Indian T20 League 2020 Learnings: Four Players who should have got more games
This is the tenth 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.
The 2020 edition of the Indian T20 League saw teams adapt to new surfaces in UAE and find personnel suiting their change requirements. A part of the challenge was also in identifying this core group that would take them forward and in doing so, quite a few glaring omissions stood out. At the end of one of the most exhilarating Indian T20 League seasons, we look at a few players who deserved more chances.
“I don't envy the captain and team management who have to decide who plays and who doesn't in any given match," said Lee.
"However, I must say that there were a few players who I feel were perhaps not used as well as they could've been. Like Imran Tahir, the highest wicket-taker last season, yet Chennai barely used him this time, especially during the latter stages of the season when the pitches slowed down.
"Then there's Chris Lynn, who Mumbai could not think of playing because of the strong showing of their batsmen right through the tournament. Bangalore though could have used Moeen Ali more, both with the ball on slower decks and also to pad the middle-order to pinch-hit before or after AB de Villiers,” he added.
The title winners acquired Chris Lynn from Kolkata with the clear aim of having him for the Wankhede wicket. However, with venues moved and his weakness against spin, Lynn never even received a single game. Mumbai played just 15 players through the season, and Lynn was someone who could’ve got a few chances at the top to see how he goes. Lynn has an average of 33.68 in the powerplay and a strike-rate of 140.65, but his recent form in the Caribbean Premier League must have gone against him. That said, being a game-changer, Lynn could’ve been given a few games at least.
Bangalore took a long time to figure out their best XI and it played a part in their eventual ouster in the eliminator. Moeen Ali, who was among the quickest run-scorers in the middle overs last two seasons, remained on the bench even as Bangalore struggled with their scoring rate in the middle. Add in his worthy bowling and Moeen could have been used to take down leg-spinners who turn into him and also help free up AB de Villiers more. His bowling was an added bonus, but somehow Bangalore took quite a while to figure this out.
One of the most talked-about on the bench, Imran Tahir was controversially benched by Chennai for all but three matches. Following a stunning CPL, Tahir was expected to be a lock for one of Chennai’s overseas slots, but they chose to go with local spinners to try and strengthen the fast bowling core and top-order batting. While this was needed, they sorely lacked the impact Tahir could have made in the middle overs by using Dwayne Bravo who appeared well past his prime. Tahir is a T20 legend and his numbers prove the same. In 58 Indian T20 League games, Tahir has 80 wickets at an average of 21.08.
Purchased by Rajasthan, David Miller was benched for the most part of the season and was especially deemed surplus to requirements after Ben Stokes arrived. Miller played just one game and scored 0 in it, but never got another chance. While he has had some ordinary returns in T20s of late, Miller catered to one specific area Rajasthan had to plug – late-order hitting and finishing. Jos Buttler, at his own insistence, later moved down the order, but could Rajasthan have tried handing over the captaincy to Buttler and benching Smith to play Miller who could have plugged a hole? Guess we will never know.