After a long wait, the Board of Control for Cricket in India finally confirmed that the Indian Premier League will be staged in the United Arab Emirates from September 19.
The league sees stars from all over the world take part, which has made it one of the most high-profile T20 tournaments. The event this year, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held till November 8.
Players who have been selected to play for various franchises this season will be eager to brush off their rustiness and get into game-mode straight away. A few players who were unable to leave their mark in the tournament last year will also be eyeing a fresh start in the thirteenth edition of the IPL.
Here are three cricketers who had a poor IPL 2019 but could stamp their authority in the event this year.
Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
One of the most talented cricketers of the current era, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson had a poor run last year in the IPL, and will be looking to turn the tide in IPL 2020. He played just nine games last season and could muster up only 156 runs for his franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad at an average of 22.28 and a strike rate of 120.
Considered as a member of the Fab Four alongside Joe Root, Virat Kohli and Steven Smith, Williamson has impressive numbers in his overall IPL career. The 29-year old has played 41 games thus far and has scored 1302 runs at an average of just over 38.
His strike rate of 135 makes him the perfect anchor to have in the middle order. Williamson had averaged 42.66 in the 2017 season at a strike rate of 151.47 and ended with an average of 52.50 in 2018, which meant that the franchise picked him as their skipper last year.
However, his below-par showings meant that Bhuvneshwar Kumar took over the role midway through the tournament. This year, Australia’s David Warner has taken over the leadership job, and Williamson will be eager to prove a point.
Jaydev Unadkat (Rajasthan Royals)
After a fine performance in IPL 2017, where fast bowler Jaydev Unadkat scalped 24 wickets at a stunning average of 13.41, Rajasthan Royals shelled out a huge fee of INR 11.50 crores for him the following season.
However, Unadkat has been unable to create waves with his bowling in the last two editions of the IPL, picking up 11 and 10 wickets respectively. Not only has the Indian averaged 42 with the ball in the last two years, he has also been unable to keep things tight, conceding more than 10 runs an over.
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Despite his ordinary showings, Rajasthan have shown plenty of faith, and despite releasing him after IPL 2019, they brought him back on board during the auctions for this year.
With Ankit Rajpoot and Varun Aaron in the Royals squad as well, Unadkat will have stiff competition and he will be eager to prove his mettle after two disappointing seasons.
Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Capitals)
Mumbai’s Prithvi Shaw came into the limelight after he guided India to the Under-19 World Cup title in 2018. He capped off a memorable few weeks with a breakthrough IPL, where he scored 245 runs in nine games at a strike rate of over 153.
Widely regarded as a five-day game player, Shaw’s aggressive stroke play while opening the innings in 2018 came as a pleasant surprise and Delhi awarded him by retaining him for the 2019 season.
However, the youngster was unable to replicate his form as he amassed 353 runs at an average of 22.06 from 16 games last year. Soon after the tournament ended, Shaw was banned by the BCCI for eight months after testing positive for a banned substance Terbutaline.
He returned to play in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – India’s domestic T20 tournament – and immediately impressed, scoring 240 runs at an average of 48 and a strike rate of 170.21. He was on fire in the following Ranji Trophy as well, and will want to desperately prove a point in the IPL.