In a decade the Indian Premier League has become a pristine tournament in the cricketing world. Each year it has grown its reputation and it has also set the benchmark for the T20 leagues around the globe. It has been a great set-up for the budding cricketers. All in all, now it has turned into an annual carnival for which the fans wait eagerly.
Though the 12th season has finished months ago the franchises are already preparing for the next saga. They are coining new strategies for the upcoming season. Amidst all these planning some players might be released ahead of the auction because of their below-par performances in the last season. These cricketers may find a new home as their skillsets can be a perfect fit for the other teams.
Here is the list of 5 under-performers in IPL 2019 who can be brilliant additions to other teams in IPL 2020 :
1) Robin Uthappa – Sunrisers Hyderabad
Robin Uthappa. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)
For Kolkata Knight Riders IPL 2019 was a one man show as some of their regular stars became burdensome for the team. One of them was Robin Uthappa who had a mediocre season with 282 runs in 11 outings. More than his numbers it was his mindset which cost the team in a couple of run-chases. Throughout the season he was unable to compliment his partners.
Instead of expressing himself the Karnataka star was trying too hard to stamp his authority. Even the team management failed to define his role as he either played in top gear or in neutral. In case if he is not retained by his current franchise then Sunrisers Hyderabad should keep an eye on him. They will be benefitted by his presence in the squad.
Though Robin has scored most of his IPL runs at top of the order it has been forgotten that he began his career as a finisher for the Indian team. It is an area where the Orange Army has struggled as they have not flourished in the end overs. Uthappa can play innovative shots at will. His keeping skills will be a bonus and he can revel in a position which got him the India Cap in the first place.
2) Rahul Tripathi – Royal Challengers Bangalore
Rahul Tripathi. (Photo: IANS)
In the 12th edition of IPL, the Rajasthan franchise underutilized its resources and faltered in their decision-making skills. In each of their games, they didn’t field a settled batting unit. Particularly their idea to use Rahul Tripathi as a floater backfired completely. He ended up with 141 runs in 7 innings with the only half-century coming in the last game.
The right-hander has not enjoyed his stint with the Pink team. Tripathi is a cricketer who relies on timing so he has not been effective in middle-overs where the muscle is required for boundary hitting. There are far too many top-order batsmen in the Royals camp so he might be released before the 2020 auction. His style of play might work for the Bangalore side.
Royal Challengers have done well when their skipper Virat Kohli has opened the innings but it makes their batting razor-thin in case of top-order collapses. By picking up the Maharasthra cricketer they can guard Kohli against the new-ball. He can provide brisk starts and the small boundaries of Chinnaswamy stadium will cover up for his muted power game. His addition will further increase the pool of domestic talent in the squad.
3) David Miller – Mumbai Indians
David Miller. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)
Every season of IPL brings a new set of things to the table but the same cannot be said about the fortunes and consistency of the Punjab team. Since the inception of this tournament, they have always flattered to deceive the cricketing fraternity. A similar situation is faced by their star performer, David Miller. In IPL 2019 he only gathered 213 runs in 10 games.
A couple of years ago the South African was leading the Kings and from there on his batting form has dipped drastically. It seems that the southpaw is burdened by the tag of the finisher attached to him. Now the arrival of Nicholas Pooran has further jeopardized his place in the side. He might be released ahead of the next season and that’s why Mumbai can fish him in the auction.
The current champions need an experienced head in the middle-order and Miller can fill that void effectively. The presence of Hardik Pandya and Keiron Pollard will set him free from the pressure of expectations. The Wankhede surface will be a perfect fit for his range hitting. A new set-up might help him rediscover his mojo.
4) Jaydev Unadkat – Chennai Super Kings
Jaydev Unadkat. (Photo Source: Twitter)
The inaugural champions of IPL made some tactical errors at the start of the season which cost them heavily. The biggest of them all was the overspending in retaining Jaydev Unadkat. The speedster was not up to the mark and ended up with 10 wickets in 11 ties. His economy rate of 10.66 was one of the reasons why the team lost the plot in this edition.
After his breakthrough performances in IPL 2017, he became a hot property in the league but he has not been able to repeat the same magic. Even the price tag has affected him psychologically as he is expected to deliver whenever the ball is handed to him. Now it will not be a surprise if he is relieved of his duties after his back to back failures. That might work in the favor of Super Kings as they have been monitoring him in the previous auctions.
A move to the Chennai franchise will be a win-win situation for the pacer and the team. Of late the Men in Yellow has stumbled in their death over bowling because of the poor returns from Dwayne Bravo. Unadkat is a bowler who thrives on slow pitches and that’s what the Chidambaram stadium offers most of the time. At the back end of the innings, his variations with the old ball will be doubly effective on the sticky surfaces of Chepauk.
5) Tim Southee – Kolkata Knight Riders
Tim Southee. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
In all these years the Bangalore franchise has not been able to decode their bowling puzzles. It was no different in the 2019 edition where their bowlers again crumbled under pressure situations. Even the veteran Tim Southee couldn’t hold the fort when he was given the charge of the pace attack. He managed a solitary wicket in 3 games and his economy rate of 13 was among the worst in the tournament.
It is clear from his occasional appearances that the pacer is not trusted by the team management. Also, the strategy of the franchise of filling up the side with multi-utility players has dented his chances. In the present scenario, Virat Kohli has the luxury of Indian fast-bowlers in the squad which is a bad sign for the Kiwi. So he may not get his contract renewed for the next season and it will be a golden opportunity for the Kolkata franchise to bag him.
Knight Riders have quality pace options but they require a spearhead to guide their young guns. Southee can be a good bet as he has abundant international experience. He can exploit the conditions of Eden Gardens which have been aiding seam bowlers in the last couple of years. At least he can get more opportunities with the Kolkata team.
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