The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) is just around the corner and teams have already started to formulate their penultimate plans.
Each of the 8 IPL franchises will rely on their core players to shoulder the responsibility and lead the team to the final four.
However, they will also look to some key players who can make a massive difference for them this season. While cricket is certainly a team game, some players have the ability to turn the match around on their own.
Let’s take a look at one such game-changing ‘X-Factor’ player from each IPL franchise for IPL 2020.
Sunrisers Hyderabad- Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan has been among SRH’s top performers since his foray in the Indian Premier League and he’ll certainly bring the X-Factor for them this season.
The Afghan leg-spinner has been the side’s cumulative top wicket-taker since he arrived. He has picked up 55 wickets at a miserly economy rate of 6.55.
The pitches in the UAE will assist his spin bowling, and he can wreak havoc on opposition batsmen. In addition to his clever bowling, Rashid has also honed his batting skills and can play some handy knocks if needed.
The rest of SRH’s bowling unit didn’t exactly click last season, and the onus will be on Rashid to get them crucial breakthroughs until the others find their feet. The young stalwart is once again likely to deliver the goods and be a massive player for SRH during IPL 2020.
Kolkata Knight Riders- Andre Russell
The Caribbean swashbuckling batsman Andre Russell is a name that resonates with fear. With an extraordinary capability to send balls over the park, Russel can decimate any bowling lineup on his day.
While Andre Russel is lethal with the willow, he can come in handy with his medium pace bowling option. Having umpteen experience under his belt, Russel will once again be the X-factor in the KKR side for the upcoming 13th edition of IPL.
Mumbai Indians- Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya, who was the best player for Mumbai Indians (MI) in 2019 is once again expected to provide the X-Factor for the franchise this season.
The all-rounder has been out of action for quite some time and will be returning to high-intensity cricket with IPL 2020. Hardik played a some match-winning blinders in the last edition and will be carrying his form and confidence into the upcoming season too.
Chennai Super Kings- Shane Watson
A bowling and batting dynamo, Shane Watson is capable of opening both batting and bowling for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise. The retired Australian opener will have a vital role to play if CSK are to do well in this IPL 2020. Watson has been CSK’s first-choice opener for the last two season and it won’t be any different even in IPL 2020 and will hope to carry his form in the upcoming edition of IPL.
Royal Challengers Bangalore- Aaron Finch
A side which has been dependent on Virat Kohli and Ab de Villiers to deliver the goods, the addition of Aaron Finch in the batting setup definitely adds to the X-Factor in the RCB side.
RCB’s new recruit this season, Aaron Finch will join the franchise as their specialist opener. In the past few seasons, RCB has struggled with their opening combination. With Finch, Virat Kohli and co. will hope that he can lay the perfect platform for the rest of the batting order. On his day, Finch can be mighty difficult to stop. He’s in great touch and will want to deliver the goods with the bat for his newest franchise.
Rajasthan Royals- Ben Stokes
The most impressive cricketer in 2019, Ben Stokes will be one of the most closely watched players in IPL 2020. He is one of the core members of the Royals’ setup and there will be a lot riding upon his performance in the upcoming IPL season. In IPL 2019, Stokes failed to deliver in both the departments and will be eager to bounce back from the disappointment of 2019.
Kings XI Punjab- Glenn Maxwell
Kings XI Punjab bought Glenn Maxwell for ₹10 Crore at the auction, and the Aussie all-rounder will undoubtedly be the X-Factor player for this Punjab side, especially with the tournament to be held in the UAE.
In 2014 IPL season, the Aussie was the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, in which the UAE hosted a few games. The pitch conditions certainly suit his style of batting, and he will be a vital cog in the side’s middle-order. That, coupled with his brilliant fielding and experience, makes Maxwell one of KXIP’s most important players this season.
Delhi Capitals- Rishab Pant
Rishabh Pant was the second-highest run-scorer for the Delhi Capitals last season and was probably their best batsman. Highest ranked DC player, in the IPL MVP list for the past two season, Pant will undoubtedly be the ‘X-Factor’ for a well balanced DC side that will look to finally get their hands on an elusive IPL title.