After a long wait, the IPL 2020 is finally just hours away from its opening tie. It will be another feather in the cap of the most celebrated T20 league in the world. The 13th edition of the tournament is more exciting than ever, with more fresh faces and a new set of rules. Most of the players will also be thrilled to return to the field after a brief COVID-19 hiatus.
Like all the seasons, it will be a battle between eight equals. While some teams have strong batting units, the others are heavily armed in their bowling departments. Ultimately the teams, which will utilize their resources wisely, are likely to win the championship. Even if it means using the bowling skills of some of your regular batsmen. These batsmen can make valuable contributions to their respective teams with their bowling effort in IPL 2020.
Here is the list of 5 batsmen who can be used as bowlers in IPL 2020:
1 . Steve Smith
On paper, the Rajasthan Royals may not be the perfect T20 side, but the team can topple any opposition on a given day. The franchise has always managed to get the best out of their players. So, they will be looking to put up good performances after a couple of mediocre seasons. They have the required ammunition to win their second championship.
However, the departure of Krishnappa Gowtham has left a huge void in their spin department. They don’t have an experienced spinner to partner Shreyas Gopal. It might work against them, as the spinners might have a big role to play on the tacky surfaces of the UAE. That’s where their skipper, Steve Smith, can make a difference.
The Australian who made his international debut on the merit of his spin-bowling prowess can be Rajasthan’s back-up spin option if the situation goes south for them. He can still deceive the batsmen with his leg-breaks. Besides, on his return as the skipper of a team, he will be eager to prove a thing or two. And what better way than by taking wickets and contributing to the bowling unit.
2. Rohit Sharma
For the Mumbai Indians fans, the IPL 2020 will not be just about winning the title. They will want their team to get out of this cyclic pattern of odd-year hurrah and even-year jinx. The Rohit Sharma-led team has the ability to put an end to the trend and add another trophy to their cabinet. Their unit looks balanced in all the facets.
Except for their spin department, which lacks depth. Even though there is Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar in their ranks MI is light on spin commodities. They will struggle if one of them gets injured or gets into a bad rut of form. So to prevent a complete breakdown, they should look for a reliable option. And who better than their skipper, Rohit Sharma.
It is true that he hasn’t bowled much since taking over the captaincy duties. But it doesn’t mean that Rohit is a mug with the ball in his hand. In his early days, Deccan Chargers used him wisely, as he used to provide crucial breakthroughs for them. He has a hat-trick to himself in the league. So there is no reason why he can’t be handy on the slow surfaces of UAE. The skipper should consider his part-time off-spin as an asset in this year’s IPL.
3. Kane Williamson
The franchise which is considered the dark horses in the upcoming IPL season is none other than Sunrisers Hyderabad. Their resilience and self-belief cannot be overlooked. Hence the Orange Army can once again give the high-profile teams a run for their money. Moreover, they have a well-rounded squad suited for all the conditions.
Unfortunately, one of their star players, Kane Williamson, might not get many chances if the team plays it safe. It will be unfair to the New Zealander, as he is far too talented to sit in the dug-out. But it can be avoided if SRH uses him sensibly. He can be their support spinner on the spin conducive pitches of the UAE.
Williamson can bowl a few overs in tandem with Rashid Khan. He can be used as a bait to fish wickets. In his support, he has scalped 72 wickets in the international circuit. More importantly, his presence will not only strengthen their middle-order but will also give them the balance, which has been a problem for them in all these years. He will not mind rolling his arm over if he gets a place in the playing XI.
4. Glenn Maxwell
For Kings XI Punjab, the IPL 2020 can be their defining season if they play to their potential. The team has some genuine match-winners in their squad. But it all boils down to the point that the team has to click as a unit. Especially since their bowling attack looks a tad weak as they are too dependent on Mohammed Shami and Mujeeb ur Rahman.
The franchise has good support bowling cast in the form of Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Jordan, and others, but most of them are pacers. And in the UAE, it will be the spinners who are likely to dominate the proceedings. That’s why Glenn Maxwell comes into the picture. The Australian can be a handy bowing option if one of their regular bowlers will have a poor day.
Maxwell may not give a ton of wickets, but he can chip in with useful ones. He is a typical T20 bowler who likes to frustrate the batsmen with his defensive lines, and sometimes in the process, he will get rewards in the form of crucial wickets. Notably, he played a similar role for Melbourne Stars in the 2019-20 BBL. He picked up 10 wickets at an economy rate of 7.02. Punjab will be more than happy if he does the same for them in IPL 2020.
5. Shane Watson
Chennai Super Kings have already been dealt a couple of blows before the start of their campaign. Still, their fans are hoping for a strong show from their team as CSK has never allowed setbacks to affect their on-field performances. As usual, the Yellow team has a strong core. Their batting and bowling departments are full of experienced players.
Their only worry is the bowling in powerplay overs which can get worse if Deepak Chahar cannot provide the required control with the new-ball. Besides, Shardul Thakur has been proved too expensive in his opening spells. But it can be solved if Dhoni decides to utilize Shane Watson as a bowler. He has abundant experience of operating in powerplays.
Watson can make the new-ball talk in the dry conditions of the UAE. He is a crafty customer, even when there is only a little juice in the pitches. If he can pick wickets in the first six overs, then it will be easy for the CSK spinners to play their cards in their middle-overs. His confidence with the ball might also translate into his batting. There is no doubt MSD values Watson more as a batsman, but there will be harm if he is used as a bowler in parts.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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