With the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) has now reached its halfway stage, with all 8 teams having played 7 of their 14 group stage matches. The mid-season trade window is now open, and consenting players who have played less than three games are eligible to shift teams.
With IPL 2020 being one of the most tightly contested editions in history, teams have many world-class players warming the bench, and these cricketers might seek a move away. We take a look at 5 Indian stars who could be in high demand in the IPL 2020 mid-season transfer window.
Indian players who could be highly sought-after in the IPL 2020 mid-season transfer window
Note: Players like Ajinkya Rahane and Saurabh Tiwary, who are eligible for a transfer but are likely to be retained by their franchises, have not been considered for this article.
#5 Siddhesh Lad (KKR)
A player who has been on the fringes of IPL teams for many years now, Siddhesh Lad was expected to get some games for KKR this year. However, the Mumbai batsman hasn't gotten a chance so far, and it's unlikely that he will given the form of Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill at the top of the order.
Lad is 28 years old, and time is fast running out for him to stake a claim to be an IPL regular. KKR isn't the team for him at least this season, and a move away could benefit both him and the franchise. Teams such as Rajasthan Royals, who have shuffled their opening combination an ungodly number of times, would do well to snap the batsman up.
#4 Manan Vohra (RR)
Given the number of times RR have changed their batting order in IPL 2020, it's unbelievable that Manan Vohra hasn't gotten a game yet. Even in the last game, in which the young Yashasvi Jaiswal was dropped after a slow innings and a couple of failures, Ben Stokes was promoted to an opening slot and Robin Uthappa was recalled to the playing XI.
Clearly, RR are not keen on using Vohra, who has shown what's he capable of at the IPL level with the Kings XI Punjab. The 27-year-old could be an excellent addition to teams like the Chennai Super Kings and former franchise Kings XI Punjab, both of whom are struggling with depth in their Indian batting contingents.
#3 Parthiv Patel (RCB)
Parthiv Patel was a mainstay for RCB at the top of the order over the past couple of IPL seasons, but he's been frozen out of the team by the young and dynamic Devdutt Padikkal. With Aaron Finch's experience and destructiveness at an opening role likely to give him a long rope despite his indifferent form in IPL 2020 so far, there is no place for the wicket-keeper in the RCB team.
Virat Kohli has opted to use AB de Villiers behind the stumps, with even young Australian Josh Philippe donning the gloves in a couple of games. Parthiv is certainly good enough to be in the playing XI of an IPL team, and a mid-season move could benefit both RCB and the player. Even though there isn't a clear destination for the Gujarat man, teams such as RR could use his services.
#2 Dhawal Kulkarni (MI)
Dhawal Kulkarni is the only recognised Indian pacer in the MI squad apart fro Jasprit Bumrah, but he hasn't gotten a chance in IPL 2020 so far due to the exceptional form of James Pattinson and Trent Boult.
All three of MI's pace spearheads are contesting for the Purple Cap, and with Hardik Pandya inching ever-closer to a return with the ball, Kulkarni may not have a role to play at his first-ever IPL franchise. Even if MI find the need to replace a pacer, they could use Nathan Coulter-Nile, for whom they shelled out big bucks in the IPL 2020 auction.
Many teams could do with Kulkarni's services - the Delhi Capitals, who have lost Ishant Sharma due to injury, are an excellent choice.
#1 Pawan Negi (RCB)
Pawan Negi has been decent in the field for RCB while coming on as a substitute in IPL 2020, but it doesn't seem like he fits into the team's first-choice playing XI. Washington Sundar has done extremely well for Virat Kohli's side, while Yuzvendra Chahal has been impressive as ever.
Even if RCB want a spin-bowling all-rounder, they can turn to the experience and dynamism of Moeen Ali, who could easily be brought in at the expense of Isuru Udana when the tracks slow down a bit more. Negi could be an excellent addition to teams which don't have too many all-rounders, such as the Kings XI Punjab and the Rajasthan Royals.