IPL 2023: Bench warmers strength from abroad

The IPL is one of world cricket’s most-anticipated annual events and attracts dozens of talented players from abroad. However, few foreign players get to feature for their respective franchises even at IPL 2023.

The IPL 2023 bench warmers strength from abroad is massive, but only four foreign cricketers can be in any starting lineup at once. India’s cricket board, the BCCI, laid down the four-player cap for foreign players to help discover homegrown talent across franchises.

The foreign player limit may be an advantage to Indian players, but it is wasting away some top overseas talent as benchwarmers. Over a dozen IPL matches later, the trend is unchanged with many foreign players on the bench after so much T20 club cricket.

Some of these franchises have a highly-paid bench warmers squad from abroad like the Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, and many others. You can easily form a complete cricket team with the bench warmer strength of foreign players at IPL 2023.

Let’s see some of the top players with little to no game time and how they may fare against starting lineups of top franchises.

Top Order IPL 2023 Bench warmers

The Lucknow Super Giants have some serious competition among foreign top-order batters. Quinton De Kock is a current casualty of this competition after sitting out the first set of games for the Giants. Kyle Mayers snatched his place in the starting lineup this season and continues to keep performance ratings high throughout games.

Other talented top order batters like Joe Root (Rajasthan Royals), Dewald Brevis (Mumbai Indians) are finding it hard to break into their respective starting lineups this season.

Middle Order IPL 2023 Bench warmers

Donovan Ferreira has not featured for the Rajasthan Royals this season, even after much pre-season anticipation from fans. Ferreira was one of very few players to be worth over $300,000 when Jo’burg Super Kings paid the whopping sum for his services at a recent SA20 auction. It’s quite odd that fans will have to wait so long to see this talismanic middle-order batter in IPL action.

Guyana hard-hitter and all-rounder, Romario Shephard, is one of the major foreign benchwarmers of IPL 2023. He showed his worth with regular displays for the Windies but can’t get into the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) as a starter.

The same goes for Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka who hasn’t been able to make any headway this season for his franchise, leaving him out of a hyper-competitive season of twists and turns.

Bowling Bench warmers

The Rajasthan Royals (RR) seem to be one of the most notorious sides guilty of wasting foreign talent as benchwarmers. RR has a potential superstar bowler on their reserve lineup – Obed McCoy. He featured for a decent period for RR in IPL 2022, but the new season hasn’t been fair to him with regards to playing time.

Then there’s Josh Hazelwood for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Hazelwood has not been fully fit for some time and may need the entire season to return match-ready for RCB.

The Gujarat Titans (GT) have largely relied on spin bowlers for much of IPL 2023. That reliance has left all-rounder pace bowlers like Odean Smith with a lot less active bowling minutes this season.

Smith has featured as a seasoned power batter for much of his career along with being a reliable bowler. There’s still much more game time before IPL rounds off; let’s hope to see Smith doing what he loves best for the defending champions.

Windies leftie spinner – Akeal Hosein – is one of IPL’s major players on the bench this season. He has impressive stats (strike and average economy rates) but has not featured for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) this season. He hasn’t played this season, but everyone’s hoping he gets some time with SRH before the playoffs.

Potential Impact Players as Bench warmers

Some of the best impact players in IPL cricket may just be wasting away as benchwarmers. Take for instance the predicament of seasoned lower-order hitter, Ditto Ngidi. He has all the potential to become a firecracker as an Impact Player for the Delhi Capitals, but remains largely unused.

The same goes for savvy left-arm fast bowler for the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), Australia’s Daniel Sams. He could be the Impact Player with several exciting performances up his sleeve, but we can’t know that right now since he’s still on the bench.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) also have a shining talent on their books, the Kiwis’ Kyle Jamieson. The New Zealander has everything required to be a breakout relevant as an Impact Player for CSK, but he’s not active in an opening role.

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