The ILT20 league is set to kickstart in mid-January. Six teams will fight each other in the race for the title and one of those six teams is Desert Vipers. DV may not have a city associated with their name and will play without a home ground, but they certainly have the players to make things happen for them. With a bunch of English players on their side, the Vipers will be eyeing to put their hands on the first-ever UAE T20 league trophy.
To know about their complete squad and its positive and negative points, read this blog right to the end.
Desert Vipers Team Owner
Desert Vipers Squad Breakdown
Batsmen: Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Ben Duckett, Colin Munro, Azam Khan, Sherfane Rutherford, and Benny Howell
All-rounders: Tom Curran and Wanindu Hasaranga
Bowlers: Saqib Mahmood, Sandeep Lamichhane, Sheldon Cottrell, and Ruben Trumpelmann
DV Likely Starting XI
Underlying is the playing XI that you may see Desert Vipers field in their first game:
- Alex Hales
- Colin Munro
- Ben Duckett
- Sam Billings
- Local 1
- Wanindu Hasaranga
- Tom Curran
- Saqib Mahmood
- Sandeep Lamichhane
- Sheldon Cottrell
- Local 2
Desert Vipers Squad Strengths
High-Class Top Order
Hales, Munro, Duckett, and Billings can form a formidable top order. All these guys have played lots of T20 cricket in their careers and have featured in several franchise-based tournaments. Hales and Munro will be responsible to provide a brisk start in the powerplay and both are more than capable to do it.
Then, Duckett and Billings have the ability to take the game deep without letting the run rate drop down. Only Alex Hales has got more than 10,000 T20 runs against his name. The four cricketers have around 20,000 runs combined in this format. So, there’s no lack of T20 experience and firepower in the Vipers’ top 4.
Two Reliable All-Rounders
Tom Curran and Wanindu Hasaranga make DV a much stronger team. While coming in to bat at #7 and #8, they can help Desert Vipers finish their innings on a high. Then, they can make a massive impact with the ball in hand as well. So, these two all-rounders make this side a lot more dynamic one.
Variation in Bowling Lineup
Vipers’ bowling attack comes with a lot of variety and that’s why they are capable of restricting the opposition to a par score. Talking about the spin department, Desert Vipers have two quality wrist spinners in their squad.
The two leggies – Hasaranga and Lamichhane – have 363 T20 wickets between them and both conceded runs at only around six and a half an over. These numbers are quite rare in T20 cricket for bowlers and it just shows what these two can produce for their teams.
Pacers are no short on class and experience as well. The more important thing though is the variety they possess. Sheldon Cottrell swings the new ball back into the right-hander and is a genuine wicket-taker at the start of the innings. Then, he comes back during the middle phase of the innings and bowls cutters to prevent batters from going big against him.
Saqib Mahmood might partner Cottrell with the new ball for Desert Vipers and he is a great asset to have in a T20 side. Saqib is known for getting some considerable seam movement with the new cherry. He is also a new ball wicket-taker and his yorkers at the death make him highly valuable. His fellow English cricketer Tom Curran is also excellent in the slog overs with his yorkers and variations. Both the Englishmen are exceptionally good when the ball is reversing.
Desert Vipers Squad Weaknesses
The Vipers have selected a well-balanced squad and there are no apparent weaknesses in their lineup. Even if some of their players don’t perform as per the expectations, they have got strong backup players in the form of Sherfane Rutherford and Benny Howell. Therefore, all looks well for Desert Vipers till now.
DV ILT20 Performance Prediction
The Desert Vipers squad looks the strongest in the competition. They have got both quality and variety in the batting and bowling department. With the likes of Alex Hales, Wanindu Hasaranga, and Saqib Mahmood on their side, there’s every chance that DV lift the first ILT20 trophy.
Desert Vipers are our predicted winners of the UAE T20 league 2023.