Players like Nitish Rana, who haven’t had a chance to get a national cap yet but still can be in the race to the Orange Cap this season are the perfect definition of X-factor players. X-factor players are usually not the best players in the squad but have the ability to surprise the opposition from time to time and pull off an unlikely win for their team.
We’re in the first week of a brand new season in the Indian T20 League and already we’ve got a hint towards who could be the potential game-changers in this edition. These are the kind players from each franchise we’d be focussing on in this piece.
GLENN MAXWELL (Team Bangalore)
Another season of the Indian T20 League and that means another year where the Maxwell family is showered with money. Every franchise seems to be waiting for that one season when Glenn Maxwell explodes in the tournament and would be hoping that he’d be wearing their colours. This might just be the year we see the best of ‘Big Show’. He’s in a relaxed frame of mind and is going to a franchise that already has star players in Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers who are burdened with all the expectations. Maxwell could be given a free role this year and could most certainly be the player who gets the team its very first trophy.
SAM CURRAN (Team Chennai)
Team Chennai is blessed with all-rounders in the squad and it’s now about picking the right combination in different matches. Sam Curran seems like one of the first overseas picks in the XI as he provides different skill sets to the team. He can bowl with the new ball, can be used as a wicket-taker in the middle phase and is always improving with his death-over bowling. With the bat, his versatility stands out. He can open the innings, play a responsible role in the middle order or go bananas and finish the innings for his side. He is an all-rounder in the purest sense.
MARCUS STOINIS (Team Delhi)
Marcus Stoinis is an influential player in the Delhi squad and we saw his ability in the previous season. With Shreyas Iyer out injured, the team needs leaders on the pitch and Stoinis could very well prove to be that this season. He is an underrated bowler and a gun batter in T20 cricket and can be used at every position in the batting order as well.
ABDUL SAMAD (Team Hyderabad)
There’s plenty of excitement about the young basher from Jammu and Kashmir, Abdul Samad. He had his first taste of the Indian T20 League in the previous season and this season could be his breakthrough year. He has the ability to hit good balls many a mile and it could prove to be more than handy for Hyderabad as a finisher’s role. Not to forget that he can roll his arm over as well and can chip in with valuable overs if the captain desires.
NITISH RANA (Team Kolkata)
Nitish Rana has had a remarkable start to the 2021 edition with the bat. Team Kolkata have asked him to open the innings along with Shubman Gill and it seems like the right move. Rana has some extravagant shots in his kitty and isn’t afraid of getting them out at the biggest stage.
MARCO JANSEN (Team Mumbai)
The 20-year-old 6 feet 8 inches left-arm pacer from South Africa, Marco Jansen stands out in Team Mumbai. It’s not just because of his height but his ability that makes him a pure X-factor player for Rohit Sharma and his defending champions. This is his first year in the Indian T20 League and will naturally take some time to get accustomed to conditions in India, but there is a promising talent in this young South African.
ARSHDEEP SINGH (Team Punjab)
Team Punjab’s Achilles heel over the years has been their death bowling. Seems like this year the task has been handed over to young Arshdeep Singh. The left-arm pacer from Punjab is a wicket-taker in the powerplay and now has enough confidence to deliver precise yorkers at the back end as well. He seems like a confident young bowler who relishes getting an opportunity of performing against the very best in the world.
SHIVAM DUBE (Team Rajasthan)
WIth Ben Stokes’ news of getting ruled out of the Indian T20 League, Team Rajasthan would be looking at internal resources to see who can fill that hole. Shivam Dube was bought at the auction ahead of the season and it seems like the team would be hoping for the all-rounder to step up for them now. His ability to hit sixes was never questioned, but it’s his ability to build an innings for his team is something that he needs to work on. His bowling seems to be improving with time but still is a work in progress for now.
VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT CRICKET NEWS STORIES & FEATURES