IPL 2021: Best XI of players who didn't play a single game throughout the season

Krishnappa Gowtham and Sam Billings (Image Source: Instagram)
Krishnappa Gowtham and Sam Billings (Image Source: Instagram)

The IPL 2021 concluded last night in Dubai with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) winning the Indian Premier League trophy for the fourth time in the tournament's history. They joined the Mumbai Indians in the elite club of franchises to have won the IPL in India and overseas.

CSK defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 27 runs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium to become the champions. Faf du Plessis won the Player of the Match award for his brilliant batting performance.

Many from the CSK playing XI played for the team in each and every match of the tournament. Similarly, other franchises also retained their main players in the playing XI for all games they played.

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However, there were also a few players who warmed the benches for the entire season. In this article, we will form a strong playing XI featuring the cricketers who did not play even one match during IPL 2021.

Openers - Aditya Tare and Mohammed Azharuddeen

Uncapped Indian wicket-keepers Aditya Tare and Mohammed Azharuddeen will open the innings for this team. Tare has been a part of the IPL since 2010, but Mumbai Indians did not use his experience. They preferred Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan as their wicket-keepers.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore signed Mohammed Azharudden at the IPL Auction 2021. However, they preferred KS Bharat over him. The Kerala star performed well in the domestic season but did not get a chance to prove himself in the IPL.

Middle Order - Cheteshwar Pujara, Sam Billings and Karun Nair

Cheteshwar Pujara won his first IPL trophy last night in Dubai. However, the Indian batter did not get a chance to make his debut for CSK in IPL 2021.

Another star Indian middle-order batter who warmed the benches for the entire season was Karun Nair. The Kolkata Knight Riders signed him at the auction but preferred the likes of Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer over him.

Sam Billings is the first overseas player of the team. The right-handed batter was with the Delhi Capitals this year. Since Rishabh Pant kept the wickets in all games, the English wicket-keeper was out of the playing XI.

All Rounders - Ben Cutting, Krishnappa Gowtham and Mitchell Santner

All three all-rounders of this team were present in the squads of the two IPL 2021 finalists last night. Australian pace-bowling all-rounder Ben Cutting was in the Kolkata Knight Riders squad, while spin-bowling all-rounders Krishnappa Gowtham and Mitchell Santner were in the CSK squad.

Gowtham was bought for a whopping ₹9.25 crore at IPL Auction 2021. However, the Super Kings only used him as a substitute fielder. Meanwhile, Santner did not get a game because of Ravindra Jadeja's presence.

Cutting could have played for KKR when Andre Russell was unavailable. But the KKR team management decided against giving Cutting a match.

Bowlers - Oshane Thomas, Karn Sharma and Dushmantha Chameera

Oshane Thomas and Dushmantha Chameera will lead the pace attack of this team. Both bowlers joined the IPL teams before the UAE leg of IPL 2021.

While Thomas received a deal from the Rajasthan Royals, the Royal Challengers Bangalore secured Chameera's services. Unfortunately, both overseas speedsters did not get a single match during the IPL 2021 season.

Chennai Super Kings leg-spinner Karn Sharma completes the playing XI. Sharma has a lot of IPL experience under his belt but the Super Kings team management benched him for the entire tournament.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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