I’ve been keeping a close eye on every team in the Indian T20 League and also the players who are playing a crucial role in their team’s success.
After talking about Saturday’s double-header, the following players, I think, should be watched closely during Sunday's matches.
Hyderabad – Kane Williamson
The enormous pressure on openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, plus the team's mainstay Manish Pandey, to carry Hyderabad’s batting line-up was curbing the trio's natural attacking instinct. Hence, the return of Kane Williamson in the middle order is extremely vital for the team's odds of making it to the playoffs.
Kane is one of the finest batsmen and he provides insurance to the top order and is someone that can anchor the batting line-up by providing stability to the middle order. A former Orange Cap winner, he has already shown that he can not only be the anchor but also the aggressor and score big. Moving forward, I really believe Williamson will have to play a huge role as a batsman and a leader for Hyderabad.
Rajasthan – Jos Buttler
After a rather poor start to the season by his lofty stands, Jos Buttler finally hit the ground running with a sensational 70 against his former side Mumbai. The Englishman is Rajasthan’s talisman with the bat and his form will be a key factor in determining how far his side venture into the campaign.
He and his squad will be up against a Bangalore side who are in need of points to keep pace with the top four. Buttler has a pretty average record against Bangalore, having scored just one fifty in his seven matches against them so far but I think Jos will be the one to keep an eye on in this encounter.
Mumbai – Trent Boult
Mumbai and their fans were giddy with excitement when Trent Boult arrived from Delhi.
Trent is enjoying a career-best season with Mumbai and has already hit double figures for wickets this season in just six matches. For someone who bowls up top and in the Powerplay, his economy rate is pretty decent and he’s yet to have a game where he’s been bludgeoned by the opposition.
What I’ve seen so far is that Trent sets the tempo with the new ball and the other two speedsters in the side, James Pattinson and Jasprit Bumrah, follow his lead. If Mumbai do well with the ball, it’s usually because of how well Boult had bowled up top and the team will be expecting that he continues in the same vein for the rest of the campaign.
Delhi – Prithvi Shaw
The side from the capital has been the best bowling unit in the league this season. The batting has struggled a touch on two-paced decks but if any batsman has lit up their fortunes, it is Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order. Shaw has been getting his side off to blazing starts and that has really been vital for Delhi making the scores that they have. Expect him to keep firing as we head deeper into the tournament.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar