The Indian T20 League's 2020 edition is set to welcome us and as is always the case with such tournaments, we have a fair few last-minute replacements in teams as a result of injury, players pulling out for national commitments or the fear of the pandemic sweeping the globe. Here we look at four of the latest replacement players named, the possible reason they were chosen by the respective franchise and how good a pick they are likely to be.
Adam Zampa - Bangalore
Replacing Kane Richardson with Adam Zampa, a leg-spinner, might have been a tad surprising, but Bangalore have been spot-on with their signings this season. While they already have a leg-spinner certain to start in Yuzvendra Chahal, attacking with spinners, particularly wrist spinners who take wickets, has been immensely successful in T20 cricket.
On slow decks like in UAE, Bangalore could ponder going the way of a lot of Caribbean Premier League teams and go all out in attack with spinners ranging from Chahal and Moeen to Zampa, Negi and Sundar. The Australian leg-spinner is usually economical and has a knack of picking up wickets too, which makes him a handy pick for Bangalore this season.
James Pattinson - Mumbai
Surprisingly, Mumbai chose to replace Lasith Malinga with another pace bowler when they have a plethora of fast bowling options in the bag in Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan and Nathan Coulter-Nile to assist the Indian pacers, Jasprit Bumrah and Dhawal Kulkarni. Pattinson adds no new dimension to the attack with his hit-the-deck lengths and is a bizarre pick, particularly given that the franchise is short-staffed in the spin department. With options like Tabraiz Shamsi available to bolster the spin attack in UAE, Mumbai have strangely stuck to their guns in going seam-heavy. It remains to be seen if they can pull a rabbit out of the hat in these challenging conditions.
Daniel Sams - Delhi
Daniel Sams is a queer choice from a franchise that made a lot of strange choices in the auction this season. While it's certainly a left-field pick, it's hard to see Sams playing a game for Delhi this year. While Sams did well in the Big Bash League, his performances came on completely different wickets against completely different kinds of batters. His skillsets aren't really in sync with conditions in UAE and it's hard to miss the Ricky Ponting influence in this choice. With Delhi Capitals already having pace bowling all-rounders in Marcus Stoinis, Harshal Patel and Keemo Paul, Sams is a real odd pick.
Anrich Nortje - Delhi
While Anrich Nortje lit up the inaugural Mzansi Super League with his blistering pace and bounce and is a good T20 bowler overall, he does not quite match Delhi's requirements for the season. With Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Ishant Sharma, Keemo Paul, Harshal Patel and Mohit Sharma in their ranks, adding Nortje too in the mix would only compound their conundrum. Rather, they seem slightly short on spin-bowling all-rounders who can bat and a middle-order batsman who can chip in with a few overs of spin might have been a more handy pick.
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