The cricket fans of the entire world are on the edge of their seats as the Board of Control for Cricket in India has announced the schedule for the first 2 weeks of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League. The entire cricketing universe is excited for the world’s best cricket league which will run for two months from March to May in 2019.
BCCI has already raised the excitement level of the fans by announcing the opening match of the 12th edition of IPL between the current IPL champions, Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The intense battle will take place at one of the most iconic grounds of India, Chepauk.
On the other side, the excitement is also high for the World Cup which will take place just after the IPL ends.
This has raised a big question, and that is, whether or not will the top wicket-keepers of the world like MS Dhoni, Jos Buttler, Quinton de Kock, and KL Rahul play the entire IPL considering the upcoming World Cup. If they will not play, then it will raise the need of including a backup wicket-keeper in the playing XI.
In this article, we will have a look at the back-up wicket-keepers of each IPL team.
#8 Ankush Bains (Delhi Capitals)
Rajasthan Royals signed a youngster named Ankush Bains in IPL 2014 but he did not play many matches pertaining to his role of a back-up wicket-keeper. CSK bought him in the 2015 IPL auction for an amount of ₹10 lakh. He then moved to the Rising Pune Super Giant and in this season, Bains is a part of the Delhi Capitals side.
Given his role of a wicketkeeper, he could keep the wickets for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019 if Rishabh Pant is not available. He could be the best second choice wicket-keeper for Delhi Capitals this season.
#7 Nicolas Pooran (Kings XI Punjab)
Nicolas Pooran emerged as a surprise bid from the 2019 IPL Auction. Despite Pooran having an experience of just one IPL season so far, all the teams were eager to purchase him owing to his high-class domestic career. Kings XI Punjab bought Pooran for a high amount of ₹4.2 crore.
He first came into the limelight when he smashed a wonderful half-century off just 24 balls while playing for Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League. The explosive batsman was also a part of the West Indian side in the Under-19 World Cup which took place in the U.A.E. Pooran pulled off one of the best innings of his career in the quarterfinals of that tourney as he took his team from 70-8 to 208 single-handedly, by scoring 143 runs.
Pooran can keep the wickets as well, which will benefit the Punjab side if their front line keeper, KL Rahul is out.
#6 Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)
Rajasthan Royals have got several proven match winners like Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Jos Buttler in their squad. They also have many talented Indian players like Ajinkya Rahane, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron and so, have a good mix of Indian and foreign talent.
As they have Buttler in their side, he would play the role of the front-line wicket-keeper for Rajasthan in IPL 2019. Buttler had created wonders with his skills in the last season. However, he may leave the Royals before this season of IPL ends because of the World Cup. Rajasthan may then need to assign the wicket-keeping duties to Sanju Samson.
Samson would fit in this category well as he has the experience of keeping the wickets for RR in the past. Hence, he would be the back-up wicket-keeping option for RR this season.
#5 Heinrich Klaasen (Royal Challengers Banglore)
Royal Challengers Bangalore has been the unluckiest side in the history of IPL as they have never lifted the IPL trophy despite reaching the final thrice. Virat Kohli and his men have tried their best but the things have not gone in their favour. Despite having a star-studded line-up, their team has failed to win big matches.
Heinrich Klaasen could play the role of a wild-card entry for RCB in the upcoming edition of IPL, with his wicket-keeping and batting skills. Rajasthan included Klaasen in their side during the last season as a replacement for Steve Smith. He even kept the wickets for them in some matches.
He has so far grabbed 214 catches and has affected 13 stumpings in his career which prove his magnificent wicket-keeping skills. If Parthiv Patel does not get going in the early stages of the season, then Klaasen could don the wicket-keeping gloves in place of him for RCB.
#4 Robin Uthappa (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Kolkata Knight Riders have so far won the IPL trophy twice in the IPL history. The Tamil Nadu-born wicket-keeper batsman, Dinesh Karthik took over the captaincy of KKR last year and impressed everyone with his captaincy skills.
As Karthik will most likely feature in all games for KKR, they won’t need a backup wicketkeeper as he would keep the wickets. But, if the selectors include him in the World Cup squad, KKR may need a back-up wicket-keeper. And, in this situation, Robin Uthappa can don the wicket-keeping gloves for the purple and golden army.
He has been a part of KKR since 2014 and has been playing the lead role for them. He has a good record behind the stumps and this will benefit the Kolkata based side.
#3 Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians)
Ishan Kishan grabbed the spotlight during IPL 2017 playing for the Gujarat Lions franchise. He played fearless cricket and tried to smash every ball over the boundary line. Later on, Mumbai Indians bought him in 2018 at a high price, because of his batting and wicket-keeping skills.
Mumbai Indians have Quinton de Kock in their side who will play the role of the front-line wicket-keeper. Kishan could be the backup keeper for them in IPL 2019 as he had kept wickets for Mumbai in 2018.
Kishan proved that he is a fearless wicket-keeper as well during the last edition of IPL. In a league match, a throw from Hardik Pandya hit Kishan near his eyes while he was donning the gloves. This accident forced him to leave the field. However, he came back in the next match with the same aggression and kept the wickets for his side. Thus, Kishan will be a great back-up wicket-keeping option for the Mumbai Indians.
#2 Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Sunrisers Hyderabad had a great IPL season last year as they reached the final of the tournament. Despite regular skipper, David Warner‘s absence, the stand-in captain Kane Williamson took the team to the final but SRH lost the final to the Chennai Super Kings.
Hyderabad has got one of the best wicket-keepers in their side in the form of Wriddhiman Saha. Saha has kept the wickets for India at the international level, which has provided him with a good experience of keeping. However, if Saha gets sidelined because of any reason, then Jonny Bairstow could play the role of the keeper for SRH.
Bairstow is all set to make his IPL debut in the year 2019 after the Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him in the auction. He could play the role of back-up wicket-keeper for their side as he has already kept the wickets for England at the international level.
#1 Kedar Jadhav (Chennai Super Kings)
If the BCCI rests the top Indian players ahead of the ICC World Cup, then it could prove to be a big loss for CSK as MS Dhoni may not play for them in the last few games of the season.
Dhoni has already proved why he is the best wicket-keeper in the world by inflicting some of the fastest stumpings in cricket. However, if Dhoni doesn’t play, then Kedar Jadhav could play the role of the wicket-keeper for CSK.
The wicket-keeper turned all-rounder, Jadhav has immense experience behind the wickets, so he could be the back-up wicket-keeper for CSK.