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IPL 2020: Why is Imran Tahir not playing this season?

Imran Tahir won the IPL 2019 Purple Cap, having scalped 26 wickets in 17 games (Credits: IPLT20.com)
Imran Tahir won the IPL 2019 Purple Cap, having scalped 26 wickets in 17 games (Credits: IPLT20.com)
ANALYST
Modified 12 Oct 2020, 17:20 IST
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IPL 2020 is three weeks old, and it has captured the attention of people across the globe. In a year full of uncertainties, one of the strangest features of IPL 2020 has been the form of Chennai Super Kings and their captain, MS Dhoni.

The three-time IPL champions are not only lingering in sixth position in the IPL 2020 points table, but CSK are also yet to figure out their ideal playing eleven and batting order. The most striking of shortcomings have been MS Dhoni batting too low down the order and Ravindra Jadeja's shambolic performances with the ball.

‘Captain Cool’ MS Dhoni has only managed to score 102 runs in 5 innings so far. Meanwhile, all-rounder Jadeja was not given the ball against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday after he picked up only 3 wickets in the first 5 matches at a horrendous economy rate of 9.55.

Check out IPL 2020 schedule

Another notable aspect has been the omission of leg-spinner Imran Tahir from the starting line-up. The South African, who won the IPL 2019 Purple Cap, finished as the third-highest wicket-taker in the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with 15 wickets. However, Tahir has been seen warming the bench in the 6 matches CSK played so far.

Imran Tahir is unlikely to get a game in IPL 2020

Imran Tahir has not played a single match in IPL 2020 so far (Credits: IPLT20.com)
Imran Tahir has not played a single match in IPL 2020 so far (Credits: IPLT20.com)

After several discussions and debates on CSK’s fragile bowling line-up, they finally seem to have gotten their combination right.

While fit-again Dwayne Bravo picked up 3 wickets against KKR, leg-spinner Karn Sharma, who played his first match of the season on Wednesday, was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2 for 25 from his 4 overs.

If there ever was an outside chance of Imran Tahir making into the side, it was put to rest by Karn Sharma’s impressive show against KKR. Notably, even fast bowler Josh Hazlewood played a solitary game against Delhi Capitals before making way for Bravo and pacer Shardul Thakur.

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Even if CSK consider bringing in an overseas spinner into their mix, they are likely to prefer Mitchell Santner over Imran Tahir. While both can stem the flow of runs in the middle-overs and are potential wicket-takers in the powerplay, Santner can smash a few lusty blows with the bat, and thus, holds an edge over Tahir.

Considering the importance of run-saving in T20 cricket, 41-year-old Tahir might be falling short in the fielding aspect as well, compared to some of his younger colleagues.

Imran Tahir might have picked up 79 wickets in 55 IPL games at a phenomenal strike rate of 15.52, but one cannot look past his age. Has he already played his last match in the yellow jersey? Only time will tell.

Click here to see purple cap 2020 list. .

Published 10 Oct 2020, 15:44 IST
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