The 2017 IPL is just days away and the excitement among the fans ahead of the extravaganza is second to none. But, those excitements may be short lived as a lot of big names are set to miss the IPL.
Starting from Indian captain Virat Kohli to Aussie all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, there are a handful of players who will the entire/part of the tournament due to various injuries. The list is so big that an exclusive playing XI could be formed with the players who are on the injury list. Let us take a look at the players who feature in the Indian (Injury) Premier League’s injured playing XI.
The opener’s slot has a pool of batsmen to choose from as the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Quinton de Kock and Murali Vijay are set to miss the tournament due to various injuries. Though Kohli is set to return to action midway through the tournament, the other three names are certain to miss the entire tournament.
De Kock and Vijay will open the batting in this squad. The Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman is out due to a finger injury while Vijay is expected to undergo a shoulder surgery soon. In spite of the finger injury, De Kock played for South Africa in the Test series against New Zealand and the team management wants the left-hander to be in full fitness for the ICC Champions trophy and the subsequent tour of England.
On the other hand, Vijay injured his shoulder in the fifth Test against England when he dived to stop a ball from going into the boundary. He played the series against Bangladesh and Australia carrying the injury and the BCCI has advised him to undergo a surgery before the injury exaggerates.
One of the major attractions of the IPL, Virat Kohli, is set to miss the initial few matches of the tournament after sustaining a shoulder injury during the third Test against Australia in Pune. The Indian captain also missed the fourth and final Test against the Aussies and confirmed that he requires more time to recover from the injury.
The BCCI confirmed that Kohli’s fitness will be assessed in the second week of April and the right-hander’s availability in the IPL will be known after the assessment. In his absence, AB de Villiers will captain Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Last season, the world saw the emergence of KL Rahul as a limited-overs batsman as the Indian opener had an outstanding season for RCB. However, he won’t be able to set the stage on fire this time as he is set to undergo a shoulder surgery in London in a bid to get ready in time for the 2017 Champions Trophy.
With West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell already banned from the sport for one year, this year’s IPL is set to miss as many as three world-class all-rounders due to various injuries.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews is nursing a calf injury that he sustained during Sri Lanka's tour of South Africa earlier this year and the all-rounder missed the T20I series in Australia followed by the Tests and ODIs against Bangladesh. It is confirmed that he will take part in the T20Is against the Bangladeshis and is set to miss the first few matches of the IPL.
Mathews, who was brought by Delhi Daredevils in the 2017 IPL auction, confirmed that he will play in the tournament only if he is 100% fit.
Mitchell Marsh, who is a part of Rising Pune Supergiant, left the Australian team mid-way through their Test series against India after sustaining a shoulder injury that will keep him out of action for at least eight months. He will not only miss the IPL but also will not be a part of the Australian team in the Champions Trophy and is in doubt for the Ashes that will take place later this year.
Gujarat Lions' West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is yet another big name that is set to miss at least a part of the tournament. Bravo injured his hamstring during the 2016/17 Big Bash League and is still recovering from it. He will reach Rajkot next week where he will work under the supervision of a dedicated fitness trainer so that he can play in the second leg of the tournament.
The two spinners, who find themselves in this XI are India’s spin twins, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. After a long home season that saw the Indian team playing 13 Test matches, the fatigue caught up with both the spinners especially Ashwin, who looked tired in the series against Australia.
Ashwin, who suffered sports hernia after the Test series against England, is set to miss the entire tenth edition of the IPL after the reoccurrence of the injury. It has been revealed that the offie will take six-eight weeks to recover from the injury. With the 2017 Champions trophy being the main priority, Ashwin resting during the IPL is justified.
On the other hand, Jadeja was advised to rest for two weeks by the BCCI medical team and the Gujarat Lions owner, Keshav Bansal revealed that Jadeja has some concerns about his spinning finger and will miss the first few matches.
Mumbai Indians’ Tim Southee will share the new ball with the find of the recently concluded Indian home season, Umesh Yadav, as both these fast bowlers are set to miss few matches due to their respective injuries.
BCCI confirmed that Umesh will miss the first few matches for Kolkata Knight Riders as the right-arm pacer suffered a hip injury and soreness in his lower back in the Test series against Australia but is set to recover by the second week of April.
However, the KKR team management has revealed that there was no update on Umesh’s injury from the BCCI and the pacer will take part in the team’s first match of the season against Kings XI Punjab. It will be interesting to see what pans out for Umesh as the BCCI had already advised him to rest before taking the field in the IPL.
Southee suffered a grade one tear of his left hamstring during the second test against South Africa in March and missed the third Test due to it. His availability for the IPL is not known as the Kiwi pacer is yet to join the Mumbai Indians team and the franchise didn’t announce anything about his participation in the tournament.
IPL injured XI
If the players in the IPL injured XI take the field for the same team, they will go into the tournament as the favourites. This team has everything that a T20 team needs. An explosive top order followed by a reliable middle order, three quality all-rounders, the top two ranked Test bowlers and two fast bowlers who can make the opposition batsmen dance to their tunes, this team has it all.
Indian captain Virat Kohli will lead the side and De Kock will be the wicketkeeper for the IPL injured XI.
Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper)
Virat Kohli (captain)
Let us hope all the players who are featuring in this list regain full fitness at the earliest and do what they do the best, entertaining the fans with bat and ball in their hands.