- jaichainani | December 21, 2022 | 1:17 am
Well, there’s no doubt that Indian cricket needs to transition itself in the shortest format. The recently concluded NZ tour just gave us a brief glimpse of what that transition can be. But for the cricketers including the veterans, this means heavy screening and scrutiny.
Though the new dawn in T20Is will kickstart itself by the vision of the new selectors, the players inevitably have to be in their performance groove. That’s why IPL 2023 will be a redemption stage for those individuals who’ll be discarded. Even for the old masters who want to stay afloat in the 20-over game, the 2023 season will be about sustenance for them.
Therefore in this list, let’s check out 5 Indian players for whom the IPL 2023 will be a decisive season.
Irrefutably, this Indian great is a legendary name in modern-day white-ball cricket. In T20Is, the Hitman is also one of the leading runs-scorers. But since the start of 2022, Rohit has found the shortest format his biggest nemesis. Starting from IPL 2022, the MI skipper had a horrendous season by only scoring 268 runs at an average of 19.14. Even his strike rate of 120.18 was the second worst since IPL 2009.
However, one might argue that for MI, Rohit has been an underperforming entity for a while now. But unfortunately even in T20Is in 2022, the 35-year-old exhibited a very reasonable show. Because of the World T20 year, Rohit made the most number of T20I appearances (29) in a calendar year ever.
Sadly all he accumulated was 656 runs at an average of 24.29. Even his strike rate of 134.42 has been depleting compared to his previous two years. In fact, the strike rate issue looks more unpleasant than his average considering India wanted to play attacking cricket upfront.
That’s why IPL 2023 for Hitman can be a very decisive season. It will become even more pivotal if the transition in T20Is omits Rohit from appearing. Overall, if this ace cricketer needs to elongate his T20I career then IPL 2023 has to be a monumental season for him.
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Recently in T20Is, Shardul Thakur has bitterly been omitted. Since the start of this year, this bowling all-rounder has just played a single T20I game. Even in the recent NZ tour, Shardul was just considered for ODIs. More importantly, it’s after the IPL 2022 that this cricketer has been sidelined from the shortest format.
However, in 2021, the 31-year-old was an all-three-format player. As India’s elusive all-rounder Hardik Pandya was primarily unfit, Shardul often dwelled on his position. But currently, the pacer in T20 cricket is also struggling. In the last IPL, Shardul had a reasonable season picking just 15 wickets from 14 games at an economy of almost 10.
His performance particularly in IPL 2022 was quite mediocre when compared to IPL 2021. While representing CSK in IPL 2021, Shardul cliched 21 wickets from 16 games. Under MSD’s leadership, this bowler also had bowled more difficult overs than in the Delhi camp. In fact, before IPL 2021, Shardul in the year 2020 was also the leading wicket-taker in T20Is for India.
Hence with the all-rounder currently being topsy-turvy in T20 cricket, Shardul might use IPL 2023 to make a strong comeback. Hopefully this time for DC, this speedster emerges as their leading wicket-taker. Overall, the upcoming IPL season can be a springboard for Shardul to re-enter in T20Is.
Over the year, for India, Bhuvi has been a reliable white-ball pacer. Currently, in T20Is, Bhuvneshwar is also India’s leading wicket-taker. Even for the Hyderabad franchise, this cricketer has been their biggest stalwart. More importantly, despite regularly battling injuries, Bhuvi has stayed afloat in international cricket.
But sadly in 2022, the 32-year-old is fading especially as a T20 bowler. Lately, on many occasions, Bhuvi’s death bowling has raised serious question marks. Comprehensively apart from his new-ball bowling, the veteran has struggled to close matches for India. Agonizingly, maybe the new selection panel might omit Bhuvneshwar from T20Is.
Also as the young Arshdeep Singh possesses a similar proposition to Bhuvi, this cricketer might get sidelined in the shortest format. So in such a scenario, the IPL 2023 can allow him to make a comeback.
Even for the orange army, Bhuvi has been found way past his best. Collectively in his last two IPL seasons, the bowler has just scalped 18 wickets in 25 games. Therefore, certainly in many ways, the upcoming IPL will be of significant importance for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
If team India needs to embody an aggressive style of batting gameplay then Prithvi Shaw can be an exciting option to explore. The 23-year-old is instinctively an attacking batter who can provide blistering starts. However, the youngster since July 2021 hasn’t been part of any Indian team.
Unfortunately, to play white-ball cricket again for India, the batter has now many peers who are way ahead of him. Especially the likes of Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad are the new young guns that will open in T20Is. Nevertheless, Shaw can still re-appear in the Indian team if he produces his best IPL season.
As of now for DC, the lad has just been a work-in-progress cricketer. Often rather than becoming a bonafide match-winner, Shaw merely provides vigorous starts. A talent like him now needs to play match-winning innings by staying till the end. Much like how Jos Buttler often finishes games for RR in his natural power-hitting style, Shaw needs to impart such a temperament.
Also to even go past his contemporaries, the batter needs to stack a minimum of the 600-run season for his India call-up. Overall, the IPL 2023 can not just be his fightback season but also his biggest career turning point. Hopefully, Shaw’s resurgence in IPL 2023 allows him to wear the blue jersey again.
During the Asia Cup 2022, Ravi Bishnoi was the second frontline spinner of the team. Even in the crunch Indo-Pak games, the youngster was given preference over Ravi Ashwin. However, for the mega Australia event, Bishnoi was unfortunately found in the reserves. As the veteran Ashwin was handier with his batting skills than Bishnoi, the off-spinner was part of the final 15.
However, in the post-2022 World T20, this 22-year-old has completely got sidelined from the Indian white-ball squad. Even in the recent NZ and BAN white-ball games, Bishnoi wasn’t travelling with team India. Despite bagging 16 T20I wickets from 10 games at an economy of 7.06 in 2022, this lad has been snubbed.
More importantly, the comeback of Ravi Bishnoi also now looks challenging. Though the spinner is still performing well in the domestic matches, Bishnoi has many peers to compete with. Particularly as Kuldeep Yadav is now back in both ODIs and T20Is, he is the second frontline spinner after Yuzi Chahal. Barring Yuzi and Kuldeep, team India also now carries Axar Patel as the spin all-rounder.
Nevertheless, the IPL 2023 even for Bishnoi will be a very vital season. If the bowler is amongst the wickets for LSG then the new selectors will infuse him again. All in all, Bishnoi has to break through in IPL 2023 to again play for India.