IPL 2021: List of player who could miss their team's first match this season
- With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to affect the preparation of teams and the tournament's SOP needing foreign players to follow a 7-day quarantine rule, there are several players who are doubtful starters for their respective franchise's opening games of the season.
The Indian Premier League's 14th edition (IPL 2021) gets underway in Chennai on Friday with Mumbai Indians taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore. The other six teams will play their opening matches of the tournament subsequently. With the Covid-19 pandemic continuing to affect the preparation of teams and the tournament's SOP needing foreign players to follow a 7-day quarantine rule, there are several players who are doubtful starters for their respective franchise's opening games of the season.
Here is a list of players who could miss out on the first matches that their teams play:
There is a question mark over the availability of 'pocket-dynamite' Quinton de Kock's availability for the opening match due to his late arrival in India as he was playing for South Africa against Pakistan. If he follows the hotel quarantine rules than he won't be able to take part in the match but reports suggest he used a chartered flight to arrive made his way out of the airport through sealed exits. If those reports hold water then he might walk out to bat with Rohit Sharma in Chennai.
Kiwi paceman Adam Milne too will miss out due to the quarantine rule but he is not a guaranteed starter anyway.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who had tested positive for Covid-19, needs to return 2 negative tests by April 10 to play his team's first match. Axar has been isolating after his positive test but with no practice under his belt, he might not be risked even if the reports are fine.
The big gaping hole for DC will be in the pace department as they will miss the South African duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, who will not complete their 7-day quarantine period by the time DC play their opener.
The big absentee for the Royals will be their premier paceman Jofra Archer. The English fast bowler underwent surgery and will not be available for the the first 4 matches at least. He was the standout bowler for the Royals last season and his absence will be felt, even though they have bowlers like Andrew Tye and Mustafizur Rahman in the squad.
CSK too will miss their South African recruit due to the quarantine rules. Lungi Ngidi, the Protea paceman, will not be available for the opening game. It will be interesting to see CSK's starting XI. Imran Tahir, who was their star in the 2019 campaign, wasn't in the scheme of things last season in UAE. Ngidi's absence opens up a foreign player slot which might go to the leg spinner.
Adam Zampa will miss RCB's tournament opener due to his marriage. He is expected to be ready for the next game on 12th April. Kiwi opener Finn Allen, who took apart Bangladesh in a recent encounter, will also not feature in the match due to the quarantine rule.
West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder made an instant impact for SRH when he joined the team late in the campaign last season and provided much needed balance to the side. He arrived in India on Monday and will not complete his quarantine of 7 days till April 11, when SRH play their first match of the season against KKR.