Dean Jones: Time for CSK, MI to test bench strength

Dean Jones, currently a panellist on Star Sports Select Dugout, feels Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians should play their reserve players in light of key foreign players departing for World Cup duty.

Mitchell McClenaghan has been kept out of the Mumbai Indians side by Jason Behrendorff.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

As the overseas players leave the IPL to join their national teams, Rajasthan Royals will be the most affected side. But then, it looks unlikely that the team would make it to the play-offs.

With slots available, this is an opportunity for many.

For SRH, Martin Guptill comes in. I wonder why they didn’t pick him before. His numbers were outstanding. I fail to understand how the franchises look to select the players. Hashim Amla was amazing for Kings XI. He got a hundred and a couple of fifties, but nobody selected him the following year. I don’t get that.

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Now, looking at the other teams, Wriddhiman Saha should get an opportunity at the top again. He is very good, but he has fallen off a bit as well. Mitchell McClenaghan can come in for Jason Behrendorff. Barinder Sran too can get an opportunity. So it will be for Colin de Grandhomme and Shivam Dube. Even Washington Sundar can come in place of Moeen Ali.

Now, it is time for teams like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings to start using some of the players from the bench. They have been on the road for a fair bit and now it’s like training a race horse, you have got to get it right. You got to get guys fresh, leading into the play-offs. It will be interesting to see how they get the match-ups right.

It also comes down to which team has the best Indian players. You have to make them understand what their roles are and how they can execute them. That is the job of the captain and the coach as now the teams will be different from what they were in the first game. It’s almost like you are playing two teams now and you have to adjust on the run.

Time to make a name

This is also a great opportunity for the youngsters. I am impressed with Riyan Parag. What a talent he is! The boy doesn’t look that he is just 17 when he holds the bat. He is like one who can take the world by storm. The kids of today are amazing. They come out and just whack it. I am really impressed with his technique and so is Steve Smith, the RR captain.

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Prithvi Raj Yarra is another talent, who reminds me of the young Mitchell Starc. Now that the slots are open, I am hoping that Shubman Gill will be given more opportunities at the top. Prithvi Shaw, for the first time in his life, is being targeted. It needs to be seen how he copes with that. Welcome to international cricket, boys!

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