Though the BCCI hasn’t confirmed that dates for the IPL 2021, according to many reports, the cricketing extravaganza will start from the second week of April, which is just about a month from today. The squads are finalised and the franchises are keeping an eye on the performances of their players.
Cricketer turned commentator, Akash Chopra has picked 6 players whose recent performances will excite the franchises. Chopra’s first pick was the swashbuckling opener, Devdutt Padikkal, who’s been in red hot form in the Vijay Hazare trophy and has scored three consecutive hundreds. Chopra termed him as the future of the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
"I will talk about Devdutt Padikkal first. He is the future of Indian cricket and RCB's present. He is in absolutely red-hot form. He has scored three consecutive hundreds in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. His lowest score in the last five games is 52. He is definitely going to open for RCB. I am pretty sure RCB is looking at his form very closely and India is also looking at it very closely because he is a long-term prospect," said Aakash Chopra.
Chopra then said that Delhi Capitals will be very happy to see some runs from Prithvi Shaw's bat. Shaw slammed a blazing double hundred (227 off 152 balls) in the Vijay Hazare trophy. He further added that Shaw seems to be hurt because of not being picked in the Indian team for the limited over series against England.
"The second player I want to talk about is Prithvi Shaw. It seems like he is hurt because of not being considered for the Indian team. He scored a double-century in a List A game as a captain. He scored 227 not out off 152 balls, that's a stellar performance. The Delhi Capitals will be happy and from his point of view, it is important that he scores runs," observed Chopra.
Next in Chopra’s list was Suryakumar Yadav who’s been selected for India’s squad for the T20 series against England. Yadav has been in terrific form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He stroked a magnificent 133 vs Puducherry and backed it up a 91 against Himachal Pradesh.
"My third player is Suryakumar Yadav. He is an outstanding player. He scored 133 in just 58 balls and scored another fifty as well. His Vijay Hazare numbers are not that bad. Even in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he was pulling his weight in the side and now he is a part of the Indian cricket team. He is consistently performing and trying to break the door down," added Aakash Chopra.
The former Indian opener then named 3 overseas players who are in top form. Chopra believes that the form of Marcus Stoinis, who stroked a top class 78 off 37 in the second T20I vs New Zealand, will make Delhi Capitals ecstatic.
"At No.4, I am keeping Marcus Stoinis. He is one of the most improved all-rounders in the recent times. He is pulling his weight in the side and how. He scored 78 off 37 balls, he demolished the opposition team. DC must be very excited because he is a very good acquisition," said Chopra.
Mitchell Santner and Jimmy Neesham were the final two entries on his list. Both have been outstanding in the ongoing New Zealand vs Australia series. Santner picked up 4 wickets in the second T20I and Chopra believes that Santner’s form will bring in some respite for the yellow army who let go many spinners. He signed off by saying that Mumbai bought Neesham at his base price and looking at his current form, they’ll be more than pleased. He said that Neesham won’t feature in their playing XI at the start but can be handy in the latter part of the season.