All the Indian Premier League (IPL) teams have reached the UAE, completed their quarantine period, and have started their practice as well. The Chennai Super Kings, who had to extend their quarantine period, has started their practice sessions as well. All the preparations for the 13th season of the IPL are in place and the fans are ready to finally see their favorite IPL players back in action.
One great thing about the shortest format and the IPL is the unpredictability. The more unpredictable you are, the more succesful you are as a team. Sometimes, IPL teams do things which the opposition doesn't expect, and that's when the concept of pinch-hitters come into play.
On occasion, IPL teams send a bowler, who is a good hitter, up the order so that he can score some quick runs. Sunil Narine is the prime example of this practice.
Let’s look at three bowlers who can be used as pinch hitters in IPL 2020.
3. Harshal Patel – Delhi Capitals
Harshal Patel is a good bowler but he is handy with the bat as well. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he opened the batting for his state team Haryana and scored pretty heavily.
In 2018, the Delhi Capitals used him as a pinch-hitter in one IPL game and he did fairly well. Patel can come in the middle-overs and get some really quick runs for his team.
The Delhi Capitals have a lot of openers in their side and so they might use Harshal Patel as a pinch hitter in the middle order to build on the start given by the openers.
2. Shardul Thakur – Chennai Super Kings
Shardul Thakur has showed his batting skills in the Indian team time and again. Many CSK fans will remember him for not being able to score two runs off the last ball in 2019 IPL final, but he is a better batsman than that.
Thakur played a crucial knock in the Indian jersey with Ravindra Jadeja against West Indies. He can hit the spinners as well as the pacers, which means he can be used at any stage of the innings.
CSK doesn’t like to make many changes in their batting order, but with Suresh Raina unavailable, this is something they could think of to disrupt the opposition’s bowling plans.
1. Rashid Khan – Sunrisers Hyderabad
Rashid Khan has done enough with the bat in various T20 leagues around the world. In last year’s BBL, he had some unbelievable cameos which helped his team win a few extra games.
Khan plays some incredible shots which reach the fence in no time. He is one of those players who will either hit it out of the park or get out. Khan is the perfect candidate to be used as a pinch hitter.