It is often regarded that once a player crosses 35, he/she might lose reflex and become a liability to the team. Cricketers have systematically proved that the hypothesis does not hold good always. The average age is a measure that reflects a squad’s resolution to make way for the next-gen cricketers. Fielding and running between the wickets are departments in which a player’s athleticism might be restricted due to one’s age.
Dropping catches, inability to save boundaries, incompetency to rotate the strike are some of the characteristics that get added to the trait of a player as he/she grows old. For instance, Chris Gayle, owing to age reasons, does not rotate the strike by taking quick singles.
He usually fields in the short third man or short fine leg position as he is not quick enough. These are some of the flip-side to the aging of a player. In the IPL where the competition is cut-throat, having a blend of youngsters and veterans becomes important.
Below lies the teams with their average squad age ahead of IPL 2021:
1. Chennai Super Kings – 30
The three-time IPL champions had a hard time getting things right in the previous edition of the competition. They were labeled and mocked as ‘Daddy’s Army’ during their comeback campaign due to the lack of young players in the squad.
Things have not changed much in terms of the average age of the squad for the men in yellow over the past few years. Terminating the services of Shane Watson and Harbhajan Singh has substantially reduced the mean squad age from 32 to 30.
The probability of playing young talents like Sai Kishore, Narayan Jagadeesan, Hari Nishanth, Harishankar Reddy, and KM Asif to start a game adoring the yellow jersey is highly unlikely, meaning that the average age of the starting eleven will be much higher.
2. Delhi Capitals – 28
Led by budding Indian cricketer Shreyas Iyer, Delhi Capitals have a terrific on-paper squad with a lot of young players. The mean is increased due to the presence of experienced players like Ravi Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Ajinkya Rahane.
It is relatively a younger squad that is eyeing to bag their first-ever IPL trophy. The uncapped Indians in DC are an exciting lot to watch as they would be given enough opportunities to prove themselves thus reducing the mean age of the playing eleven.
Ripal Patel, Vishnu Vinod, M Siddarth, and Lukman Meriwala are some of the exciting young prospects who could replace senior players in various departments in the course of the tournament.
3. Kolkata Knight Riders – 28
Knight Riders have got the right mix of experienced players and young talents. With World Cup-winning English captain steering things from the front, KKR would try to secure a top-two finish in the league.
The Knight Riders formed their core in the previous edition with rising talents such as Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, and Shubman Gill. Kuldeep Yadav was sidelined for the most part the entire 2020 season for Varun Chakravarthy, the former being the leading spinner for India in white-ball cricket back then.
The management has acquired the services of two blooming players in the 2021 auction. Vaibhav Arora and Venkatesh Iyer might be given the shot to run the extra mile if it comes to that.
4. Sunrisers Hyderabad – 28
The men in Orange have got a versatile squad as many players can fit into different roles. They have got a balanced side with more young players in the roost. Abdul Samad, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Vijay Shankar, Abishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, and Priyam Garg are all young upcoming talents who shape the nucleus of the team.
They have gotten experienced stars like Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow, David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jason Holder, Mitchell Marsh, and Kane Williamson, who are not a liability due to the age factor.
The playing eleven will have a higher mean age as the number of youngsters who will start the matches will be less. Everyone will be given a chance, but it is bound to happen after some time.
5. Royal Challengers Bangalore – 27
After releasing a majority of experienced players, RCB has seized the assistance of a relatively younger squad to lay hands on the trophy for the first-ever time. Virat Kohli spearheading the batting attack with the likes of newcomer Padikkal contributed largely to their limited success in the previous edition.
The Indian core of the team has an average age of around 26 to 28 with Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Harshal Patel, Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Washington Sundar contributing to it. The next-gen cricketers in the squad are Devdutt Padikal, Prabhudessai, KS Bharat, and Padithar who bring down the mean age to a lower value.
There are not any restrictions in the squad due to aging, unlike Chennai Super Kings. RCB has a commanding squad with an equal balance of experience and agility in all departments.
6. Punjab Kings – 27
Punjab Kings released their power-hitting core David Miller and Glenn Maxwell in the previous auctions garnering enough money to buy proven local talents to lift the trophy for the first time.
The reduction in the mean age from the previous season is due to the inclusion of young performers like Utkarsh Singh, Shahrukh Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Saurabh Kumar, and Riley Meredith. Not to forget the younger players who were already retained including Ravi Bishnoi, Prabhsimran Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, etc contribute vastly to a lower mean age.
As already told, if Christopher Henry Gayle has to start a match, the team will be restricted not to play quick singles, when he bats and they become a ten-men fielding side owing to the problems due to his age restrictions.
7. Mumbai Indians – 27
It is a no-brainer that Mumbai Indians are the strongest and most well-balanced side on paper ahead of IPL 2021. They will look forward to defending the title under the guidance of Rohit Sharma.
Anukul Roy, Rahul Chahar, Ishan Kishan, Moshin Khan, and Suryakumar Yadav are some of the players who drastically bring down the mean squad age. Mumbai Indians do not have any performers who might be sidelined due to the age factor.
Yudhvik Charak and Arjun Tendulkar are two new youthful additions to an existing young squad. However, the mean age of the playing eleven would be slightly higher as the number of players aged above 27 is more.
8. Rajasthan Royals – 25
The youngest squad ahead of the 2021 IPL auction is led by fearless wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson. Steve Smith was relieved from captaincy responsibilities and released from the team earlier this year.
Anuj Rawat, Mahipal Lomror, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Kartik Tyagi, and Shreyas Gopal are the Indian youngsters who might play a vital role for Rajasthan this season.
Liam Livingstone, KC Cariappa, Akash Singh, and Shivam Dube were picked by Rajasthan in the recently concluded auction demonstrating that Rajasthan Royals’ management has decided and trusted their youngsters to bring home the trophy that has been missing since the inaugural season.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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