IPL 2021 has got off to a flying start as all five games until now have been entertaining and closely fought. Moreover, there have been some fine individual performances during the last five days in nail-biting clashes between bat and ball. Numerous Indian players have stood out during these five games, which bodes well for the rest of the tournament.
This season of IPL is unique and crucial for few Indian players since they are fighting for a place in the Indian team for October’s T-20 World Cup in India. With more than 50 games left in the league stages of the tournament, we pick five Indian batsmen that need a big IPL 2021 to strengthen their case for the Indian team.
Sanju Samson managed to light up Wankhede Stadium against Punjab Kings on Monday. The 26-year-old batsman managed to score a century on his captaincy. It was an incredible performance even though he failed to get his team over the line. Samson has started the season in the best possible way.
The young batsman from Kerala needs to make sure that he maintains consistency throughout the season. He was picked up for India during the T-20 series against Australia in December, but the lack of a big score meant that Samson was dropped for the series against England. Samson is an incredibly talented batsman, but he needs consistency this season to represent India during the World Cup in October.
Finally, Suryakumar Yadav got the opportunity to make his debut for the Indian team during the recently concluded T-20 series against England. He managed to score a half-century and quick-fire 32 runs in two batting opportunities he got in the series. Yadav has made a strong case for playing in the top order for the Indian team.
Yadav had to be patient to get this opportunity, so cementing his place should be the utmost priority for him during IPL 2021. He has started the campaign well by scoring 87 runs in two games, which includes one half-century. Yadav has scored 400+ runs for Mumbai during the last three IPL campaigns. Another similar season would make sure that he is nailed on to get an opportunity to play in the T-20 World Cup.
Similar to Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan also managed to score a half-century while making his debut against England. Kishan enjoyed a breakthrough campaign last season by becoming the top scorer for Mumbai Indians in a title-winning year. He managed to score 516 runs with four half-centuries.
Kishan excelled as an opener for India, so he is likely to be in contention for that position. Considering the stiff competition for opening slots, Kishan needs to have another sensational season to be part of the World Cup squad. The season has not started for him well as he has scored only 29 runs in two games, but there is a lot of time for him to make up for the poor start.
Shikhar Dhawan has been a mainstay in India’s white-ball teams for the majority of the last decade. However, the experienced southpaw will have to fight for his place in the team ahead of the T-20 World Cup. After a poor performance in the first T-20 game against England last month, Dhawan didn’t feature in the next four games of the series.
However, Dhawan scored runs during the ODI series. He has also started IPL 2021 strongly by scoring 85 runs in the first game against Chennai Super Kings. Dhawan will need a big IPL 2021 for Delhi Capitals to win back his place in the starting XI of India during the T-20 World Cup in October. The southpaw will have extra motivation as this T-20 World Cup could be his last one in India.
Similar to Dhawan, KL Rahul also lost his position in the starting XI of the Indian T-20 team. Rahul struggled to get big scores in the first four T-20 games against England. He was eventually dropped for the series decider as Virat Kohli opened with Rohit Sharma. Rahul did score a century during the ODI series, so he has found back some sort of form in his batting.
IPL 2021 has started perfectly for Rahul as Punjab Kings won the first game against Rajasthan Royals on Monday. He managed to contribute with 91 runs. Another strong IPL campaign with an improved strike rate will ensure that Rahul is back in the reckoning for the opening slot in the Indian team.