IPL 2020 News: Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings show interest in signing Tom Banton
What's the story?
The two most successful franchises in IPL history, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings have approached Somerset to inquire about the availability of their 20-year-old batsman Tom Banton for the upcoming IPL season. Banton had grabbed the spotlight by scoring 549 runs for Somerset in the 2019 T20 Blast.
Tom Banton had made his T20 debut for Somerset in July 2017. The right-handed opening batsman has played 17 T20 matches for his county where he has aggregated 591 runs at a magnificent average of 39.40. The wicket-keeper batsman has slammed one hundred and four fifties in his short T20 career besides having a strike rate of 154.30.
He has also showcased his talent behind the stumps by taking 6 catches and executing 3 stumpings.
The heart of the matter
As reported by The Daily Mail, the defending champions of IPL, Mumbai Indians and the three-time champions, Chennai Super Kings have been in talks with the team management of Somerset to know about the 20-year-old opener’s availability for the 2020 edition of IPL.
Tom Banton, who is a part of England’s T20 squad which is battling against New Zealand, has already signed contracts with the T10 league franchise, Qalandars and Big Bash League franchise, Brisbane Heat. Given how he has demolished the bowlers in white ball cricket, it is no surprise that Mumbai and Chennai have shown interest in him. But, technically, neither of the two teams need his services.
If one has a closer look at Mumbai Indians' squad, they already have an overseas wicket-keeping option in Quinton de Kock who had played really well in IPL 2019. Besides, the franchise even has the upcoming Indian wicket-keeper, Ishan Kishan in their ranks.
As far as the opening pair is concerned, captain Rohit Sharma and de Kock were opening the innings for Mumbai. With West Indian hard hitter Evin Lewis and domestic star Suryakumar Yadav present in the squad, Mumbai should occupy an extra overseas option by signing Banton.
Chennai Super Kings have the greatest wicket-keeper of the world, MS Dhoni in their team while the experienced pair of Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson opens the innings for the franchise.
The South African captain, Faf du Plessis is the team's back-up opening option while England's vice-captain, Sam Billings is the franchise's second wicket-keeper.
The IPL Auction will take place on 19th December, 2019 in Kolkata. It will be interesting to see if Tom Banton receives a bid from any of the IPL franchises.