The wounded stars: An XI of injured IPL 2020 players
From suffering minor niggles to enduring long layoffs, we list down an XI of players who have suffered from injury during IPL 2020.
Be it rusty, stiffened up bodies that suffered the perils of a sports-deprived lockdown, or existing niggles that resurfaced with a return to the field, players aren’t having the most ‘fit’ IPL this time around. Every game, we’re invariably witnessing someone holding a hamstring, clutching on to their shoulder or walking around gingerly.
The tournament, which is past the halfway stage, has seen a spate of injuries, both major and minor so far. While some have recuperated to be on the field, others are suffering from much longer layoffs. Here’s a list of the injured men of IPL 2020, compiled into an XI. Don’t fret too much about the batting order or team balance, this line-up wasn’t supposed to be. Also, we hope that this list doesn’t extend further.
The Universe Boss wasn’t the victim of an external injury but most likely a dodgy dinner. When Kings XI Punjab’s losses kept mounting, fans couldn’t help but ask where T20 cricket’s highest run-getter was. Anil Kumble, the head coach, calmly quelled all doubts, revealing that Gayle was down with food poisoning. Later, a recuperating Gayle (possibly in hospital) posted a picture of himself, glass in one hand, corded telephone in another and cut cucumber on his eyes. Since his return, the team has won three games on the bounce.
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I can tell you this!!! I will never go down without a fight!! I Am The #UniverseBoss – That will never changed!! You can learn from me…but its not everything I do you should follow!! Don’t forget my style and flare too!! #LivingDiLife #Always 🇯🇲 Thanks for all your concerns peeps, much appreciated ✊🏿❤️🙏🏿 (I really was on a phone call) 😄
Williamson, the Orange Cap winner in 2018, was left out of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s first few IPL 2020 games after suffering from a quadriceps injury in training. With Williamson unavailable, Mohammad Nabi briefly occupied the spot in the middle order, filling in when Mitch Marsh was forced out of injury. Williamson returned and instantly made an impact, scoring a breezy 41 on comeback. Seven games later, he was forced to open the batting due to another injury, this time on his hamstring, although its extent is yet to be ascertained.
When Ishan Kishan walked out of the Mumbai Indians bench and smashed a 58-ball 99, many wondered why he didn’t make it to the playing XI for the first two games. In his absence, the more sedate Saurabh Tiwary kept the spot, but since Kishan’s inclusion, their middle-order seems to have been infused with much-needed freshness. Reportedly, Kishan missed the first few games due to an existing shoulder niggle.
Chennai Super Kings’ floundering campaign has been fraught with the unavailability of its key players. While Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh opted out before the season began, their batting became weaker with a hamstring strain to Ambati Rayudu, who usually bats anywhere between opening and No.4. After starring in the opening game with a 48-ball 71, Rayudu missed the next three games. And since his return, he has posted three consecutive 40+ scores, still not enough to bring CSK back to winning ways.
Delhi Capitals’ middle-order dynamite, Pant suffered a grade I hamstring tear that made him unavailable for three games in the middle of the season. The Capitals quickly drafted in Alex Carey as replacement, but the change caused a shuffle to their batting line-up, with Shimron Hetmyer having had to make way to free up an overseas slot. Ajinkya Rahane featured at the top of the order, but couldn’t produce anything spectacular. Delhi would be relieved with Pant’s return, even if the wicketkeeper-batsman struggles with form.
A quick fitness test for Rishabh Pant ahead of today's game.#Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/WGjJpvZIqH
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) October 14, 2020
RCB’s already impressive campaign seemingly became even better when Chris Morris walked into the mix. The all-rounder missed five straight games owing to a side strain, with the Bangalore-based side trying out overseas options Josh Philippe, Moeen Ali, Dale Steyn and Adam Zampa in his absence. Since his return, Morris has enjoyed a permanent spot, and has already impressed with his late-order cameos and clusters of quick wickets.
Statistically the most successful T20 bowler in the world, Bravo walked into IPL 2020 on the back of a CPL title with Trinbago Knight Riders, but carried a knee injury along. He returned to action after missing the first two weeks, and instantly integrated into their line-up. However, CSK’s problems compounded when Bravo suffered an injury to his right groin, forcing him out of IPL 2020. “He is just really disappointed,” head coach Stephen Fleming later said. So were millions of CSK fans.
"Bravo seems to have a right groin injury, obviously it was serious enough to keep him from coming back to the field, he's just really disappointed that he was unable to bowl the final over… it'd take a few days or a couple of weeks (to recover)." – @SPFleming7 🦁💛 #Yellove pic.twitter.com/Oo8ekicsXr
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) October 18, 2020
When Ravichandran Ashwin was seen clutching his left shoulder, seemingly writhing in pain, it appeared that a long injury layoff awaited him, possibly ruining India’s tour of Australia. The freak injury occurred while trying to field off his own bowling, leaving him with a jammed shoulder, but he made a quick recovery, sitting out for two games before returning as Delhi’s spin-bowling spearhead.
The seamer, a two-time Purple Cap winner, has been troubled by a spate of injuries in the recent past. Another addition to his long list came in IPL 2020, when he suffered a thigh muscle injury that ruled him out of the competition after just four games for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Whether the injury puts him out of contention for the Australia tour remains to be seen.
Ishant started the season with a minor side strain, but ended it with a major ankle injury, which forced him out of the season while also putting a cloud on his Australia tour participation. His association with the team lasted only one game, before he injured his right ankle – the same ankle he suffered a grade III tear in January.
Never an easy goodbye 😞
📹 | An emotional squad bid @ImIshant farewell before his flight to India 🤗
Thank you, Ishant 💙#YehHaiNayiDilli @Address_Hotels pic.twitter.com/VlBsDuhSQA
— Delhi Capitals (Tweeting from 🇦🇪) (@DelhiCapitals) October 19, 2020
IPL’s second-highest wicket-taker of all time, Mishra picked up a flexor tendon injury to his right index finger in a failed catching attempt, leaving the leg-spinner with just three appearances for Delhi this year. The 37-year-old stepped in with Ravichandran Ashwin sidelined, before being ruled out himself. Left-arm spinner Axar Patel seems to have done well since, to fill the absence for Delhi.
12th man: Mitchell Marsh
Unlike his brother Shaun, who was one of IPL’s most prolific overseas batsmen, Mitchell Marsh has had a troubled equation with IPL, regularly finding himself injured. Three years after being ruled out of IPL 2017 with a shoulder injury, Marsh looked set for a decent run this year, but his participation lasted only four deliveries before he hobbled away, forced out due to an ankle injury.