IPL 2018: Impact players for each franchise
The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 season kicks off on April 7 in Mumbai. All teams have their share of superstars and trump cards, who are expected to deliver through out the season However, amidst all the gloss and glitz, there are a couple of players, in each team, who could be decisive in crucial encounters. Here we look at those impact players.
Chris Lynn and Kuldeep Yadav- KKR
Kolkata Knight Riders, under new skipper Dinesh Karthik, are the underdogs of IPL 11. Lynn can give them the ideal whirlwind start atop. His power-hitting skills are of huge substance in winning games for his side. Left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav has shown what a valuable wicket-taker he is for India. His wrist spin will be of big support to Sunil Narine.
Glenn Maxwell and Amit Mishra- Daredevils
Gautam Gambhir is a huge fan of spin attack and he has a solid quartet in the Delhi Daredevils team. Mishra's form will be key if Delhi have to make it to the play-offs. 134 wickets shows Mishra's value. He knows the conditions in-and-out. Maxwell brings a lot to the table for Delhi; stability in middle-order, part-time spin and superb fielding on the field.
KL Rahul and Andrew Tye- KXIP
Amidst all the superstar batsmen in Punjab ranks, it is Rahul, whose impact could be monumental. He will be donning the gloves. Moreover, he has the ability to bat anywhere in the order. A classy batsman, Rahul checks the right boxes. Australian pacer Tye's impact upfront in power-play and at the death could determine key moments. A consistent wicket-taker, his knowledge is vast.
Hardik Pandya and Evin Lewis- Mumbai Indians
Pandya and Lewis could become the source of the light for Mumbai in this season. The two players are still learning to maximise on their talents and they are fun to watch. Pandya's bowling gives Mumbai Indians flexibility in the middle-overs. Evin's hunger for runs is telling. His responsible knocks helped West Indies qualify for the ICC 2019 World Cup.
Shane Watson and Harbhajan Singh- CSK
Age is just a number! Ask Bhajji and Watson, and the two stalwarts will back the case. Watson's role in giving starts atop could bear significance. During his stint with RCB, he came down the order, which wasn't ideal. Bhajji has been successful and he still has the desired fight in him. His ability to pick wickets, at right moments, makes him a match-winner.
Chris Woakes and Yuzvendra Chahal- RCB
Wickets determine T20 games and nobody knows that better than Woakes and Chahal. Chahal has become RCB's go-to-bowler. He knows the RCB unit well and the camaraderie he shares with skipper Virat Kohli is a winning formula. Woakes picked up 17 wickets for KKR in 2017 and we think he can top it in 2018. Moreover, he has become a much better batsman now.
Manish Pandey and Rashid Khan- SRH
These two players are match-winners and fulfil the role they are entrusted with. Pandey can claim a strong point for the maturity he has shown during India's recent T20I exploits. Even if SRH lose quick wickets, Pandey has the Dhoni-type-persona to provide stability in the middle overs. SRH can be assured of a couple of wickets in Rashid's four overs of spin.
Ajinkya Rahane and Dhawal Kulkarni- RR
Rahane's experience and flow of runs with the bat atop could give Steve Smith's side the ideal start. He lays a solid foundation so that power-hitters can easily exploit the death overs. Kulkarni, another senior in the team, can influence the outcome of a crucial encounter with his sharp bowling. His experience is what RR need in their bowling department.