IPL 2012 May 22, 2012

The benchwarmer XI

Is much of the foreign talent in the IPL going to waste? That's a hot topic for debate, every time the IPL comes around
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Is much of the foreign talent in the IPL going to waste? That's a hot topic for debate, every time the IPL comes around. If a team has a settled XI and no availability issues, that would mean that seven of the 11 overseas signings in the squad might not do much more than give the occasional interview from the dugout through the season. Should the number of foreigners allowed in the team be increased from four, or the number in the squad reduced from 11? After all, it does seem rather wasteful allowing this list of players to go 16 matches without getting a single game:

Tamim Iqbal, batsman, Pune Warriors:After a decent start to the tournament, Warriors fell away rapidly in main due to their repeated batting failures, yet the big-hitting Tamim, who was coming off a fine Asia Cup showing (think scores of 64, 70, 59 and 60) and is someone used to the slow-low subcontinent conditions, missed out.

Eoin Morgan, batsman, Kolkata Knight Riders: Arguably England's best limited-overs player - only Kevin Pietersen has more Twenty20 International runs - Morgan has lost out in a Knight Riders side that has had their best IPL season so far.

Dirk Nannes, fast bowler, Royal Challengers Bangalore: Nannes is the leading wicket-taker overall in Twenty20 cricket. Surely Royal Challengers, who had most of their stars in the batting department, could have tried to make space for him?

Charl Langeveldt, fast bowler, Royal Challengers: Another Royal Challengers' quick who is high up on the Twenty20 wicket-takers chart, but didn't get a game in this IPL. The Chinnaswamy pitch has traditionally been batsmen-friendly, so shoring up the bowling with quicks like him could have made sense.

Dinesh Chandimal, wicketkeeper-batsman, Rajasthan Royals: Chandimal fit the preferred Royals' mould almost perfectly - not a big star, but with plenty of talent and one to look out for in the future. Yet, he could not break into the playing XI.

Scott Styris, allrounder, Chennai Super Kings: Super Kings are one of those sides with a more or less settled first team, but if they needed yet another allrounder, they always had Scott Styris. In terms of Twenty20 runs, Styris sits only behind Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor among the New Zealand players.

Suraj Randiv, offspinner, Super Kings: Randiv has been on the fringes of the Sri Lanka team for a couple of years now. Following a strong showing on the domestic circuit, he made a comeback to the national side for the Tests against England in March-April, and then combined with Rangana Herath to destroy England in Galle.

George Bailey, batsman, Super Kings: A destructive middle-order batsman, George Bailey, is Australia's Twenty20 captain. In fact, he was named captain on international Twenty20 debut, when Australia took on India earlier this year.

Travis Birt, batsman, Delhi Daredevils: Another hard-hitter, Travis Birt topped the runs chart in the inaugural season of Australia's Big Bash League. He scored 345 at an average of 43, at a good clip too - he also finished that tournament second on the sixes table, behind only Chirs Gayle.

Gulam Bodi, batsman, Daredevils: Bodi is something of a Twenty20 specialist and is highly rated on the South African domestic circuit. He demonstrated his skills with a 52-ball 90 in March, an innings that was studded with five sixes and set up a 115-run win for Lions against Warriors (the South African franchise).

Rilee Rossouw, batsman, Royal Challengers: Another highly rated batsman from South Africa, Rossouw was among the top-ten run-makers in the domestic MiWAY T20 Challenge. There, he scored 268 runs, at a strike-rate of close to 150.

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harsha on May 23, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    In addition to the foreign players,some local players who performed decently in the previous seasons have been bought by rich teams like Mumbai Indians just to deprive other teams of their services.T.Suman,who played well for Deccan a couple of seasons back in in M.I. now and I think he has played like 2or 3 games since last season...

  • Sourav on May 23, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    Allow more teams...play each other once

  • nil on May 23, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    I think 5th foreign player should be allowed if he is uncapped at international level, or if he plays for associate nation.

  • LateCut on May 23, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Tamim's non-selection surprised me the most. But, who knows the reason! May be he was physically unfit or not having good show at the nets. Perhaps Dada did not jeopardize his own chance of playing.

  • Ahnaf on May 23, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    How Tamim,Nannes & Chandimal didn't play a game for their franchise is beyond imagination.

  • Ajay on May 23, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Well i think its fair...there is room for 4 overseas players so teams have to pik the best...but rest of the 7 overseas players are getting a good experience of indian conditions, by playing practise matches here, practisng here...so i think everything is fine

  • SSG on May 23, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    Among all at least the in-form Tamim Iqbal should have been included. Pune were struggling & still they did not give him a go.

  • Parthasarathy on May 23, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Full liberalization is needed for the teams to have any number of foreign players. Let the domestic ones earn their places.

  • Kash on May 23, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    4 International Players is good enough. You want to not just make money, but identify Future talent in India via IPL. This is an excellent platform for that and having 7 Indian players does give room for experimenting with Indian players. Invariably, the 2011 world cup win has some of its roots in the IPL.

  • Ahsan on May 23, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    The number of foreign players per team per match should be 5 not 4

  • Harsha on May 23, 2012, 18:20 GMT

    In addition to the foreign players,some local players who performed decently in the previous seasons have been bought by rich teams like Mumbai Indians just to deprive other teams of their services.T.Suman,who played well for Deccan a couple of seasons back in in M.I. now and I think he has played like 2or 3 games since last season...

  • Sourav on May 23, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    Allow more teams...play each other once

  • nil on May 23, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    I think 5th foreign player should be allowed if he is uncapped at international level, or if he plays for associate nation.

  • LateCut on May 23, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Tamim's non-selection surprised me the most. But, who knows the reason! May be he was physically unfit or not having good show at the nets. Perhaps Dada did not jeopardize his own chance of playing.

  • Ahnaf on May 23, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    How Tamim,Nannes & Chandimal didn't play a game for their franchise is beyond imagination.

  • Ajay on May 23, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Well i think its fair...there is room for 4 overseas players so teams have to pik the best...but rest of the 7 overseas players are getting a good experience of indian conditions, by playing practise matches here, practisng here...so i think everything is fine

  • SSG on May 23, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    Among all at least the in-form Tamim Iqbal should have been included. Pune were struggling & still they did not give him a go.

  • Parthasarathy on May 23, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Full liberalization is needed for the teams to have any number of foreign players. Let the domestic ones earn their places.

  • Kash on May 23, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    4 International Players is good enough. You want to not just make money, but identify Future talent in India via IPL. This is an excellent platform for that and having 7 Indian players does give room for experimenting with Indian players. Invariably, the 2011 world cup win has some of its roots in the IPL.

  • Ahsan on May 23, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    The number of foreign players per team per match should be 5 not 4

  • Abdul Gaffoor on May 23, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    Tamim Iqbal,Eoin Morgan & Dirk Nannes. In my opinion, these three players could have been the decisive factor behind who will be in the finals...

  • Kush on May 23, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    give Dirk Nannes to DC if you guys(RCB) not using him lol .. nannes & steyn... DC will rock .. BCCI should come up with another auction

  • arshad on May 23, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    i think the best strategy for the team should be to give chance to foreign players rotation wise. Mumbai utilised max of their foreign players but they could not find a formidable opening partner of sachin. I think they should give one more chance to richard levi.

  • Srinivas on May 23, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    I think there should be a way to evenly distribute the foreign recruits and indian contingent into the franchises. The auction system and local scouting for indian uncapped players is heavily biased towards franchises with deep pockets such as MI, RCB, KKR etc. To substantiate my point, check the list mentioned above.

  • Vilander on May 23, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    Not playing Nannes crucial error of judgement from RCB

  • Anonymous on May 23, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    RCB can't pick nannes cause they can't drop people like c gayle , tm dilshan , ab de villiers or muralidaran. they are best there is. And also the real benchwarmers are d chandimal, s randiv ,t Iqbal, e Morgan And t Burt is injured so can't take him as a benchwarmer

  • Ramesh on May 23, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    I am shocked why Nannes wasn't given a chance... Money, Talent and Nannes' time wasted...

  • h. Sirk on May 23, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    we could have mid season transfers... Abhinav mukund, one of TN's best limited overs cricketer played no match last season, same with Rajasthani pacer Chahar. Both of them got offers from other franchises, but they stuck to CSK and RR to represent their state and to play at their home ground. Very rude to not play them at all.

  • azim on May 23, 2012, 14:04 GMT

    the number of foreign players in the squad should be reduced to 8 & also maximum 5 foreigners should be allowed in playing XI.

  • Perfect on May 23, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Play 5 t0 6 foreign players in each team. Honestly, the standard of cricket in IPL is very low. These foreign players score big runs effortlessly. When they face tough bowling on an international stage, they are unable to score even 20 runs. So it is better for IPL for have 6 foreign players in a team. This will raise the standard because Indian bowlers are pathetic.

  • banglafan on May 23, 2012, 13:55 GMT

    Players who didnt get a single match this year should be allowed to switch sides. It is apparent that their non-utilisation has harmed the teams no end. Pune is at the bottom of the heap and RCB and RR could both be better off.

  • Karan Khushalani on May 23, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Ryan Ten Doeschate has been forgotten and the proof is that even the writer missed him in the list, which included Rilee Rossouw, Gautam Bodi, Travis Birt and Bailey. I wish him luck for future.. Great lad..

  • oorja on May 23, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    With so many talented player who are part of their national team its high time IPL should restrict number of foreign players so that it will spare some of these players humiliation of earning doughs by sitting in the bench and damaging their confidence.

  • man utd on May 23, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    it's the 'indian' premier league... and the main objective is to give the younger indian stars to play in the same level as the foreigners.... so no need to increase the no:of foreign players to 5.....

  • Siddharth on May 23, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    I don't think the benched foreign players themselves must be complaining. Play or no play, they still take home their fat paychecks, don't they? If you were getting a 5- or 6-figure sum for just sitting on the bench, who would complain? After all, isn't IPL all about the money??!!

  • Shammi on May 23, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    This is good analysis which gives a different idea... Let the foreign player cap / match be only four, but only change is that they get to change the players between every time-out or every 5 overs or something like that (like substitutes but who can bowl, bat, field and keep wickets). That way, the game becomes more interesting but only with the criteria/restriction over the number of foriegn players who can be changed per game/ per innings/ per some timelimit. Also names of foriegn players should be announced before the match itslef. For e.g., the captain can state that they will use six foreign players (only 4 in field at any time) and names of those players...

  • Samarth on May 23, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    missed ryan ten doeschate, played a game or two, but was still a benchwarmer most of the time

  • Hussain R on May 23, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    Atleast common sense prevailed in the case of Eoin Morgan. He is now playing county cricket and gaining some invaluable experience. Instead of raising the limit, the rule should be to make each foreign player play a maximum of 8-10 matches. This will ensure mandatory rotation!

  • Anonymous on May 23, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    The number of foreigners should be reduced to 3 and certainly not increased. The squad limit should be 6. I cannot understand why anyone would want to increase the limit to 5 on the pitch. This just stops Indian playing from gaining experience. 3 foreigners would ensure that only the top international players are bought. At the moment there are too many sub-standard 20-20 players being selected blocking the path of a local player.

  • Rohit Agrahari on May 23, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    I am still shocked with KKR decision that they still not giving chance to Eion morgan

  • Anonymous on May 23, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    The number of foreign players should be made 5 instead of 4

  • Sanket on May 23, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    There is no rule that a team has to play 4 foreign players in each match and buy 12 foreign players. When the foreign players were brought, they would have had a fair idea of their chances of playing. They could use this knowledge to sit out of the auction the next time around.

    I don't see why the rule for minimum 7 Indian players should be changed.

  • Ashley on May 23, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    play 5 foreigners, this will raise the competition amongst the indians :)

  • kumar on May 23, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    I feel they should allow the players to go back to auction if the said player has not had even one game out of sixteen and wishes to switch teams.

  • Anonymous on May 23, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    they should reduce the number of forigners to 6.

  • trilok on May 23, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    pune surely wasted services of tamim iqbal who accustomed to indian pitches and build quick partnership in notime. instead of ryder he would have been more consistent and surely among top 10 run getters list. dada plans well but implementation fails.

  • H Ravi on May 23, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    It is a big waste to leave out players who have been bought at some price. If the team decides to go with only about 14 to 15 players, having 11 non-Indians is meaningless. If the number of foreign players allowed is increased to 5, it will ruin the chances of promising youngsters from India. So I think it is sensible to have only about 8 foreign players in the squad so that almost everyone gets a chance to play in a few matches each season. You can have players on standby so that they can be used as replacements for players going off mid-season to honour national commitments. It will also help increase competition among foreign players and the quality also could improve. Alternately, pay foreign players based on performance only.

  • Gaurav Khemka on May 23, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    This is a shrewd observation and definitely reflects how some of the foreign players got the short end of the stick in terms of being unable to showcase their ability. Three stand out exclusions in this list are the following - Eoin Morgan, he did not get a chance in the KKR side despite their super frail middle order and even though none of the other overseas batsmen showed much grit in terms of big scores or fast runs. Dirk Nannes could have bolstered a weak RCB bowling attach which always left the batsmen needing too much to do but perhaps RCB were not confident of their backup Indian batsmen. Tamim Iqbal would have added much needed strength at the top of PWI's batting and Saurav Ganguly definitely has made the biggest error in not giving this Bangla batsman a chance, which may have been the little extra push that PWI were missing.

  • Chandana on May 23, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    It seems a waste isn't it, to have so much talent on the bench and not able to call on it like in football/rugby/bb etc. Especially considering the average Indian players who make up the teams. Tahe RCB for instance; they did not have good Indian bowling options thus end up inches short of the semis. Analysis of statistics will show that the foreign players contributed much more to each and every franchise than their Indian counterparts. Maybe next season IPL needs to look at a better startegy. Say a squad of 20 announced before the season begins, with 12 Indian and 8 foreign players; this is usual for any tour where countries announce the squad of 15/16 players. The playing XI to be a 6/5 split between Indian and foreign players. maybe another franchise is necessary given the cancellation this year of one. At least matches will be more competitive this way me thinks :)

  • Viswanathan on May 23, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    It is very disheartening to see many good players have become bench warmers. The reason is many franchises wish to recruit them not because they would like to pay them in the XI but to deprive other franchises to have their services as they feel they could be threats to their batting/bowling line ups. The only way, I feel, this problem could be solved is to permit 5 foreign players to be in XI as many Indian players have failed to live up to their reputation.

  • GAnesh on May 23, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    Eoin Morgan can be played in finals, will be good advantage for KKR

  • Vivek on May 23, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Looks like RCB made a huge mistake by not playing Dirk Nannes considering the fact that their fast bowlers didn't perform up to the expectations. They could have used Dirk Nannes instead of Taylor but they didn't.

  • Shebeer Basheer on May 23, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    Foriegn Numbers in each squad should reduce to 7 or 8. Or make a new rule like the maximum no. of matches for foreign players should be 10 or 12. So everybody will get a chance to play. The real benchwarmers are Tamim, Bailley, Chandimal & Langveldt.

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  • Shebeer Basheer on May 23, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    Foriegn Numbers in each squad should reduce to 7 or 8. Or make a new rule like the maximum no. of matches for foreign players should be 10 or 12. So everybody will get a chance to play. The real benchwarmers are Tamim, Bailley, Chandimal & Langveldt.

  • Vivek on May 23, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    Looks like RCB made a huge mistake by not playing Dirk Nannes considering the fact that their fast bowlers didn't perform up to the expectations. They could have used Dirk Nannes instead of Taylor but they didn't.

  • GAnesh on May 23, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    Eoin Morgan can be played in finals, will be good advantage for KKR

  • Viswanathan on May 23, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    It is very disheartening to see many good players have become bench warmers. The reason is many franchises wish to recruit them not because they would like to pay them in the XI but to deprive other franchises to have their services as they feel they could be threats to their batting/bowling line ups. The only way, I feel, this problem could be solved is to permit 5 foreign players to be in XI as many Indian players have failed to live up to their reputation.

  • Chandana on May 23, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    It seems a waste isn't it, to have so much talent on the bench and not able to call on it like in football/rugby/bb etc. Especially considering the average Indian players who make up the teams. Tahe RCB for instance; they did not have good Indian bowling options thus end up inches short of the semis. Analysis of statistics will show that the foreign players contributed much more to each and every franchise than their Indian counterparts. Maybe next season IPL needs to look at a better startegy. Say a squad of 20 announced before the season begins, with 12 Indian and 8 foreign players; this is usual for any tour where countries announce the squad of 15/16 players. The playing XI to be a 6/5 split between Indian and foreign players. maybe another franchise is necessary given the cancellation this year of one. At least matches will be more competitive this way me thinks :)

  • Gaurav Khemka on May 23, 2012, 8:10 GMT

    This is a shrewd observation and definitely reflects how some of the foreign players got the short end of the stick in terms of being unable to showcase their ability. Three stand out exclusions in this list are the following - Eoin Morgan, he did not get a chance in the KKR side despite their super frail middle order and even though none of the other overseas batsmen showed much grit in terms of big scores or fast runs. Dirk Nannes could have bolstered a weak RCB bowling attach which always left the batsmen needing too much to do but perhaps RCB were not confident of their backup Indian batsmen. Tamim Iqbal would have added much needed strength at the top of PWI's batting and Saurav Ganguly definitely has made the biggest error in not giving this Bangla batsman a chance, which may have been the little extra push that PWI were missing.

  • H Ravi on May 23, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    It is a big waste to leave out players who have been bought at some price. If the team decides to go with only about 14 to 15 players, having 11 non-Indians is meaningless. If the number of foreign players allowed is increased to 5, it will ruin the chances of promising youngsters from India. So I think it is sensible to have only about 8 foreign players in the squad so that almost everyone gets a chance to play in a few matches each season. You can have players on standby so that they can be used as replacements for players going off mid-season to honour national commitments. It will also help increase competition among foreign players and the quality also could improve. Alternately, pay foreign players based on performance only.

  • trilok on May 23, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    pune surely wasted services of tamim iqbal who accustomed to indian pitches and build quick partnership in notime. instead of ryder he would have been more consistent and surely among top 10 run getters list. dada plans well but implementation fails.

  • Anonymous on May 23, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    they should reduce the number of forigners to 6.

  • kumar on May 23, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    I feel they should allow the players to go back to auction if the said player has not had even one game out of sixteen and wishes to switch teams.