Every year, one of the biggest challenges for teams is managing their overseas stars. There are multiple international assignments that go on and hence, the overseas players either arrive late or leave early. Hence, team managements need to look at that and have to balance the overseas players contingent accordingly in IPL 2020.
2019 was one year where teams found it really tough. With it being a World Cup year and the mega event being scheduled exactly after the IPL, boards gave their players deadlines to return in order to prepare for the World Cup. So, there were players coming and going all the time throughout the tournament last year.
However, this time, it’s going to be a lot different. The months of April and May have only three teams playing international cricket. Bangladesh are scheduled to tour Pakistan in early April before they go to Ireland in mid-May. But according to reports, the 13th edition of the IPL is slated to start in the last week of March and hence, there are international assignments at that time.
Australia are scheduled to tour New Zealand for a three-match T20I series and the last game will be played on the 29th of March. Meanwhile, England travel to Sri Lanka for a two-match Test series and the second and final Test is going to be played between March 27th and 31st.
Hence, there are more than two and a half months to go for the 2020 season of the IPL but we look at the overseas players (team-wise) who might arrive late and thus could miss out on the first few games of IPL 2020 if it starts in the last week of March.
RCB may not be affected too much. They may miss a maximum of three players at the start of the season. Aaron Finch is one big name that might miss out. He will be leading the Australian side in New Zealand. However, RCB have backup with uncapped Aussie wicket-keeper batsman Josh Phillipe in the ranks. There is Kane Richardson who might not be available for the season opener (subject to selection in the Australian T20 team). RCB have decent backups with Dale Steyn and Isuru Udana in the ranks. In fact, they also have a good Indian fast bowling core as well. Meanwhile, if selected in the Test side, Moeen Ali will also be one of the overseas players to miss out the first couple of matches of IPL 2020.
Glenn Maxwell is the only player who might fly in late. The star Aussie all-rounder is currently out of the ODI team but he has been a gun T20 player and his numbers are fantastic. He should make it to the Australian T20 team and will be on the flight to New Zealand. None of the other KXIP overseas stars will miss the first few games of the season.
Alex Carey is the only one certain to miss the initial few games of the season for DC. He will be busy playing the T20 series in New Zealand. However, there are a few others who have the selection issue lingering over their head. With England playing two Test matches in Sri Lanka, it is uncertain if Chris Woakes will be on that tour. Meanwhile, Marcus Stoinis has been excluded from the Australian white-ball setup. But he is in smashing form and if he earns a recall, he will come in late as well. But they have enough backup and shouldn’t be too affected by the absence of these players.
The three-time IPL champions CSK will miss the all-round firepower of Sam Curran and Mitchell Santner early on in the season. While Curran will be in Sri Lanka for the Test series, Santner will be up against the Australian side in a T20I series which ends the New Zealand home summer. But they seem to have quite a few backups for both of them and they might not get affected a lot.
SRH might be one of the most affected teams. They are going to miss all their firepower at the top of the order initially. Their talisman David Warner and skipper Kane Williamson will be busy playing a T20I series while Jonny Bairstow might be in Sri Lanka for the Test series. If selected based on his recent form, Mitchell Marsh might also be in New Zealand. A largely Indian bowling core with two Afghanistan superstars ensures that the bowling won’t be affected at all. But it’s the batting that might face an issue in the absence of the aforementioned cricketers.
KKR’s two-most explosive pacemen might be missing early on in the season. Pat Cummins and Lockie Ferguson might be the ones arriving late. However, if there is some bit of workload management and both Australia and New Zealand want to give opportunities to other players, then they might not be picked for that tour and might fly to India for the IPL. KKR don’t other overseas pacers with this pace but do have a few options.
Barring Trent Boult, MI will not be affected by any of the international series going on. Boult will be in New Zealand for the T20I series against Australia. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chris Lynn have fallen off the national selectors’ radar and should be available straight away. However, with quite a few options at their disposal, MI will not get affected at all.
Here is another team that will get affected quite a bit. In fact, we could say, RR will get affected the most as all their first-choice overseas players might not be available straight away. Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer will be in Sri Lanka for the Test series. Steve Smith will be in New Zealand for the T20I series. Hence, they will be left with only four other overseas options and if Andrew Tye recovers in time and fits in the Australian T20 scheme of things again, he will miss out too.
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