|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
At the end of the UAE leg of the IPL and a third of the way into the season, we pick a XI of bench-warmers (four overseas, seven Indian)
Unmukt Chand: Arrived for IPL 2013 with a red-hot reputation after two Twenty20 centuries but that cooled off after a season in which he didn't play a single influential innings despite getting plenty of chances with a faltering Delhi Daredevils. Now with Royals, he has been overlooked for the opening spot in favour of Karnataka youngster Karun Nair or Mumbai stalwart Abhishek Nayar.
Shaun Marsh: While he may be infuriatingly inconsistent in Tests, he has been among the most consistent batsmen in the IPL. A part of Kings XI Punjab since the start, he has rewarded them with 1903 runs at an incredible average of 44.25 and a strike-rate of 133.26. His opportunities are limited given that Kings XI are winning everything this season, Glenn Maxwell and David Miller have been the stand-out batsmen this season, George Bailey leads the side and Mitchell Johnson brings fearsome pace to the attack.
Vijay Zol: Chand's successor as India's Under-19 captain, he has had a breakthrough domestic season with Maharashtra. He's still awaiting his IPL break, having not got a game last season with Royal Challengers, and being omitted by them this season for the likes of Sachin Rana and Yogesh Takawale.
Manpreet Juneja: Like Chand, plenty was expected of this Gujarat batsman when he got his chance with Daredevils in 2013, but he couldn't quite deliver. Now on the bench in Sunrisers Hyderabad, though they are still seeking support for their big three at the top of batting order.
Saurabh Tiwary: His starring role in the Mumbai Indians' middle-order in 2010 made him a millionaire at the auction the following year. Since then, little has gone right for Tiwary, and though he has scored plenty in this domestic season, Daredevils initially preferred the other Tiwary, Manoj, and then Maharashtra's Kedar Jadhav to him.
Gurkeerat Singh (wk): The highlight of his IPL career so far was a 12-ball 29 that put the final touches to a chase of 191 against Deccan Chargers in 2012. Last season, he was in the spotlight more for a stunning catch to dismiss Ross Taylor than for his batting, and will have to fight for a place in Kings XI Punjab with state-mates Mandeep Singh and Manan Vohra.
Thisara Perera: Showed off his big hitting at the death to win several matches for Sunrisers last season, but like Marsh he'll have to wait his turn at Kings XI due to the quality of the franchises' first four overseas picks.
Parvez Rasool: The biggest name in Jammu & Kashmir cricket, he hasn't got a game yet since Sunrisers have stuck with the two legspinners they invested heavily in, Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma. If the franchise decides to go in with only one leggie, then they are likely to turn to his offbreaks and batting skills.
Samuel Badree: Ranked the world's No. 1 bowler in Twenty20s by the ICC, he has had two solid World T20s but his place in the Chennai Super Kings XI is blocked by two solid India spinners, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Rahul Shukla: Showed at the Champions League last season that he has the pace to inflict damage, but can be expensive as well. Has had few chances in the IPL so far, and has been on the Daredevils bench this year due to the presence of Mohammed Shami and Jaidev Unadkat.
Pat Cummins: Frequently injured but seen as a future superstar, he was signed almost as an afterthought by Knight Riders. Currently, Morne Morkel is doing the job he can - bowl at extreme pace to spook the opposition.
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article