The biggest of them all is here & is around the corner and aren’t we all excited. Yes, I’m talking about the much-awaited Indian Premier League.
The buzz & excitement is there like it is every year. For me, the most interesting thing looking forward in the tournament is not only how a few youngsters perform but to see how a few players go about their business in the tournament.
In this article, I will share my 8 foreign players to watch out for, 1 each from every franchise.
David Willey (Chennai Super Kings)
Starting off with a player from the defending champions Chennai Super Kings, I have an Englishman in David Willey as my player to watch out for. Very good with the ball especially in early overs because of his ability to swing the ball & a very handy batsman who can churn out some quick runs for his team, Willey if used properly, can be a great asset for his team. Willey has played over 140 T20 games & his economy is below 8 & his strike rate with the bat is 141. He had a bad game vs Rajasthan Royals last year but I will be very disappointed if he’s not used enough this year.
Sandeep Lamichhane (Delhi Capitals)
This young leg spin sensation from Nepal has made a name for himself in a short time. Known for his attacking leg spin bowling, Sandeep someone who relies a lot on his accuracy and variations. He has been a mystery for most batters around the world. He is coming from a very good season in Big Bash where he picked up 11 wickets & conceded only 7 RPO. Having played in 3 matches in last IPL & playing on pitches which will aid spin bowling, Sandeep will be a big threat to Delhi’s opponents, if he’s given a consistent chance.
Nicholas Pooran (Kings XI Punjab)
This hard-hitting batsman from the Caribbean is another exciting talent. Known for his powerful hitting, Pooran made a name for himself in the Caribbean Premier League. Playing for Sylhet Sixers in Bangladesh Premier League in 2018, Pooran was a top run scorer of the league. Pooran was a part of Mumbai Indians but wasn’t offered an opportunity to showcase his talent. He made his T20 debut last year vs India & impressed everyone with his brilliant knock of 53*. One thing which stands out most about Pooran is his elegant & effortless strokeplay. Will be interesting to see how he is used by KXIP. Looking forward to watching more of him.
Harry Gurney (Kolkata Knight Riders)
One of the less famous players from this list, Gurney is a left-arm seamer from England. Hailed as a T20 specialist, Gurney is very good at bowling Yorkers & back of the hand slower balls. Starting off by playing a pivotal role in Leicestershire’s good campaign in 2009 NatWest T20 Blast season. Gurney has played over 120 T20 games & has taken 145 wickets while conceding less than 8 RPO. He has also represented England in a couple of T20I’s & did very well. Gurney might enjoy bowling on the track at Eden Gardens.
Ben Cutting (Mumbai Indians)
This Aussie all-rounder needs no recognition, does he? Still, he was seriously under-utilised by Mumbai Indians in last IPL. Sending the likes of Duminy ahead of him in batting & having him warm bench for most of the season made no sense at all. Cutting is an excellent athlete in the field, can chip in with a couple of overs when needed & can smash the ball a long long way. When he got his chance, he did well for his franchise last year. He was in a good form in BBL with the bat & will be exciting to see how he goes about his business this year’s IPL. If given a proper run, Cutting can be a big asset for the 3-time champs.
Shimron Hetmyer (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
You think about the most talented & powerful batsmen in the world right now & Shimron Hetmyer is one of the first names to come to your mind. This guy hits them as clean & as long as anyone can & with utmost ease. He is one of the most talented youngsters going around in World Cricket right now. Playing for Guyana Amazon Warriors in 2018, Hetmyer became the youngest batsman to score a century in CPL. Hetmyer already has 4 ODI centuries to his name in 25 matches old career. If he gets in his zone, no ground is big enough for this powerhouse. Will be exciting to see how he goes around his job along with the likes of Virat Kohli & AB de Villiers.
Jofra Archer (Rajasthan Royals)
Jofra Archer made quite a name for himself before he was a part of Rajasthan Royals in last year’s IPL. He & Jos Buttler were the main pioneers of Royals making it to playoffs. Archer is fast. He bowls at a quick speed & can rattle the batsmen with his pace. His ability to slip in Yorkers at will makes him even more dangerous. Archer had a good BBL but he wasn’t as successful as he was in previous season & that makes it even more interesting. Can Archer be the same force & will he be as intimidating as he was in last IPL? This is one of the things I’m looking forward to. Archer vs batters will be a great contest.
David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Last & the most famous name from this list is none other than one of the most successful batsmen in the history of the IPL, David Warner. David Warner has been missing from international cricket & major T20 leagues since he was banned following the sandpaper saga in March last year. Warner is a tough guy who is immensely skilled in all formats of the game and more so in this. He has an excellent record while playing for SRH and I’m excited to see him do his thing in IPL after his absence from last year’s competition. If SRH is to replicate their consistent performance, Warner has to deliver for them the way he has done over the years.
So these 8 foreign players are my players to watch out for. There is excitement about how they will fare in the competition as well as how Indian youngsters will fare against them. Most of these guys are very new to the Indian conditions & India isn’t the easiest of the places to travel when you aren’t experienced. That makes it even more exciting.
Thank you for reading!