IPL 2021: Predicting opening pairs of all 8 teams ahead of the season
Many teams will be looking to make tactical changes in their batting line up with the availability of new additions to the squad.
Updated - Mar 15, 2021 4:57 pm
The 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is likely to be played from mid-April this year. The mini-auction for this season was held recently in which a total of 57 players were sold to 8 teams. All the franchises have bought certain players according to their demand in the team composition.
For any team to win a tournament, their opening pair plays a very crucial part. This holds true even for the IPL teams who compete for about two months for the coveted trophy. Many teams will be looking to make tactical changes in their batting lineup with the availability of new additions to the squad.
In this article, we are going to predict the opening pairs of all the 8 IPL teams for the year 2021. Since there is a boundation of 4 overseas players, the teams have to use their resources very carefully which can result in possible changes in the opening pair too.
1. RCB: Devdutt Padikkal and Mohammed Azharuddeen
Royal Challengers Bangalore had a decent season last year where they were able to make it to the playoffs after a gap of 4 years. Devdutt Padikkal had a great outing for them at the top, scoring 473 runs with the help of 5 half-centuries. He was chosen for the Emerging Player of the Year award for his wonderful performance. Padikkal is a surety in the opening pair for the RCB team this season as well.
However, the team will need to think about his possible partner. Young Aussie wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe who has been retained is one of the choices. On the other hand, their latest recruit Mohammed Azharuddeen is a very tempting option for opening and RCB may well start with him.
Azharuddeen has also been keeping wickets for his state team in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. This gives the Bangalore team a chance to relieve their experienced players AB de Villiers from the keeping duties and play an extra overseas player in place of Josh Philippe. Last year, captain Virat Kohli opened in the crucial knockout game against SRH but failed to make a difference. He is expected to bat at number 3, his usual position.