IPL 2018: Benchwarmers XI
IPL teams usually go in with the strategy to get multiple players to vie for the same spot in the side. With the IPL being a long one-and-a-half month sojourn, injuries and loss of form are pretty common and hence teams decide to go in with backup options for their front-line players. However, when the players in the eleven are performing well, it's difficult for the players on the bench to get a look in.
We take a look at an IPL XI comprising players who have remained rooted to the bench this season:
#1 Murali Vijay (Chennai Super Kings)
Local Chennai fans breathed a sigh of relief when Murali Vijay was picked by Chennai Super Kings in the second round of auctions as he was the first local boy selected in the team with the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar heading off to other pastures.
Fans would have expected to see their old boy opening the batting once again but Chennai surprisingly opted to open with Ambati Rayudu, and the Hyderabad-lad hasn't looked back since. The good form of Rayudu and Watson has seen Vijay frozen out of the team and he only appeared once - during Raina's injury absence.
Alternative: Manjot Kalra (Delhi Daredevils)
#2 Naman Ojha (Delhi Daredevils) - Wicket Keeper
When Delhi Daredevils retained Rishabh Pant before the auctions, it became quite clear that the young Delhi lad would be the man donning the gloves behind the stumps. This meant that Naman Ojha was picked in the auction only as a backup keeper or as a pure batsman. The presence of a vast array of talented Indian batsmen like Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Vijay Shankar has led to Ojha being consigned to an extended stay on the bench.
Alternative: Aditya Tare (Mumbai Indians)