The league stage of the IPL 2022 recently crossed its halfway mark as the tournament is getting tougher with each passing game. With the introduction of the two new teams this season, the playoffs race is tighter than ever.
While some teams are racing towards the playoffs, some are left with a massive ground to cover. After the conclusion of 41 league games, Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals are very close to the playoffs. Meanwhile, Lucknow Super Giants, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Punjab Kings, and Delhi Capitals are fighting for the remaining two spots.
At the same time, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, and Kolkata Knight Riders have been eliminated from the playoffs race. Despite the inconsistencies, many teams haven’t made the optimum use of the talent at their disposal. So, here we will take a look at the best playing 11 from the players warming the bench in the IPL 2022.
Openers: Rahmanullah Gurbaz and C Hari Nishanth
Gujarat Titans signed Rahmanullah Gurbaz as Jason Roy’s replacement. The Afghan wicketkeeper-batter is a destructive opener in the T20 format. He has a strike rate of over 151 in his T20 career but he is yet to showcase his skills for the Titans.
Chennai Super Kings signed the youngster C Hari Nishanth ahead of the IPL 2022. However, the Yellow Army hasn’t tried the youngster yet despite the persisting opening issues.
Middle-Order: KS Bharat (WK), Yash Dhull, Glenn Phillips
Srikar Bharat turned out to be a match-winner with the bat for RCB last season. However, the wicketkeeper-batter has been warming the bench for Delhi Capitals this season without getting a game. Bharat has managed to score 191 runs in 8 IPL matches at an average of 38.2.
The U19 World Cup-winning captain was signed by Delhi Capitals but they haven’t given Yash Dhull any match yet. The youngster is a classy batter and he could be rock solid for the Delhi team in the middle order.
The Kiwi destructive batter Glenn Phillips hasn’t got a game for Sunrisers Hyderabad this season. The keeper-batter has a strike rate of 140 in the T20Is but the Orange Army has preferred Nicholas Pooran over him.
All-Rounders: Mohammad Nabi, Dominic Drakes and Rajvardhan Hangargekar
Mohammad Nabi is one of the most consistent T20I all-rounders in world cricket. But Kolkata Knight Riders haven’t been able to make a place for the Afghan superstar in their playing XI.
Gujarat Titans signed West Indies all-rounder Dominic Drakes in the mega auction but they have first-choice four foreign players in the playing 11. Drakes is a talented all-rounder but the chances of him getting a game are slim.
Another U-19 star Rajvardhan Hangargekar was signed by Chennai Super Kings but the youngster hasn’t got a game yet. Hangargekar can bowl with the new ball at a decent pace and also has the ability to use the long handle at the death.
Bowlers – Kartik Tyagi, Siddarth Kaul and Mayank Markande
Mayank Markande is a part of Mumbai Indians’ setup this season but the leggie hasn’t got a game yet. Markande has 16 wickets in 18 IPL matches at an average of 28.31.
Sunrisers Hyderabad signed Kartik Tyagi in the IPL 2022 but their pace bowling looks stacked at the moment. However, Tyagi is a talented pacer and a great backup to have at your disposal. In 14 IPL games, Tyagi has accounted for 13 wickets.
Siddarth Kaul is a seasoned campaigner and an old warhorse of the Indian domestic circuit. Royal Challengers Bangalore signed the pacer as the backup bowler and he hasn’t played a match for them yet. Kaul has played 54 IPL matches in his career and bagged 58 wickets so far.