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IPL: Players who have batted at surprising batting positions

Vishnu Rajesh
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Twenty20 cricket has changed the dynamics of cricket. The Indian Premier League is the face of T20 cricket and has sprung many surprises on us over its course of ten years. Tactics unimaginable in the pre-T20 era have been employed in the glamorous league that is the IPL.

One tactic that has now been employed quite often is that of sending a pinch-hitting bowler up the order in order to hasten the run rate. Let us look at some of these cases wherein an unexpected player was seen batting high up the order:

Praveen Kumar - Opener

Praveen Kumar has opened the innings for the Royal Challengers Bangalore
Praveen Kumar has opened the innings for the Royal Challengers Bangalore

Praveen Kumar started his career with the bat in the domestic circuit for Uttar Pradesh. This was not feasible in Indian colours though, owing to the quality of batting present in the national team at that time.

However, Kumar did get a chance to open the batting on a couple of occasions in the Indian Premier League. His first opportunity came very early on, in just the seventeenth game in IPL history. The Royal Challengers Bangalore were struggling with their opening partnership and Bharat Chipli was out of form at the top of the order. Chipli was dropped from the starting eleven and to everyone's surprise, it was Praveen Kumar who came out to the middle with Wasim Jaffer to open the innings.

Unfortunately for him, Kumar faced one of the greatest bowlers at the time, Glen McGrath. He did manage to score a boundary but was soon after dismissed in the fifth delivery of the first over. He did get another opportunity to open the innings, but was dismissed for a duck.

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