The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) recently concluded with the Mumbai Indians being crowned champions, defeating Delhi Capitals in the final by five wickets. Played amid the COVID-19 pandemic, minus the usual hustle-bustle of fans, the tournament saw some fantastic performances.
The Mumbai Indians were by far the best team in IPL 2020, and the results demonstrated the same. The Delhi Capitals impressed for the second year in a row, going one step ahead and reaching the final this year.
For a while, it seemed like it would be the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s year in IPL 2020. However, after showing much promise in the initial stages of the tournament, they faltered against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator. SRH battled multiple injury issues to qualify for the play-offs.
Being a year filled with uncertainty, a lot of players pulled out of IPL 2020 citing personal reasons along with injury concerns. The same, though, gave an opportunity for unsold players to come into their respective squads. We rate the performances of five prominent IPL 2020 replacements.
#1. Anrich Nortje (Delhi Capitals)
Emerging South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje came in as a replacement for England all-rounder Chris Woakes, who pulled out of IPL 2020 citing international commitments, and performed exceedingly well.
Apart from sending down the fastest delivery of the tournament, Nortje also came up with a few match-winning performances with his deadly combination of pace and accuracy.
Nortje formed a lethal opening combination with fellow countryman Kagiso Rabada. While the latter won the Purple Cap for his 30 wickets in 17 games, Nortje wasn’t far behind with 22 scalps from 16 matches.
However, the pacer lost a bit of steam towards the end of the tournament. Overall though, it was a highly memorable tournament for Nortje.
#2. Jason Holder (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
West Indies Test captain Jason Holder replaced Aussie all-rounder Mitchell Marsh in the SRH camp after the latter suffered an ankle injury in the franchise’s very first outing against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Holder came into the playing eleven for SRH mid-way through the team’s fluctuating journey in IPL 2020 but still made a significant mark on the tournament.
In seven matches, Holder picked up 14 wickets at a strike rate of 12. In his very first IPL 2020 outing, the all-rounder claimed 3 for 33 against the Rajasthan Royals, dismissing important players like Sanju Samson and Steve Smith.
His all-round skills came to the fore in the league match and the Eliminator against RCB with figures of 2 for 27 and 3 for 25 respectively. Holder provided some much-needed balance to SRH’s playing eleven.
#3. James Pattinson (Mumbai Indians)
The Mumbai Indians roped in Aussie paceman James Pattinson after Lasith Malinga pulled out off IPL 2020 before the tournament began, citing personal reasons. His job was a tough one as he had to back up the prolific pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. Pattinson picked up 11 wickets in 10 games at a strike rate of 19.36.
The problem, though, was with his astronomical economy rate of 9.01, which was a bit too high even while considering the batsmen-friendly nature of the T20 format. The fiery Pattinson had three good IPL 2020 games in a row, picking up 2 for 28 against Punjab, 2 for 29 against Hyderabad and 2 for 19 against Rajasthan.
However, Pattinson started conceding too many runs after that and failed to pick up enough wickets as well, following which he was replaced by fellow Aussie Nathan Coulter-Nile.
#4. Adam Zampa (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa was drafted into the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad after his countryman, pacer Kane Richardson, pulled out of IPL 2020 as he didn’t want to risk missing the birth of his child.
Zampa had a tough initiation in the match against the Mumbai Indians as he was slammed for 53 in four overs by a strong batting line-up. Zampa ended up playing only three matches and claiming two wickets at a strike rate of 33 and an economy of 8.36.
His only significant contribution came in the IPL 2020 Eliminator against SRH, during which he conceded just 12 runs in four overs, and claimed the big wicket of Manish Pandey. Zampa’s excellent spell gave RCB a chance of defending a score of 131 runs. However, Kane Williamson’s brilliance sealed RCB’s fate and SRH made it to the play-offs.
#5. Daniel Sams (Delhi Capitals)
With Jason Roy pulling out of IPL 2020 because of an injury, the Delhi Capitals management decided to replace him with a pace bowler in Aussie Daniel Sams. However, the move did not work at all.
Sams was tried in a few games to see if he could provide back-up to Kagiso Rabada and Nortje. He failed to pick up a single wicket in three matches and did not look remotely effective.
Sams produced figures of 0 for 30 in his first match against KXIP. In his next two contests against RCB and Mumbai in the first Qualifier, he was taken for 40 and 44 runs respectively. Sams run in the Delhi Capitals side during IPL 2020 was ultimately a failed experiment.
Rating: 2/10Published 11 Nov 2020, 23:45 IST