Home Sport Cricket Swashbuckling Stubbs starting to come into his own in IPL

Swashbuckling Stubbs starting to come into his own in IPL

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This past week, Ponting’s investment finally reached maturity as Stubbs seemed to have finally come into his own in India.

Tristan Stubbs plays a shot when he was still part of the Mumbai Indians line-up in the Indian Premier League. File Picture: R.SATISH BABU. AFP

Ongama Gcwabe

THE FAN base in the IPL is widely known for often being unreasonably critical. Most times, the standards that are expected of players are almost unrealistic.

Almost every IPL player has been on the receiving end of the critics and Tristan Stubbs is no different.

After two seasons with the Mumbai Indians, a period when Stubbs had very little success, there were suggestions that perhaps the 23-year-old is not cut out for the league.

It reached a point were parallels were drawn between Stubbs and the many overseas players before him who simply crumbled under the pressure of the packed stadiums in India.

However, Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting believed that there was more to Stubbs than his past returns suggested and that he was worth investing in.

Ponting and the Capitals invested R1.1 million in the youngster at last year’s auction after he was not retained by the Mumbai Indians.

This past week, Ponting’s investment finally reached maturity as Stubbs seemed to have finally come into his own in India.

The right-handed batter blasted back-to-back half-centuries in what was destined to be a difficult week for the Capitals because they were playing an unbeaten Kolkata Knight Riders and were playing away in Mumbai, all in the same week.

Despite the challenges the Capitals faced, Stubbs was able to smash a 32-ball 54 against the Kolkata Knight Riders and an unbeaten 25-ball 71 against his former team, the Mumbai Indians, that almost got the Capitals over the line at the Wankhede Stadium.

There were simply unforgettable strokes that Stubbs played in the week, ones that reminded the IPL fan base of his talent.

There was a back-foot stroke off spinner Varun Chakravarthy and a slog-sweep off Piyush Chawla, with both strokes travelling all the way for six and displaying Stubbs’ sheer power.

It was not only the IPL fan base that received a rude awakening from Stubbs’ performances last week. A number of South African-based critics also got a reminder of what Stubbs is capable of in the shortest format of the game.

In the T20 World Cup context, the form that Stubbs is building in the IPL will only boost his chances of making the squad.

An in-form Stubbs will make for an even stronger Proteas T20 middle order given that the side already has Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller in the line-up.

TRISTAN STUBBS’ IPL FORM: 71* vs Mumbai Indians; 54 vs Kolkata Knight Riders; 0 vs Chennai Super Kings; 44* vs Rajasthan Royals; 5 vs Punjab Kings

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