The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League is approaching its mid-stage. The tournament, which had to be delayed due to the unforeseen Coronavirus pandemic, and is being held in the UAE within a bio-secure bubble, has thrown up some rather interesting results and surprises. Delhi Capitals, who have traditionally struggled in the event, find themselves sitting pretty at the top of the points table with five wins from six games. Further, Chennai Super Kings, who have never failed to reach to play-offs, are in serious danger of losing their record this year with only two wins from seven games.

Another interesting twist to the IPL is the mid-season transfer window, where franchises will get a chance to trade players who they feel are excessive for the squad. There are two major rules for mid-season transfer. One — the window for transfer will open only after all the franchises have played seven matches each. Two — only the players who have not featured in more than 2 matches are eligible for transfers. And so, as the mid-season transfer window nears, we look at one player from each franchise who can go in for the change.

1. Parthiv Patel (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

The veteran wicket-keeper batsman has been part of RCB since 2018. While Parthiv Patel only got to play six matches that season, he featured in all the 14 league games last year. Patel had a reasonable run with 373 runs at a strike rate of 139.17 with two fifties. This season though Patel doesn’t stand a great chance to play for RCB. The franchise has hired an additional keeper in Joshua Philippe. After his failure in the initial games, AB de Villiers has stepped in with the gloves. Meanwhile, Devdutt Padikkal has grabbed his opportunities as an opener with some fine knock, almost closing the door for Patel.

2. Nathan Coulter-Nile (Mumbai Indians)

Aussie pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile was purchased at the auction for a whopping Rs 8 crore. He was, in fact, the fifth most expensive buy at the 2020 IPL auction. However, with Mumbai having a settled bowling line up, the chances of a change, if any, are bleak. Jasprit Bumrah is an indispensable part of MI’s bowling attack while left-arm seamer Trent Boult and James Pattinson have done an excellent job as well

3. Imran Tahir (Chennai Super Kings)

This will come as surprise to many as the veteran South African was the Purple Cap holder last season. However, Imran Tahir is somehow not fitting into the scheme of things owing to the overseas player limit of four. Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis cannot be displayed at the top while their all-round prowess gives Sam Curran and Dwayne Bravo an edge over Tahir. With Karn Sharma making an impressive start to his IPL 2020 campaign, CSK are likely to stick with him as the spin option.

4. Alex Carey (Delhi Capitals)

While Alex Carey has risen in stature as a wicket-keeper batsman in international cricket, he is not fitting into the scheme of things as far as DC are concerned. Rishabh Pant will be the obvious choice for keeping wickets. Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have made the four overseas spots their own. And so, despite his obvious talent, Carey might not get a chance to prove himself with the current franchise.

5. Billy Stanlake (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Billy Stanlake has been impressive on the Australian T20 circuit with his ability to bowl quick. He has a very good bouncer to boot. Ironically, despite the paucity of quality fast bowling resources in the SRH squad, which has been made worse by the injury to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, it is difficult for Stanlake to fit into the SRH playing eleven. Skipper David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson and Rashid Khan pick themselves. Even Williamson found it difficult to break into the playing eleven in the initial few games, and SRH had to sacrifice Mohammad Nabi to bring in the Kiwi skipper.

6. David Miller (Rajasthan Royals)

The attacking South African batsman has played only one match for the franchise in IPL 2020. He was run out in disastrous fashion without facing a ball and since hasn’t been recalled. Rajasthan have a number of star overseas performers, who will always precede David Miller in the pecking order — be it Steve Smith or Jos Buttler in the batting or Jofra Archer and Tom Curran in the bowling. With World Cup-winning all-rounder Ben Stokes coming back into the mix, the chances for Miller to make it to the starting eleven will become even bleaker.

7. Deepak Hooda (Kings XI Punjab)

The hard-hitting batsman and off-spinner has featured for Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad previously and has come up with some handy performances. Hooda can play the quick cameos towards the end of the innings and can also pick up some crucial wickets with the ball. However, with even Chris Gayle failing to find a place in the playing eleven, one can only imagine the chances of Hooda, despite his utility skills. Hooda hit 151 runs at a strike rate of nearly 160 in the 2015 edition. If used well, he can be an asset to another franchise, a dark horse of sorts.

8. Tom Banton (Kolkata Knight Riders)

There was much excitement around England’s T20 sensation Tom Banton playing in the IPL. He came to the tournament with a high reputation and was even being compared to Kevin Pietersen. However, he somehow is not fitting into KKR’s current scheme of things. Despite his failures as an opener, KKR will retain Sunil Narine considering what he offers with the ball. With Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell, KKR’s overseas match quota is full. Thus, Banton would do better to try his luck with some other franchise.

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