IPL 2021: 8 days to go, 8 teams, 8 captains and 8 challenges they face this year: IPL 2021 will see two new captains in Rajasthan Royals (RR) Sanju Samson and Delhi Capitals (DC) Rishabh Pant while also having the old warhorses Chennai Super Kings (CSK) MS Dhoni and Mumbai Indians (MI) Rohit Sharma leading their teams. But all the skippers will have a host of challenges in front of them.
But the issues that each captain will have a different task in hand. It is worthwhile to look at all teams separately and note down what would be the main challenges facing each of them.
IPL 2021: Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians: The biggest challenge that Rohit Sharma will have to deal with is choosing the right third seamer. Not only would a third seamer be required to assist Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult, but also to play as the lead bowler if either of them gets rested.
IPL 2021: MS Dhoni – Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni needs to find the right balance between attacking and defending with his spinners. While tweakers like Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali, and Mitchell Santer are good at bowling tight lines, Imran Tahir and Karn Sharma are wicket-taking options. Dhoni has an opening conundrum.
IPL 2021: Eoin Morgan – Kolkata Knight Riders: England and KKR captain Eoin Morgan has to get the opening combination right. While Shubman Gill is a certainty, who would open with him remains uncertain.
IPL 2021: KL Rahul – Punjab Kings: KL Rahul has two great assets in Chris Gayle and Dawid Malan in his team. But he has to figure out where to bat Chris Gayle in the order and how to get Malan to perform as well in league cricket as he does in T20I cricket.
IPL 2021: Sanju Samson – Rajasthan Royals: The Royals have a very competent side but they have a new and young captain in Sanju Samson. The 26-year-old will have to find a way to be assertive while not stepping on the toes of senior players.
IPL 2021: Virat Kohli – Royal Challengers Bangalore: RCB has enormous firepower in the batting department. But their bowling looks relatively light. This is where Kohli will have to marshall his resources and find out who suits the conditions best.
IPL 2021: David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad: The Hyderabad team has a good top order and an explosive lower order. But the middle order looks a bit lightweight. How to deal with this problem is the big question for Warner.
IPL 2021: Rishabh Pant – Delhi Capitals: Appointed the captain in the absence of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant has to put his stamp on the team but also respect the elder players. This is not an easy balance to strike.