IPL 2022: One benched player from each team who deserves regular chances in playing XI

As teams try to find their best XI, let us have a look at one benched player that each franchise can bank upon for a regular place.

Chetan Sakariya
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Chetan Sakariya. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

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Chetan Sakariya
Chetan Sakariya. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The 15th season of IPL has started with exuberance. In the first week of IPL 2022, some teams have found their perfect combination while most of the other teams are still struggling to get it right. It is time for think tanks of IPL teams to implement strategies they have chalked out during the IPL auction in February.

All teams have included some talented players in the squad. As teams try to find their best XI, let us have a look at one benched player that each franchise can bank upon for a regular place in the playing XI.

1. Ramandeep Singh (Mumbai Indians)

Ramandeep Singh
Ramandeep Singh (Photo Source: Twitter)

The five-time champions have struggled in the first three games this season. They have struggled to put a well-balanced playing XI that has yielded results so far for them. The 25-year-old all-rounder from Punjab, Ramandeep Singh, could provide the much-needed balance to the five-time IPL champions. 

Still early days in his domestic career, Ramandeep has already proved his abilities. In his T20 career so far, Ramandeep boasts a strike rate of 135+ and a bowling economy of 6.90 runs per over. He has played some crucial knocks for Punjab this season, which includes 23-ball 54 runs against Odisha in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

He had a fantastic outing in the 2019-20 season in Under 23s Col.C.K.Nayudu trophy. The talented all-rounder scored three centuries to amass 565 runs in seven matches. He is also a cousin brother of another Mumbai Indians player Anmolpreet Singh, who has not been able to impress with the bat so far. Ramandeep could be a vital addition to Mumbai’s playing XI as they try to get back on the winning track.

2. R Sai Kishore (Gujarat Titans)

R. Sai Kishore
R. Sai Kishore. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The tall and lanky southpaw from Tamil Nadu is in the form of his life. After spending a couple of seasons with Chennai Super Kings where he warmed the benches, Gujarat Titans (GT) roped him in the IPL 2022 mega auction. He didn’t feature in the first two games of the season. Although Gujarat have won both their games, R Sai Kishore’s inclusion will further strengthen their XI.

His T20 record is outstanding, which includes 43 wickets with an average of 17.39 and an economy of 5.46 runs per over. This proves that he is a wicket-taker and someone who bowls with high accuracy to limit run-scoring opportunities for batters. In the last year, he has worked on his batting as well. He has often been promoted in the batting order for his state team Tamil Nadu and had made some telling contributions.

He was a key player of Tamil Nadu’s successful Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy campaign. Given his current form, Kishore can add lots of variety to Gujarat’s playing XI. 

3. Chetan Sakariya (Delhi Capitals)

Chetan Sakariya
Chetan Sakariya. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Over the last one year, Chetan Sakariya’s career graph has progressed upwards. Delhi Capitals spent INR 4.2 crore for him in this year’s IPL auction. The left-arm pacer rose to prominence in the last season, when he picked up 14 wickets for Rajasthan Royals. He showed his skill to pick up wickets early in the powerplay.

Delhi Capitals are missing their retained strike bowler Anrich Nortje, due to injury. In the two matches they have played so far, their bowlers have been able to pick up only one wicket in the powerplay and have leaked runs. Against Mumbai Indians, their bowlers conceded 53 runs without taking a wicket in the powerplay, and against Gujarat Titans, they gave away 44 runs with just one wicket. Sakariya’s inclusion in the XI will boost their bowling as he can give crucial breakthroughs with the new ball.

4. Manan Vohra (Lucknow Super Giants)

Manan Vohra
Manan Vohra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Lucknow Super Giants had a fantastic auction, picking up a quality pool of players who can come into the playing XI at any given point in time. In two games so far, the No.3 spot has been a concern for them as Manish Pandey has not been able to deliver. However, they have an equally good backup in their squad who could be the missing part of the puzzle – Manan Vohra.

Vohra is an experienced IPL campaigner, having been a part of Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in the past. This season he has been an outlier in limited-overs domestic competitions. He has scored 141, 105, 77, 56 in Vijay Hazare Trophy and 74, 106, 42, 42 in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. With these staggering numbers under his belt, Lucknow will be keen to draft him in the playing XI if Pandey has a couple of bad games. 

5. Rajvardhan Hangargekar (Chennai Super Kings)

Rajvardhan-Hangarkekar
Rajvardhan-Hangargekar ( Photo Source : Twitter)

The most consistent team of IPL has not been able to find the right combination so far. New captain, injury to their biggest auction purchase Deepak Chahar, and poor performance by Indian fast bowlers Mukesh Choudhary and Tushar Deshpande are some of the many challenges Chennai Super Kings are struggling to cope with.

One of the solutions could be the emerging U19s all-rounder Rajvardhan Hangargekar. He played a crucial role in India’s winning campaign in the U19 World Cup earlier this year. The youngster from Mumbai showed his skills by being the fastest bowler in the tournament and hitting huge sixes. He bowled crucial spells upfront, taking five wickets, and scored cameos with the bat with a strike rate over 185.

Hangargekar’s inclusion will be a huge boost in both the bowling and batting departments for Chennai Super Kings and can provide the spark they need to return to winning ways.

6. Siddharth Kaul (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Siddharth Kaul of Sunrisers Hyderabad
Siddharth Kaul in Sunrisers Hyderabad colours in the IPL. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Royal Challengers Bangalore have worked on strengthening their bowling unit, which was one of their weaknesses over the years. Despite that, the death bowling remains a concern for RCB as they could not defend 205 runs against Punjab Kings. In their last outing against Rajasthan Royals, the Bangalore franchise conceded 42 runs in the last two overs. 

The management can look at Siddharth Kaul to add depth to their bowling attack. He can bowl at any stage of innings and he had a successful track record playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in past editions of IPL. He took 16 and 21 wickets in the 2017 and 2018, which was one of the main reasons the Sunrisers qualified for the knockout stages.

RCB are currently playing Akash Deep as their third seamer. However, he has failed to live up to the expectations, leaking runs in the death overs. With a quality option in Siddharth Kaul available on the bench, the Royal Challengers will be keen to include him in the playing XI at some stage in the tournament.

7. Anukul Roy (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Anukul Roy
Anukul Roy. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

KKR has no dearth of spinners. Two mystery spinners Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarty have been their go-to spin twins. Along with this duo, there is another talented spin-bowling all-rounder in Anukul Roy, who can be useful as the tournament progresses.

Roy was a part of India’s U19 World Cup winning team in 2018. He is a left-arm spinner and capable of playing attacking shots with the bat. He has been with Mumbai Indians in earlier seasons but did not get much opportunity.  His all-round skills will add batting depth to Kolkata Knight Riders and provide additional bowling options.

Playing for Jharkhand in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this season, Anukul has scalped six wickets in five matches at an excellent economy of 6.77. He has made useful contributions with the bat in death overs, striking at 166.03. Apart from his batting and bowling, he is one of the best fielders in the IPL. With every run being important, his fielding will also be a differentiator that strengthens his case for inclusion in the playing XI.

The pitches are expected to assist spinners after the initial few weeks of the tournament and in such a scenario, having Anukul Roy in XI will be beneficial for Kolkata Knight Riders.

8. Rishi Dhawan (Punjab Kings)

Rishi Dhawan
Rishi Dhawan. (Photo Source: GREG WOOD/AFP via Getty Images)

Like other teams, Punjab Kings are also looking to find the right balance in their playing XI. Despite a decent start to the campaign, Mayank Agarwal and Co. have lacked a quality Indian all-rounder in their ranks. They chose India Under 19 star Raj Bawa, but he has not been able to repeat his India under 19s success yet. He also has not bowled leaving Punjab searching for that sixth bowling option in their match against KKR.

They have an equally good replacement in the form of Rishi Dhawan. He is an international player who has also played in the IPL in past. The cricketer from Himachal Pradesh has been in fantastic form of late. He stood at the second spot in the table of highest runs scorers and highest wicket-taker in the Vijay Hazare trophy with 458 runs and 17 wickets. His all-round contributions led Himachal Pradesh to their maiden championship title.

In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Dhawan was the third-highest wicket-taker with 14 scalps and an economy of 7.14. With such an outstanding record, Punjab can look to extract more out of him by including him in the playing XI.

9. Rassie Van Der Dussen (Rajasthan Royals)

Rassie van der Dussen
Rassie van der Dussen. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Despite playing only three overseas players, Rajasthan Royals (RR) put up a mammoth score of 193 against Mumbai Indians. Placed at the top of the points table RR can only get stronger from here. Sanju Samson and Co. have quality players at their disposal, who can strengthen the squad. The inclusion of South African Rassie van der Dussen could be a great one for the 2008 IPL winners. 

Van Der Dussen has a strike rate of over 130 in T20 internationals. He has experience playing in different T20 leagues around the world. In the recently concluded ODI series against India, he scored 218 runs, which were crucial in South Africa handing a whitewash to India. He can be included in the XI in the place of Riyan Parag if the latter fails to put runs on board.

10. Fazalhaq Farooqi (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Fazalhaq Farooqi
Fazalhaq Farooqi. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sunrisers Hyderabad have played two games so far in IPL 2022 and ended up losing on both occasions. It has been a sorry state of affairs for the 2016 IPL winners. However, their bowling looks like a bigger concern for team management. They conceded 210 runs against Rajasthan Royals and lost by a big margin of 61 runs. Hence, they need an X-factor in their bowling lineup, who can contain the free flow of runs. 

One option they have in their ranks is the young Afghanistan pacer, Fazalhaq Farooqi. Although this is his first stint in the IPL, he was part of the Punjab Kings and Chennai Super Kings teams as a net bowler earlier. The left-arm pacer was also a part of the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament and Bangladesh Premier League. His economy across limited overs is below 7.5 mainly due to his variations in speed and bounce. 

The last time Sunrisers gave an opportunity to an unknown young bowler from Afghanistan in Rashid Khan, they got the X-factor that helped them over the years. It will be interesting to see if they can repeat the same with Fazalhaq Farooqi.

Written by Amy Oke