IPL 2021: Strongest XI of all eight teams without overseas players

While the overseas stars surely are a vital cog for what the IPL is today, imagine having an IPL season where there is no availability of these elites?

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IPL Trophy (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

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IPL 2018 BCCI Jammu and Kashmir
IPL trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The availability and the participation of the overseas stars in the IPL is one of the alluring reasons why the tournament has become T20 cricket’s biggest extravaganza. Over the years, because of their vigorous interest in the IPL, the tournament is now the biggest event in the history of cricket, which exhibits one of its kind cosmopolitan arrangement of overseas players. With such a robust amalgamation where the local Indian talent gets mingled with overseas elites, the IPL is now called the master university from where every cricketer should at least once must go and fetch the profound benefits of the sagacious white-ball education. 

While the overseas stars surely are a vital cog for what the IPL is today, imagine having an IPL season where there is no availability of these elites? Not only there will be a dramatic downfall in the standard of play, but also a huge loss of IPL’s biggest essence. Only a few bunches of current India players will only be able to exhibit the highest standards of the game, which however will make the overall IPL experience reminiscent of what Indian domestic matches offer. 

Hence, in order to just explore how the IPL teams will stand in case such a scenario happens, here’s our list of the strongest XI of all IPL teams without the overseas players

Mumbai Indians 

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

With MI being the most successful franchise in the history of the IPL, a few of its overseas stars are the imperial jewels of this robust franchise. Someone like Kieron Pollard is a legendary name in MI’s sturdy batting order, whose omission from the playing XI does make the overall batting-order look less intimidating. But having a versatile combination of international and quality Indian batters, there’s a compensation in their batting order.

However, if there’s an absence of overseas players from their bowling department, then the overall picture of MI does become bleak. The two overseas pace bowling strategy of MI is one of the prime reasons why the franchise is the best IPL team in terms of defending a total along with winning matches from any situations. Without the presence of Trent Boult and the other overseas pacer, someone like Jasprit Bumrah will eventually feel the most heat.

All in all here’s the strongest playing XI of MI without its overseas stars: Rohit Sharma (c), Aditya Tare, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Piyush Chawla, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohsin Khan.

2. Delhi Capitals 

Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Under the leadership of Ricky Ponting and Shreyas Iyer, the Delhi Capitals has now emerged as a top IPL franchise. The team jubilantly enjoys the perfect blend of a strong Indian core along with some fitting overseas proponents. However, with the absence of Marcus Stoinis, the lower batting order of this team does become highly inferior and with the omission of the injured Shreyas Iyer, the entire middle-order becomes despaired. 

Such doldrums are also immaculately visible in the bowling line-up as just like the MI, the DC franchise also heavily depends upon its two overseas South African pace duo. Both Rabada and Nortje have been monumental match-winners for DC, whose omissions will eventually bring sheer tightness and pressure on the spin department. Also, someone like Ishant Sharma then becomes the leader of the pace attack. 

All in all, here’s the strongest playing XI of DC without its foreign stars: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Lalit Yadav, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Vishnu Vinod, Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma

3. Royal Challengers Bangalore 

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Royal Challengers Bangalore (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The RCB franchise, over the years, has built its squad under the orbit of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, and without any one of them, the team becomes handicapped. However, in terms of ABD being missing, the entire batting order of RCB then eventually becomes monotonous, where apart from Virat Kohli and Washington Sundar, there’s no one being a capped international cricketer. Overall, ABD’s absence does result in havoc for RCB.

In terms of their bowling, although RCB will have the hefty presence of Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, and Yuzvendra Chahal, in terms of replacing their X-factor overseas pacer, the slot again becomes a compromise. Overall, apart from Yuzvendra Chahal, RCB’s bowling woes especially at the death will continue.

All in all, here’s the strongest playing XI of RCB without its foreign stars: Devdutt Padikkal, KS Bharat (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Sachin Baby, Mohammad Azharuddeen, Pavan Deshpande, Washington Sundar, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Siraj.

4. Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

CSK’s value proposition is highly known for its robust Indian core and in case if there’s an entire absence of overseas stars, the yellow army will marginally get affected. In terms of facing the void in the batting department, someone like Robin Uthappa seems to be a distinct replacement for Faf Du Plessis. Also, with the bagging of Krishnappa Gowtham, the lower batting order of CSK now eventually has the added bolstering of power hitting.

However, in the pace bowling department, the absence of the veteran Dwayne Bravo will be a huge loss mainly because of him being the chief of MS Dhoni during the death overs of play. To some extent, another veteran like Imran Tahir, who has been a high wicket-taking proposition for CSK will also be missed. Overall with the active presence of Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, and Karn Sharma, handling the reigns of the overall bowling department of CSK does look gloomy.

All in all, here’s the strongest playing XI of CSK without its overseas proponents: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, K Gowtham, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Karn Sharma, KM Asif.

5. Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

By removing the hounding presence of their overseas stalwarts, the KKR squad gets extremely scraggy, especially in their batting department. None can match the hefty aura of Morgan and Andre Russell and with Dinesh Karthik being the only immaculate match-winner left for KKR, overall the formation of the side looks like an India A set up. Also, because of the KKR’s recent steal deals in the February auctions, the batting department somewhat eventually gains weight, at least on paper.

In terms of bowling, Pat Cummins’ absence will be a big hole to fill in as the KKR side hardly has a robust pacer who plays in the Indian team as a front-line bowler. The spin department in fact looks versatile mainly because of the addition of the veteran Harbhajan Singh along with Pawan Negi who can bat a bit. Predominantly, the pace attack will get formed by the presence of the domestic stars, but overall as mentioned before there’s hardly any match-winner left to expect other than the former captain DK.

All in all, here’s the strongest playing XI of KKR without its foreign stars: Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Karun Nair, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c), Pawan Negi, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Harbhajan Singh. 

6. Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Imagining the SRH squad without the likes of David Warner, Kane Williamson and Rashid Khan already looks like a perplexing affair, and the drastic effects are much viewed in the batting order than in the bowling. Leaving out Warner and Williamson means apart from Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar there’s hardly any batter who can consistently score daunting runs and help SRH triumph in producing some healthy totals. 

The absence of Rashid Khan leaves a big void in their bowling department, eventually making Bhuvneshwar Kumar the lone warrior who can win close games for SRH. But now with the upsurge of T Natarajan, the overall bowling of SRH thus looks reasonable who may win you some games or so. 

All in all here’s the strongest playing XI of SRH without its foreign stars: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shreevats Goswami, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadav, Abhishek Sharma, Priyam Garg, Bhuveshwar Kumar (c), Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddarth Kaul, T Natarajan.

7. Rajasthan Royals 

Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Just like SRH, even the RR side is very laboriously dependent on its overseas stars, especially the English players who act as the heartbeat of this franchise. The absence of Buttler and Ben Stokes predominantly leaves the skipper Sanju Samson as their front-line match-winner, but the overall aggressive batting intent exhibited by their overseas stalwarts thus looks to go for a toss. However, the lower-middle order has some considerable presence of Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia but these players still are work-in-progress to become an utter specialist of these batting positions.

More importantly, the RR’s bowling takes the biggest hit purely because Jofra Archer was the lone chief in the team’s underwhelming bowling lineup. With Jaydev Unadkat looking as an exuberant leader in the absence of Archer and the newly acquired Chris Morris, the overall bowling proponents of the RR team look highly sporadic and decent.

All in all, here’s the strongest playing XI of RR without its foreign stars: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Karthik Tyagi, Chetan Sakariya

8. Punjab Kings 

Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

By carrying the current pioneers of T20 cricket like the legendary Chris Gayle and the young herculean Nicholas Pooran, the PBKS squad without them does look very one-dimensional. Although, the team’s middle-order has some exciting names like Sarfaraz Khan and Deepak Hooda, in terms of the quality firepower which Gayle and Pooran possess, hardly there’s a catch if compared. For reliability in the middle-order, Mandeep Singh although looks like the fitting candidate being present. 

Even in the bowling department, the team hardly has an alluring name to replace the death bowling skills of Chris Jordan. Further with the omission of Jhye Richardson means that there’s only one match-winner left in the form of Mohammad Shami. Ravi Bisnoi’s wicket-taking bowling along with the hefty presence of Shami mostly exhibits some amount of temptation, but the other two seamers do paint the overall picture of inexperience. 

All in all here’s the strongest playing XI of PBKS without its overseas stars: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Prabhsimran Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammad Shami, Ishan Porel