The newly-implemented ‘Impact Player’ rule in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 has been one of the biggest talking points of the season. It has allowed the teams to announce their playing XIs after the toss, depending on what they are doing. Also, unlike naming a 12th man in the team sheet earlier, now they can name five substitute players. One of those five substitutes will be allowed to take part in the game at any stage of the game.
But when it comes to the application of the rule, not all the teams have had the desired result. For instance, Chennai Super Kings’ Tushar Deshpande became the first impact player substitute of the season. However, the move didn’t work for the 4-time champions as they lost the season opener to Gujarat Titans.
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A day later, Lucknow Super Giants named K Gowtham as the impact player against Delhi Capitals. The all-rounder, who had replaced Ayush Badoni right after his wicket, smashed a six off the last ball and then conceded 20-odd runs to help LSG win the game.
The rule hasn’t been a huge success so far in the tournament but has certainly cut down the role of all-rounders.
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In an interview with Hindustan Times, former India women’s team captain Mithali Raj also opined that the impact player rule has reduced the role of an all-rounder as mostly a batter has gotten replaced by a pure bowler or vice-versa.
“Yes, to a certain extent, it does reduce the role of an all-rounder. If your Impact Player is a batter then at times we’ve seen in this IPL that the batting line-up goes down to No.9. You are not out of the game in a chase even if you are 7 or 8 down. It has its pros and cons and it all depends on how wisely the team uses it,” Mithali was quoted as saying.
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Asked if the new rule has made leadership easier, Mithali said, “I don’t think it affects captaincy skills. An Impact Player effectively gives you an extra cushion like if you think your batting unit hasn’t done really well so you can have an extra batter and vice-versa for bowling. It also helps you in controlling the damage. Your job as a captain is to select the right Impact Player. You can be wrong even after all the freedom and flexibility.”
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