IPL 2020: Strongest XI of all eight teams without overseas players
- IPL 2020 might have to be played without foreign players due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- How will teams like RCB and CSK cope with possible absence of overseas players ?
IPL 2020, like many other major sporting events, has been on the receiving end of the coronavirus pandemic. The fast-spreading disease has forced the BCCI to postpone the tournament indefinitely.
Taking into consideration the current situation, the IPL might not happen in the near future. However, some talks of organising the event behind closed doors have been doing the rounds of late. Some of the players have stood behind the proposal as well, and the BCCI might give it some serious consideration.
Even if the idea of playing behind closed doors materialises, it remains to be seen whether the overseas players will be allowed to, or whether they themselves are willing to, participate in the tournament.
If the teams are made to play without their foreign recruits, the dynamics of the tournament will change radically. It will be interesting to see how the teams cope with the loss of the overseas players and manage with Indian players alone.
Here are the strongest playing XIs of all eight teams, without overseas players.
#8 Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan Royals are one team that are heavily dependent on their overseas players. Steve Smith, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes form the core of the Royals squad, and if they aren't available then it will be a grave problem for the Royals.
In that case, the likes of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Gopal and the newly-recruited Robin Uthappa will have to the onus upon themselves. Local Rajasthan lad Mahipal Lomror might get some opportunities too. However, all eyes will be on the young sensation from Mumbai, Yashasvi Jaiswal.
Robin Uthappa might be given the captaincy role.
Rajasthan Royals: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson (wk), Robin Uthappa (c), Riyan Parag, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Aniket Rajpoot, Varun Aaron
#7 Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab have a strong Indian batting contingent, and this will give them a huge edge over the other teams. Captain KL Rahul has been in tremendous form of late, and the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair and Mandeep Singh have been around in the domestic circuit for a while now.
However, the team's bowling might take a major hit if the overseas stars aren't available. The team does not have any big Indian name apart from Mohammad Shami as far as the bowling department is concerned. Rising fast bowler Ishan Porel and U19 star Ravi Bishnoi might have to play a bigger role than they would have imagined.
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, K Gowtham, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Ishan Porel
#6 Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad will be one of the most-affected teams due to the non-participation of overseas players. David Warner, Kane Williamson and Jonny Bairstow form the backbone of the Sunrisers' batting unit. Their spin-department will also be affected due to the absence of the Afghan pair of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi.
Youngsters like Abhishek Sharma, Virat Singh and Priyam Garg will need to step up big time. The team's batting plans will revolve around the experienced Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar. Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be given the responsibility of captaining the side in the absence of David Warner.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Abhishek Sharma, Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Virat Singh, Abdul Samad, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (c), Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul
#5 Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders' team management will have the uphill task of filling the void that might be created because of the unavailability of Andre Russell. Other players who might be unavailable are Sunil Narine, Tom Banton, Eoin Morgan and the most expensive player of the auction, Pat Cummins.
This might present an opportunity to the likes of Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana and Siddhesh Lad to prove their mettle. All these players have been on involved with the IPL for quite some time now and will be eager to grab this opportunity.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna
#4 Delhi Capitals
The Delhi Capitals were extremely prudent at the auction as they made sure they had backup options for almost every position in the playing XI, and this strategy might pay off now.
Delhi boast of a batting line-up that is as good as that of any international side. While they have the experience of Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane in their squad, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw are some of best batting talents going around in the country.
Their bowling-attack isn't far behind either. The spin-pair of Ravi Ashwin and Amit Mishra will have the support of all-rounder Axar Patel. Ishant Sharma, who had a fruitful season last year, will lead the pace-attack.
Delhi Capitals: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Mohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma
#3 Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore will have to make big changes to their game plan in the absence of their star batsman AB de Villers. Virat Kohli might have to curb his attacking instincts, as much will ride on his wicket. In order to do that, he might give up his opening spot and play in the middle-order.
RCB's bowling might not be severely affected, as they have the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini and Umesh Yadav in their squad. However, a lot will depend on the performance of the team's all-rounders- Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube and Pawan Negi.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel (wk), Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), Gurkeerat Singh, Shivam Dube, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
#2 Mumbai Indians
Just like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma might also consider moving down to the middle-order to give strength to his team's batting-unit. The Mumbai Indians will dearly miss the likes of Quinton de Kock and Kieron Pollard, both of whom were instrumental in the team's title win.
However, it will be Mumbai's bowling that might take the biggest jolt. The pace department is heavily packed with overseas pacers like Trent Boult, Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell McClenaghan, and in absence of these players, too much might be left for Jasprit Bumrah to do.
Mumbai Indians: Ishan Kishan (wk), Anmolpreet Singh, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Rahul Chahar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan, Jasprit Bumrah
#1 Chennai Super Kings
The Chennai Super Kings would like to believe that they have enough firepower to deal with the absence of foreign players. CSK have a long list of Indian international players, who have been proven match-winners. The 3-time champions have most of the bases covered, and might turn out to be the strongest side in the overseas players-less IPL.
The only major change that might be seen in the CSK line-up is the opening position. Murali Vijay will be given a go in the absence of regular openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis. The impressive Maharashtra opener Ruturaj Gaikwad might partner Vijay. CSK have some top-notch Indian spinners in their side, and this will give them a huge advantage.
Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Harbhajan Singh