Brett’s watch list: Key players from Thursday and Friday’s games
We’re into the business end of this year’s Indian T20 League and regardless of the current circumstances, the tournament has duly managed to live up to its full potential. After some stunning round of fixtures from the first three games of the week, it’s time to look forward to what’s in store next. And having said that, I’m banking on these four players for the upcoming fixtures:
Rajasthan - Jos Buttler
A change in the batting order has worked wonders for Rajasthan and more so for Jos Buttler. Now arriving at No. 5, the England batsman has impressed one and all with his sheer intelligence, and I believe Hyderabad will be at the receiving end of more of the same. It took time for Buttler to assert his claim, but now that he has found his patch, I’m counting on him to be his team’s force in the middle order. An extravagant innings is all Buttler needed to get into his previous self, and Hyderabad will certainly have to be on their toes on Thursday.
Hyderabad - Jonny Bairstow
Jonny has been quite inconsistent this season, but the fact remains that if you give him even the slightest of edge, he will punish you brutally. He has scored 20+ runs in his last two appearances, but I feel there’s more in the offering from the Englishman. It’s quite strange to see him so down in the order of the highest-run scorers of the tournament, having scored 316 runs at 35.11. Against Rajasthan, all he needs to do is to survive the Archer blast in the Powerplay overs to get the momentum going. Once that is taken care of, he can rightly enjoy the rest of his innings.
Chennai - Deepak Chahar
Chennai take on Mumbai on Friday and the defending champions would love to take revenge in the second time of asking. Chennai are in a slump but a certain Deepak Chahar has enjoyed fruitful outings of late, picking two wickets for 18 runs in his last two games. Mumbai are arguably the favourites heading into the game but I’m counting on Deepak Chahar to make an impact for his team. His ability to restrict the opposition in tight situations is something that has impressed me the most, and I can see him delivering another such spell against Mumbai.
Mumbai - Jasprit Bumrah
Bumrah looked extremely off-balance to me in the opening few games, but boy, how astonishing has he been in the last few games! He has, in fact, gone wicketless in just one of his last five outings, picking up a whopping 10 wickets during the period while also keeping the opposition in check. Chennai’s struggle provide Bumrah a great opportunity to close down the gap between him and the league’s highest wicket-taker, Kagiso Rabada. He is going to have a big say in the match.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / @josbuttler