The long-awaited IPL auction is finally over and now fans shall wait for the action to begin on the field. It is expected to begin in either the first or second week of April and most of the teams look well balanced on paper, which means that we could have yet another competitive tournament.
Overseas players have always been a key part of playing XI’s and their impact on the team’s results is quite big. With just four overseas players allowed in the XI, teams expect them to perform at a high level and win them games on a regular basis. Players like Shane Watson, David Warner, and AB de Villiers have proven themselves as some of the biggest match-winners in the history of IPL.
Teams pick their four overseas players in such a manner that they complement the Indian players and lend the best possible balance to the team. All the squads have eight overseas players each and thus, there are several permutations and combinations involved in selecting the four cricketers who will play.
Here is the list of team-wise four first-choice overseas players in the IPL 2021:
1.Chennai Super Kings
1. Faf du Plessis– He was CSK’s best batsman by some distance last year and will have to play a key role if his team is to bounce back from last season’s failure. The South African scored 449 runs at a strike-rate of more than 140. He will most likely open the innings along with Ruturaj Gaikwad, and he will have to take additional responsibility to take some pressure off his relatively inexperienced partner.
2. Sam Curran– The youngster was one of their best performers last season and contributed with both bat and ball. In addition to being their highest wicket-taker by picking up 13 wickets, he also scored 186 runs and featured in all their matches. He will be designated to come in the lower order, but he might also be used as a pinch hitter in between the innings. Curran will also have to play a key role with the ball, and his performance will have a telling impact on how far they progress.
3. Moeen Ali– It is well known by now that MS Dhoni likes filling his playing XI with allrounders and Moeen Ali is the exact type of player he would want to have. He can bat anywhere in the top seven and bowls tight spells as evidenced by his T20 economy rate of 7.68. He was excellent for RCB in 2019 but was surprisingly left on the bench for most of the 2020 season. He was bought for Rs.7 crore by CSK and the team management will hope that he can repay the faith.
4. Imran Tahir– The South African veteran was absolutely phenomenal in the 2019 edition when he won the Purple Cap, but was benched for most of the 13th edition and only played 3 games during the fag end of last season. However, he might play a bigger role this season as CSK would have realised the importance of having a top-quality leg-spinner in the XI.
2. Delhi Capitals
1. Steve Smith– The Australian superstar was bought by the Delhi Capitals for a bargain price of Rs. 2.2 crores and will directly compete with Shimron Hetmyer for a place in the team. Hetmyer’s poor performances last season and Smith’s massive reputation in the game should guarantee him a place in the XI initially. After being released by the Rajasthan Royals, he will want to prove a point and show them what they will miss in the upcoming season.
2. Marcus Stoinis– One of the best performers in the league last season, Stoinis will be an obvious pick in the starting XI. He scored 352 runs at a strike-rate of nearly 150 and even picked up 13 wickets at a strike-rate of 13.69. The Australian will play the role of finisher for the Capitals and will also chip in with a couple of overs as the 6th bowler.
3. Kagiso Rabada– He won the Purple Cap last season as he picked up 30 wickets in 17 games at a strike-rate of 13.13 and showed why he is considered one of the best bowlers in the world. His partnership with Anrich Nortje was quite remarkable, and they were consistently picking up wickets. He has said that he won’t be available for the first few games due to national commitments and thus, Woakes might play in place of him during those games.
4. Anrich Nortje– Nortje forms the 2nd half of the deadly South African pace duo that the Capitals possess and like Rabada, even he can bowl at speeds exceeding 145 kph with ease. While it was Rabada who received most of the praise, even Nortje was excellent as he managed to pick up 22 wickets in 16 games at a strike rate of 16.63.
3. Kolkata Knight Riders
1. Eoin Morgan– Being the captain of the team, Morgan’s inclusion is pretty straightforward and even as a pure batsman, he would get into the team. The England skipper had a poor record in the league prior to last season, but he was able to change that as he scored 418 runs at an average of 41.8. Morgan was their best player last season, and he will once again look to lead the team from the front.
2. Andre Russell– The West Indian allrounder has been one of the best players in IPL history and it was quite surprising that he failed to get going last season. He scored just 117 runs and picked up six wickets in 10 games. However, that was probably just a minor dip in form, and KKR would hope that he plays the same way he has played for them over the years. His explosive batting, effective bowling and spectacular fielding will be vital for them if they are to quality for the playoffs.
3. Shakib Al Hasan– Sunil Narine’s performances over the last couple of seasons have been quite underwhelming and the franchise might decide to bench him given that they have roped in a world-class player like Shakib. He missed the previous season after being released by SRH due to his one-year suspension. The Bangladesh allrounder is equally capable with both bat and ball and can do a good job at any stage of the game.
4. Pat Cummins– The Australian pacer was bought by the Knight Riders in the auction of the previous season for a whopping Rs.15.5 crores, but he didn’t do justice to his price tag as he picked up just 12 wickets in 14 games. It was expected that he might be released by the franchise given that he was expensive. However, that wasn’t the case as the team management decided to retain him. Cummins will lead the bowling attack and he will have to deliver the goods during the tough overs.
4. Mumbai Indians
1. Quinton de Kock– The keeper-batsman has played a major role in both of Mumbai Indians’ titles over the last two seasons. He has scored more than 500 runs in each of those campaigns and is responsible for getting the team off to a good start. He usually goes about his business at a good strike-rate as was seen last year when he was scoring at 140.5. His ability to get off the blocks quickly allows the likes of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav to settle in without worrying about the run-rate.
2. Kieron Pollard– The Caribbean cricketer is the most capped player for the Mumbai Indians in the history of the IPL and has been a regular in their team for 11 seasons. He is also their vice-captain and his inclusion in the XI doesn’t need much justification. Along with the Pandya brothers, he has formed quite a dangerous middle-order and this was on show last season when he scored 268 runs at a terrific strike-rate of 191.42.
3. Trent Boult– Boult has historically not been able to deliver IPL performances that are on par with his showings for New Zealand. However, he successfully changed that last season as he finished 3rd on the chart for most wickets. He picked up 25 wickets in 15 games while conceding at less than eight per over. With such an impressive season behind him, his selection is a no-brainer.
4. Nathan Coulter-Nile– The former KKR pacer was released by MI ahead of the auction but they managed to retain his services by purchasing him for a lower fee of Rs. 5 crores. His performances last season weren’t quite good as he picked up just five wickets in seven games, but that was due to the injury issues he was troubled with. When fully fit, he is an excellent bowler and he will want to justify his selection in the starting XI.
5. Punjab Kings
1. Chris Gayle– The team led by KL Rahul was struggling to win matches last season and by the time they reached the half-way mark, it looked almost certain that they wouldn’t qualify. However, Chris Gayle’s inclusion in the team caused a sudden change in form and they nearly managed to qualify for the playoffs. He scored 288 runs in seven games at a strike-rate of 137.14 despite batting out of position at No. 3. Although PBKS have bought Dawid Malan, the former RCB player will most likely be preferred because of how he has performed in 2020.
2. Nicholas Pooran– Every T20 team would love to have a player like Nicholas Pooran in their ranks and his destructive ability in the middle-overs is unmatched. While teams generally focus on being aggressive during the powerplay and the death overs, he has the ability to score quickly during the middle-overs and gives the team a real boost. He scored 353 runs in 14 games at a strike-rate of nearly 170 last season and the keeper-batsman would want to build on that.
3. Jhye Richardson– Jhye Richardson was bought for a stunning Rs. 14 crores during the auction and Punjab will hope that their rather mediocre luck with overseas pacers over the last few seasons changes this time around. The Australian pacer was highly impressive in the Big Bash as he managed to pick up 29 wickets in 17 games. Like most fast bowlers from his country, Richardson can bowl at over 140 kph and it will be a great opportunity for him to show why he is so highly rated in his country.
4. Riley Meredith– The uncapped pacer is going to be a bit of a surprise package this season as most of the opposition batsmen have never faced him. Like Jhye, even Meredith is highly rated in Australia and he has even been selected in Australia’s T20I squad for the ongoing series against New Zealand. He has 43 wickets in 34 T20s and was bought for Rs. 8 crores by the Punjab Kings. He is one of the few bowlers in the world who can hit the 150 kph with ease, and a trio along with Shami and Richardson could cause serious problems for the batsmen.
6. Rajasthan Royals
1. Jos Buttler– Jos Buttler will be the first name on the team sheet for RR along with Jofra Archer and it isn’t without reason as he has been their best performer in the last three seasons. He scored 328 runs in 13 games at a strike-rate of 144.49. Due to RR’s rather weak batting line-up, he was pushed into the middle order last season, but if they want to bring the best out of him, they will have to get him back at the top of the order.
2. Ben Stokes– The English allrounder was quite poor for the Royals in 2018 and 2019 given his extremely high price tag, but a new role as an opener last season seemed to have changed things for him. He looked quite comfortable against the new ball and even scored 285 runs in eight games while scoring at over 140. He is likely to continue in the same role this season and might not bowl much as well. An opening combination of Buttler and Stokes could be quite destructive, and RR will surely try this out at some stage of the tournament.
3. Jofra Archer– Like Buttler, even Archer will be the (joint) first name on the team sheet as he pretty much carried the bowling attack last season. He picked up 20 wickets in 14 games while conceding at just 6.55 and he even contributed with the bat as he scored 113 runs. The Englishman won the MVP Award last season and the way he bowled with the new ball was breath-taking.
4. Chris Morris– Jofra Archer received minimal support from the other bowlers and thus, it was important for RR to buy someone who would complement him. They did exactly this when they bought Morris for a record-breaking Rs. 16.25 crores during the auction. He picked up 11 wickets in nine games at a strike rate of 17.27 last season for RCB and it shocked quite a few people when they decided to release him. A bowling duo of Archer and Morris looks very promising on paper and has the potential to lead the team to glory.
7. Royal Challengers Bangalore
1. AB de Villiers– He is arguably the most destructive batsman in the history of the league and his ability to score runs consistently while being quite aggressive is very rare. He has averaged in excess of 44 in each of the last three seasons while striking in excess of 150. ABD even kept wickets last season, but that might not be the case this season and someone like Mohammed Azharuddeen might take up that role.
2. Glenn Maxwell– It is quite surprising how Maxwell managed to attract a higher amount than last season despite his poor performance last season where he scored a meager 108 runs. He was bought by RCB for Rs. 14.25 crores after an intense bidding war with CSK and they will be hoping that his performances outweigh his talent this season. Playing him at the top three might be the way to bring the best out of him, but whether that happens or not remains to be seen.
3. Kyle Jamieson– Jamieson being bought for Rs. 15 crores was possibly the biggest surprise of the auction as he hasn’t quite proven himself as a top T20 player for his country or even in his country’s domestic competition. While his big-hitting talent with the bat and ability to swing the ball and extract bounce due to his height are well known, it is the fact that he hasn’t proven himself as a death bowler that raised question marks over the price tag. RCB will hope that they have invested in the right player to solve their death bowling issues.
4. Daniel Christian– After going unsold in the last two auctions, Dan Christian is back in the IPL and he received quite a hefty bid of Rs. 4.8 crores. He was impressive in the Big Bash as he scored 272 runs at a strike-rate of 182.55 and even picked up 15 wickets from 16 games for Sydney Sixers. He will slot into the lower middle-order and as an experienced player, he will have to take some burden off ABD in terms of finishing the innings while also chipping in with a few overs as a bowler.
8. Sunrisers Hyderabad
1. David Warner– One of only two overseas captains, David Warner’s inclusion is one of the easiest on the list. He is without any doubt SRH’s greatest ever player and he has had a massive impact on their fortunes. He scored 548 runs in 16 games at a strike-rate of 134.64 and was their lead batsman as usual. The Australian will be vital to their chances of winning the title, and SRH will hope that he can play like he usually does.
2. Rashid Khan– Arguably the best T20 bowler in the world, Rashid Khan has been extremely consistent during his four years at the Sunrisers. The Afghan leg-spinner not only picks up a truckload of wickets, but he also keeps things tight. He picked up 20 wickets in 16 games last season and his economy rate of 5.37 was simply outstanding. He has never conceded at more than seven during a season, and fans can expect more of the same this season.
3. Kane Williamson– The New Zealand skipper was benched for the first two games during the last season, but SRH immediately realised his value and decided to draft him into the XI. He didn’t fail to impress as he scored 317 runs in 12 games at a strike-rate of 133.74. The team management will have to choose between him and Bairstow, but Kane will most likely get the nod initially due to how he performed last year.
4. Jason Holder– Jason Holder was roped in by SRH as a replacement for the injured Mitchell Marsh mid-way through the season and he was able to deliver the goods and helped them qualify for the playoffs. He picked up 14 wickets in just seven games and was able to prove that he isn’t just a Test match specialist. The West Indian allrounder even played a couple of useful knocks with the bat. Like Williamson, even Holder will have competition for his place in the form of Marsh.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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