IPL 2021: Batsmen to Watch and Bet On
By BET Contributor
As the IPL 2021 fast approaches, we take a look at the batsmen who could have bumper season and play a major role for their team.
Over the years, IPL has become a benchmark for players around the world. It’s the biggest platform to prove your mettle and make a name for yourself. Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan; the list of players who have gone onto represent India after having made a mark in IPL is endless. Heck, even England’s cricket team has benefited from the tournament.
Here we take a look at the batsmen who could redeem themselves or make a mark by putting up a great display in the upcoming IPL season.
Ben Stokes – Rajasthan Royals
This name could be surprising for many but Ben Stokes hasn’t quite cracked the T20 format yet. Stokes who has been one of the biggest impact players in the other two formats but has been average in T20 cricket so far. Stokes has won an MVP award in IPL 2017 but his overall T20 career leaves much to be desired.
The Rajasthan Royals batsman has all the skill sets to be a T20 superstar. For that he needs to bat in top order where he’s best suited. RR did bat him as an opener in IPL 2020 after he missed the first half of the season. Stokes showed a glimpse of what he could do. Stokes scored 285 runs in 8 innings at an average of 40.71 and strike rate of 142.5 in last season. With him slated to open for the whole season, a blockbuster performance could be on the cards from Ben Stokes in the 2021 edition.
Shubman Gill – Kolkata Knight Riders
The 21-year old Indian is hailed as one of the most promising batsmen in the world. Shubman Gill has started his Test career with an outstanding debut series in Australia. But the youngster hasn’t gotten enough chances in white-ball cricket.
The Kolkata Knight Riders batsman doesn’t have a great IPL record to this day with an average of 33.5 and strike rate of 125. He scored 440 runs in IPL 2020 but at a strike rate of just 118. With an added determination to put his name forward in India’s limited-overs sides, Shubman Gill will be one of the batsmen to watch out.
Shahrukh Khan – Punjab Kings
The Tamil Nadu power-hitting batsman has made his entry on the big stage like his Bollywood namesake. In the 2021 IPL auction, Punjab Kings acquired Shahrukh Khan’s services for 5.25 crores – a price that is enormous for an uncapped player.
Shahrukh Khan came into the limelight after his scintillating performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. His 19-ball 40* took Tamil Nadu over the finishing line against Himachal Pradesh in the quarter-final. The hard-hitting batsman had the tournament strike rate of 220, the best by any batsman. Shahrukh Khan is set to play the role of a finisher for Punjab Kings and could well be their X factor player.
Moeen Ali – Chennai Super Kings
The English all-rounder was roped in by Chennai Super Kings in the 2021 IPL auction for 7 crores. The left-handed batsman has fallen off the radar in the last couple of years due to a lack of opportunities and form. But under MS Dhoni, he’s more likely to get a consistent run.
Moeen is one of the best power hitters against spin in the middle overs, he also has one of the best balls per boundary ratio in the format. Moeen, in his T20 career, has scored runs at nearly 30 average and strike rate of over 150. Moeen could be a perfect fit at CSK at no. 4 and he’ll have a great chance of redeeming his career.
Robin Uthappa – Chennai Super Kings
Robin Uthappa is one of those names to have been unlucky to not get more opportunities for India. Uthappa was an important part of his former team KKR’s success in the past. He has also won the Orange Cap once when he amassed 660 runs in KKR’s title-winning campaign in 2014.
Currently, on the books of Chennai Super Kings, Robin Uthappa is coming off the back of some terrific form in domestic cricket. In the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, Uthappa smashed 377 runs in 6 innings at an average of 75.40. Uthappa is the front runner for the opening slot for CSK. With his improved intent, Uthappa could create havoc at the top of the order.