IPL 2021: 5 Indian players for whom IPL form is important to stay in Team India

One bad IPL season can endanger many players' spots in the national team.

Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Arvind Kalyana Krishnan

Jr. Staff Writer

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the biggest T20 league in the world. IPL’s standards are really high and thus, it also happens to be one of the toughest leagues in the world, and not every cricketer can succeed in this league.

This is one of the major reasons why Indian selectors consider IPL as a benchmark for selecting players in the Indian team. IPL has been the reason for many players making their way into the national team. While for a few, it has been a reason for their removal as well.

In a number of instances, many Indian cricketers have had a poor IPL season, and this has resulted in them being sidelined from the Indian team. One bad IPL season can endanger many players’ spots in the national team.

In the article, we shall be taking a look at 5 Indian players for whom IPL form is important to stay in Team India:

1) Kuldeep Yadav

Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik of Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo: IANS)

The upcoming IPL 2021 is going to be the most important season for Kuldeep Yadav. Kuldeep hasn’t been at his best for a really long time and this might just be his last opportunity. Once known as India’s “spin-wizard”, Kuldeep needs to make this season count.

Kuldeep was considered as one of the best spinners of this era back in 2018, as he was almost unplayable. Even the best of the best players from various teams struggled to pick him. It was only in late 2018 and early 2019 when batsmen started to pick him. He hasn’t been the same bowler since Moeen Ali hit him for 27 runs in an over back in 2019.

Kuldeep wasn’t even a regular for KKR last time around. KKR preferred Varun Chakravarthy over him and the latter was sensational. Kuldeep was just a pale shadow of himself in the recently concluded ODI series between India and England as well. Thus, his IPL form is important for him if he wants to remain in the Indian team.

2) T. Natarajan

T Natarajan
T Natarajan. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

T Natarajan was one of the finds of IPL 2020. His ability to bowl yorkers in the death overs is what managed to impress one and all. In the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he was SRH’s go-to man and delivered for them in crunch situations.

He was then given a chance to represent his nation and didn’t disappoint over there either. He was sensational in Australia and was a part of the team which won the historic Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21. Despite being more than decent, his IPL form is really important for him to stay in the Indian team.

It is his bad luck that India are blessed with a lot of good pacers. Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Kumar, and now Shardul Thakur, the list keeps going. If Natarajan has to be a regular face in the Indian side and not get dropped, he has to ensure that his IPL form is good.

3) Washington Sundar

Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar. (Photo: IANS)

The past few months have been nothing short of a fairytale for Washington Sundar. After his superb debut at the Gabba, he backed it up by having another good series with the bat against England in the recently concluded Test series. He was good with the ball for the first 2-3 T20I matches against England.

It was the last two T20I matches that saw him get hit to all parts of the ground. England’s batsmen fancied Washington’s bowling and targeted him. Although one could say that those were just two bad games, the competition in India is such that two bad games can see one getting dropped from the side.

Ravindra Jadeja is a certainty in the XI and will take his spot back whenever he does come back. Ashwin and Axar’s forms over the last 12 months have been good as well. This means that Washington has to be at his best during the upcoming IPL season if he is to retain his spot in the Indian team.

4) Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan and MS Dhoni
Ishan Kishan and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Ishan Kishan has been touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket. He was scoring runs for fun in IPL 2020, and this prompted the Indian selectors to pick him in the national side. He scored a 50 on his international debut as well.

However, there is already a lot of competition for the wicketkeeper’s spot in India. KL Rahul has been India’s regular keeper in ODIs and T20Is since 2020 and has been superb, to say the least. Pant was selected as the keeper in the recently concluded ODI and T20I series against England and impressed one and all.

Kishan would have to be at his best for the Mumbai Indians (MI) in this season as well. That is the only way for him to retain his spot in the T20I team. Taking Kishan’s talent into account, it shouldn’t be a difficult task for him.

5) Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Suryakumar Yadav is one of those players who gained a vast fan following even before making his international debut. Various cricket experts and former cricketers kept demanding the Indian selectors to include him in the Indian team. When he got his chance he didn’t disappoint and scored a 50 on his T20I debut. He backed it up by scoring a quickfire 30 in the next game.

SKY was even selected for the ODI series against England but didn’t get a game. Like Kishan, he too is facing a lot of competition. While Shreyas Iyer has made the No.4 spot his own, Pant has been in the form of his life.

KL Rahul has been an ideal No.5 in the ODI team and there’s no way anyone is going to even think of dropping him. As harsh as it may sound, SKY will have to ensure that he continues his good IPL form. If he isn’t at his best in this edition’s IPL, it would be really hard for him to retain his spot in the Indian team.