It’s a very common fact that the IPL (Indian Premier League) is a force to reckon with and is the most sought after T20 league in the world. Every cricketer who is active in the domestic or international scene wants to get an opportunity to play in the cash-rich tournament as he knows that would enhance his credentials as a player and it would help him regain the faith of national selectors.
The popularity of the tournament is so much that every cricket board is in a fix whether to allow all their star players to participate in the tournament. As the ICC hasn’t yet created a separate window for the biggest T20 tournament in the world, some series that clash with it leaves players in a catch twenty situation- should they represent their country or stick to playing for their respective franchise?
IPL 2019 that went off very successfully early this year came before the ICC World Cup 2019 that England won in rather dramatic circumstances. As a result of the mega event coming post the completion of the tournament, many prominent and known T20 players opted or pulled out to focus on their preparations for the World Cup.
Players who were nursing injuries or who were coming off injury layoffs, and others who preferred to focus on their game and get acquainted and comfortable with the conditions in England, were missing from action.
Here we look at 5 pulled out players of IPL 2019 who might play IPL 2020
1. Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins has been prone to many injuries since he started playing for Australia in the year 2011. His selection for the tour of India in 2017 was a stern examination of his skill and fitness. He managed to pass that and post that he represented Delhi Capitals and had a good season and was praised by the skipper Zaheer Khan as well.
There is nothing that can stop the No. 1 ranked Test match bowler from being a legend. He has shown that with continuous hard work and commitment, one can overcome all hurdles. He has worked on his fitness and that was reflected in the way he spearheaded a famous 3-2 ODI series win in India before the World Cup.
In a bid to stay physically and mentally fit for the marquee tournament, and with one eye on the Ashes series that would follow the World Cup, the Aussie speedster pulled out of IPL 2019. His presence would certainly enhance the tournament even more. The prospect of seeing Cummins- Rabada or Bumrah-Cummins bowling together is really exciting.
2. Lungi Ngidi
Talented, aggressive and effortless- these are the adjectives that could describe Proteas speedster Lungisani Ngidi. The pacer made a very impressive foray into the South African team, almost sharing the burden of the bowling attack with Kagiso Rabada after they lost Morne Morkel and Kyle Abbott to the Kolpak deal and Dale Steyn was missing in action owing to injuries.
Ngidi made his T20I debut against Sri Lanka at Centurion in January 2017 and was named Player of the Match for his bowling figures of 2-0-12-2. He was named a part of the One-Day International squad that faced Sri Lanka later that month too but missed out due to a left abdominal muscle strain. And ever since there have been many injury hiccups for this seamer.
In IPL 2018, Ngidi made his IPL debut for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He managed to play seven games picking up eleven wickets at an impressive average of 14.18. But unfortunately for him, his season was cut short by injury. He recovered in time to represent his country in the World Cup. His ability to bowl the hard length and extra bounce came in handy for the Proteas in seam friendly conditions in England.
The talented South African fast bowler would want to get full fitness and be available for selection in IPL 2020. If he is fully fit and raring to go, he can be an invaluable asset for any franchise to have. He can bowl well in the beginning and at the death overs and is a pretty safe fielder too.
3. Glenn Maxwell
Glen Maxwell or ‘’The Big Show’’ is synonymous to T20 cricket. He completely is a perfect fit for the shortest format of the game. His attacking, free-flowing batting is extremely eye-catching and can dent the confidence of opposition bowlers quickly. The all-rounder pulled a big surprise when he opted out of IPL 2019 to focus on the World Cup 2019.
The Big Show continues to be a threat in the shorter forms of the game. In the BBL 2018-2019 season, his performance as batsman and skipper for Melbourne Stars was instrumental in taking them to the finals. Maxwell also got his form going in ODIs at the start of 2019 in the absence of Warner-Smith, taking more responsibility which ensured that a spot in the Australian middle-order was a surety.
Looking ahead to the next year’s IPL, one thing is for sure- if there are no injuries one can expect Maxwell to put his name in the players draft. It must be seen which franchise will show interest and back his talents. He has had a very mixed IPL journey so far where he has tasted enormous success and a string of failures for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). 69 games, 1397 runs at a very impressive strike rate of 161.13 speak for themselves. The main question to be asked is can he maintain consistency?
4. David Willey
The Chennai Super Kings roped in the Yorkshire man as a replacement for the injured Indian international Kedar Jadhav, who suffered a hamstring injury in the very first game of the season. The Pune-born middle-order batsman’s quickfire 24 which included two crucial sixes took MS Dhoni’s men home in the season opener against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.
Willey is an experienced T20 player, having played 164 T20s and scoring 2516 runs while also picking up 158 wickets. Apart from his effective death bowling skills, the southpaw is also a very useful batsman with his lusty blows down the order. And in T20s him being left-handed provides that extra edge for any captain to have.
Although he took just two wickets in the three games, he played during the 2018 season, the 28-year-old deserved to be retained – especially since CSK’s star all-rounders Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo are well into their 30s. But the English speedster pulled out of IPL 2019 owing to personal reasons which required him to be in England during the time IPL 2019 was played.
5. Mitchell Starc
Another player who has fallen into the injury trap way too often in recent times has been Australia’s premier fast bowler Mitchell Starc. Starc- a name that strikes fear into the hearts of contemporary batsmen. It is hard to believe that the tall, skinny lad from Sydney, who was once an aspiring wicketkeeper in junior cricket, would one day become such a fiery force, who can nail Yorkers with ease.
In February 2017, Starc decided to skip playing for the Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) to focus on international cricket, once again exhibiting that the national team remains his priority. However, he has only played 10 games over the years for the Sixers, taking 20 wickets and conceding at a rate of 7.92 runs an over. He was the third-highest wicket-taker in the inaugural Big Bash League, picking up 13 wickets and leading the Sixers to the title with his fiery bowling. One could question why he would put his body on the line for a BBL side and skip playing in the IPL.
He has rightly decided to give importance to his body that has constantly broken down over the years. He picks and chooses the series he plays and makes sure he remains physically fit to represent his country in the best possible shape. No one can doubt his ability with the ball as he showed in the World Cup 2019. All IPL fans would hope that the Aussie speedster makes himself available for selection for IPL 2020 and they could get to see him play for any franchise.
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