The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) is just over a week away, all 8 teams are in intense preparation for the tournament.
All-rounders are vital to any team's success in any format, and the IPL is no different. With multi-faceted cricketers lending balance and options, franchises make it a point to target high-profile all-rounders in every auction.
In this article, we attempt to name one 'underrated' all-rounder from each team who could win the MVP award. For obvious reasons, the big names such as Andre Russell, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja have been excluded.
#8 Rajasthan Royals - Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag is one of the Rajasthan Royals' (RR) brightest young talents, and after 7 promising games in IPL 2019, he is set to play a much bigger role for the franchise. The young mystery spinner has scored 160 runs in the IPL, as has picked up 2 wickets.
Due to Ben Stokes reportedly missing a major part of the IPL and the fact that most of RR's other spin options are leg-spinners, Parag could feature heavily for the side.
The 18-year-old has long been touted for big things, and his skill-set is perfectly suited to the IPL. Parag could finally have a career-defining IPL season, and is even a dark horse for the MVP award.
#7 Kings XI Punjab - Krishnappa Gowtham
Karnataka all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham made a name for himself as a big hitter and an accurate bowler during his time at RR, but wasn't quite consistent enough with his performances in both departments. And under his state teammate KL Rahul at the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), he could truly be unleashed on the IPL.
Gowtham is part of a threadbare KXIP spin attack that features Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman and young Indian leggie Ravi Bishnoi, and he is all set to feature in all games for the team in IPL 2020. Opposition batsmen will look to take him on, giving him an excellent chance of picking up wickerts.
Another criticism that can be levelled at the KXIP team is their weak middle order, and Gowtham might find himself in the middle far more often that his team would like him to. The 31-year-old might even be used as a pinch-hitter, and he has an outside chance of contesting for the MVP award.