The 2021 IPL will determine whether last season was a confirmation of MS Dhoni's waning powers with the bat. CSK urgently need to reboot. The lockdown and the Covid-19 cases in the camp leading up to the 2020 IPL were cited as the main reasons for why the team had their worst season ever, but now there's no such excuse.
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The Kolkata Knight Riders' auction strategy was built around four overseas players. While Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins are automatic picks, it will be interesting to see what KKR do when it comes to choosing their fourth overseas player.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have been pretty vocal about the need to ease the batting burden on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, which is why they broke the bank to buy Glenn Maxwell at the auction in January.
Rohit Sharma is one of the finest batsmen in the world, particularly in white-ball cricket, where he is a big match-winner, but for some reason his talent doesn't reflect in his numbers with the bat for the Mumbai Indians. Of course he contributes with crucial runs every now and then but figures of 4060 runs from 151 innings at 31.47 and a strike rate of 130.37 across ten seasons don't quite do justice to his skills.
At 21, Prithvi Shaw has already seen some serious ups and downs in his career. He had a very ordinary season in the last IPL and carried that lack of form to Australia, which led to him losing his Test spot. The Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting's revelations about their conversations during the 2020 IPL have provided some insight into the making of Shaw's mind. His approach to a lean patch was unusual, but that's who Shaw is - unorthodox and unconventional. He has amassed a mountain of runs since his return from Australia and is believed to be batting the best he has ever batted. In the absence of the injured Shreyas Iyer, Shaw is likely to get a really long rope at the top of the order for the Capitals. The world is waiting to see how he fares this season, for if he fulfils his potential, we are in for an entertaining ride.
Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of three books, the latest of which is The Insider: Decoding the craft of cricket. @cricketaakash