IPL 2020: 5 match-winners who might be prone to injuries
Indian Premier League is the most popular T20 league in the world which goes on for at least 6 weeks every year, making it no less than a festival in India. Players from all around the world take part in the tournament and are often susceptible to injuries due to the wear and tear of the exhausting schedule. The competitiveness that it brings to the table is also responsible for the players taking a toll on their body with the match results often decided by the inches.
The intense involvement of the players is the reason why franchises frequently suffer injury scare in their set up and they even try to plan the same in advance. Here is a list 5 match-winners who might be prone to injury in the upcoming edition of IPL.
#5 Chris Gayle
The legendary West Indian opener has been around since the inception of the Indian Premier League and is arguably the most destructive batsman in the history of the tournament. Chris Gayle started his IPL career with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2009 after missing out on the inaugural edition and took his career to another level since moving to Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011.
In 125 IPL matches, the Universe Boss has scored 4484 runs averaging over 40 and at a stunning strike rate of 151. The 40-year-old cricketer has 6 centuries and 28 fifties to his name including a record top score of unbeaten 175 (off 66 balls).
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Over the years, Gayle has often struggled with lower back issues and missed several games for RCB. Coming to IPL 2020, the southpaw, who has turned 40 in September, will be prone to injuries and Kings XI Punjab will have to be smart in the way they utilize his batting prowess. Being a match-winner even at this age, Gayle will be the first-choice opener to partner the skipper KL Rahul and it will be interesting to see how the KXIP management squeezes the maximum out of him.
#4 Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn has been one of the best fast bowlers across formats and has carried the burden of all the teams he has played for. The South African bowler has picked up 96 wickets from 92 IPL matches at a staggering economy rate of 6.76 and a strike rate of 21.93.
At the peak of his career, Steyn has played a lot of matches till the year 2014 and has been the spearhead of his team. Since 2015, the 36-year-old could only play 9 games in the cash-rich league, missing the bulk of the matches due to injuries.
The legendary cricketer missed out on the whole IPL 2017 to make an international comeback after suffering from a career-threatening shoulder injury and went unsold in the next season due to similar reasons. Though he did manage to make a return in IPL 2019 for RCB, Steyn played just 2 games before he got ruled out once again due to inflammation on his shoulder.
Though RCB has again got hold of him to play the upcoming edition of IPL, injuries might haunt them once again.