IPL 2019: 3 international captains who did not play the first IPL match of their respective teams
The 12th season of the Indian Premier League - IPL 2019 - is underway. As of this writing, all the teams have played their first IPL match, and there have been plenty of thrillers and controversies already.
The IPL format brings out the best in the players. Relatively young players get more exposure by playing along with internationally acclaimed talents, and the unique mix of youth and experience makes for an intriguing spectacle.
IPL is the biggest stage where several international stars from different countries get together in the same dressing room. Even the super-busy players make it a priority to play the IPL despite their tiring schedule.
While speaking about busy cricketers, it is worth mentioning international captains. These captains are the busiest people in world cricket. Given their rigorous schedule which includes many foreign tours, it is hard for them to take a break and play in something other than their international fixtures.
Australian captain Aaron Finch refused to play in IPL 2019 due to his international commitments and the upcoming World Cup. However, there are some captains who are very much a part of the tournament this year, but may not play regularly during the season.
These captains will be frequently benched or rested for some matches keeping the upcoming World Cup in mind. Here are three such captains, who didn't feature in the first match of their respective IPL teams, but who could make their presence at some point in the tournament:
#3 Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis is a seasoned campaigner in the Indian Premier League. The current South African captain has been part of the Chennai Super Kings since 2011. He adds a wealth of experience to the side.
Du Plessis has a massive fanbase in India, especially in Chennai, due to his match-winning knocks in the IPL. Last season he was benched for a long time owing to his injury, but he made a vital contribution in the playoffs.
This edition of IPL doesn't seem likely to feature Du Plessis in all matches either. With the upcoming World Cup in mind, the South African cricket board (CSA) wouldn't be too happy if he plays too many IPL games.
It was evident right in the first IPL match that he won't play much this season. Du Plessis was benched even when the team had room for an overseas player. CSK played with just three overseas players against RCB, leaving Du Plessis out of the playing XI.
This looks likely to be the case for the majority of the upcoming CSK matches. However, Du Plessis is a superb decision-maker and can assist the think-tank with some strategic advice during the tournament.
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