Understanding Tim David
There are players who rise through the ranks quickly and then there’s Tim David. Precisely 10 months ago, all that David had next to his name was nine Big Bash League appearances for the Perth Scorchers. Fast forward to September 2021, the David that spent a vast majority of his time carrying drinks in Western Australia has not just become a BBL superstar, but one of the most sought-after entities in franchise cricket. It is a rise that truly is unprecedented, but this fairytale story would never have happened if not for a reality check that David got in 2019.
Anirudh Suresh writes about the transformation with inputs from David’s Singapore teammate Surendran Chandramohan.
Where does Wanindu Hasaranga fit into RCB’s scheme of things?
A promising all-rounder taking giant strides in world cricket, Wanindu Hasaranga is without a shadow of a doubt the future of Sri Lanka cricket. Picked by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, Hasaranga’s inclusion in the IPL comes as very little surprise. The question however remains, how can he be used in this RCB side?
Pramod Ananth decodes his importance in the RCB set-up.
George Garton’s massive jump from a shark to a Royal
38 T20 games, 44 wickets, an economy rate of 8.26 but an average of 20.06, George Garton has made a stunning jump in the world of franchise cricket. At the age of 24 despite having made no appearances for the national team, what makes the Sussex left-arm pacer a sensation?
Will Garton make an impressive debut for RCB? Aakash Sivasubramaniam finds out.
Glenn Phillips’ slow rise to T20 stardom
Rajasthan Royals have lost Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and worse, Jofra Archer to injuries and other issues, and in such a situation, Phillips provides an assurance beyond limitation. To judge his importance to the set-up, here is a pure fact. Even in a year, he looked bereft of ideas, he has nine fifty-plus scores and is averaging 37.26 at a strike rate of 153.6. You really can’t have a better “out-of-form” player to bolster your squad.
Bastab K Parida speaks to Phillips’ coach Doug Watson, who had coaching stints with Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2009, to understand his T20 evolution.
Shamsi offers redemption by spin for ailing Rajasthan
While not unplayable, Shamsi has all the right tools for the shortest format. There are not many flashy sets of variations in his armory as he often sticks to the googly and leg-spin. He consistently hits the good length area which he has done with 74% of his 576 T20 deliveries since 2020. When there is no proper bounce, he is focused on the stumps. When there is no turn, he compensates it with flight. Reading the conditions right has helped him pick up 28 T20I wickets across 12 different venues this year.
Samarnath Soory analyses Tabraiz Shamsi’s unflappable approach that has landed him an IPL contract.
The IPL-wait is finally over for Adil Rashid
He had to wait long, but Adil Rashid has finally arrived at the Indian Premier League. The fourth-ranked T20I bowler has been acquired by the Punjab Kings for the second leg of the tournament, to be held in the UAE from September 19. The 33-year-old is one of the best legspinners in world cricket but is yet to make his IPL debut. The reason is straightforward and Rashid knows that. "Obviously there are a lot of spinners out there, India also got their own local spinners, so I wasn't really expecting myself to be picked."
We analyse the fourth-ranked T20I bowler who is yet to stamp his authority in franchise-based T20 leagues
Hard-working Akash Deep’s fresh tryst with destiny
At a very young age, Akash Deep had to bring a halt to his cricket career with his father having a paralytic attack and subsequently facing the eventuality of life. Two months after his father’s passing away, the young man from Bihar then lost his elder brother and his biggest hope. The entire saga took away three precious years from his career when a pacer normally goes through the transformation.
Bastab K Parida charts Akash Deep’s story from his village at Sasaram in Bihar to the RCB dressing room
Nathan Ellis, the most efficient death bowler you’ve never heard of
They say good things come to those who hustle so years after working various jobs - including removing furniture, landscaping, installing air-conditioners - to make ends meet, the journeyman, in a few days’ time, will find himself playing in the best league in the world, rubbing shoulders with some of the greatest to have ever graced this sport. A fairytale if there ever was one. But it’s not Ellis’ story that forced Punjab’s hand in recruiting him. Nor was it the hat-trick on debut or the 2/16 in his second game. The 26-year-old finds himself in the IPL for good reason: for two years, he has been in the top echelon of death bowlers not just in the BBL, but in the entire world.
Anirudh Suresh argues how Ellis’ mastery at the death could potentially prove to be a lifeline for Punjab Kings
Chameera out to add further depth and flavour to RCB's bowling
In 2018, Dushmantha Chameera was picked by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) but did not feature even once for the franchise. As fate would have it, he has been given another chance to have a crack at the tournament. Chameera now leads Sri Lanka’s attack and is perhaps one of the first names on the team sheet. However, while that may not be the case at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), he could still have a role to play as the men in red look to seal their maiden IPL title.
Pramod Ananth analyses how Chameera can be a terrific option when it comes to bowling in the middle overs or in the death.
Aiden Markram’s deep dive into the Punjab Kings setup
Despite the aura around him, Dawid Malan only managed to get one game in the Punjab colours, ending up with 26 runs in the tournament. While the team management surely would have centered their plans around the Englishman, his decision to withdraw from the tournament put them in a spot of bother. Not only did they have to find a consistent batter in the shortest format but they had to filter through the list pretty instantaneously. And then, they shortlisted Aiden Markram as the perfect fit for the remainder of the competition.
How did the 26-year-old force himself onto the mainstream T20 league, having played just the Mzansi Super League for the Paarl Rocks? Let Aakash Sivasubramaniam guide you through that.
Thomas to fill Archer-sized hole?
If the first half of the season was a shot in the leg, the arrival of the second half came as one in the head. Rajasthan Royals were going into an IPL season without Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Andrew Tye and Ben Stokes. While there is no real replacement for Archer, the franchise dialed a familiar number in Oshane Thomas to help them out.
Since the start of 2019, Thomas has picked up 35 wickets, averaging 25.3 at a strike rate of 16.5. 18 of those wickets have come in the powerplay, at an average of 27.4. Yet in the middle overs and the death, Thomas averages better at 25.2 and 20.9 suggesting that he is a well-rounded aspect for the Royals. Coming into the tournament, the pacer picked up six wickets for the Barbados Royals, conceding at just 7.39 RPO. Don’t expect him to walk into the side but in case they need some support, there are not too many pacers better than Thomas.
Evin Lewis - the Royal enforcer
Back in the IPL after two seasons, Evin Lewis could honestly not have hoped for a better time to re-enter the T20 extravaganza. The second-highest run-getter in CPL 2021, Lewis is arguably currently in the form of his life, having averaged 44.93 and struck at 164.2 across his last 17 T20s (domestic and international), dating back to July. RR fans feared the worst when Buttler pulled out, but in Lewis, they have a replacement who can be as destructive, if not more. Having already had one outstanding season in the competition - he had a 382-run season in 2019 for MI - the southpaw will be eager to set the stage alight come the second half.
Tim Southee is back!
Tim Southee had a season to forget with RCB in 2019, but three bad games don’t make a veteran operator a bad bowler. The fact of the matter is that the 32-year-old, despite consciously moving away from franchise cricket to manage workload, has been one of the best seamers in T20I cricket for years. It is one of the reasons why KKR rushed to rope him in as Cummins’ replacement. He is a lethal force up-front and has one of the best cricketing brains in the business, something that has helped him out-think batters for years. Southee nailed the first half of IPL 2021 as a pundit, he would be hoping to take the second half by storm as a player.