IPL 2021 is less than a week away, and the franchises will be busy tinkering with their respective teams to arrive at their best combination for the campaign. The IPL has helped advance the shortest format of the game; much of what makes T20 cricket so great has originated from it.
The invaluable importance of death bowling is something that all franchises have realized over the years and have struggled to get right for their teams. Similarly, finishing off games with the bat has been an integral part of IPL cricket, and the finishers of each side have had a huge role to play, especially in run chases.
We have seen some incredible winning knocks over the years, as well as some spectacular collapses. On that note, let's rank each team on the basis of the potential finishers they have for their IPL 2021 campaign.
Note: Here, by finishers, we will consider players who usually bat at No.4 or lower.
Disclaimer: The opinions in this article belong solely to the author and need not reflect that of Sportskeeda.
8. Sunrisers Hyderabad
Potential Finishers: Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Mohammad Nabi, Jason Holder, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, and Abhishek Sharma.
Sunrisers Hyderabad's middle-order has always been an area of concern for them, and their team setup makes it hard to include any explosive all-rounder in their playing XI. With Mitchell Marsh gone, SRH lacks that explosive batsman who can provide that much-needed impetus during run chases.
They've invested a lot in Indian players, but other than Abdul Samad, no other player seems to possess that explosive potential. While Kedar Jadhav, Jason Holder, and Mohammad Nabi are experienced players, it'll be tough to include them in the playing XI, given their team composition.
A lack of explosive options and a complicated overseas combination leaves a lot to be desired in SRH's list of finishers.
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7. Punjab Kings
Potential Finishers: Nicholas Pooran, Moises Henriques, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Fabian Allen, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, and Jalaj Saxena.
Punjab Kings seem to have bolstered their finishing department this season, but they still rank low overall. While they have a solid top four and a decent No.7 batter in Jhye Richardson, the all-important No.5 and No.6 spots don't have great suitors.
While Moises Henriques is an option to consider, fitting him into the playing XI won't be easy considering PBKS' overseas conundrum. Nicholas Pooran is a destructive player, but he didn't show the required composure in run chases last season and threw his wicket away at some crucial junctures.
The others are all Indian options who don't seem to possess that much firepower. The likes of Deepak Hooda and Mandeep Singh were irregular starters in IPL 2020. And while young Shah Rukh Khan could be an asset to the team, he does remain a largely unproven commodity.
All in all, a lack of recognized names in the number 5 and number 6 spots could hamper PBKS' ability to finish off games, especially when their top-order falters.