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Monday, July 22, 2024

Are Quinton de Kock, Lungi Ngidi and Rilee Rossouw underused in the IPL?

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Gqeberha – The Delhi Capitals have had a dismal start to the Indian Premier League this season in the absence of South Africa’s Lungi Ngidi and Rilee Rossouw.

To the shock of many South Africans, a few Proteas players are yet to play in the IPL this season.

Three weeks into the tournament, South African stars such as fast bowler Ngidi and batter Quinton de Kock have not had a go while batter Rossouw has been used incorrectly and sparingly.

De Kock is with the Lucknow Super Giants, and for the first time in his career he actually has real competition for the opening spot in the team.

The explosive Kyle Mayers has easily been the best option for the opening position alongside captain KL Rahul.

And with Proteas players having missed the first two fixtures of the IPL, Mayers was available to open the batting.

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The West Indian grabbed the opportunity with both hands while De Kock was on national duty, ensuring that SA eased past the Netherlands and potentially into the Cup without having to go to the qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

Nicholas Pooran’s extraordinary form with the bat and behind the stumps has allowed the Super Giants coaching staff to opt for Mayers, who can also offer at least one over of seam if required, over De Kock.

At the Capitals, where Anrich Nortje, Ngidi and Rossouw are based, things are a lot different to how they are at Super Giants.

The Super Giants have won three from five games and sit comfortably in second place on the log in the absence of De Kock.

And as the saying goes, “you don’t change a winning team”, it is unlikely that De Kock will get a run unless the Super Giants coaches do the unthinkable and give him a chance in place of Rahul.

At the Capitals, both Rossouw and Ngidi are warming the bench, an almost “sinful” decision given that the they have lost all five games.

Rossouw is a proven success in the T20 format as the world has seen many times in the Pakistan Super League, and also at the Cup in Australia last year, where the left-hander breezed to a maiden T20 international century against Bangladesh.

The biggest talking point from the Capitals camp has been around skipper David Warner, who has been scoring run-a-ball fifties.

Fifties are milestones in any format, but where the T20 format is at the moment run-a-ball fifties simply don’t cut it.

That’s where Rossouw comes in. He has scores of 30, 0 and 14 in the competition batting at No 5 twice and at 4 once, both not his most successful position in the batting order.

Considering he is most successful batting in the top three, he could be the answer for the Capitals while Warner and Prithvi Shaw are out of form.

The Capitals sit bottom of the standings after five games and one can only wonder how bad could they be if Rossouw is given a proper run?

On the other hand, the Capitals have Ngidi, the fittest version of the player that the IPL has seen since 2018.

The 27-year-old fast bowler reintroduced himself to the world as a serious T20 bowler in the last year or so.

After not playing a single IPL game last season, Ngidi went on to have an unforgettable white-ball tour to the UK with the Proteas.

On that tour, one thing was clear, Ngidi had worked really hard on his slower deliveries.

He took that form into the T20 Cup where his slower balls proved deceitful enough to get the best batters in the world out.

Could the Capitals campaign take a sharp turn with a little SA touch?

Only time will tell …

@ImOngamaGcwabe

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