The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League was no less than any stress-buster for all the cricket fanatics at home amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had to suspend the tournament after several players and supporting staff members were tested positive for COVID-19 inside the bio-bubble.
BCCI has now decided to conduct the remainder of the IPL 2021 in the United Arab Emirates in the September-October window.
Notably, the change in the venue can work wonders for some players as they can start fresh and find their form.
Let’s a look at some of the players who can set the IPL on fire in UAE this year:
5. Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal is one of the most successful spinners in the history of the Indian Premier League. He has been a go-to-bowler for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli over the years.
However, the Haryana-born player had an ordinary outing in the first half of IPL 2021. He scalped just 4 wickets in 7 games at an economy rate of 8.26.
With the remainder of the 14th edition to be played in the UAE, Chahal will be hoping to experience a different ride.
Notably, the 30-year-old was the highest wicket-taker among the spinners in IPL 2020, which was also held in the UAE. Chahal took 21 wickets in 15 games at an economy rate of 7.08 last year.
4. Rahul Tewatia
Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Rahul Tewatia had a memorable run in the 13th edition of IPL, which was held in UAE. He impressed one and all when he slammed the West Indian stalwart Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over during a match between Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) and Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020. In the 14 games in UAE, Tewatia scored 255 runs at an average of more than 40 and a strike rate of 139.34. With the ball, the 28-year-old scalped 10 wickets at an economy rate of 7.08.
However, the Haryana-born player failed to weave the same magic in the 14th edition of the cash-rich league before it was suspended. He scored just 86 runs in 7 games at an average of 17.20 and a strike rate of 128.35.
Tewatia took two wickets at an economy rate of 9.75. With the second leg of the marquee tournament set to be resumed in the United Arab Emirates, Tewatia might find his mojo back.
3. Sunil Narine
Over the years, Sunil Narine has been a key member of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) squad in the world-renowned T20 tournament. The West Indian all-rounder has played 124 matches in his IPL career so far and notched up 902 runs at a strike rate of 161.64.
As far as bowling is concerned, the veteran player has scalped 130 wickets at an economy rate of 6.78.
However, Narine’s run in the IPL 2021 was a disappointing one. Sunil Narine played four games in the first leg of the tournament and scored just 10 runs. He took four wickets as well.
2. Ishan Kishan
The young wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan was a revelation for Mumbai Indians in the IPL last year. He finished the tournament as a leading run-scorer for the Rohit Sharma-led side with 516 runs in 14 games at a brilliant average of 57.33 and a strike rate of 145.76, including four half-centuries.
With his incredible performances in the UAE, the 22-year-old played a crucial role in MI’s fifth IPL win.
Notably, Ishan’s blistering knocks in the 13th edition also caught the attention of national selectors and the youngster received his maiden India call-up for the five-match T20I series against England earlier this year.
However, he failed to meet the expectations of his team in the first leg of IPL 2021 as he scored just 73 runs in 5 games at an average of 14.60 and a mediocre strike rate of 82.95.
With IPL 2021 now rescheduled in UAE, Ishan will be hoping to put a good show for the defending champions yet again.
1. Marcus Stoinis
Australia cricketer Marcus Stoinis made the heads turn with his impressive all-round show in IPL 2020 in UAE. He was the wrecker-in-chief for the Delhi Capitals as they reached the IPL finale for the first time.
The 31-year-old racked up 352 runs last season in 17 games at an average of 25.14 and a strike rate of 148.52. Stoinis also took 13 wickets at an economy rate of 9.53. Stoinis was expected to showcase his magic once again in the IPL 2021 but he flattened on the Indian pitches.
Playing all eight games for Rishabh Pant-led side in the first half of the competition, the Aussie managed to score just 71 runs at an average of 23.66 and a strike rate of 144.89.
With the ball, Stoinis took two wickets and conceded runs at an economy rate of 10.90. Stoinis could prove to be a reckoning force for the Delhi-based franchise in the UAE.