All the eight IPL franchises have started the preparations for the upcoming 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as they are now strategizing on which players to include in the playing XI and how to proceed with the players they have in the squad.
The teams have their final squads for 14th edition of T20 Extravaganza with them after they retained, released or picked new players in the IPL auction conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on February 18 in Chennai. While all the franchises gave in their all to include the best players in their squad, there are certain deserving players in every team who despite performing well in the international or domestic circuit will have to warm the bench for the entire 2021 season.
IPL 2021: Team-wise one player who might be benched for whole season
RCB – KS Bharat
Kona Srikar Bharat, fondly known as KS Bharat made an entry into the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after getting picked by IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on his base price of INR 20 lakhs. Bharat was earlier selected by Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in their squad but is yet to make his debut in the T20 Extravaganza.
Meanwhile, the chances of the wicketkeeper-batsman making his debut this year too looks slim as the Bangalore outfit is already equipped with two stunning wicketkeeper-batsmen in the form of AB De Villiers and Josh Philippe. Just like the previous season, AB is expected to be the first-choice wicketkeeper for RCB while Philippe can don the gloves in his absence.
Though KS Bharat might have to warm the bench for the whole of IPL 2021, he will get a chance to learn a lot of things in the nets and rub shoulders with the greats of the game including Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers.
CSK – R Sai Kishore
A product of Tamil Nadu Premier League, R Sai Kishore has been making headlines for his excellent performance in the domestic circuit for some time now. The lanky left-arm spinner was picked by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL auction 2020 for INR 20 lakhs after he had emerged as the highest wicket-taker of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019-20 by picking 20 wickets from 12 matches.
The 24-year-old had a decent outing in the 2021 edition of the Mushtaq Ali Trophy as he picked 8 wickets from 8 games. However, despite some stellar records, the spinner is most likely to remain on the sidelines due to the excess of spin bowling options the Chennai franchise has. Kishore had to warm the bench in IPL 2020 too, hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Super Kings boasts of having spinners like Imran Tahir, Moeen Ali, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mitchell Santner, and Ravindra Jadeja in their squad. In addition, Dhoni is not known of experimenting much with the squad and prefers experience over young talent.
RR – David Miller
Known for his power-hitting abilities towards the end of the innings, South Africa’s swashbuckling batsman and former captain of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) is most likely to warm the bench for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the upcoming 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
There is no doubt over the capabilities of Miller as while featuring in 80 IPL games, the 31-year-old has amassed a whopping 1850 runs at an average of 33.6 and strike rate of 138.8. However, there are plenty of overseas options available with the Royals while the IPL teams can include just 4 foreign players in their squad.
Most likely, England’s wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler, aggressive all-rounder Ben Stokes and seamer Jofra Archer will occupy the three overseas slots in the Playing XI for the whole tournament. Meanwhile, the fourth place will be given to South Africa’s Chris Morris who was scalped by Rajasthan Royals in IPL auction 2021 for a staggering amount of INR 16.25 crore.
DC – Tom Curran
England’s right-arm fast medium bowler who bats right-handed, Tom Curran had an average season for the franchise Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the 13th edition in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and was hence released ahead of IPL 2021. Curran had featured in 5 games for Royals scoring 83 runs at an average of 83 and strike rate of 133.87. He also scalped 3 wickets at an economy rate of 11.44.
Meanwhile, as the youngster went under the hammer during the IPL auction 2021, he initiated a bidding war between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals. Delhi finally won the race as they managed to acquire the services of the 25-year-old for an astonishing amount of INR 5.25 crore.
Capitals have included Curran in their squad as a back-up for their swashbuckling all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. Thus, the chances of the youngster getting picked in the playing XI for even a single game are rare.
KKR – Tim Seifert
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) retained the New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert ahead of IPL 2021 despite him not getting a single game in the playing XI in the last season. Seifert was included in the Knight Riders squad in 2020 as a replacement for injured Ali Khan.
One of the main reasons behind Tim getting retained was his splendid performance in the three-match T20I series against Pakistan in December 2020. The 26-year-old had amassed 176 runs at an average and strike-rate of 88 and 139.68 respectively. His top score of an unbeaten 84 had come at the Seddon Park in Hamilton where he helped the Black Caps chase down 164 with four balls to spare.
However, just like the previous season, Dinesh Karthik will be preferred ahead of Tim Seifert as the first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman for the team and the Kiwi player might have to wait for another season to play his debut game in the T20 Extravaganza.
SRH – Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Afghanistan’s right-arm spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman had an impressive outing in IPL 2018 for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) as he picked 14 wickets from 11 games and was successful in confusing the opposition batsmen with his mystery spin. However, the 2019 edition saw a decline in Mujeeb’s form and in 2020 he struggled to find a place in the team’s Playing XI.
This resulted in the Punjab franchise releasing the right-arm spinner ahead of 14th edition and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) picking him for an amount of INR 1.5 crore during IPL Auction for 2021 edition of the T20 Championship.
Though the 19-year-old managed to find a buyer in form of SRH, he is unlikely to play a single game in IPL 2021 as the Orange Army has a lot of contenders for four overseas slots available. Apart from Rashid Khan, David Warner and one among Kane Williamson or Jonny Bairstow, the franchise is expected to play an all-rounder like Jason Holder or Mitchell Marsh to add balance to the squad.
PBKS – Fabian Allen
Since 2017, the Jamaican all-rounder Fabian Allen has failed well in the shortest format of the game. He has featured in 32 T20 games thus far scoring 449 runs at an average of 24.9 and stunning strike rate of 159.2. He has also picked 17 wickets at an economy of 7.85 and average of 32.9.
These numbers by Allen prompted Punjab Kings (formerly known as Kings XI Punjab) to bid for the West Indies all-rounder and include him in squad at his base price of INR 75 lakhs. While it was a stellar deal from Punjab’s point of view, it will be difficult for Fabian to find a place for himself in the Playing XI.
Punjab franchise has an excess of overseas players options including Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Riley Meredith and Moises Henriques.
MI – Arjun Tendulkar
Son of Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, Arjun Tendulkar has been constantly making headlines since the conclusion of IPL Auction, hosted on February 18 in Chennai for 2021 edition. Arjun for the first time had registered himself in the IPL auction at the base price of INR 20 lakh and was successful in getting a buyer in the form of five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI).
The inclusion of Arjun Tendulkar in the Mumbai squad had sparked a controversy in the cricket fraternity as many had termed it as ‘nepotism’. However, despite the chaos, there are hardly any chances of Arjun making his debut in the T20 Extravaganza yet.
Mumbai boasts of having one of the most competent squads among all the eight IPL franchises. Thus, Arjun has a lot of hard-work to do and needs to thoroughly polish his bowling skills before he can make his debut in the Blue and Gold jersey in IPL.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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