Indian T20 League 2020 Learnings: Unpredicted Gamechangers
This is the seventh in a series of features where we will be taking a detailed dive into the various factors that stood out during the course of the Indian T20 League 2020 season.
We saw many of the usual suspects like KL Rahul, David Warner, Jasprit Bumrah, Kagiso Rabada, etc., coming up with top-notch performances in the recently concluded Indian T20 League. All of them have been consistent performers in the tournament over the years and it was not surprising to see them stepping up once again.
"We knew once the stage was set for the Indian T20 League to unfold at Dubai, that there would be some unexpected displays of brilliance," said Brett Lee. "Rajasthan's Rahul Tewatia was certainly one of those players, as he rose to the occasion more than once and became one of the most talked-about players of the tournament. Then there was Lockie Ferguson who worked some magic with the ball for Kolkata, and Chris Morris, another revelation. It's these surprising showings that keep the sport fresh and unpredictable in my book."
However, they were not the only players who dominated the headlines this season. In fact, there were many players who came up with stellar performances from nowhere and thus turned out to be absolute gamechangers for their respective sides. Here we take a look at some of those players.
Tewatia's association with the Indian Premier League dates back to 2013 but he had hardly earned any recognition in the sporadic opportunities he got with different teams during this period. However, the 2020 edition turned his career around completely as he went on to have a stellar season with both bat and ball.
Tewatia not only scored 255 runs at an excellent average of 42.50 but also picked up 10 wickets during the season. It included three match-winning performances as well. His spell of 3 for 37 completely derailed Chennai at Sharjah whereas his knocks of 53 and 45* against Punjab and Hyderabad respectively helped Rajasthan to pull off wins from difficult situations.
Kolkata were really struggling with their bowling towards the middle of the season. Pat Cummins was proving to be highly ineffective whereas nothing good was coming out of the inexperienced Indian pacers either. That was when they brought Lockie Ferguson into the XI to give their bowling unit the penetrative edge they were lacking, and the Kiwi international didn't disappoint.
Ferguson registered a match-winning spell of 4-0-15-3 right in his first match of this edition and thus helped Kolkata bounce back after a slump in form. He went on to end the season with six wickets to his name in five matches, claimed at an economy rate of 7.46.
The Caribbean all-rounder's performances probably had the highest impact on a team's fortunes in this edition of the Indian T20 League. At the halfway mark, Hyderabad's chances of qualifying for the playoffs looked quite bleak. But Holder changed things up considerably as he not only turned put to be a wicket-taking bowler but also became a vital cog of their batting unit.
The 29-year-old picked up 14 wickets in the seven matches he played for Hyderabad, at an impressive average of 16.64, and also played a couple of useful cameos. It was due to his all-round show that Hyderabad were able to make it to the playoffs and his performances have ensured that he will be a highly sought-after asset in the mega auction next year.