MSL 2.0 commences from November 8th amid high expectations. The defending champions, Jozi Stars takes on Cape Town Blitz in the first game of the season. While this is still the second edition of the MSL, a few players have jumped ship. The first edition saw Rashid Khan and Dwayne Bravo feature in the marquee event. This time around several new names as well the established names embrace MSL 2.0. With the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 also looming large, it is make or break for the players. The start of such a league spells opportunity for fantasy users. While most fantasy players are well versed with the local talent, there is a certain that would benefit from that very knowledgeable. Walking along the same lines, here are the top players from each side to watch out for in the MSL 2.0.
1 AB de Villiers ( Tshwane Spartans )
Perhaps the biggest name gracing the MSL 2.0, AB de Villiers is adored by many. His unorthodox batting coupled by his sensational fielding has earned him a lot of adulation. Although he did play ten matches in MSL 2018, AB de Villiers underwhelmed. While the likes of Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis did justice to their talent, AB de Villiers scored only 282 runs with a best of 93*. Although their bowling unit did do well, Tshwane Spartans finished outside the top three. Nevertheless, AB de Villiers is in fine form in 2019. With a sensational T20 Blast campaign under his belt, AB de Villiers will be key for the Spartans in MSL 2.0
2 Marco Jansen ( Durban Heat )
Marco Jansen is on the rise in the South African circuit. Having featured for South Africa U-19 earlier in the year, Jansen toured with the South Africa A side as well. The left arm pacer can also bat a bit as seen against India A. Marco Jansen has already tested himself in the nets against Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. Virat Kohli, in particular, was impressed with Jansen with this being only the tip of the iceberg for the young South African. He makes him MSL 2.0 debut for Durban Heat this year. Although he is just 18 years of age, much is expected from Jansen.
3 Reeza Hendricks ( Jozi Stars )
Jozi Stars is the defending champions heading into MSL 2.0. Although there is pressure upon them, Jozi Stars is considered as the favourites. A strong reason for this is the presence of Reeza Hendricks at the top of the order. Hendricks was a standout in the previous edition. With 410 runs in just nine innings, Hendricks was brutal in the powerplay overs. This has earned him a spot in the T20-I side for South Africa as well. With the MSL only getting better in terms of quality, Reeza Hendricks will once again be key for the Stars as they look to defend their coveted title.
4 Liam Livingstone ( Cape Town Blitz )
Englishman, Liam Livingstone makes his MSL debut this year for Cape Town Blitz. Although Janneman Malan and Quinton de Kock are expected to open the innings, the addition of Livingstone is a masterstroke. Capable of bowling useful overs, Livingstone has a reputation for destructive strokeplay. He has a fifty to his name for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. Although he didn’t play the first few games, Livingstone scored 273 runs in ten games. While he is viewed as an all-rounder, Livingstone also picked wickets in the middle overs. Although Cape Town Blitz finished second last year, Liam Livingstone’s arrival makes them a bonafide contender for the title.
5 Marco Marais ( Nelson Mandela Bay Giants )
The Nelson Mandela Bay Giants has a number of destructive batsmen. Although Jason Roy and JJ Smuts will be key for them, none are going to be as crucial as Marco Marais for them. With a fragile middle order, Marais will be bestowed with the responsibility. For his domestic side Warriors, he only managed to score 209 runs. Although he wasn’t able to score many runs, his strike-rate of 165 stands out. Although he is still to make a mark in MSL, one can expect great things from Marco Marais in MSL 2.0.
6 Hardus Viljoen ( Paarl Rocks )
Faf du Plessis’ Paarl Rocks lack firepower in the pace bowling department. Nevertheless, Hardus Viljoen will be key to their fortunes in the forthcoming tournament. The South African is capable of generating high pace and also has a mean short delivery. Having played for Kings XI Punjab and County side, Kent, he has ample experience playing T20 cricket. Paarl Rocks will ideally be looking to compete for the title. With the pedigree of Viljoen taken into account, Paarl Rocks will hope for a good performance from the burly pacer.