RCB, the stand-out team as we look at the best playing 11 for matches in Chennai for IPL 2021.
The IPL 2021 is the most unique affair of all the editions that we have witnessed so far. Teams would be playing their matches in a cluster of two cities with a total of 6 cities being finalized for the Tournament. Having started on April 9, we have now come to an end of the first cluster with matches in Chennai and Mumbai completed.
Talking about Chennai, a total of 10 matches were played at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai with a total of 6 teams barring CSK and RR playing at this location. While SRH and MI played all their 5 matches in Chennai, RCB and KKR played 3, and Delhi Capitals and PBKS played 2 each.
From the pitch point of view, Chennai offered some really tough conditions for the batters; especially middle-order batsmen. Spin played a major role in most of the matches, and maximum wickets went to spinners. The average first innings score in Chennai was 155, the average batting strike rate was 120.3, and spinners took a total of 50 wickets.
So, looking at the performance of all the players, what could be the best playing 11 for IPL 2021 for the matches played in Chennai? Let’s find out in this article. Please note, the selected team combination includes 2 openers, 3-4 middle-order players, 1-2 all-rounders, 2-3 pacers, a minimum of 1 spinner, and a maximum of 4 overseas players.
Openers: Rohit Sharma (MI) and Jonny Bairstow (SRH)
Chennai pitches offered a unique challenge to the batsmen as openers were the ones who benefited the most. The pitch looked a batting beauty in the initial 8-10 overs, and then slowed down making it tough for batters. Hence, this category of players had a tough competition. But, looking at the performance, Rohit Sharma, Jonny Bairstow, and Nitish Rana stood out amount all the players.
Rohit Sharma was easily the best Mumbai Indians batsman in the 5 matches they played at Chennai. He got starts in all the 5 innings, and managed two 40s and one 60s in his 5 knocks. This was unlike Rohit performance as he played with a lot of maturity making sure the team gets a good start even though that came at a lesser strike rate.
Similar to Rohit, Jonny Bairstow played well in all 5 matches for SRH giving aggressive starts and removing pressure off Warner. Bairstow ended the Chennai leg with 175 runs from 5 innings at a strike rate of 132.1 and two 50+ scores. He managed to win only 1 match on his own, when in fact he could have done three, but he threw it away after a good start.
Middle-order: Nitish Rana (KKR) and Suryakumar Yadav (MI)
Nitish Rana played 3 innings in Chennai, and got the fifties in two of them. While both those knocks ended on the losing side, Rana made a good impact in the batting department, and with support from other team members, his performance would have looked much better. Nevertheless, 155 runs at a strike rate of 136 is a good effort from the KKR opener.
When Suryakumar Yadav batted on Chennai pitches, it felt like he was batting on a flat wicket. The quality and range of the shots he played were simply stupendous. Only if he didn’t throw it away after good starts, his numbers would have looked better. Nevertheless, 154 runs at a strike rate of 143.9 on Chennai pitch is a decent effort.
Finishers: Glenn Maxwell (RCB) and AB de Villiers (RCB)
The dynamic duo of Glenn Maxwell and Ab de Villiers from the Royal Challengers Bangalore could be called the best batsmen of the Chennai leg. Both played with a fresh mindset on these pitches, and that paid huge dividends. While Maxwell got 176 runs from 3 innings at a strike rate of 149.2, Ab de Villiers’s two great knocks yielded him 125 runs at a strike rate of 189.4. It was their batting that helped RCB win all their 3 matches in Chennai.
Spinners: Rashid Khan (SRH), Rahul Chahar (MI) & Amit Mishra (DC)
Talking about Chennai, you just can’t miss adding Spinners to your squad. This is the same strategy MS Dhoni adopted when he played in Chennai, and it has always been a Happy case for them. Looking at the performance, Rashid Khan, Rahul Chahar, and Amit Mishra’s performance stood out among all spinners that played at Chennai.
Rashid Khan ended with 6 wickets from 5 games at a stunning economy rate of 5.6. He is the only bowler where wickets come mostly from brilliant bowling than bad batting. Rahul Chahar was the second-best spinner of Chennai leg as he accounted for 9 wickets from 5 games at a brilliant economy rate of 6.9. Mishra played only two matches, but made an impact in both of them including his superb spell of 4/24.
Pacers: Harshal Patel (RCB) and Avesh Khan (DC)
No doubts on guessing the best two pacers for the matches in Chennai. Harshal Patel has been a breath of fresh air for the RCB. In the 3 matches he has played, Harshal accounted for 9 wickets at a mind-blowing economy rate of 5.75. He started with a fantastic spell of 5/27 against Mumbai Indians, and then followed up with two 2-wicket haul spells.
Avesh Khan, the second Uncapped pacer of the squad also had two really good outings. He took a total of 5 wickets from 2 innings at a superb average of 10 and an economy rate of 8.2. His pace combined with accurate line and length felt most impressive. Barring these two, none of the other pacers had a good tournament.
IPL 2021: The Best Playing XI for Matches in Chennai:
Rohit Sharma, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Nitish Rana, Suryakumar Yadav, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Rashid Khan, Rahul Chahar, Amit Mishra, Harshal Patel & Avesh Khan
Thanks for reading! What’s your playing 11 for IPL 2021 matches in Chennai? Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics.
Cricket to him is like what ‘Football is to Lionel Messi’, ‘Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar’, ‘Dancing is to Michael Jackson’, and what ‘Acting is to Clint Eastwood’.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.