How each IPL franchise could line up without marquee Indian players

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11 Sep 2021 | 09:32 AM
authorAnirudh Suresh

How each IPL franchise could line up without marquee Indian players

With the second phase of IPL 2021 edging closer, we look at how each team could line up should the players in England be unavailable to begin with

Trust the cricketers when they say that scheduling during Covid times is absolutely unrelenting. Even despite the cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England, the turnaround between the five-Test series and the IPL is a mere nine days. 

Assuming no one tests positive, all the Indian players will spend at least six of these nine days in quarantine just so that they could enter the strict bio-bubble in UAE and go into IPL mode. Sounds fun? 

No.

But the bigger picture, in the context of the IPL, is that there is a very good chance that a lot of the Indian players currently in England could miss the first round of matches post the restart. The turnaround time being negligible means that there is no guarantee that we will see all the first XI Indian players immediately in the T20 extravaganza, not least because they’re coming on the back of a grueling few months. 

So assuming that the first round of IPL matches will feature no Indian senior player, what exactly will happen to the franchises? Who will go out and come in? What will happen to the makeup of teams? We’re here to explore precisely that. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Who could miss out?

Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj

Who will captain the side?

AB de Villiers

What will the starting XI look like?

Devdutt Padikkal, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Tim David, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal

How the dynamic of the side will be affected

RCB certainly do not have an Indian batsman of Kohli’s calibre who can slot in seamlessly, thus the skipper’s absence will make the top-order brittle and exert more pressure on Padikkal. However, that could lead to a potential debut for the explosive Tim David, who will, alongside Maxwell and de Villiers, add plenty of firepower to the middle-order.

David’s inclusion will, however, mean that RCB will be able to field no more than one overseas bowler. Such a scenario would significantly weaken the side’s pace-bowling stocks that will already be without Siraj.

Mumbai Indians

Who could miss out?

Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah

Who will captain the side?

Kieron Pollard

What will the starting XI look like?

Chris Lynn, Aditya Tare, Ishan Kishan, Saurabh Tiwary, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Dhawal Kulkarni, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Adam Milne

How the dynamic of the side will be affected

Missing their top two run-getters from the first leg of IPL 2021 - who also make up the core of the side - will be a huge blow for MI, but the duo’s absence could be mitigated if Ishan Kishan finds the same form he displayed in UAE last year. A lot will rest on the shoulders of young Kishan and also Lynn, who played a solitary game in the first half.

The middle-order will remain strong as ever, but the absence of Bumrah will render their bowling a bit vulnerable. It could, therefore, mean that the defending champions might need New Zealand’s Adam Milne to step up. Not an unrealistic demand considering he’s coming on the back of an outstanding campaign for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred.

Delhi Capitals

Who could miss out?

Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma

Who will captain the side?

Shreyas Iyer

What will the starting XI look like?

Shikhar Dhawan, Marcus Stoinis, Shreyas Iyer, Steve Smith, Shimron Hetmyer, Lalit Yadav, Ripal Patel, Tom Curran, Amit Mishra, Lukman Meriwala, Avesh Khan

How the dynamic of the side will be affected

The return of Iyer will mean that Delhi’s batting will still look relatively strong despite the absence of Pant and Shaw but the side will, however, be severely impacted on the bowling front. Without the services of Ashwin, Axar and Ishant, and with Avesh Khan’s availability still unclear, the Capitals could be forced to field an alarmingly weak attack. 

With seven players potentially unavailable, DC might have to dig deep into their reserves to just put out a competitive XI for their first game against SRH. 

Punjab Kings

Who could miss out?

KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami

Who will captain the side?

Chris Gayle / Nicholas Pooran / Mandeep Singh

What will the starting XI look like?

Chris Gayle, Prabhsimran Singh, Mandeep Singh, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Chris Jordan, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi / Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel

How the dynamic of the side will be affected

Since IPL 2020, Punjab Kings’ entire batting line-up has essentially been Rahul and Agarwal, thus taking the two batsmen away from the team will be akin to cutting PBKS’ hands off. A lot will depend on Gayle and Pooran and that does not bode well for the side, given the form the two Windies stars find themselves in. Mandeep, Shahrukh Khan and Hooda, therefore, might be required to punch above their weight.

In comparison the dynamic of the bowling will not be affected too much, but the absence of Shami might lead to a maiden IPL cap for Ishan Porel, who really is the only reserve pacer who can utilize the new ball effectively. All in all, PBKS will have to field a side that might need to significantly over-perform just to register a W.

Chennai Super Kings

Who could miss out?

Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Cheteshwar Pujara

What will the starting XI look like?

Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, Krishnappa Gowtham, Deepak Chahar, R Sai Kishore/ Karn Sharma, Josh Hazlewood, Imran Tahir

How the dynamic of the side will be affected

Factoring in the potential absence of Moeen Ali and Sam Curran alongside Jadeja, CSK’s batting line-up could look very thin. Barring Raina, every other batter might be needed to bat a position higher than they should actually be, thereby rendering it vulnerable. Like they did in the first half, du Plessis and Gaikwad will have to shoulder the burden of scoring runs, while Dhoni and Bravo will also be needed to step up with the willow in hand.

Luckily for the Super Kings, the bowling will continue to remain strong as ever. Thakur might be a miss with the ball, but the return of Hazlewood should make up for the right-armer's absence. 

Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad

Prasidh Krishna (KKR) and Wriddhiman Saha (SRH) are the only Indian players from these three franchises currently in England, thereby neither team will be affected severely. All three teams, however, have other notable absentees, so come restart, their starting XI could look as follows.

KKR

Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi

Note: Gill’s availability remains unclear due to the injury he picked up in the tour of England

SRH

David Warner, Shreevats Goswami, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Jason Holder, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan

Note: Natarajan’s availability remains unclear while Bairstow, who currently is in England, might miss the first match after the restart

RR

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Liam Livingstone, Sanju Samson, Glenn Phillips, Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Mustafizur Rahman

Players participating in the SL vs SA T20I series, scheduled to end on September 14, have also been excluded from probable XIs due to there being uncertainty over their availability for the first round of matches.

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Indian Premier League, 2021Chennai Super KingsMumbai IndiansRoyal Challengers BangaloreDelhi CapitalsPunjab KingsKolkata Knight RidersRajasthan RoyalsSunrisers HyderabadVirat KohliRishabh PantRohit SharmaJasprit BumrahRavindra JadejaRavichandran AshwinKL Rahul

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