With the IPL 2021 happening on the most versatile of conditions, each team will now have to strenuously utilize their entire squad to fetch as triumphing results as possible. Unlike, the previous seasons where predominantly the franchises did prefer sticking upon a bunch of players, the IPL 2021 will now demand a more multifaceted formula from these teams to win consistently.
Such variations also mean that the entire bench strength now becomes handy and will play an extensive role in the IPL campaign of all franchises. However, too much chopping and changing might also disrupt the winning rhythm of any franchise, thus, eventually creating massive havoc in terms of their front-line playing XI. Hence, with the teams now also doing some extensive shopping for the much-awaited season, here’s rating-
Bench strength of each team in IPL 2021
Rajasthan Royals (7/10)
Probable Playing XI: Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Mahipal Lomror, Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Karthik Tyagi, Andrew Tye.
Main Bench Strength Players: Jaydev Unadkat, Manan Vohra, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, Liam Livingstone, David Miller.
With a lot of reports now confirming that both Buttler and Stokes will be opening the innings along with skipper Samson at no three, the team then does has two genuine openers like Manan Vohra and Yashasvi Jaiswal as a cover for the top-order. Someone like Liam Livingstone can also be infused into the squad either at the top or in the middle-order especially when RR is playing matches at the flat decks. In case to cope up with some constraints in the lower-middle order, the in-form David Miller also looks like an alluring option and can be used at high-scoring venues.
But with the loss of Jofra Archer for the entire season, the entire bowling attack now gets highly dependent on Chris Morris and Andrew Tye, eventually leaving Mustafizur Rahman as the only overseas backup. In terms of local pacers, the RR camp still upholds the experience of Jaydev Unadkat along with the young Chetan Sakariya to back it up, but in the spin department, to accompany Shreyas Gopal, the squad barely possesses a name apart from Mayank Markande.
All in all, with a team that is playing a majority of its group matches on the flat pitches of Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru, the RR camp does have some suitable backup options in the entire batting order. However, in terms of backup bowlers, the squad definitely looks underwhelming by only carrying some decent options.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (7/10)
Probable Playing XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli, M Azharuddeen, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammad Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Daniel Sams.
Main Bench Strength Players: Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Navdeep Saini, KS Bharat, Harshal Patel, Sachin Baby, Finn Allen, Dan Christian.
While the front-line playing XI of the RCB does look very lethal by holding a lot of sturdy proponents in both departments, in terms of its bench strength, the team reasonably looks insured. For the top-order batting, RCB only has wicket-keeper batsman KS Bharat who can chip in if there’s a requirement. In the middle-order, there’s only Sachin Baby who might extensively get juggled, in case if there’s a void to fill. However, the presence of Dan Christian in the playing XI will highly depend upon the RCB’s overseas pace bowling strategy. The team also has someone like Harshal Patel who can be picked in the lower-middle order if there’s an opening.
RCB’s reserve bowlers compared to their cover batting looks much more apt, as the presence of Adam Zampa along with Kane Richardson does tempt the team to start them in the main playing XI. Even someone like Navdeep Saini is an exciting reserve to have for the third pacer. However, a quality extra spinner would have helped RCB to have more depth in their bench strength.
All in all, with RCB playing its majority of matches on high-scoring grounds, the squad apparently does boast some fitting reserves in the bowling department. Whereas, in the batting department, the team might find itself bleak especially considering their husky frontline batting order.
Punjab Kings (7.5/10)
Probable Playing XI: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Shahrukh Khan, Chris Jordan, Jhye Richardson, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammad Shami.
Major Bench Strength Players: Ishan Porel, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Arshdeep Singh, Dawid Malan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Fabian Allen, Jalaj Saxena.
With PBKS boasting a very herculean batting lineup especially in the top four, the team also has some attractive batters to cover it up in case if there’s a need. Someone like Dawid Malan looks alike to replace Chris Gayle and even Moises Henriques can be brought in if required to strengthen the lower middle-order batting. The team also has the abundance of Deepak Hooda and Sarfaraz Khan to further be backups for either Shahrukh Khan or Mandeep Singh. Also, someone like Prabhsimran Singh can be viewed as a top-order candidate.
Just like the batting, even the bowling reserves of the PBKS side are in plenty. Because Chris Jordan can be promoted up in the playing XI, an Indian spinner or a pacer can be accommodated in the bowling department. Either Murugan Ashwin or Arshdeep Singh can be the frontline options for the above extra slot, mainly depending on the conditions. Someone like Ishan Porel looks an exciting name to have as a backup Indian seamer but is yet to unveil himself in the IPL. Even Riley Meredith, who hasn’t been seen in the IPL, however, has been grabbed to have a reserve overseas pacer.
All in all, the PBKS side might have a plentitude of options to go back at, but hardly have some immaculate match-winners who might uplift the side. Apart from Dawid Malan, mostly none of their present bench strength players looks like fascinating replacements which eventually might turn out to be reasonable grabs.
Delhi Capitals (7.5/10)
Probable Playing XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Ishant Sharma.
Major Bench Strength Players: Avesh Khan, Pravin Dubey, Amit Mishra, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav, Vishnu Vinod, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Steve Smith.
With Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada, and Anrich Nortje being the top three overseas picks, either Steve Smith or Shimron Hetmyer can then be fitted in the playing XI. In terms of other reserve batters, Sam Billings is a fitting candidate to bat anywhere in the top seven. Someone like a Vishnu Vinod can also be chipped mainly as a backup wicket-keeper batsman, in case if there’s a need.
In the bowling department, DC is well known to heavily rely on the two overseas pacer strategy and that’s the reason why both Chris Woakes and Tom Curran can be understood as those reserves. In the spin department, the experience of Amit Mishra will be extensively used on the spinning pitches and someone like Umesh Yadav along with Avesh Khan can be viewed as a cover for Ishant Sharma.
All in all, the DC camp might have a solid core of front-line proponents but in terms of backup, the team does get scraggy. However, to continue with their successful overseas pace bowling idea, the team has got some exuberant reserves.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (9.5/10)
Probable Playing XI: David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha, Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Kedar Jadhav, Abdul Samad, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan.
Major Bench Strength Players: Jason Holder, Jonny Bairstow, Priyam Garg, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Shahbaz Nadeem, Vijay Shankar, Jason Roy
Apart from keeping Warner and Rashid Khan, the SRH camp can try all sorts of permutations and combinations. In the batting department, either Williamson or Bairstow is certainly bound to play with the other being a solid backup along with the new Jason Roy being the latest addition. To have a replacement for either Manish Pandey or Kedar Jadhav, the team can also bring in the benched Vijay Shankar. There’s also alike cover for Wriddhiman Saha in the form of Shreevats Goswami. Also, for the lower-middle order, there will be a heavy race between Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad and to back them. there’s Priyam Garg.
In the bowling department, there’s plenty to cover for both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Sandeep Sharma by having the dense presence of Khaleel Ahmed and Siddarth Kaul. Even to have a bowling all-rounder, someone like Jason Holder looks the suitable attachment. To add further on spinning tracks, the team also owns the talent of Shahbaz Nadeem.
To sum it up for SRH, the team is genuinely filled with riches and probably can have two different front-line playing XIs to start with. However, a strong overseas firepower batsman in the lower-middle order might have elevated this team to a whole new level.
Mumbai Indians (8.5/10)
Probable Playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Quinton De Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Piyush Chawla, Trent Boult, Nathan Coulter Nile, Jasprit Bumrah.
Major Bench Strength Players: Aditya Tare, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jayant Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Marco Jansen.
Despite having the tournament’s best possible team, the MI camp is still filled with some quality backups and reserves. In the batting, first, there’s a like-to-like replacement available for Quinton De Kock in the form Chris Lynn or even Jimmy Neesham can also be tried. Also, the presence of Aditya Tare and Saurabh Tiwary surely means two potential backups for Ishan Kishan and Sky Yadav. For Kieron Pollard, mainly Jimmy Neesham can be the eventual cover.
To avoid the woes regarding their two overseas pace strategy, there are some feasible back-ups in the form of Adam Milne and the new rookie Marco Jansen. To give sufficient breaks to both Bumrah and Boult, someone like a Dhawal Kulkarni might then bag some games. Also, since MI will be initially playing a lot in Chennai, apart from Piyush Chawla and Rahul Chahar, there are some reasonable reserves available in the form of Anukul Roy and Jayant Yadav.
All in all, because of the exceeding stature of their frontline players, the MI team might not have a matching backup reserve, but in general, the cover players do look feasible ones to help MI win their sixth IPL glory.
Chennai Super Kings (8.5/10)
Probable Playing XI: Robin Uthappa, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Moeen Ali, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.
Major Bench Strength Players: Cheteshwar Pujara, N Jagadeesan, R Sai Kishore, Mitchell Santner, K Gowtham, Karn Sharma, Dwayne Bravo.
Because of owing a plethora of all-rounders and a quality set of overseas players along with a robust Indian core, the CSK camp can go on a voyage in terms of making a winning playing XI. For opening the batting, the team can choose three genuine batters in the form of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, and Faf Du Plessis. To extend their company, someone like a Cheteshwar Pujara can be used at some point in the tournament. Also, the presence of Faf Du Plessis means that the South African can either partner with the above-mentioned openers or in contrast, can also bat a position lower.
For the next two slots, CSK can go with their traditional picks like Raina or Rayudu or even one of them can be paired with Moeen Ali. Further, for the number seven position and to give Dhoni and Jadeja an extensive company, CSK now has players like Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, K Gowtham, or even Sam Curran. And to even have an additional reserve in the middle-order, N Jagadeesan can be squeezed in the playing XI.
A tad of a similar ride is also visible in the bowling department, as one of the overseas pace specialists, apart from Sam Curran will surely be either Lungi Ngidi or Dwayne Bravo. Now although there isn’t any like-to-like replacement for Shardul Thakur and also for Deepak Chahar, the team might eventually make up with someone like KM Asif. Also, if CSK encounters some spinning tracks then along with Imran Tahir, there’s even Karn Sharma who can be paired.
All in all, whether it’s batting or bowling, the CSK franchise is overflowing with resources. Also, with such a robust squad, the CSK fans would eventually demand an IPL glory for sure.
Kolkata Knight Riders (9/10)
Probable Playing XI: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Shakib-Al-Hasan, Karun Nair, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, P Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy.
Major Bench Strength Players: Sandeep Warrier, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lockie Ferguson, Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine, Rinku Singh, Tim Seifert, Rahul Tripathi, Sheldon Jackson, Ben Cutting, Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi
With Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana being the two openers, players like Rahul Tripathi, Tim Seifert, Sheldon Jackson can completely be the fitting replacements to offer at the top. For Shakib-Al-Hasan, someone like Sunil Narine looks the suitable substitution. By grabbing Ben Cutting at a steal deal, the Aussie can be called as a feasible cover for Andre Russell. Also, someone like Rinku Singh can be fetched in the playing XI especially in the lower middle-order if required.
Even in the bowling department, there are some interesting backups available. For Pat Cummins, there’s a hounding cover present in the form of Lockie Ferguson and both Sandeep Warrier and Kamlesh Nagarkoti will be covering the frontline local bowlers. Whereas, in terms of spin bowling back up, the KKR camp has fetched the experience of Harbhajan Singh as well as Kuldeep Yadav.
All in all, the KKR side in the IPL 2021 probably has all the cards to grab a potential playoff spot. With mostly all bases covered even in terms of reserve players, the franchise would be surely eyeing a breakthrough IPL season.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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