In IPL, it is not always that every player in the squad gets an opportunity to play a game. If going well, teams usually do not tinker with their combination and hence, some players finish the season without being part of a single game. The playing XI combination and tactics by the management also do not allow a few players to take part in any game.
IPL 2020 saw many players falling into this category. A few of them, unfortunately, were also released by their respective franchises. However, many such cricketers have done well in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. With their performances, they are sure to garner attention for the upcoming edition of IPL.
1. R Sai Kishore
It was after a good show in the previous season that R Sai Kishore got a chance to be part of CSK’s IPL 2020 squad. He did not get a chance to feature for the men-in-yellow, but the prospects look bright for the forthcoming campaign. He helped Tamil Nadu win SMAT 2021 and impressed all with his ability to bowl economical while picking wickets at regular intervals. CSK have released both Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla, and are using less of Ravindra Jadeja as a bowler. This means that Sai Kishore could get a few games in IPL 2021.
2. M Siddharth
The man of the match in the final of SMAT 2021, M Siddharth was part of KKR’s IPL 2020 squad. Even he did not get a game and was eventually released by the franchise. However, he could be in real demand at the upcoming auctions. Siddharth is a specialist in the T20 format and is used to bowling at the start and during the middle overs. Many teams would be wanting to have a domestic spinner in their ranks and here is where Siddharth could actually earn big. Although we feel KKR would go back for him, it will not be a surprise if the likes of Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals also target the youngster.
3. Virat Singh
It was surprising that Sunrisers Hyderabad did not use Virat Singh last season. In 5 games at SMAT, the Jharkand batsman scored 250 runs at the average of 62.5. He did better than Priyam Garg, and hence, might be preferred ahead of the Uttar Pradesh lad in SRH’s playing XI. If Virat can play some useful knocks and show his skill, SRH might even consider to retain him as an uncapped player ahead of the mega-auctions in 2022.
4. Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan could not play much in IPL 2020. He did well in SMAT 2021 where he collected 14 wickets from just five games at an average of 10.64. Delhi Capitals do not have many domestic pacers, and hence, Avesh could get a couple of games next season. He is a talented pacer, and bowling alongside the likes of Kagiso Rabada will help him develop his game. The Madhya Pradesh bowler must aim to remain fit and available for his franchise.
5. Ishan Porel
With 13 scalps from 5 games at an average of 10.85, Ishan Porel has made it a little easy for the management of KXIP. He was benched last season, but with this show, KXIP will be forced to use him for the upcoming campaign. Hence, this would allow the franchise to focus on other areas in the auction. KXIP will look for an overseas pacer and given Mohammed Shami might be rusty from his injury-return at that time, Porel is likely to get some matches.