The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League begins in a little over 10 days. The Pakistan Super League ends in a week. A decent chunk of international players in PSL will be fighting it out in the IPL.
Needless to say, there will be some spillover from the PSL into the IPL. Batsmen and bowlers in reasonably good form in the UAE and Pakistan can be expected to extend that run in India.
So which players are likely to perform well over the next two months? We take a look at five names.
The Australian opener hit a title winning hundred in the final for Chennai Super Kings against Sunrisers Hyderabad last year. The 37-year-old has continued his love affair with Asian conditions by leading the run-scoring chart for Quetta Gladiators in the PSL in the league stage.
What has been impressive about Watson is that he has looked in control in UAE conditions where bowlers were dictating terms. On flatter pitches in India, Watson will look to go one better than last year in the IPL where he amassed 555 runs from 15 matches.
The Nepal leg-spinner started the PSL on a disastrous note, conceding 46 runs in his opening clash. But once he settled down, the Lahore Qalandars leggie showed what he is capable of by picking up 11 wickets in his first six games. What has been even more impressive is his bowling in the powerplay overs, in which his economy rate was less than two an over before the Pakistan leg of PSL began.
Last year, Lamichhane was given game time by the Delhi franchise right at the end of their campaign and he showed that the management had erred by benching him, picking up five wickets in three games. This year, Delhi Capitals – Daredevils earlier – should have him in the playing XI straightaway and let him do his thing.
AB de VILLIERS
The South African star batsman had a decent even if unspectacular PSL where he was even handed the Qalandars captaincy duties once Mohammad Hafeez got injured. The Proteas star pulled out of the final stretch of the PSL due to back issues but should be raring to go for Royal Challengers Bangalore. His partnership with Virat Kohli at RCB has been sensational without delivering the title to the team.
With Kohli certain to sit a few games out as he manages his workload in the lead-up to the World Cup, the form for De Villiers will be even more critical for Bangalore. Plus the tough wickets in UAE would mean ABD will look to make it count in India.
The West Indian all-rounder played a couple of breath-taking lower order cameos for Peshawar Zalmi. At one stage in the PSL, out of 106 balls faced, Pollard had cracked 16 sixes. That’s a telling stat in a tournament dominated by bowlers. Mumbai Indians will be hoping Pollard can be even more explosive in India, where he can clear some short boundaries.
Bowling is not the strong suit of Pollard anymore, but he can still be relied to bowl a few quiet overs once the powerplay overs are done with.
The Englishman has been a revelation in PSL 2019. The Karachi Kings batsman hit three fifties in his first eight games and held Karachi’s innings together following the loss of form of key batsman Babar Azam. Livingstone will be playing for Rajasthan Royals in IPL and he might struggle to even get game time as the franchise have a world-class foreign contingent – Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Jofra Archer and Ish Sodhi.
But, as and when he does get a chance, and he should as England players are set to return early to prepare for the World Cup, Livingstone should be able to showcase his hitting power.
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