The Indian Premier League 2021 got suspended after 29 matches due to the rising COVID concerns in India. But even after 29 games, many players still haven’t got their chance in their team’s playing XI. So we decided to come up with a playing XI composed of the strongest benched players in IPL 2021.
Best benched players’ XI in IPL 2021:
↑ – Overseas players
Jason Roy was warming the bench for Sunrisers Hyderabad till the suspension of IPL 2021. He has been in good form since the Big Bash League 2020-21 and England’s tour of India. Roy gave some quick starts to England in the T20Is against India. That’s why he is an ideal opener in this best XI of benched players in IPL 2021.
A player like Robin Uthappa has always been a part of the playing XI for every IPL team he has played. But he has warmed the bench for the entirety of IPL 2021 as Chennai Super Kings had too many performers in their squad.
The one-time orange cap winner and two-time IPL winner is an experienced opener with over 3500 IPL runs. So, his profile perfectly fits the opening spot of this XI. Uthappa also gets to captain this best playing XI of benched players in IPL2021 because of his experience in T20s.
Mohammed Azharuddin impressed every cricketing legend with his century in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy 2021. Azharuddin ended the SMAT 2021 with a strike rate of over 190 and 214 runs. But he has been searching his spot in the star-filled playing XI of RCB. He may not have gotten a place in their playing XI, but he has earned one in this one.
The highest run-scorer of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 is the best bet for number four mong the benched players. Narayan Jagadeesan scored 364 runs in SMAT 2021 with an average of 72.8 and a strike rate of 141.08. These stats show his expertise in the T20 format. Jagadeesan is a good player of spin with a flawless batting technique, making him a vital batter for the middle overs.
The Delhi Capitals overseas star has been warming the bench in IPL 2021 till its suspension. It is mainly due to the availability of some of the best overseas T20 players in DC’s dugout. Sam Billings may not have been playing IPL for the past couple of years, but he still has a career strike rate of over 133 in IPL. His striking ability can make him dangerous at number five. Billings can also play a vital role while chasing huge totals.
Ben Cutting is one of the most underrated players in the Indian Premier League. He has an IPL career strike rate of 168.79. And his recent performance in Big Bash League 2020-21 has also been good. Cutting scored 280 runs in the last season of BBL at an average of 40 and a strike rate of 156.42. These stats are evidence of his destructive batting, which can come in handy in the role of finisher. Apart from that, he can also be the fourth pace bowling option in this XI.
The most expensive Indian uncapped player in the Indian Premier League hasn’t got any game time in the IPL 2021 yet. Krishnappa Gowtham has a career strike rate of 169.09 in IPL and 159.2 in all T20s, making him a destructive lower-order batter. Along with his ruthless batting, he also provides a right-arm off-spin bowling option. He didn’t get to play many games in the last two IPL seasons, but he picked 11 wickets in 2018 with an economy of 7.8.
Pawan Negi has been playing in IPL since 2012 and has played 50 matches. He has a decent track record in these 50 games. Negi has taken 34 wickets in his IPL career at a bowling average of 27.61 and an economy of 7.86. His slow left-arm orthodox bowling provides the much-needed variation in this playing XI by contrasting the off-spin of Gowtham.
Surprisingly, the fourth-highest wicket-taker of IPL 2020 hasn’t played a single match in IPL 2021 yet. But he certainly earns his spot in this playing XI as a lead pace bowler. Anrich Nortje began his IPL journey last year by taking 22 wickets in 16 matches at a bowling average of 23.27. He bowled the fastest delivery in IPL 2020, bolting at a speed of 156.22 kmph. With this pace, he can scalp a lot of wickets in the powerplay.
Umesh Yadav may have had a couple of disappointing seasons in IPL, but he hasn’t picked 119 IPL wickets just out of dumb luck. Umesh Yadav has taken numerous wickets in the powerplay for both Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal challengers Bangalore. Umesh has the experience of playing in IPL and T20 Internationals under his belt. And this experience makes him the frontrunner for the spot of the second pacer in this best XI of benched players in IPL 2021.
Ishan Porel was the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. The young 22-year-old pacer took 13 wickets from five matches at a bowling average of 10.84 and an economy of just 7.42 in SMAT 2021. He also registered two 4-wicket-hauls in these five matches. So, on the grounds of his performance in this year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Ishan Porel makes his way into this XI as the third pacer.