IPL 2019: Five Players To Keep A Close Eye On

By Matt Harris on March 24, 2019

We can’t wait for the IPL to get started with all the drama and skill that the tournament produces. Across the competition, certain players will rise above the rest as they look to drive their teams to glory. In this review, we’ve therefore picked five IPL 2019 players  to keep a close eye on during the competition.

IPL 2019 Players To Look Out For

Chris Gayle, Kings XI Punjab

Too old, injury prone, past his best. Presumably those are among the excuses used when Chris Gayle was overlooked in the early rounds of the 2018 auction. Finally, the big left hander was picked up by Kings XI Punjab and he quickly repaid their faith, scoring his sixth IPL ton against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

As the man himself said, it really isn’t the IPL without Christopher Henry Gayle and fortunately he’s back for 2019. He’ll be 40 later this year but there are reasons why we think the Jamaican could deliver his most prolific tournament ever.

Gayle has announced his impending retirement from ODIs. Against England earlier this year, however, he was at his devastating best. In four One Day matches, Gayle scored a staggering 424 runs at T20 pace and cleared the ropes 39 times. He averaged 106.00 across four completed games and was also miles ahead of the second highest run scorer – England’s Eoin Morgan with 256. Gayle is priced at 24.00 with Betway to be the top tournament batsman. Based on those numbers, why wouldn’t you consider a Satta?

Kings XI won’t get too much out of Chris Gayle the fielder. But the player looks determined to end his batting career on a high. We just can’t wait to see him tee off and he will certainly be one of the IPL 2019 players to keep a close eye on.

Harry Gurney, Kolkata Knight Riders

The first obstacle for Harry Gurney is to break into this Kolkata Knight Riders squad and that may not be easy. Established overseas stars Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn and Andre Russell are surely ahead of him. Therefore, Gurney is battling it out with Lockie Ferguson, Carlos Brathwaite and Joe Denly for the final spot.

There are reasons why we think the selectors should trust him. Firstly, he won the main T20 competitions in England, Pakistan and Australia. Think of Mustafizur Rahman when he first burst onto the IPL scene with his variations and you have an update and possible upgrade in Harry Gurney.

Two years ago, the player was not even an IPL contender. Having turned 30, England discarded him after a few limited overs matches. Nevertheless, his transformation into one of the world’s best death bowlers is now complete.

In the IPL betting for top bowler, Gurney is a distant 68.00 with Bet365. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend that as a Satta. But watch out as we think he’s in line for a great tournament and will be one of the key IPL 2019 players to watch out for.

Prithvi Shaw, Delhi Capitals

Back in 2018, Prithvi Shaw emerged from the fringes of the Delhi Daredevils side to lead the team once Gautam Gambhir had stepped down. Impressive displays with the bat were followed by a century on debut for the Indian test side. We thought that a legend had arrived but suddenly, the young man has a point to prove.

Injury curtailed his stint in an international shirt and the teenager subsequently had to deny stories that there were issues with discipline on the tour of Australia. Was he working hard enough? Shaw now has the opportunity to answer that question at the start of IPL 12.

Shaw didn’t exactly turn the Delhi Capitals’ campaign around but he stabilised the franchise. He can now play a big part in taking his side to a rare place in the playoffs this season. He’s been such a mature player that it’s hard to believe he’s still only 19. Furthermore, his stats show that he can lead by example.

Shaw has still only played 17 T20 matches but has a healthy strike rate above 150. His average of around 22 can only improve as he looks to win his way back into the national set up. Who knows – he may even be on the plane to the World Cup in May.

Steve Smith, Rajasthan Royals

He may not be everybody’s favourite cricketer. In fact, he may not be anybody’s favourite cricketer but there’s no doubt that the world will be watching Steve Smith with great interest. Dropped by Rajasthan last year for his role in ‘SandpaperGate’, Smith is back with a point to prove ahead of the World Cup.

We’ve backed Rajasthan for glory in 2019 and Smith is one of the men who will play a pivotal role if our IPL 2019 Satta is to come true. He may not be the most explosive of scorers in this format of the game but he is a reliable accumulator. Smith’s T20 numbers stand up and he has an IPL century for Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016. He also has a strike rate of 125 so shouldn’t be underestimated.

As an outside bet in the Orange Cap market, Smith is on offer at 42.00 with Bet365 to score most tournament runs and that’s a tempting figure. It may not drop in but we’re expecting Australia’s former captain to be one of the top IPL 2019 players. We’re also expecting him to answer his critics on the field with a weight of runs.

MS Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings

Perhaps we’ve saved one of the potentially best IPL 2019 players for last. And while the young guns are aiming for his throne, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is still the King. When Chennai Super Kings returned to the IPL last year, no-one knew quite what to expect. However, MSD guided them to their third trophy and there may be more to come.

He’s a calm head behind the stumps and remains agile with the gloves at the age of 37. It’s his batting that continues to impress though, and he will remain Chennai’s finisher in the middle order. Dhoni has occasionally been criticised for a slow strike rate with India of late. Still, he knows when to explode and the 12th edition of the IPL could be his most productive ever.