The IPL 2020 has again insinuated that a new rule, 'Power Player' could be introduced which will enable a team to have a pool of 15 players to choose from and bring in one as a substitute during a crunch situation. In the ever-evolving T20 format, IPL is leading the way with dynamic changes to make the game interesting for the fans. However, this time around, the 'Power Player' rule has more to it than just the concept of substitutes.
This tricky rule surely has the power to change the way this format was approached by teams. Important aspects of the game like playing XI, squad selections, and auctions, can be expected to get affected tremendously by this rule.
However, one should be cautious of the fact that big players will hardly get a chance to play as a 'Power Player' since they already will be expected to make the playing XI. Therefore, the benchwarmers & overseas players have a chance of playing important cameos and prove to be heroes under this new rule, if implemented.
Here's a look at the possible three players who can fit the role of 'Power Player' successfully in the next season of IPL.
#1 Mohammad Nabi
Mohammad Nabi has been the backbone of the Afghanistan line-up and ever since joining Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, he has proved his mettle time and time again. While players like Jonny Bairstow and David Warner took the 2019 season of the IPL by storm, Nabi went about his business without much fuss. Nabi wasn’t a regular in the side and faced huge competition to keep his place in the side.
However, the next IPL season might see Mohammad Nabi dawn a new avatar for the Hyderabad franchise. The ‘Power Player’ rule, which is likely to be implemented in the IPL 2020, can be Nabi’s key to IPL success over a long period. In eight appearances for the 2016 champions last season, the Afghanistan superstar gave away only 194 runs at an average of 24.25 with his traditional off-break, taking eight wickets in the process. The ‘Power Player’ rules call for influential players to take center-stage at the right time, and Nabi has all the qualities to change the course of a T20 game with the ball as well as the bat. His deceptive change of pace and flight tends to lure the batsmen for the big shot and more often than not gets the job done.
He could prove to be lethal if Kane Williamson decides to use him strategically as a ‘Power Player’ as he possesses the capability to score big and target specific bowlers.
Also see – World Test Championship points table
#2 Trent Boult
New Zealand and Delhi Capitals' pacer Trent Boult doesn’t have the backing of heavy numbers behind him but can bowl dead yorkers in times of need. And that just sums it up for a player to be selected as ‘Power Player’. In his five seasons in IPL (2015-2019), Boult has taken 38 wickets for three franchises- Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals at a strike-rate of 20.13 and an economy of 8.78.
But what counts is his ability to bowl varied lengths at will at any given stage of a match. With the experience of two 50-over World-Cup finals, Boult has come a long way in controlling his length when trying to bowl fast. His swinging yorkers into the right-hand batsman at more than 145kmph makes it hard for batsmen to survive, let alone hit him out of the park.
In my understanding of the ‘Power Player’, a bowler sitting in the dug-out would be brought in mostly to reduce the run-rate and not take a flurry of wickets in his limited number of overs. Trent Boult can perform this job to perfection. Along with the yorker, his low-full tosses outside the off-stump and slower-bouncers are hard to put away. Apart from the inswinging deliveries, Boult has it in him to swing the ball away and disturb the batsmen with his continuous change of lengths. With Ravichandran Ashwin joining the squad as well, Delhi will shape up differently for the current season. It will be interesting how Shreyas Iyer uses the pacer since he isn’t regular in the squad.
#3 Moeen Ali
In the 2019 season of the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s player Moeen Ali performed well in patches. It might be surprising for many to find him on this list, but Ali has the potential to fulfill the role of the ‘Power Player’. It will be interesting how RCB captain Virat Kohli goes about this rule.
Along with the hard-hitting Andre Russell and Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Moeen Ali was the only player to have scored 200 runs and taken five wickets last season. In his 11 matches, he scored 220 runs at an average of 27.50 and took six wickets in the overs he bowled. Ali has an uncanny knack of picking crucial wickets in crunch situations and can score big-hits as well. Ali was also the most economical bowler for RCB, giving away only 169 runs in 150 balls at an economy of 6.76. Ali is capable of bowling inside the powerplay as well as the death, he can open the batting and even come lower-down the order to swing the bat 360 degrees.
In an RCB vs KKR encounter in IPL 2019, Ali smashed Kolkata Knight Riders' leg-spinner Kuldeep Yadav for 27 in five balls to make sure his intentions were clear enough before the World Cup at home. Although Kuldeep bounced back on the last ball claim Ali's wicket but proved to be a little too late for the spinner. Three sixes, two fours and a wide in that over helped Ali score 66 runs in 28 balls.