The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is moving towards the important phase of the tournament and a few teams find themselves in do-or-die situations. The teams at the bottom need to get their act together in the next few weeks or they will be staring at a bottom-four finish at the end of the league stage.
Just like previous seasons of the IPL, we have seen some fantastic youngsters announce themselves at the big stage this year. Players like Devdutt Padikkal, Kartik Tyagi, and Ravi Bishnoi are performing well for their respective franchises. However, as there is so much young talent in the IPL, that some youngsters can't get into the starting XI for their teams.
We look at three such youngsters who are warming the bench in IPL 2020.
3. Rinku Singh – Kolkata Knight Riders
Rinku Singh is an explosive left-handed batsman from Uttar Pradesh, who is a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad. He played some matches in last year’s IPL but he hasn’t got a single opportunity this year. Singh is also a stunning fielder and fans have seen him take some superb catches in IPL 2019.
Singh has played 9 games in the IPL and averages around 11 with the bat but he is a far better batsman than the numbers suggest. Most of the time, he has come out to bat when just an over or a couple of balls are remaining. As a result, he has gotten out while trying to score some quick runs at the end of the innings.
Singh can hit the ball hard and can clear the boundary at will. KKR has a strong middle-order and so it will be difficult for him to break into the side. However, he can be the perfect replacement for any KKR batsman who gets injured.
2. Basil Thampi – Sunrisers Hyderabad
Basil Thampi won the Emerging Player Award in IPL 2017 and fans were impressed with his pace and ability to bowl yorkers. In the last couple of seasons, he has been part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad. In 2018 and 2019, Thampi got to play some playing time for the team he has been warming the bench at SRH this year.
He was not at his best towards the latter part of last season and that may have cost him a place in the starting XI. On the other hand, T Natarajan and Khaleel Ahmed are doing a good job with the ball in hand. Thampi has the potential to deliver but he might have to work on a few more things if he wants to earn his place back in SRH's starting XI.
1. Mayank Markande – Rajasthan Royals
Mayank Markande burst onto the scene in 2018 when he got the wicket of MS Dhoni with a googly in the first game of that season's IPL. He was brilliant in that season but didn’t get many chances in IPL 2019. Before this year’s auction, Markande was first traded by the Mumbai Indians to the Delhi Capitals, who then traded him to the Rajasthan Royals.
Shreyas Gopal has been the main spinner for the Royals over the last couple of seasons. The management also prefer Rahul Tewatia to Markande because of his batting skills. At the moment, it looks difficult for Markande to get a spot in the Rajasthan's starting XI, but if one of the leg-spinners gets injured, the team have a solid back-up in Mayank Markande.