Within three weeks time, the 2020 edition of the much-awaited Indian Premier League (IPL) will commence in the foreign land of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The franchises, barring Chennai Super Kings (CSK), have already started sweating in the training ground. They are wasting no time to ward off the rustiness that might have crept in after over six months of inactivity.
In the UAE, lots of low-scoring thrilling encounters will be on the cards as the pitch generally favours the bowlers. Matthew Hayden, former Australia and CSK cricketer, has picked the bowlers who will play a crucial role in the tournament this year.
In the Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected, Hayden picked Bhuvneshwar Kumar among the bowlers who could make hay while the sun shines at the slow, bowler-friendly pitches of the UAE.
Bhuvneshwar plies his trade for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). He has a notable record of winning the ‘purple cap’ in two consecutive seasons – 2016 and 2017.
“I feel the experienced seam bowlers will always be a threat. Bhuvneshwar Kumar obviously has been incredible in the IPL,” Hayden said.
Other than Bhuvi, the Aussie pinned his hope on the Mumbai Indians (MI) pacer Jasprit Bumrah. He said: “And from the Mumbai Indians point of view, who can go past one of the finest bowlers in world cricket, i.e. Jasprit Bumrah. I think he is as good as anyone on their day.”
Hayden picks the spinners who will dominate the season
In the spin department, Hayden said there are a plethora of talented spinners who will make batsmen dance to their tunes. Even someone old-school like Harbhajan Singh might play an instrumental role.
“I think you have got a handful of spinners as well who can look to dominate the play. Even the old boys can do the job. I am thinking of guys like Harbhajan Singh, who didn’t play a lot of cricket last year but still a wily off-spinner who can have a go,” Hayden concluded.
Meanwhile, Australia has named Hayden as one of the trade envoys for advancing business relationships with India.