Cricket is one of the most loved sports in India. There are billions of hardcore fans who follow the sport like a religion. Every tournament is something fans look forward to, but the most-awaited tournament of cricket – the Indian Premier League is here.
It is that time of the year when fans will be sitting in front of the screens all evening to not miss a six or a wicket. The 14th season of the IPL is going to start in mid-April this year. The auction done for this was held recently, where 57 players were sold to 8 teams. Many players were retained and traded and a few will not even play this season.
Many things matter in a team, one of them is the opening pairs. The openers play a crucial part in a team’s performance. As there are new players, many teams will be making tactical changes in their batting lineups. And with the limit of 4 overseas players, it will be exciting to watch the openers.
In this article, we will be predicting the opening pairs of all 8 teams for IPL 2021.
- Royal Challengers Bangalore – Devdutt Padikkal & Mohammed Azharuddeen
RCB had a good season last year as they were able to make it to the play-off after a gap of four years. While Devdutt Padikkal gave an amazing performance in his debut season. He made 5 half-centuries and was chosen for the emerging player of the year award. Surely, he will be a part of the opening team in RCB this year as well.
However, the team will need a partner for Padikkal. There are chances that the Aussie player Josh Philippe or the new addition Mohammed Azharuddeen.
- Delhi Capitals – Shikhar Dhawan & Prithvi Shaw
Delhi Capitals gave a brilliant performance last season as they reached the finals. Opening batsmen Shikhar Dhawan gave a stellar performance with an aggregated 618 runs. Prithvi Shaw was partnered with Shikhar Dhawan in the last season but was later benched due to his form in the last matches. If Prithvi Shaw is also in his magnificent form, then he is expected to open with Dhawan.
DC tried Marcus Stoinis and Ajinkya Rahane for the opening too, but Rahane’s results were not fruitful and Stoinis did impress in short term.
- Rajasthan Royals – Sanju Samson & Joss Buttler
Rajasthan Royals had a season where they finished at the bottom. It was a season they would surely want to forget. Many players played as openers including Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Yashaswi Jaiswal, Steve Smith, and Jos Buttler.
Steve Smith has been released and Sanju Samson will be leading the team. Among all the players of the team, Joss Buttler with his experience seems like the perfect choice as an opener. The second player who might partner with Buttler can be Sanju Samson.
- Kolkata Knight Riders – Shubman Gill & Rahul Tripathi
There were a lot of changes and experiments in the batting order of Kolkata Knight Riders in the last season. The young talent, Shubman Gill will be surely seen as an opener in the IPL 2021. His score was 440 runs including 3 half-centuries in the last season.
Kolkata also has Sunil Narine as an opener, but he hasn’t been in his form for the past 2 years. The other two options are Nitesh Rana and Rahul Tripathi. With Tripathi’s overall record he seems like a perfect match with Shubman Gill.
- Kings XI Punjab – KL Rahul & Mayank Agarwal
Last season, KXIP had KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal as its openers, which became quite a hit. Even though the team did not have a good start, they, later on, won 5 matches consecutively.
KXIP has an option of the Chris Gayle – “Universe Boss” for opening. But he seemed fine in the 3rd position as well. So, for now, we can say that KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal are settled in their positions.
- Mumbai Indians – Rohit Sharma & Quinton de Kock
The most successful team of IPL is Mumbai Indians with the most title trophies as well. They are coming back to the ground with 2 consecutive trophies. For the last two years, MI has been opening with captain Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock. And, it seems like even in this season Mumbai will have the same openers.
The pair is one of the most successful openers in the history of this league. Quinton de Kock has scored over 1000 runs in the league, while Rohit has scored 4333 runs in his career with Mumbai Indians.
- Sunrisers Hyderabad – Wriddhiman Saha & David Warner
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow have been quite unsuccessful openers in IPL 2019. Even in 2020, Bairstow had spent quite some time on the bench. We are not sure if Bairstow will make the cut among the 4 overseas players.
Wriddhiman Saha and David Warner seemed like an extraordinary pair in the last season, so it seems like we will see them opening more than they did last year.
- Chennai Super Kings – Ruturaj Gaikwad & Robin Uthappa
CSK had a terrible season last year and they couldn’t even make it to the playoffs, which happened the first time in the history of IPL. After Shane Watson making his decision to retire from professional cricket, one magnificent player from CSK will be missing.
Ruturaj Gaikwad has made 3 consecutive half-centuries in the last three matches for CSK. The team has a lot of options including Sam Curran, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, who have opened earlier. Their latest addition Robin Uthappa also seems like a perfect match to open with Ruturaj Gaikwad.
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