Sports Monks

IPL 2020: Wicketkeepers Who Will Hog The Limelight

The IPL has over the years seen wicket-keepers playing major roles for their team both with the bat and even behind the stumps. MS Dhoni is the most prominent example, of a keeper-batsman who changed the outlook of wicketkeeper batsmen in international cricket. Before he became popular, the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara, Mark Boucher created their own niche with the bat and behind the stumps. Alongside Dhoni, Brendon McCullum and AB De Villiers are examples who have made an impact with the bat and with the gloves in the IPL and international cricket. 

Before IPL 2020, the 12th season of the cash-rich league kicks off, here is a look at the wicket-keepers and their role for their teams in the upcoming season. 

MS Dhoni (CSK)

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The maverick captain of the Chennai Super Kings and the former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is the biggest name in IPL cricket. He has won three titles with Chennai Super Kings and once again he will be the most keenly followed wicket-keeper batsman in IPL 2020. Dhoni who has been away from international cricket after the 2019 World Cup will make a return to the game when he leads the CSK in IPL season 12. Indian fans are keenly waiting for the return of Dhoni to the cricket field and there is nothing better than the IPL stage to make a comeback. With time running out for Dhoni in the game now, he would like to win one more IPL title for the ‘Yellow Army’ before he hangs his boots from international cricket. His stats as a keeper and a batsman both are enviable and fans would like to see the MS Dhoni of old in the upcoming season.

Dinesh Karthik (KKR)

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Before Dinesh Karthik joined KKR, Robin Uthappa was the man who donned the gloves for the franchise. Uthappa joined KKR in 2014 and till 2019 was a regular member of the playing XI. The 2019 season saw him lose his form quite extraordinarily and getting dropped after 12 matches. He took 36 catches and affected 9 stumpings for the franchise and now Karthik has to step up to his role. 

After having a successful first season with KKR when he scored nearly 500 runs and took them to the final four, he faltered as a captain in 2019. He just scored half the runs and was ineffective both as a keeper and a batsman. The franchise decided to retain him ahead of the upcoming auctions. However, it is not very certain if Karthik will be re-elected as the skipper for the season. Nonetheless, his job remains an important one keeping in mind that he is one of the senior players in the squad and would ideally be the glue in the batting-order and with the gloves controlling the proceedings from behind. 

Also Read: IPL 2020: List of Players Released, Retained by Teams, Slots left and Purse Available

Quinton de Kock (MI)

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De Kock was retained ahead of the IPL 2020 auctions and will probably open with Rohit Sharma with Evin Lewis released from the team. De Kock has been consistent with giving flying starts to franchises he has played for in the past and more so with Mumbai Indians. With MI also retaining Ishan Kishan, the younger keeper-batsman might just keep de Kock out of the game. Thus there is a game within a game for de Kock in the upcoming IPL 2020 where he might have to fight for a place in the team. 

Parthiv Patel (RCB)

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Parthiv Patel who has nearly played for all the franchises in the Indian Premier League was retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. He will open the innings alongside skipper Virat Kohli in IPL 2020. He has been giving RCB quick starts and he will be expected to do the same in IPL 2020 as well. He is one of those under-rated cricketers for any franchise he has played for in the past. Where his job becomes critical with RCB is during DRS decisions. Virat Kohli historically has been a bad judger of DRS and this is where Parthiv’s inputs from behind the stumps will help Kohli. His work thus doubles up besides batting and keeping.

Jonny Bairstow (SRH)

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Bairstow had a successful first season in the IPL scoring 445 runs with the bat and affecting 11 dismissals. This has made the SRH fans and the management expects more of him in IPL 2020. He formed a formidable pair with David Warner last season and showed immense consistency with the bat. Next season, he will come into the IPL as a more experienced player and thus his contribution with the bat and the gloves will be closely monitored. He was able to keep Wriddhiman Saha out of the playing XI with his exploits. It will be interesting to see if he can repeat the last season heroics in IPL 2020.

Also Read: IPL 2020: 332 Players Shortlisted for IPL Auction 2020

Jos Buttler (RR)

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Opening the batting for the Rajasthan Royals, Buttler scored almost 500 runs in 2018. His form dipped a little bit the next season in 2019 where he scored just 311 runs. With the gloves, he has maintained his form taking catches and effecting stumpings. The Royals had a disappointing last season and much of it was because of Buttler’s failure with the bat. IPL 2020 gives him another chance to make amends of his lack of runs. With him accumulating over 1000 runs in just four seasons, Buttler is seen as someone who can score big runs besides hitting the ball hard and long. Rajasthan Royals will be looking up to him for helping the skipper from behind the stumps as well. 

The above-mentioned keepers, all key players for their respective teams, will certainly hold the key in helping their team get to the final four of the tournament. Come IPL 2020, one of them is also expected to finish among the top five run-getters as well keeping in mind the position they bat in for their franchises. 

Rishabh Pant (DD)

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Pant has been backed immensely by the team management despite his repeated failures in the last year and a half. He finally came good and scored his first ODI fifty in the first ODI against West Indies. Pant’s keeping techniques have been constantly criticised by former Indian keepers and his approach with the bat has also been a subject of constant debate. However, skipper Virat Kohli has said that Pant has the backing of the team management and has urged the cricket fans to leave him alone. Pant is looked as someone who has a lot of potential to make it big in international cricket and one believes that the IPL 2020 is his last chance to claim a permanent spot in the team for the World T20. With Sanju Samson also in the scheme of things and KL Rahul as a backup keeper, this is Pant’s last chance to make it big.

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