IPL 2021 is all set to come back to your screens with the same cricket extravaganza and excitement. However, though the thrill of watching a live match of IPL remains the same, there are loads of things that have changed in other aspects. The teams have had some major changes in the squad because many of the overseas players and some of the Indian players have opted out of the tournament. Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians seem like the only two squads to have escaped such blows as they have their entire squad intact.
New player: Ben Dwarshius
Replacement for: Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes has recently become a father, and thereby, decided to skip IPL 2021. The hectic schedule of being on the road for at least four months, which starts with the Ashes and the T20 World Cup did not seem feasible to the cricketer. Ben Dwarshius has been chosen as the replacement for Woakes.
Chennai Super Kings
There have been no changes so far.
Kolkata Knight Riders
New player: Tim Southee
Replacement for: Pat Cummins
It is both worrying and unfortunate for the Knights that their most expensive purchase from the previous auction has decided to opt out of the phase 2 of IPL. The absence of Pat Cummins opened up an overseas slot for the team, which was filled by Southee. He is the third-highest wicket taker in the T20 format of the game. It is time to see whether he can make each live match of IPL more exciting to watch for the fans.
There have been no changes so far.
New players: Adil Rashid, Nathan Ellis,Aiden Markram
Replacement for: Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson, Dawid Malan
Punjab Kings had to make several changes to the bowling lineup. They replaced Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson by getting Adil Rashid and Nathan Ellis in their place. Malan has been replaced by Markram of South Africa. Let’s see if Markram can be the IPL highest score batsman for this season.
New players: Oshane Thomas, Evin Lewis, Tabraiz Shamsi, Glenn Phillips
Replacement for: Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Andrew Tye
The departure of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes has dealt a heavy blow to Rajasthan Royals and weakened their overseas contingent. They will not be playing in the rest of the tournament. Their absence has now been filled by two cricketers from West Indies, i.e., Oshane Thomas and Evin Lewis.
The team has also bought the top-ranked T20 bowler, Tabraiz Shamsi, to Andrew Tye. Glenn Phillips will be replacing the magnificent Jofra Archer.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
New players: Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmanta Chameera, Tim David, George Garton, and Akash Deep
Replacement for: Finn Allen, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, and Washington Sundar
Royal Challengers Bangalore were the hardest hit from all the changes that came about in the face of the second phase. Among all the domestic players, Washington Sundar has suffered a major injury that will keep him out of the rest of the tournament. Akash Deep has been brought in to replace Sundar.
The overseas contingent has some major changes this time. The brilliant T20 players like George Garton and Tim David, along with the skilled Sri Lankan duo of Dushmanta Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga, are ready to pick up the mantle. The fans are expecting to see the IPL highest score batsman to come from Royal Challengers this time.
New player: Sherfane Rutherford
Replacement for: Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow, the star player from England, has pulled out of the tournament citing reasons like the mental health impact of remaining in the bio-bubble for a long time, amid a hectic schedule. Sherfane Rutherford is not new to IPL. He has played for Delhi Capitals in 2019, and he will play for Hyderabad by replacing Bairstow this time.
The bottom line
After going over changed lineups for months, the teams finally have their new squads ready. And they are raring to go and be their best selves on the 22-yards. So, as fans, all we can do is to cheer each of the new players, and hope they bring us the same level of world-class cricket.