The IPL 2023 is set to get underway on March 31, with a very exciting clash between MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya: in the tournament opener, defending champions Gujarat Titans will be hosting Chennai Super Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad.
The IPL league returns to its traditional home-and-away format in India for the first time since 2019. Each team will play 14 league matches making it a total of 70 league matches across 52 days, followed by the playoffs and the final.
The final of the IPL 2023 will be played in Ahmedabad.
An all-rounder is always a strength of a team, be it in any format because of the balance their provide. In fact, the importance of an all-rounder is magnified in the shortest format because then the team can play either an extra batter or an extra bowler.
The IPL 2023 will, of course, play host to some of the best T20 all-rounders in the world.
Here are the top 5 all-rounders fans will keep closer eye on in IPL 2023:
The man of the moment last year was Hardik Pandya, who, while leading for the first time in the IPL, captained debutant Gujarat Titans to the trophy.
Pandya starred for GT with both bat and ball: giving himself the promotion to numbers 3 and 4, Pandya scored 487 runs and picked up 8 wickets as well. He was the Player of the Final vs RR for his 3-wicket haul and for scoring 34 runs.
Eyes will once again be on Hardik Panday as to how he continues his own and Gujarat’s legacy.
While MS Dhoni hogs the major limelight at CSK, it will also be Ben Stokes who will be having significant eyeballs. Stokes, who returns to the IPL after skipping last season, was bought by CSK for INR 16.5 crore – CSK’s most expensive pick in the auction ever.
How he goes along with MS Dhoni and CSK fans will be an interesting story to watch out for this season; for Stokes is also considered by many as the next-in-line for CSK’s captaincy after MS Dhoni departs.
Ben Stokes, now a T20 World Cup champion and the England Test captain, was the MVP in IPL 2017 whem playing alongside Dhoni for Rising Pune Supergiant.
Ravindra Jadeja will be eager to make amends in the IPL 2023 after his disastrous campaign last season: he was given the captaincy ahead of IPL 2022, but after 6 losses in 8 matches, he handed the captaincy duties back to MS Dhoni; Jadeja floundered individually as well – averaging only 19 with the bat and managing only 5 wickets.
Nonetheless, Jadeja is a CSK legend – he holds a key place in their side, and will be crucial especially on the Chepauk surface.
Cameron Green, who is yet to step a foot in the IPL, eked out INR 17.5 crore from Mumbai Indians’ purse in the IPL 2023 auction, becoming the second-most expensive player ever in the IPL history.
Green impressed everyone last year with a couple of blockbuster knocks against India in T20Is as an opener and is a decent seam bowler. He recently scored a Test century against India in Ahmedabad, announcing his arrival just prior to the IPL 2023.
Being an expensive signing and being in-form, Cameron Green certainly will attrack all eyeballs when he plays in the tournament finally.
Even though Rajasthan Royals reached the final last year, they certainly struggled with their combination and often were a batter short: they went with 5 bowlers, 5 batters, and Riyan Parag as the all-rounder, who wasn’t up to the mark in his role yet; they needed to promote R Ashwin in the batting order as well.
To solve this problem of balance, they bought Jason Holder for 5.75 crore in the IPL 2023 auction; Holder was surprisingly released by LSG despite having a good season last year: 14 wickets in 12 matches and 58 runs in 8 innings at a strike rate of 131 while mostly batting very low down the order.
Jason Holder is one of the finest seam-bowling all-rounders in the world who can swing the new ball, bowl well in the death overs, has the long levers to clear any boundary with the bat, and, importantly, has experience and calm temperament.
Holder could well be the missing jigsaw piece that the Royals lacked last season.