From Suresh Raina to Shakib Al Hasan: All eyes on comeback men at IPL 2021

The Indian Premier League is returning to India and with it, there are a couple of stars who’re returning to the star-studded T20 event, which can get underway in Chennai on April 9. IPL 2020 was initially postponed and ultimately moved out of India within the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. After finishing the event efficiently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) determined to maintain the 14th version of the event throughout 6 cities underneath strict bio-bubble environments.

As we head into what guarantees to be one other thrilling season of IPL, indiatoday.in takes a glance at 6 comeback men who’re set to seize headlines from later this week.

Suresh Raina

The ‘Chinna Thala’ is again! After pulling out of IPL 2020 due to private causes, Suresh Raina has reunited with MS Dhoni at Chennai Super Kings. Raina had been a pillar of power for CSK through the years and his absence was felt because the 3-time champions struggled for momentum within the middle-overs within the UAE.

Raina had joined the Chennai Super Kings coaching camp in Chennai forward of IPL 2020. In reality, he introduced his retirement from worldwide cricket hours after MS Dhoni introduced the curtains down on his profession on August 15, 2020. However, Raina determined to withdraw from the competitors after reaching the UAE.

Raina strikes at shut to 140 and he has been the primary man for CSK within the middle-order, giving them the impetus that helped them publish aggressive totals. It can be a giant enhance for CSK as he returns to the IPL at the same time as Dhoni’s men are searching for a powerful comeback.

There have been speculations that Raina had a fall out with the CSK prime brass and that he would not be retained however CSK quashed all rumours by retaining the World Cup-winning former all-rounder for IPL 2021.

It stays to be seen if Raina will take over vice-captaincy as he joins a revamped line-up for IPL 2021.

Raina in IPL: 193 matches, 5368 runs and 100. 25 wickets.
Last performed for Chennai Super Kings (2019)

Cheteshwar Pujara

Photo Courtesy: Chennai Super Kings

All eyes are on India’s Test hero, who’s returning to IPL for the primary time since 2014. Over the years, Pujara has been seen as a Test specialist regardless of him stressing that he was prepared to play white-ball cricket.

Pujara failed to get an IPL contract for the final 6 years. He final performed within the IPL for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2014. The India star had performed for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders prior to now. Pujara has performed 30 IPL matches and has 390 runs at a strike price of shut to 100.

Despite the notion of being a Test specialist, Pujara averages shut to 30 in T20s and strikes at 109.9.
Only in 2019, Cheteshwar Pujara had scored his maiden T20 hundred for Saurashtra within the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy towards Railways in Indore. Pujara hit a 61-ball unbeaten 100, slamming 14 boundaries and a six months after he was snubbed at the IPL 2019 public sale.

After the Test heroics in Australia, Pujara bagged an IPL contract when CSK purchased him at his base worth of Rs 50 lakh.

Pujara has given CSK followers so much to cheer for as he has been hanging them cleanly within the coaching periods. Will the veteran batsman discover a place within the XI? Keep in thoughts, MS Dhoni has at all times cherished “umbrella men” within the crew and Pujara can get the job performed as an anchor.

Pujara in IPL: 30 matches, 390 runs.
Last performed for Punjab Kings (2014)

Harbhajan Singh

The 40-year-old remains to be keen to give his greatest. Much like Suresh Raina, Harbhajan additionally pulled out of IPL 2020 due to private causes. The off-spinner, who spent two profitable seasons with CSK after becoming a member of them from Mumbai Indians in 2018, lately revealed that he took the choice final yr due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Harbhajan’s IPL future seemed bleak when he was launched by CSK earlier than the IPL 2021 public sale.

However, Kolkata Knight Riders snapped the World Cup-winner at his base worth of Rs 2 crore. Despite not having performed aggressive cricket since 2019, Harbhajan is raring to go and coaching with the remainder of the crew in Chennai.

Speaking to Sports Today final week, Harbhajan had mentioned he’ll give greater than his one hundred pc for KKR. Notably, Harbhajan has gained an IPL title along with his final two franchises. Can the senior off-spinner assist KKR finish their title drought?

Harbhajan in IPL: 160 matches, 150 wickets, 829 runs.
Last performed for Chennai Super Kings (2019)

Watch: Pragyan Ojha on the comeback men at IPL 2021

Shakib Al Hasan

AFP Photo

The highly-rated all-rounder was not a part of IPL 2020 after he was handed a backdated ban by the ICC for failure to report a corrupt strategy in 2019. The Bangladesh cricket icon didn’t play aggressive cricket in 2019 and missed the IPL within the UAE.

However, he has come again stronger, having made a big impression in a home T20 event in Bangladesh in December 2020. Shakib showcased flashes of return to kind throughout an ODI sequence towards the West Indies in January the place he hit a fifty and a 40-plus rating.

Shakib additionally performed a Test match in February however he suffered a thigh damage and was dominated out of the 2nd Test of the sequence towards West Indies.

Despite the setbacks, Shakib triggered a bidding struggle within the IPL public sale in February. Punjab Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders went for the all-rounder, who was ultimately purchased by KKR for Rs 3.2 crore.

Shakib has linked up with KKR in Chennai because the all-rounder is anticipated to play a key function for the 2-time champions.

Shakib in IPL: 63 matches, 746 runs, 2 fifties. 28 wickets.
Last performed for Sunrisers Hyderabad (2019)

Mustafizur Rahman

The Bangladesh pacer made headlines within the 2016 version of the IPL when he picked up a table-topping tally of 16 wickets. Fresh from success at the worldwide degree, Mustafizur showcased his wide selection, particularly these wily slower ones, to hassle the opposition batsmen.

However, stricken by damage considerations, Mustafizur managed to play 1 match for SRH in IPL 2017.

Despite the setback, Mustafizur was purchased by Mumbai Indians within the IPL 2018 public sale for Rs 2.2 crore. He performed 7 matches however had to pull out of the league halfway due to a hairline fracture on his toe, which prompted the BCB to be extra cautious of his workload administration.

In 2019, the Bangladesh Cricket Board didn’t give the left-arm pacer NOC to participate within the public sale as he was advised earlier in that yr that he can be preserved for worldwide commitments and barred from enjoying T20 leagues abroad for a interval of two years.

Having made himself accessible for the IPL 2021 public sale, Mustafizur discovered a taker when Rajasthan Royals obtained him for Rs 1 crore — his base worth.

With Jofra Archer having been dominated out of the preliminary few weeks of IPL 2021, it is a fantastic alternative for Mustafizur to step up and ship. The 25-year-old had bizarre outings throughout their tour of New Zealand final month however he can be raring to make a mark in acquainted territory.

Mustafizur in IPL: 24 matches, 24 wickets.
Last performed for Mumbai Indians (2018).

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