Rishabh Pant and Rohit Sharma to lead as we look at the strongest left-handed vs right-handed playing 11 for IPL 2021 UAE.
We are just a month away from the commencement of Phase 2 of IPL 2021 in UAE, and definitely, the excitement is at its peak. While the initial first half of IPL 2021 was scheduled in India, the rising Coronavirus cases have forced the tournament to be now scheduled in the UAE.
While the Indian flavor may be missed, it is actually a blessing in disguise for all the IPL players. The T20 World Cup 2021 is also scheduled in UAE just after the conclusion of IPL 2021. Hence, the IPL 2021 would act as a dress rehearsal for the format’s most prestigious event, T20 World Cup.
Just a few days back on August 13, the World celebrated International left-handers day. It is quite unique to see the game of cricket being played in two fashions, by the left hand and right hand. Some people are even ambidextrous showcasing their skills with both hands.
Having said that, an interesting proposition comes to my mind, and that is of comparing the strongest Left-handed vs Right-handed playing 11 for IPL 2021 UAE. Who do you think would make it to the playing 11? Well, before looking at the actual team, let’s look at the methodology behind this.
To remove any biases and perceptions, we have selected the players, basis their performance in IPL from the last three years (Since 2018). The playing 11 is selected on the basis of having 2 openers, 2-3 middle-order batsmen, at least 2 all-rounders, at least 2 spinners, and at least 3 pacers. Moreover, the rule of 4 overseas players is also given due attention.
Team Left-handed: Shikhar Dhawan & Quinton de Kock
Team Right-handed: Rohit Sharma (C) & KL Rahul (WK)
To begin with, we have the comparison of the two strongest Left-hander openers vs the two strongest Right-hander openers. For Team LH, we have the consistent Shikhar Dhawan and aggressive Quinton de Kock in the ranks. While Dhawan has been in stunning form ever since returning to Delhi Capitals, De Kock has done the same while getting transferred to Mumbai Indians.
Team RH has the best opener in the tournament, KL Rahul, and the best captain in the tournament, Rohit Sharma. While KL Rahul has been dominating the charts since 2018, Rohit Sharma has been decent as a batsman, but has achieved tremendous success as a captain.
Stat-wise, KL Rahul is the highest run-getter since 2018 with 2253 runs from 49 innings at an average of 56.3. Dhawan follows him with 2016 runs from 57 innings at an average of 41.1. The Mumbai Indians opening pair has been good too. While De Kock has 1388 runs from 46 innings at an average of 33, Rohit has scored 1273 from 48 innings at an average of 28.3.
Team Left-handed: David Warner, Ishan Kishan, and Rishabh Pant (C&WK)
Team Right-handed: Virat Kohli, Surykumar Yadav, and AB de Villiers.
David Warner missed the 2018 edition due to a sandpaper ban, but even then has been one of the leading run-scorers since 2018. He ended as the leading run-scorer for SRH in 2019 and 2020 respectively, and also won the Orange Cap in 2019. His RCB counterpart, AB de Villiers has been the match-winner for RCB since 2018. Every year he has scored over 400 runs, and that too at a strike rate of over 150, which is a commendable achievement.
Batting at number 4 or 5, Rishabh Pant has managed to be the third-highest run-scorer since 2018, which is a wonderful achievement. He has 1728 runs to his name at an average of 40 and a strike rate of 149.4. Ishan Kishan, on the other hand, came into the limelight in 2018. He played 14 games each in 2018 and 2020, but the 2020 edition was the one that was a breakthrough season for him having scored 516 runs at an average of 30.2 and strike rate of 133.
Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav have been good performers for their respective teams since 2018. While Kohli hasn’t looked the best, like his 2016 performance, it is still good enough as compared to his peers. Suryakumar Yadav’s performance since 2018 has also earned him a national squad entry. Stat-wise, Kohli has scored 1658 runs from 50 innings at an average of 39.5. Whereas Suryakumar Yadav has scored 1589 runs from 51 innings at an average of 34.5.
Team Left-handed: Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya & Sam Curran
Team Right-handed: Andre Russell & Hardik Pandya
This is the category that should definitely make the Team RH more lethal; at least on the paper. While Team RH has Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya as the strong all-rounders, Team LH has the trio of Jadeja, Krunal, and Curran in the ranks. While Team RH has explosiveness, Team LH has depth with batting till 8.
Stat-wise, Hardik looks the best all-rounder with 995 runs and 32 wickets. He is followed by Andre Russell, who has 1106 runs and 37 wickets. But it is the current form of 2020 and 2019 that is a worry for Russell. Jadeja follows next with 558 runs and 38 wickets. Whereas Krunal Pandya and Sam Curran have 620 runs, 33 wickets, and 333 runs, 32 wickets respectively.
Team Left-handed: Sam Curran, Kuldeep Yadav, Trent Boult & T Natarajan.
Team Right-handed: Rashid Khan, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah & Yuzvendra Chahal.
Talking about the bowlers, Team RH looks the strongest on paper with the likes of Rashid Khan, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Burmah, and Yuzvendra Chahal. It is a dream bowling line-up, and can send chills down the spine to any batting attack. The team could have also had Jofra Archer for Yuzvendra Chahal had the overseas rule been relaxed.
Team LH doesn’t look that strong on paper, but has a good bowling line-up. Led by Trent Boult and Sam Curran as the powerplay bowlers, the team has T Natarajan as the death-overs bowler. Kuldeep Yadav may not be the best option, but is the best available left arm India spinner in the country, so has to play.
Stat-wise, Jasprit Bumrah is the leading wicket-taker since 2018 with 69 wickets from 52 innings at an economy rate of 6.8. He is followed by Rashid Khan with 68 wickets from 55 innings at an economy rate of 6.1. Kagiso Rabada didn’t play in 2018, even then has 63 wickets from just 36 innings at an average of 18.2. Yuzvendra Chahal has been the best Indian spinner with 55 wickets from 50 innings at an economy rate of 7.5.
Trent Boult is the best left-arm pacer in IPL currently. He has taken 56 wickets from 41 innings at an average of 23.4 since 2018. Sam Curran and Kuldeep Yadav have been decent in the bowling department with 32 wickets and 22 wickets respectively. T Natarajan dominated the bowling charts in 2020, and has 18 wickets under his name from 18 innings.
IPL 2021 UAE: Strongest Left-handed Playing 11:
Shikhar Dhawan, Quinton de Kock, David Warner, Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (C&WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Krunal Pandya, Sam Curran, Kuldeep Yadav, Trent Boult & T Natarajan.
IPL 2021 UAE: Strongest Right-handed Playing 11:
Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, AB de Villiers, Andre Russell, Hardik Pandya, Rashid Khan, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah & Yuzvendra Chahal.
So, that completes the strongest Left-handed vs Right-handed playing 11 comparison for IPL 2021 UAE. Overall, Right-handers XI looks very strong on paper with a strong captain, explosive finishers, and brilliant bowlers. But Left-handers XI have a dynamic captain and potential match-winners in their rooster that can challenge the right-handers’ XI.
Thanks for reading! Which T20 playing 11 looks the strongest? Left-handed or Right-handed? 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.