New Zealand players have always provided the much-needed X factor in the Indian Premier League. It all started with Brendon Mccullum's blitzkrieg with the bat in the opening game of the inaugural season of Indian Premier League in 2008, when he smashed 158* against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Since then many Kiwis have utilised the opportunities provided by IPL and have showcased their talent every now and then.
While many Kiwis have succeeded in the Indian Premier League, few of them have struggled to get going. Likes of Martin Guptill, James Neesham who have a huge reputation in the international stage have struggled more often than not in the IPL. In this article, we look at 3 New Zealand players who have the potential to have an outstanding IPL tournament in 2020.
#1 James Neesham - Kings XI Punjab
James Neesham is known for his all-round ability with both bat and the ball. He was instrumental in New Zealand progressing to the finals of the recently concluded ICC 2019 World Cup. His hard-hitting ability with the bat lower down the order aided by his medium-pace bowling has come in handy for the Kiwis.
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The left-handed batsman made his debut for Delhi Capitals in the 2014 IPL season. Despite having a huge reputation the southpaw could play only 4 games in which he had scores of DNB, 8, 22 and 12. His bowling didn't impress the management much as he could pick up only 1 wicket in the 4 games he was part of. He was left out of the Delhi squad post the 2014 season and was never part of any season thereafter. However, his fortunes changed when Kings XI Punjab bought him up for INR 50 lacs in the recently concluded auctions.
Considering the fact that James Neesham has more experience now, if he can yield his magic with both bat and ball, he could well be the most destructive all-rounder in the 2020 season.
#2 Trent Boult - Mumbai Indians
Trent Boult is arguably the fastest bowler among the current lot in the international stage. The left-handed pace bowler has set the stage on fire with his swing bowling in every format of the game and has single-handedly won games for his national side. He is a thorough match-winner on any occasion and is one player whom you would want in your team.
Despite having a huge reputation, Trent Boult couldn't live up to the expectations of the franchises that have invested in him. Until 2019, he was part of 3 franchises i.e Sunrisers Hyderabad (2015-2016), Kolkata Knight Riders (2017) and Delhi Capitals (2018-2019) - and despite the odd good performance, Boult has not lived up to his full potential.
He was traded in by the Mumbai Indians and it would be interesting to see how he would prosper in the company of Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah and others. In 33 games that he was part of, the Kiwi has picked up 38 wickets at an average of 29.47.
#3 Lockie Ferguson - Kolkata Knight Riders
28-year-old Lockie Ferguson is a talented Kiwi fast bowler who performances were crucial in New Zealand's journey in the 2019 World Cup as he picked up 21 wickets in 9 games at an impressive average of 19.48.
He was earlier part of Rising Pune Super Giants in the 2017 season. In the 4 games he played he picked up 3 wickets at an average of 31.00. He was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 season but couldn't get a game. He was retained by the same franchise for the 2019 season and in the 5 games he played, he could only pick up 2 wickets.
Despite having 2 poor seasons, Lockie Ferguson will be the player to watch out for considering his good performances with the ball with New Zealand. He along with Pat Cummins and Harry Gurney could well be the trio of fast bowlers that could dent the opposition teams in the upcoming season.