IPL 2022: One X-Factor From Each Of The 10 Teams
IPL 2022: X-factors have been a crucial part of title-winning IPL teams. Whether it was Yusuf Pathan for RR in the first season, a young R Ashwin for CSK in 2011, to Ben Cutting for SRH in 2016, and the likes of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard for MI over the years, players who make …
IPL 2022: X-factors have been a crucial part of title-winning IPL teams. Whether it was Yusuf Pathan for RR in the first season, a young R Ashwin for CSK in 2011, to Ben Cutting for SRH in 2016, and the likes of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard for MI over the years, players who make crucial contributions that may not stand out in the scorecard, but make a game-changing impact in a match are the most sought after ones.
The franchises have stacked their teams with some absolute brute power-hitter and bowlers who could be the point of difference.
With the IPL 2022 less than a week away, let’s look at who could be the X-factor this season for each of the 10 franchises:
Chennai Super Kings- Adam Milne
While there are several match-winners in the defending champions Chennai Super Kings’ team, one man who could take IPL 2022 by storm is New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne. Milne is not medium-fast or fast-medium – but an out and out pure fast bowler capable of clocking 150 KPH regularly.
Milne, who didn’t really have much success with Mumbai Indians last season, will also enjoy the extra bounce in the pitches in Mumbai and Pune. While Milne is not expected to play all the games, given his fitness and the workload of a fast bowler, he could make match-winning impacts in the ones he plays.
Delhi Capitals- Prithvi Shaw
Although the Delhi Capitals are strengthened by the likes of Pant, Warner, Mitchell Marsh, it would be the duty of opener Prithvi Shaw to give his side blistering starts in IPL 2022. Shaw, who now finds himself out of the Indian team, had made a tweak in his technique to face the incoming deliveries.
He did smash runs at the start of last season but faded away in the UAE leg. It’s time that Prithvi Shaw has his breakthrough IPL season where he torments every bowling attack and put DC close to their maiden title. And in the process make a strong bid for a recall to the national side.
Mumbai Indians- Tim David
Mumbai Indians invested heavily in Tim David at the IPL 2022 auction – the 26-year-old bought for 8.25 crores in the mega-auction. David is a renowned name now having hammered runs in most of the franchise leagues – in 89 T20s, the Singaporean averages 33 at a strike rate of 159 – and is ready to leave his prints in the biggest T20 league in the world.
With the loss of the Pandya brothers, MI will want their expensive buy to come good and win them some games on his own.
Kolkata Knight Riders- Andre Russell
It was on the back of a rollicking second half of the season of Venkatesh Iyer that the Kolkata Knight Riders managed to turn it around and reach the final. By the time of the playoffs, they were without the injured Andre Russell.
Russell has been struggling with injuries over the past two seasons. IPL 2022, though, is the time that he repays the faith once again put by the management having retained him for 12 crore.
The burly Jamaican remains arguably the biggest match-winner in T20 cricket; KKR have a solid batting lineup this time, and although they won’t be expecting big scores of bundles of wickets from Russell, the all-rounder will be required to make just enough impactful performances to win them games.
Gujarat Titans-Rashid Khan
Gujarat Titans, one of the two new franchises in IPL 2022, bought Rashid Khan for 15 crore, as much as they paid for skipper Hardik Pandya. Rashid Khan is without a doubt the best T20 spinner going around; his four overs are a safe bank for any team he plays for, no matter the conditions.
Lucknow Super Giants- Ravi Bishnoi
The Lucknow Super Giants have a strong fast bowling attack. But their plans will heavily revolve around the 21-year-old leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi. The young leggie snapped 24 wickets in 23 matches in the last two seasons for Punjab at an economy of less than 7.
Bishnoi, who recently made his India debut, will be on the duty to stop the run flow and pick wickets in the middle overs with his googlies – his stock ball – mixed with leg-breaks.
Punjab Kings- Jonny Bairstow
England’s Jonny Bairstow is one of the most destructive white-ball batters going around. Bairstow’s versatility allows England to use him as a spin marauder in the middle-order in T20 cricket; he is likely to play the same role for Punjab Kings, his new franchise, as Agarwal and Dhawan will open.
Bairstow doesn’t waste any time in launching his attack; he’s a spin basher and a clean striker against pacers, and can also tonk in the death overs. Even if he’s in the middle for a few overs, Bairstow has the capability of turning the game on its head.
Rajasthan Royals- Trent Boult
Since 2018, Trent Boult has been the second-best powerplay bowler in the IPL – behind Deepak Chahar – and his tendency to pick wickets with the new ball helped Mumbai Indians to a comfortable win in 2020. The quality for which the Rajasthan Royals splurged 8 crore for the Kiwi.
In T20 cricket, wickets early in the game are like goldust; Boult is perhaps the best man to nip out a couple of scalps early on and gain his side an upper hand early in the contest.
Royal Challengers Bangalore- Josh Hazelwood
Lanky Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has been a revelation in T20 cricket since he helped CSK win the title last season and then Australia win the T20 World Cup. Known for his high accuracy in line and length, Royal Challengers Bangalore cashed out 7.75 crore for the Aussie quick. With the strong Indian bowling of Siraj and Harshal, Hazlewood will form a solid, complete fast-bowling trio for RCB.
Sunrisers Hyderabad- Rahul Tripathi
Rahul Tripathi was bought for a heavy 8.5 crore amount by the Sunrisers Hyderabad, after impressing everyone with his batsmanship last season for KKR – average of 28 and strike rate of 140. Tripathi was used as a floater, but his job was made clear by the management, that is to increase the scoring rate.
Tripathi played high risks shots, some came off some didn’t, but that he was ready to play the attacking game and risk his wicket – and average – had all praising him. His batting has clearly levelled up, and he could be the enforcer with the bat in the middle overs for SRH.