again. They are one of my top two teams going into this year’s IPL in UAE this year,” Hogg said on his Youtube page Hogg’s Vlog.
“The reason for this is that they have got a good top four, they also have good allrounders and their bowling attack is stable led by two geniuses with the new ball, and in death overs – Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga,” he added.
Hardik Pandya can be the man of the tournament:
Brad Hogg reckons Hardik Pandya to be the X factor for the Mumbai Indians. The Team India allrounder has been out of international cricketer for almost one year because of a back injury. He underwent surgery in the UK and then served two-three months under the rehabilitation period in National Cricket Academy (NCA). After the recovery, Pandya was set to feature in the ODI series against South Africa in March but the coronavirus halted all the plans.
As now cricket finds its way back, Hogg believes that Hardik Pandya would be reinvigorated after an extended break. The Aussie is assured that the allrounder could also become the man of the tournament of IPL 2020.
“Also, the allrounder Hardik Pandya. He is looking to get back into cricket after a long time off due to injury. He’s also got a baby on the way as well. I just think those things will give him extra energy and he will become the man of the tournament in the UAE,” he said.
RCB has a good stock on paper: Brad Hogg
Brad Hogg has also named RCB as the strong contender for this year’s title. As per him, Virat Kohli-led side has excellent players on paper but they have failed to get the breakthrough. However, after the inclusion of players like Aaron Finch and Kane Richardson, he opines that Bangalore based franchise can bring laurels in the much-awaited IPL season.
“The second team I have got for you is for RCB. Finally, they will have a big chance to take out an IPL. They have always had good stock on paper, but they have never been able to go out and get the job done,” Brad Hogg said
“Now, with the inclusion of Aaron Finch at the top, he will be able to dominate in the powerplay overs, get some quick runs, and relieve the pressure in the middle order off AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in the middle order,” he said
“Also, their bowling attack looks strong with Dale Steyn and Kane Richardson, and they have a better team balance as compared to the last couple of years. They will have a better strategy going into the tournament,” Hogg added.
The IPL 2020 will be a 51 days affair, starting from 19 September and the grand finale can be played on November 8.