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Best uncapped XI of IPL 2021

Last updated on 14 Oct 2021 | 02:48 PM
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Best uncapped XI of IPL 2021

Indian Premier League is a place where talents emerge, perform and leave a legacy

It is true that the Indian Premier League is one of the toughest T20 competitions in the world. It is true that it is the pinnacle of franchise cricket. It is absolutely on point when they say that the stress and the pressure levels are sky-high in the league. But amidst all of this scathing pressure, undue expectations and big names emerge the uncapped players, who show they belong at the same level. 

Just like every other year, this year wasn’t too different, franchises unearthed big talent. Some began to realize their full powers while few others lacked game time. That being said, this year’s competition saw some new uncapped players, some veterans and some definitely stunned more than people could ever imagine. 

The Uncapped XI –

Openers – Venkatesh Iyer and Yashasvi Jaiswal

If not for the Sri Lanka series, perhaps, it would have been some tough calls to make in this segment, especially considering how Ruturaj Gaikwad has not just turned eyes but made every opener envy his poise and class. But he is capped and rightfully so. 

Venkatesh Iyer – Kolkata Knight Riders (320 runs in 9 games at an average 40 and strike-rate of 125)

Having struggled in the first half of the season, Brendon McCullum’s urge to change the man definitely made KKR’s season a stellar one. Madhya Pradesh’s Venkatesh Iyer, who coming into this season was in form in the Indian domestic white-ball competitions, took his opportunity with both hands. 

In just nine appearances, Iyer scored 320 runs, at an average of 40 while striking it at 125, getting KKR off to amazing starts. He also doubled up as a bowler in the absence of Andre Russell, suggesting that he could very well be a player for the long-haul. It was no surprise when the 26-year-old, who left his corporate job for the long toil in cricket, earned himself a place in the camp for the upcoming T20 World Cup. 

Yashasvi Jaiswal – Rajasthan Royals (249 runs in 10 games at an average of 24.90 and strike-rate 148.21)

On the other hand, Yashasvi Jaiswal was coming on the back of a poor season in the IPL with the Rajasthan Royals. But once the captaincy was given to Sanju Samson, the left-hander seemed to find form. In ten appearances this season, the Mumbaikar scored 249 runs, averaging 24.90, at a strike-rate of 148.21, including playing a blinder against Chennai Super Kings earlier this season.

Middle-order – Rahul Tripathi, Mahipal Lomror, KS Bharat

Rahul Tripathi - Kolkata Knight Riders (395 runs in 16 games, average of 30.38 and strike-rate of 141.07) 

Rahul Tripathi has psyched us all. A natural opener, Tripathi has taken the change in role like a horse to the water, with some sublime adjustments. During his Rising Pune Supergiants days, the opener was known for his explosive starts but in Kolkata, he is now known for using more than just the power, with great placement.  

Smart running, intelligent shots and brute power has defined Tripathi's season and his transformation has indeed uplifted KKR’s middle-over scoring. In 16 games thus far, the right-hander has scored 395 runs, averaging 30.38, at a strike-rate of 141.07, with two half-centuries. 

Mahipal Lomror - Rajasthan Royals (94 runs in four games, one wicket with the ball)

Not a really breakthrough season for Mahipal Lomror this year but his performance showed how there is a real future. The 21-year-old struck 94 runs, including a 17-ball 43, which set his season alight. With the ball, the left-arm spinner picked up one wicket, in the four games that he played for the franchise. But in the four games, he definitely showed fight. 

KS Bharat - Royal Challengers Bangalore (191 runs in eight games, average 38.20, strike-rate of 122.43)

A name that in the recent years has been associated with red-ball cricket, Kona Srikar Bharat had a season that he would never forget. With 191 runs in just the second half of the tournament, Bharat showed signs of composure, grit and definitely some power-hitting. His unbeaten 78 that won Bangalore the clash against Delhi would never be forgotten. As a wicketkeeper, he has also four catches to his name, showing he is a safe pair of hands. 

Also Read: KS Bharat: Breaking fringes and stereotypes

Shahrukh Khan - Punjab Kings (153 runs in 11 games, strike-rate of 134.21)

Being in a franchise as frenzy as Punjab Kings often doesn’t pave way for talents to rise through. But amidst such chaos, Shahrukh Khan has lived up to his reputation of being a hard-hitter. In 11 appearances this season, the Tamil Nadu all-rounder struck 153 runs, at a strike-rate of 134.21, including a match-winning knock against Kolkata Knight Riders in the second half. 

Shahbaz Ahmed - Royal Challengers Bangalore (7 wickets in 11 games, average of 13.14) 

After just two appearances for the franchise in the last edition of the tournament, Shahbaz Ahmed remained as an integral part of the RCB squad. He has done it all, bowled crucial overs and picked up massive wickets. Single-handedly with his spirited bowling performance, Shahbaz won two games for RCB, including registering best figures of 3-7. With the bat, the southpaw was used at No.3 but his returns didn’t quite come off.

Bowlers – Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh 

Ravi Bishnoi - Punjab Kings (12 wickets in nine games, average of 18.50)

Amidst such superstar names like Mohammed Shami, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran, there was the young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who stood out. The googly-spinner rather? Either way, he has stood out for Punjab this season in a bowling attack that has really a lot to give for the future of Indian cricket. A total of 12 wickets at an average of 18.50, including big scalps, Bishnoi truly arrived at the IPL scene this year. 

Also read: The Rise of the Ravi in the Middle East

Avesh Khan - Delhi Capitals (16 wickets in 16 games, average of 18.75)

Avesh Khan is fast, he is aggressive, he is raw and talented. But more importantly, he has had a season that is only bettered by Harshal Patel. With such great consistency, the Madhya Pradesh pacer has taken the league by storm. In pace attack that has names such as Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, it is tough to get noticed. But he wasn’t just noticed, he delivered the goods time and again for Rishabh Pant. A pacer for the immediate future of Indian cricket, Avesh ended the tournament with 24 wickets, at an average of 18.75 and an ER of 7.37. 

Harshal Patel - Royal Challengers Bangalore (32 wickets in 15 games, average of 14.34)

A veteran on this list, Harshal Patel isn’t new to IPL or to Royal Challengers Bangalore but even then, his performance certainly surprised everyone. At one point, there were even rumours that he would be picked in the Indian side, solely based on his IPL performance. What did he do well? He performed. He tormented batsmen, picked up 32 wickets, equaled an age-old record. He became the Indian player with most wickets in an IPL season and in doing so, uplifted RCB’s death-over bowling. 

It is highly unlikely that Harshal can continue this form. Nevertheless, his performance could go down as one of the best seasons for a bowler in IPL history.

Arshdeep Singh - Punjab Kings (18 wickets in 12 games, average of 19)

This list isn’t about entirely uncapped players in their debut season, it is more about the uncapped players that have broken through at a substantial level. Punjab’s Arshdeep Singh becomes the third player from this entire line-up to feature from Punjab Kings. Yes, the franchise underperformed but at places where it wasn’t expected, they overpowered. Alongside Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep had a season of blast. 

In the second half of the competition, the left-arm pacer picked up 11 wickets in six games, eighth-best among pacers. Throughout the IPL, he showed a level-headed, incredible skills both with the new and the old ball and composure to win games for Punjab. With 18 wickets in the entire tournament, at an average of 19, Arshdeep leapfrogged some of the other left-arm pacers in the country. 

Also read: With every game, Arshdeep Singh keeps getting better and better

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