IPL Playing XI: The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just a few days away and all the eight teams are busy picking their suitable combinations for the upcoming tournament. In the tournament opener, the defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will be facing the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on 9th April in Chennai. It will be a quite challenging task for all the teams to select their ideal playing XI for the global T20 cricketing extravaganza.
1. Mumbai Indians Playing XI
The five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians will not have much difficulty in picking their playing XI for the first game against Bangalore. However, they will certainly miss opener Quinton de Kock in the tournament opener as the South Africa wicket-keeper batsman will have to undergo his mandatory quarantine period in the IPL bubble. In his absence, Chris Lynn will open the batting with skipper Rohit Sharma. Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard will form part of the middle-order.
The trio of Hardik, Pollard and Krunal Pandya will also handle the finishing duties. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile will comprise of the pace bowling attack while Rahul Chahar and Krunal will be the two spinners.
MI Playing 11 (likely)
Rohit Sharma (C)
Ishan Kishan (wk)
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore Playing XI
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have suffered a huge setback with their premier opener Devdutt Padikkal missing atleast the first two matches due to testing positive for coronavirus. RCB captain Virat Kohli is likely to open the batting with debutant Rajat Patidar who has had an impressive domestic season. The likes of AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Azharuddeen and Daniel Christian will bat in the middle-order.
Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal will lead the spin attack for RCB. The trio of Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini will handle the fast bowling duties.
RCB Playing 11 (likely)
Virat Kohli (C)
AB de Villiers
Mohammed Azharuddeen (wk)
3. Delhi Capitals Playing XI
Last year’s runners-up Delhi Capitals will surely have a tough time in picking their playing XI for the first match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on April 10 in Mumbai with their two premier pacers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje not available. However, their openers are set in a brilliant form with Shikhar Dhawan opening the innings with Prithvi Shaw. It will be a tricky choice to pick one of Ajinkya Rahane or Steve Smith for the No.3 position but the Aussie batsman is likely to be preferred.
The newly appointed skipper Rishabh Pant will bat at four with Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer to follow as the finishers. Delhi will also miss Axar Patel for the first few games as the left-arm spinner will take time to recover from the virus. Ravichandran Ashwin and Amit Mishra will be the two spinners with Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma part of the fast bowling attack.
DC Playing 11 (likely)
Rishabh Pant (c & wk)
4. Chennai Super Kings Playing XI
After a disastrous campaign last year, Chennai Super Kings will be hoping for a complete turnaround this season and they have some quality players in their line-up. Robin Uthappa will surely start as the opener after a brilliant domestic season with Faf du Plessis as his partner. The likes of Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni will form part of the middle-order.
Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali will be the three all-rounders. Imran Tahir will also start in the playing XI with Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur as the premier pace options.
CSK Playing 11 (likely)
Faf du Plessis
MS Dhoni (c & wk)
5. Kolkata Knight Riders Playing XI
The two time IPL-winners Kolkata Knight Riders have a pretty settled playing XI for their first game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on April 11 in Chennai. The duo of Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana will be openers with Rahul Tripathi unfortunately missing out. Shakib Al Hasan will most likely bat at 3 as he has the ability to play the anchor’s role.
The experienced trio of Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell will form part of the middle-order. Varun Chakravarthy will start as the premier spinner with Shakib and Harbhajan Singh as the experienced options to partner him. Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi and Prasidh Krishna will be the three fast bowlers.
KKR Playing 11 (likely)
Shakib Al Hasan
Eoin Morgan (c)
Dinesh Karthik (wk)
6. Sunrisers Hyderabad Playing XI
With a whole lot of quality overseas options available, it would be a challenging task for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to pick their ideal playing XI for the first IPL 2021 game. However, the return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar in sensational form is a big plus for them this season. The explosive pair of Jonny Bairstow and skipper David Warner will start as the two openers. Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and Abdul Samad will form part of the middle-order.
Rashid Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem will be their two spinners. The trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma and T Natarajan will be the pace bowlers. It would be quite unfortunate to leave out the duo of Mohammad Nabi and Jason Holder from the playing XI.
SRH Playing 11 (likely)
Jonny Bairstow (wk)
David Warner (c)
7. Punjab Kings Playing XI
In yet another IPL campaign, the newly named Punjab Kings have welcomed some exciting names in their line-up. The sensational combination of skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal who had a fantastic season last year in the UAE will start as the two openers. Punjab have to the hard task of picking either of Dawid Malan or Chris Gayle for the No.3 position, however, the former is likely to start in the playing XI.
The explosive Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda and Moises Henriques will bat in the middle-order. The duo of Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi will be their premier spinners with Jhye Richardson, Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh as the fast bowlers.
PK Playing 11 (likely)
KL Rahul (c & wk)
8. Rajasthan Royals Playing XI
England speedster Jofra Archer missing the first few games is a huge blow for the Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming season of the IPL. The 2008 winners have a new young captain in Sanju Samson who will be leading an IPL team for the first time this year. It has already been confirmed that the English duo of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler will start as the two openers. Sanju Samson will bat at three with David Miller, Riyan Parag and Shivam Dube to follow.
After his heroics last year, Rahul Tewatia will be trusted with the finisher’s role. RR is likely to pick one of Mahipal Lomror or Chetan Sakariya in the starting XI. Shreyas Gopal will form part of the spin bowling attack with Tewatia. Chris Morris, Kartik Tyagi and Sakariya will be their pacers.
RR Playing 11 (likely)
Jos Buttler (wk)
India’s blockbuster cricketing carnival will be returning home with Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi as the hosting venues for IPL 2021. However, due to the recent spike in the COVID-19 cases in India, the VIVO IPL 2021 at home will be played behind closed doors to begin with and a call on allowing spectators will be taken at a later stage of the tournament.
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