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From Virat Kohli to Chris Gayle: Five players to watch out for in IPL 2021 | Cricket News – Times of India

CHENNAI: Top players from all over the world have gathered for the 14th Indian Premier League, which begins on Friday for a 52-day Twenty20 extravaganza performed in empty stadiums as a result of of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are 5 stars who might be key in stopping Mumbai Indians successful for a 3rd straight yr:
Virat Kohli
The India captain and prolific batsman is pivotal to Royal Challengers Bangalore’s hopes of successful a maiden IPL title.
He led his staff to an improved exhibiting final yr with 466 runs in 15 matches as Bangalore made the play-offs in the United Arab Emirates.
But with critics, together with former India opener Gautam Gambhir, suggesting there wants to be a altering of the guard at Bangalore, ‘King’ Kohli, who mentioned he’ll open the batting in T20 internationals and in the IPL, can be decided to shine forward of the T20 World Cup later this yr.

Ben Stokes
The England all-rounder has proved his value throughout all codecs and his kind with bat and ball can be essential because the inconsistent Rajasthan attempt to comply with up their inaugural IPL triumph in 2008.
Royals, who can be captained by India’s Sanju Samson this season, completed backside of the eight-staff desk final yr, with Stokes solely becoming a member of the staff late due to his late father’s sickness.
He scored 285 runs, together with an unbeaten 107, in eight matches for a staff that ran cold and warm.
Royals’ new director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara believes Stokes is “exactly the type of player any side would want”.
Steve Smith
A brand new begin awaits Australia’s Steve Smith after he was purchased by Delhi Capitals for $300,000 in this yr’s public sale following his launch from Rajasthan Royals.
Smith, who captained Royals final yr, might discover it robust to make the beginning XI in an influence-packed Delhi line-up together with skipper Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Shimron Hetmyer.
But coach Ricky Ponting insists Smith, a prolific prime-order batsman who has amassed 2,333 runs in 95 IPL matches, can be hungry to carry out in a T20 World Cup yr.
“I think the fact that he’s been released from the franchise that he’s been at for a long time will make him a bit hungry as well this year,” Ponting mentioned on the Cricket Australia website.
He added Smith’s likelihood to play can be in the highest three of the batting order.
Chris Morris
The Royals broke the financial institution for the South African all-rounder in the IPL public sale because the 33-yr-outdated turned the most costly participant in IPL historical past at $2.25 million.
Morris, who has claimed 80 wickets and scored 551 runs in 70 IPL video games, admitted the value “blew my mind”.
“There is a little bit of added pressure, but the pressure that you get from a price tag doesn’t affect you on a cricket field at the end of the day,” Morris mentioned.
Chris Gayle
Still a drive in Twenty20 cricket on the age of 41, the veteran stays an important half of the Punjab Kings’ batting arsenal.
The self-styled “Universe Boss” exploded final season after making the facet halfway by way of the event to hit three half-centuries in seven matches.
Punjab missed out on a play-offs spot, however the damaging left-hander, who’s concentrating on his third T20 World Cup title with West Indies later this yr, mentioned he believed the change in the staff’s title from Kings XI Punjab would additionally carry them a change in luck.

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