The Indian Premier League (IPL) is going in full flow, with interesting games every single day. While the top three teams- Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore- have asserted their dominance in the first four weeks of the tournament, the competition for the fourth place is getting more and more intriguing.
While it is the hallmark of a champion side to maintain consistency in the playing XI, it is essential to test one’s bench strength as well. Also, many established players have been warming the bench, while others are not performing as well as they would have liked.
In the second half of the league stage, the pitches are definitely slowing down. A lot of players in the reserves certainly deserve an opportunity to represent their team now. Teams would like to do so without having to make a lot of radical changes, as that might end up harming the overall morale of the team.
In the article, let’s take a look at five players, who should get chances in week five of IPL 2020: –
1. Moeen Ali (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
English all-rounder Moeen Ali has warmed the bench for the majority of the season. He played one match against Delhi Capitals, which Bangalore lost by a huge margin of 59 runs. Ali had figures of 1/21 in two overs and scored 11 runs off 13 deliveries. However, giving him just one match is certainly not doing justice to his abilities.
Moeen was one of RCB’s most crucial players in the 2019 IPL. He scored 220 runs in 10 innings at a strike-rate of 165.41. He also took six wickets at an economy rate of 6.76 after playing the majority of his matches at the M.A Chinnaswamy Stadium. He was an excellent asset in the middle-overs, considering he can really thrash the spinners and stem the flow of runs. This would solve RCB’s problems
RCB have persisted with Aaron Finch, AB de Villiers, Chris Morris, and Isuru Udana for the last four matches as their foreign core. However, Australian captain Finch has had a disappointing run with the bat, with just 205 runs in nine innings at a paltry strike-rate of 114.52.
Ali could come in for Finch, and Kohli can open the batting with Devdutt Padikkal. This would allow Moeen to come in at number four or five, which shall further strengthen the middle-order and reduce the pressure on Virat and AB.
2. Imran Tahir (Chennai Super Kings)
The 2019 Purple Cap holder Imran Tahir has not started for the Chennai Super Kings in a single game this season. Chennai have persisted with the foreign combination of Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Sam Curran, and Dwayne Bravo. However, this season has been a disappointing one for the men in yellow.
Tahir took 26 wickets last season at an economy rate of 6.70. He was one of the major reasons why CSK reached the finals last season. He is a big match player and had figures of 2/23 last year in the finals, even though CSK lost by a run.
With the pitches slowing down in the UAE, CSK must find a way to accommodate their foreign spinner. The injury of Bravo means that they could certainly consider getting Tahir in. Leg-spinners such as Yuzvendra Chahal, Rashid Khan, and Rahul Chahar have had a good run, so CSK trying him out in the coming games should not come as a surprise to anyone.
3. Ishan Porel (Kings XI Punjab)
Ishan Porel was a part of the U19 WC winning squad led by Prithvi Shaw in the year 2018. He was purchased by KXIP at the base price of INR 20 lakhs in this year’s auction. He has performed well for Bengal and India-A as well and is very quickly rising up the ranks.
He has 16 wickets to his name in 14 T20 matches at an economy rate of 6.11. He is a hit-the-deck fast bowler and can open the bowling with Mohammad Shami, who is also from Bengal.
He has not played a single match for Punjab yet and can replace someone like Arshdeep Singh who hasn’t been as impressive in the IPL. Although Arshdeep brings in a left-arm option, he isn’t as effective in the mandatory powerplay. Jordan can take responsibility in the death overs, and Shami and Porel can open the bowling and attack.
4. Parthiv Patel (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Keeper-batsman Parthiv Patel was an integral part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore last season. He has not played a single game this season though. Josh Phillipe was the keeper for the first two games, and de Villiers has donned the gloves ever since.
Parthiv scored 373 runs in 14 innings at a brilliant strike-rate of just under 140. He utilised the powerplay overs extremely well last season, taking the attack to the bowlers and making full use of the field-restrictions. He was also an excellent keeper, and won RCB a game against CSK with his batting and keeping abilities.
Getting Parthiv in would mean that ABD could be relieved of the gloves. He has already won RCB most of their games, and there is a lot of pressure on him to perform consistently in both aspects. Patel could replace Finch, while Moeen could replace an Indian batsman in the middle order. This balance could benefit Bangalore in the latter half of the IPL.
5. Virat Singh (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
22-year-old Jharkhand cricketer Virat Singh was purchased by Sunrisers Hyderabad for a whopping price of INR 1.9 crores in last year’s IPL auction. He hasn’t got a game yet, as the likes of Abdul Samad and Priyam Garg have been preferred over him.
He is an explosive left-handed batsman, who scored 343 runs in 10 innings in the 2019-20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at a healthy strike-rate of 142.32. He was the highest run-scorer for Jharkhand and he impressed everyone with his batting style.
The best thing about him is that he can bat at the top, as well as finish games. Priyam Garg has scored 102 runs in six innings, which includes a half-century. Virat could get an opportunity in his place considering the fact that he shall give the middle-order the much-needed aggression after an experienced top four.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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