With the IPL 2021 right around the corner, there are players going into the tournament to prove a point, and let everyone know they’ve still got it.
The Tournament gets underway on Sunday, and with the T-20 World Cup right after it, it is prime time for players to get in their rhythm and for some to regain their form.
There are many players going into the tournament to prove a point, let’s take a look at one player from each team who needs to make a statement in phase 2 of IPL 2021.
CSK: Ambati Rayudu
Rayudu started off the first phase of the season by averaging a whopping strike rate of 200. Scoring 136 runs in 7 games. Rayudu has never got the international recognition he deserves and announced retirement in 2019, however, he went back on that decision.
Rayudu, at 35, is still a key batsman for CSK. He hasn’t had his greatest seasons in the
past 2 years, however, he was off to a good start in 2021 and will look to make amends and continue his good form, and cement himself as one of CSKs most important players.
DC: Shikhar Dhawan
ICC’s most harsh decision for India’s T20 World cup squad has to be the omission of Gabbar himself’ Shikhar Dhawan. Shikhar Dhawan was the highest run-scorer in the first phase, scoring 380 runs in 8 games at an average of 54.
It is a possibility that Dhawan wouldn’t have started the world cup, but dropping such an experienced player is not a good decision by the selector’s board.
Gabbar’s of field antics will not bother him, and if he stays in the same form as he was in the first phase, he’s going to make the selectors look like fools, and they’ll regret their decision.
KKR: Dinesh Kartik
Dk has been enjoying his time as a commentator/ presenter, as he covered all the test matches for the Sky Sports teams, and also had his own interview segments with the Indian players.
2020 was the year when DK retired from international cricket and was also removed from KKR captaincy in October. This season, without that captaincy pressure, he still didn’t perform as well as expected. Scoring 123 runs in 7 games. KKR are 7th in the table, and one of the main concerns was their middle order.
Dinesh Karthik who looks fit, and will be feeling fresh needs to make sure that he starts finishing games more often, and not leave the responsibility only to Russel. If KKR wants a chance to reach the Qualifiers, DK has to perform.
MI: Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya recently made his ODI debut for the country, in Sri Lanka very recently after his Father passed away. Hie performed superbly with both ball and bat.
He had already made 19 appearances for India in the T20s. The elder of the Pandya brothers would be very disappointed to miss out on the World Cup squad behind the likes of Axar Patel and Ravi Ashwin.
If there’s one thing that we know about the Pandya’s is that they have that hard-working attitude and want to prove all their doubters wrong. Krunal didn’t have the best of the first phases, and this will add more fuel to the fire in him wanting to perform well.
PK: Nicholas Pooran
Pooran signed with Punjab in 2019 and hasn’t been able to improve his reputation. The Nicholas Pooran you get to see in the Big Bash or internationally, just doesn’t appear in the IPL. In the first phase, he only scored 28 runs in 7 games, that’s a very bad return.
With the West Indies T20 Squad stacked in the batting department, Pooran must have a successful IPL season to cement his spot in his nation’s starting XI.
RR: Sanju Samson
RR’s captain was in blistering form in the first phase, and whenever given a chance to play for India he’s been in good touch.
They outlooked Sanju Samson’s brilliant form so easily, it would’ve definitely hurt the player.
We all know that once he gets going, he’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing batsmen to watch. He’s going to be the anchor of his side, and if he bats well he might as well propel his side into the qualifiers and prove the point that he has the capability of being the main man.
RCB: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohl, in my eyes, doesn’t need to prove a point to anyone but himself. His recent resignation from India’s T20 captain has come due to him not performing up to his standards.
Questions were raised as he’s never been the best captain in IPL as well. In the first phase of the season, RCB looked like a strong unit and was led brilliantly.
Shifting himself to open the batting has really brought about a good balance to RCB. Scoring 198 runs in 7 games, at an average of 33 and a 121 strike rate. Virat has led his team to 3rd position, winning 5 out of 7 games.
If Virat Kohli is able to have a strong phase 2, he will be under less pressure as captain in his final T20 world cup leading India. Scoring runs as captain will give him great confidence, and if RCB lifts the title, I think it’ll benefit the whole country for the upcoming World cup.
SRH: Jason Roy
Liam Livingstone is the English batsman that has been under all the limelight, after his immense series vs Pakistan, and him just hitting sixes for fun in The 100.
Jason Roy in my eyes has been England’s most explosive batsman in white-ball cricket, since the 2019 world cup. With their T20 world cup so strong, and the form of Livingstone, and Bairstow being a mainstay in that squad, Jason Roy’s place has been under question.
The IPL is going to give him a great opportunity not only to get in good nick before the world cup, but he’ll also be directly replacing Bairstow in SRH, so it’ll be interesting to see what the English selectors make of this situation.