IPL 2018: Best Benched XI of the fourth week (28th April - 4th May)

IPL 2018: Best Benched XI of the fourth week (28th April – 4th May)

Here’s the best XI of those players who were at the receiving end and had to sit on the bench for the side.

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali. (Photo by IANS)

The fourth week of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was quite an eventful one. The top spot on the points table has been somewhat a musical chairs kind of place. No team is able to get a stronghold of the top spot. This week has witnessed a juggle between the Sunrisers and the Super Kings for that place. Eventually, the Sunrisers got hold of that position after CSK lost to Kolkata.

With KKR winning the game against Chennai, the points table looks much more interesting now. While two to three wins could potentially ensure a playoffs berth for the top four teams, every game now is a virtual knockout for the bottom four. With all the teams very well knit this year, the margin for errors is very small. A bit of negligence and you could end up being out of the playoff race.

Although the IPL provides the players with a great platform, due to the abundance of options available, many top-notch players are forced to be warming the bench. It is the case with every season of the IPL and this week is no exception.

Here’s the best XI of those players who were at the receiving end and had to sit on the bench for the side.

Openers (Moeen Ali, Parthiv Patel)

The Bangalore boys have warmed the bench all the games thus far this season. These two have an abundance of experience and will be shouldering the opening responsibilities of this XI. While Patel is a veteran in the IPL, Moeen is yet to make his debut. Both these players will be itching to make it to the playing XI and exhibit their skills.

Parthiv has played 119 IPL games in his career and has scored over 2,300 runs. He also doubles up as the wicketkeeper in the side. Moeen Ali, on the other hand, has a fair amount of experience and can be handy with his all-round skills. Ali has picked 14 wickets in the 22 T20Is played and has scored 202 runs. He bowls economically and can take up a similar role to that of Sunil Narine with the KKR.

Middle Order (AB de Villiers, Manzoor Dar, Heinrich Klaasen)

AB de Villiers had to miss both the games this week due to a viral fever. And that is the only way he could find an entry into this benched XI. ABD will make it to most of the IPL XI’s and is a terrific asset to the side. He will be shouldering more responsibility of this side and could also lead the same. Furthermore, he is also in great touch this season.

Manzoor Dar and Heinrich Klaasen will be the other two to make it into this side. Manzoor is someone who tonks the ball hard and long. He is patiently waiting for an opportunity in the KXIP XI which seems to be just around the corner. Even the legendary Virender Sehwag heaped praise on this youngster for his abilities. Klaasen is one of those few overseas players who deals well with spin. He can hit the ball long and will be expected to provide some fireworks in the middle overs.

All-Rounders (Deepak Hooda, Carlos Brathwaite)

Both Deepak Hooda and Carlos Brathwaite are powerful strikers of the cricket ball. They hit the ball hard and have the capability to clear any fence. While Deepak Hooda was axed from the Sunrisers playing XI, Carlos is yet to make his debut for the franchise.

These two men will make up the all-rounders quota in the side. Apart from their batting heroics, they can also be handy with the ball. They can be used as floaters in the lineup and one of them can also open the batting just to add that surprise element and can go aggressive in the powerplay.

Bowlers (Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman, Sandeep Lamichhane)

Bhuvneshwar is another player who has solely made it into this XI due to an injury. He is too good a player to be benched. He will share the pace bowling responsibilities with Vinay Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman. All of these three could be very effective both at the top as well as the death. They’ve got some good variations up their sleeve and it will not be easy for the oppositions to get away from the heroics of these three.

Sandeep Lamichhane is another player who has been the talk of the town ever since the auction. He is the first ever Nepal player to have been picked in the IPL. Sandeep has honed his skills at the Hong Kong T20 Blitz under the guidance of Micheal Clarke. He hasn’t made his debut as yet and will hope to do the same very soon.