The cricketing spectacle, that is the Indian Premier League (IPL) is not far away. We are reaching the end of January and it's time we analyse different squads before the 13th edition begins.
IPL is a considerably long tournament, played in the hottest months across India so it's quite obvious why teams usually want big squads to deal with their tight schedule. Because of those considerably big squads, we have often seen some talented Indian and overseas players warming the benches for a large part of the tournament, as they are considered as back-ups and not starters.
These players also tell us about the depth and quality of every team. If a recognised international player can't get into an IPL team, it just tells you the quality of that particular team and how good their squad is. Here, we are going to concentrate on the overseas players and take a look at one such player from each team who might not get a spot in the starting XI right away next season.
#8 Rajasthan Royals - Tom Curran
Tom Curran didn't play last year's IPL to prepare for the World Cup but this year, after being released by Kolkata Knight Rider (KKR), he was picked up at his base price by Rajasthan Royals (RR).
Now, RR already have a bunch of overseas fast bowlers and one can't help but think that Curran might be the last in line among them for a spot in the XI. In IPL 2018, he played 5 games for KKR, picking up 6 wickets, at an economy rate of almost 12.
The 24-year-old is a genuine fast bowler, but his discipline is a matter of concern. The likes of Oshane Thomas and Andrew Tye might be preferred over him if Jofra Archer needs rest or gets injured.
#7 Royal Challengers Bangalore - Joshua Philippe
Joshua Philippe is an unknown commodity in the IPL and he will be playing his first-ever season. The Australian is only 22-years-old and if you have followed Australia's domestic cricket, you might know that Philippe is a beautiful striker of the cricket ball and has the ability to strike the ball hard and long. It will be interesting to see how the youngster does in Indian conditions.
It's highly likely that Philippe will be the second choice or third choice wicket-keeper and he will only play if Parthiv Patel gets injured or underperforms drastically. Nevertheless, Philippe is highly talented and he might surprise everyone if he gets a chance.
Note: All statistics as of January 23, 2020
#6 Sunrisers Hyderabad - Fabian Allen
Fabian Allen, the West Indian left-arm off-spinner, was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2020 auctions and he will be playing the tournament for the very first time.
Allen is a three-dimensional player, who can bowl, bat, and is brilliant in the field but most probably, he has been signed as a back-up option and most likely as a replacement for Shakib Al-Hasan.
Rashid Khan will be the first choice option as the overseas spinner, apart from whom, SRH also have Shahbaz Nadeem in their squad. So, it's fair to say that Allen might not get many games this season.
#5 Delhi Capitals - Jason Roy
One of the biggest names in the IPL, who might not even get a game is Jason Roy. The Englishman won the World Cup last year and has been in the form of his life but for some reason, he has never got going in the IPL. In all the 8 games Roy has played, he has scored 179 runs, which is not a bad return but his problems facing spin, especially at the Feroz Shah Kotla has meant that the Englishman has never gotten a run of games or a long rope.
Also, Delhi Capitals have a stacked up opening department with Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, and Prithvi Shaw, so it's highly unlikely that Roy will get much game time in IPL 2020, unless a reshuffle in the batting order come to fore.
#4 Kings XI Punjab - Chris Jordan
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) signed Chris Jordan in the IPL 2020 auctions and as Anil Kumble said, Jordan is signed to aid their death bowling fears. Now, KXIP also completed the signing of Sheldon Cottrell and as of right now, it seems Mohammed Shami and Cottrell will most likely be the Punjab based franchise's first choice fast bowling pair.
Jordan might only be a back-up or replacement for the likes of Cottrell or Hardus Viljoen. It could also be the case that the Englishman might play as an all-rounder but KXIP have James Neesham for that department. So, in any case, it seems Jordan will play second fiddle and that means, we might see him on the bench more often than not.
#3 Kolkata Knight Riders - Chris Green
Chris Green is an Australian all-rounder, who is renowned for his mystery off-spin ability. Yes, he has been bought by Kolkata Knight Riders as a direct replacement for someone like Sunil Narine.
The 26-year-old will be playing his first-ever IPL, so it's highly unlikely that he will get many games because he has never been tested in Indian conditions. Unless Narine gets injured or needs rest, Green might be seen sitting on the bench.
The Australian has had a good 2019 all around the world in the T20 leagues and he will be all geared up to take part in the world's biggest franchise T20 tournament but he might not get many games and that's why he will have to be ready to pounce on any opportunity he gets.
#2 Chennai Super Kings - Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood was Chennai Super Kings' last signing in the IPL 2020 auctions and one can't help but think that Hazlewood will most definitely not be a starter as CSK have someone like Deepak Chahar, who has a similar skill set to the Australian.
Even if CSK consider playing an overseas fast bowler, it might be Lungi Ngidi because he offers something different than Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, and Chahar. Hazlewood hasn't played a single game in the IPL ever, although he has been a part of Mumbai Indians in 2010 and 2011. In IPL 2020, the 29-year-old might not get any game time, again.
#1 Mumbai Indians - Sherfane Rutherford
Sherfane Rutherford was signed by Mumbai Indians (MI) from Delhi Capitals (DC) in the IPL trade window and it was a very smart buy, considering the fact that Rutherford can easily replace Kieron Pollard as the finisher for MI.
He played really well in that role for DC last season, scoring 73 runs from 7 games at a strike rate of 136. It looks like MI have signed him as a back-up for Pollard and that's why one can think that he will not get much game time next season.
Rutherford has some IPL experience and that is a good thing but if you know how MI operate, you would know that they like to stick with a playing XI and not chop and change much. So, the West Indian could spend his time on the bench in IPL 2020 unless Pollard hits a really bad patch.