- jaichainani | February 3, 2023 | 1:18 am
Well, the 16th season of the IPL begins in less than two months. The tournament finally after a three-year hiatus is back to its original home-away avatar. This means that the spinners in the 2023 season will be vital cogs for all franchises.
That’s why teams like SRH and RR were shopping profusely to bag as many spinners as possible in the 2023 auction. However, sadly most of them still might warm the benches for the entire season.
Historically, the spin bowlers in the cash-rich league have been a pot of gold. In IPL’s top 10 highest wicket-takers list, six of them are spinners. Therefore in this list, let’s check out 5 spinners who might unluckily get benched for the entire IPL 2023.
This NZ all-rounder has been associated with CSK since IPL 2018. The southpaw in IPL 2019 also made his debut. But sadly, Santner has never been able to play an entire full IPL season. It was only last year when the cricketer got an extensive opportunity to play 6 matches. So far Santner in the IPL is best known for his heroics against RR in the 2019 season.
Unfortunately, even in IPL 2023, this 30-year-old might barely play a few games. Though the home conditions might entice his participation, CSK still has adequate spinners in their primary front-line XI. By looking at Chennai’s frontline playing XI, firstly the likes of Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Maheesh Theekshana will be its core overseas players. Additionally, even if skipper MSD needs more spin options, the likes of Jadeja, Theekshana and Moon Ali are there to keep it intact.
In the above scenario, the yellow army might also get tempted to have Dwaine Pretorius as its fourth overseas player. The South African whose better known for his power-hitting display might also make the batting more dynamic. Either Devon Conway or Pretorius will eventually be Chennai’s fourth foreign player.
Comprehensively, Santner’s appearance might only become possible if either Ben Stokes or Moeen Ali are missing their participation. Or if Ravindra Jadeja has some fitness issues then CSK might directly replace him with Santner.
Overall for the yellow army, Santner can also be used as a specialist spinner in place of Theekshana. Who knows captain MSD’s wit might also exhibit this Kiwi as a surprise impact player.
In recent times, Akeal Hosein has been WI’s budding T20 freelancer. The bowling all-rounder often is found appearing in different T20 leagues. In the 2023 auction, Akeal also bagged his maiden IPL contract with SRH. The spinner was signed for INR 1 Crore. However, this 29-year-old might mostly warm the benches on his first IPL trip.
Firstly, as the orange army has also bought Adil Rashid, he will be the premier frontline spinner. Barring this, Hyderabad’s other frontline overseas players will be Harry Brook, Glenn Phillips and Aiden Markram. Particularly in Akeal Hosein’s case, the cricketer is more of an adequate back of Washington Sundar.
Even on spin-friendly pitches, someone like Mayank Markande will be ahead of the Caribbean spinner for playing. Markande without disturbing the entire team combination will replace an Indian player easily.
Also with Akeal being a defensive spin option, chances are he might just be a backup reserve. Overall this WI cricketer can excitingly be used as an impact player. His batting skills could be used to up the ante, especially in powerplays.
Adam Zampa’s last appearance in the IPL was in the 2020 season. The Aussie spinner in his stint with RCB just played three matches. After that in the mega 2022 auction, Zampa went unsold. But currently, the leg-spinner has fetched a deal of INR 1.5 Cr from the pink army.
Despite having local spinners like R Ashwin and Yuzi Chahal, RR additionally has bought spin options in the 2023 auction. Hence because of this reason, Zampa might not start as Rajasthan’s premier spinner. Also when it comes to RR’s four overseas players, the likes of Buttler, Hetmyer, Boult and Holder will be on the frontline.
Even when it comes to playing an extra spinner, Zampa will lose out to his teammate Murugan Ashwin. The local bowler without harming the team balance will be able to join the company of Ashwin and Chahal. All in all, in IPL 2023, Zampa hardly will be seen donning the RR jersey.
See Also: IPL 2023: Most Valuable IPL Teams (cricketwinner.com)
Coming from the eternal land of leg-spinners, Noor Ahmad was signed by the GT franchise in IPL 2022. In the mega auction, the youngster was picked to be a backup for his senior Rashid Khan. However, the 18-year-old is yet to debut in the cash-rich league. Unfortunately, even in IPL 2023, Noor might not make his appearance.
Firstly as the back up of Rashid Khan, the Afghan skipper barely misses T20 games. Even when it comes to playing as a second or third spinner in the playing XI, Noor has other peers like R Sai Kishore and Jayant Yadav. More importantly, as GT likes playing with an overseas pacer, Noor can only play in place of Rashid.
That’s why in the 2023 season, this Afghan bowler will be a benchwarmer. Hopefully, the franchise will continue to groom him and get him ready like his Afghan senior. However, skipper Pandya on spin-aiding pitches might take a punt with Noor’s left-arm wrist spin.
This cricketer in IPL 2022 represented the MI franchise. The 32-year-old was signed to be Mumbai’s premier leg-spinner. Some even compared his signing to how Rahul Chahar was picked in the 2018 mega auction. However, Murugan Ashwin had a decent IPL in 2022. Bitterly, MI also released him ahead of the 2023 auction.
Currently, the pink army has now signed this spinner for INR 20 Lakh. As a direct backup of either Ravi Ashwin or Yuzi Chahal, Murugan will be present in the Rajasthan dugout. Probably the only way M Ashwin will feature in the playing XI is when either Ashwin or Chahal aren’t available. Maybe if R Ashwin has some fitness issues only then the leggier will get an entry.
Overall, this bowler is yet to play a full IPL season since his debut in 2016. Optimistically in some way or at some stage, M Ashwin might get to don the RR jersey.