IPL 2019 : 3 Overseas players who were lucky to be retained
IPL 2019 will witness teams with a totally different composition of players. In the last two days, all the franchises excepting CSK were busy releasing so many players ahead of the IPL auction next month.
On the last count, there were about 76 players who were either released or traded.
In this total revamping of the teams, there were three overseas players who were lucky to be retained by their respective franchises in spite of their poor performances in IPL 2018.
#1. Sam Billings of CSK
CSK has retained the core of their team releasing just three players. They had to release one overseas player to come within the maximum permissible limit of 8 overseas players.
In the last IPL season, CSK replaced the injured Indian player Kedar Jadhav with the overseas player David Willey. Mitchell Santner also missed the 2018 edition of the league due to injury. This situation has forced CSK to release one of their overseas players this year.
The players who were facing the hammer were Sam Billings, Mitchell Santner, David Willey, Imran Tahir and Mark Wood. CSK chose to release Mark Wood and in the process chose to continue with Sam Billings.
CSK bought Sam Billings at his base price of 1.00 crore. Billings justified his price tag with a match-winning innings against KKR in CSK’s comeback match on home ground. As it turned out, this was the only match that CSK played at Chepauk in the last season.
Chasing a tricky target of 203 to win against KKR, Sam Billings played a blinder scoring 56 runs off 23 balls with 5 sixes and 2 fours.
After that brilliant inning at Chepauk, a lot was expected of Sam Billings in the subsequent matches. But the opposition teams sorted him out as the tournament progressed. He was given an overdose of spin-bowling to keep him under check and teams succeeded in doing so.
At the end of the last IPL season, Billings ended up with an aggregate of 108 runs in 8 innings at a poor average of 13.50. He should thank CSK’s traditional approach to retain the core of the team.
Now it is up to Billings to repay the confidence the CSK management has reposed in him.