The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has thrown up a few unexpected star performers.
Harshal Patel has a stronghold over the IPL 2021 Purple Cap, while others like Avesh Khan are in contention for the award. In the batting department, Glenn Maxwell and Ruturaj Gaikwad are among the top 10 of the Orange Cap.
The other end of the spectrum features players who were expected to be mainstays in their respective teams, but haven't gotten a chance to showcase their wares so far.
Here are 3 players who've surprisingly not featured in IPL 2021 yet.
#3 Dawid Malan (PBKS)
While Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran were always going to be ahead of Dawid Malan in the Punjab Kings pecking order, the Englishman has had a case to be included in the playing XI for a few games now.
Both Gayle and Pooran have underwhelmed in IPL 2021, with the latter in particular going through an abysmal run of form. The PBKS middle order has collapsed like a house of cards on a number of occasions, and the team could clearly use the services of a dependable batsman like Malan at No. 3.
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal haven't been entirely fluent at the top, so PBKS may be reluctant to field another batsman who takes his time to get going. But the #1-ranked T20I batsman in the world definitely deserves a go in the biggest shortest-format tournament in the world.
#2 Priyam Garg (SRH)
Priyam Garg didn't have particularly eye-catching numbers in IPL 2020 despite playing most games, but he showed promise with an attacking fifty. And with the Sunrisers Hyderabad's middle-order woes showing no signs of ceasing, the youngster had been tipped to find his way into the playing XI this year.
Sadly, that hasn't happened so far. Abhishek Sharma, Virat Singh, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar have all featured in the SRH middle order, but Garg has been conspicuous by his absence.
SRH might believe that he's better suited to a top-order role, but they need to bring Garg in at the earliest. He is probably the only player they haven't tried yet, and they need to pull out all the stops to turn their nightmare campaign around.
#1 Kartik Tyagi (RR)
Kartik Tyagi is one of the most promising young pacers in the country, but his development has stalled this year. He was one of the bright sparks of a dismal IPL 2020 campaign for the Rajasthan Royals, and proved to be Jofra Archer's only support in the fast-bowling department.
But this year, Tyagi hasn't been seen in action yet. The rise of young Chetan Sakariya hasn't helped his case, while Mustafizur Rahman and Jaydev Unadkat have had their moments.
Tyagi showed glimpses of his immense potential in IPL 2020. He nailed yorkers at the death, bowled at a decent pace, and proved that he's ready to confront any challenge head-on. Although he hasn't been handed a cap this season, the 20-year-old could still make an impact on the tournament.
Tyagi could be the man to turn RR's IPL 2021 season around - Sanju Samson's side are 7th with only two wins in six games.