IPL 2021: One Indian player from bottom four ranked sides who can make a big difference
Indian stars to look out for from the current bottom sides of IPL 2021.
Updated - Apr 28, 2021 1:43 pm
2. Jalaj Saxena (Punjab Kings, Right Hand Offspin, Right Hand Batsman)
Saxena, a consistent performer in the domestic circuit, had to wait 8 long seasons to finally make his debut in IPL 2021, which came against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede. While it was indeed refreshing to see the timing, subsequent steps to it certainly seemed confusing. The Mumbai pitch on which Saxena played his first game was an out-and-out batsman’s paradise and it turned out to be a night where all the bowlers from his team went for copious runs.
Saxena’s difficulties weren’t reduced one bit by the dew factor, which made it extremely difficult to grip the ball and only added to the nerves of the occasion. To his credit though, he was one of the relatively economical bowlers on the night and almost gave the breakthroughs, his team was looking for. However, when the team played their next game, in Chennai this time, where the pitch was overwhelmingly conducive to spinners, he was inexplicably dropped and has failed to get a game ever since.
It is worth noting that Saxena came on the back of an extremely fruitful domestic campaign- analysis of SMAT statistics marks him out to be the best wicket-taking bowler, alongside Rahul Chahar, from the 25 Indian IPL spinners who participated in the tournament. While Chahar has been backed to the hilt by his franchise (Mumbai Indians) and results have been there for all to see, Saxena requires an extended run in the side to demonstrate his utility.
He is also handy with the bat, with over 17 centuries in the domestic circuit, and often comes in for Kerala to steady the ship and get going in final overs of the innings, which makes him an ideal no. 7 for the Kings, who have often faced a batting collapse due to a lack of reliable lower middle-order batting options. All-in-all, rather than exploring the various foreign options at the no. 7 spot, an experiment that has only yielded consistent failure, the answer to the Kings’ woes might actually lie with giving Saxena a go in the side and backing him.