The 14th edition of Indian Premier League is only 8 days away from now and the fans are extremely excited about it. The mega tournament is finally returning to the home country in 2021 after it was conducted in UAE last year. With some new players, different jerseys, empty stadiums and lot more, everyone been made aware of all the changes that could happen this year.
However, there is a lot of ambiguity among the fans with regard to who could lead their sides in absence of regular skippers. Injuries are part of cricket and with the players in bio-bubble for so long, it is not an easy task for the players to be fit throughout the 2-month long tournament. Hence, we look at the list of possible players who can take over the leadership duties during the course of IPL 2021.
1. Kane Williamson - Sunrisers Hyderabad
The New Zealand skipper is undoubtedly one of the greatest leaders in world cricket right now. Williamson has captained the SRH side in past, famously leading the franchise to finals in IPL 2018. The 30-year-old has always stepped up in absence of regular skipper David Warner. With the Aussie coming on the back of a groin injury, he might miss a few games for his side if he is not 100% fit. However, the SRH fans can heave a huge sigh of relief as they have a deputy like Williamson available within their ranks.
2. AB de Villiers - Royal Challengers Bangalore
The South African has played a key role in the leadership group of RCB throughout the years. AB de Villiers has always lend a helping hand to skipper Virat Kohli, whether it is while batting or wicketkeeping. However, he could also be the man to lead the side if in case King Kohli is unavailable for any game during IPL 2021. While RCB fans would certainly want 'Super V' not to miss any game, they would be happy that the franchise has an extremely successful leader in ABD to fill in that role.
3. Kieron Pollard - Mumbai Indians
The West Indies skipper has been an inspirational cricketer for Mumbai Indians over the years. While he has always stepped up in absence of Rohit Sharma, Pollard will be the man once again in IPL 2021 to take the leadership responsibilities in case Hitman is unavailable. The player from Trinidad and Tobago has captained the MI side five times, leading them to victory in four matches. With Sharma having a few niggles in recent times, the franchise can rest him if required as they have an able skipper in the form of Pollard.
4. Dinesh Karthik - Kolkata Knight Riders
The former KKR captain is the vice-captain of the franchise and will be the man to fill in the shoes of Eoin Morgan in his absence. Dinesh Karthik notably proposed to hand the captaincy duties to the England skipper midway through last season, a decision which the KKR management accepted. With skipper Morgan coming to this season on the back of an injury, it is a great asset to have an experienced campaigner like Karthik in the side.
5. Jos Buttler - Rajasthan Royals
The England wicketkeeper is going to be one of the most crucial members of Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021, both in terms of batting and leadership. With the franchise announcing a new captain in the form of Sanju Samson ahead of the 14th edition of the tournament, experienced Buttler will play a key in helping the youngster out. The 30-year-old will also be the one to lead the side if Samson misses any game during the season.
6. Ravichandran Ashwin - Delhi Capitals
The former captain of Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) has been in the leadership role before in IPL. With Rishabh Pant announced as the new skipper for Delhi Capitals, Ashwin is surely going to play a huge role in sharing his insights with the youngster. Although the franchise has not revealed their vice-captain for the new season, it has to be one of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane or Steve Smith to play that role. Considering the fact that Ashwin is the only one who is a certain starter out of the three, it could be the off-spinner who might take over the leadership duties in absence of Pant.
7. Faf du Plessis - Chennai Super Kings
The former SA skipper is one of the most senior members of CSK in IPL 2021 and will have more responsibilities in the absence of Shane Watson. In addition to his batting, Faf du Plessis might also be called upon to take over the captaincy reigns if in case MS Dhoni has to miss a game during IPL 2021. As per reports, Suresh Raina who has been the deputy to MS over the years, might be replaced by either Faf or Jadeja for that role this season.
8. Moises Henriques - Punjab Kings
The Aussie cricketer is one of the most underrated skippers in T20 formats. Henriques was bought by Punjab Kings in IPL 2021 auction for INR 4.2 crore, not only for his all-round skills but also for his leadership abilities. The 34-year-old led Sydney Sixers to BBL title earlier this year and is one of the most experienced players in Punjab Kings. He might well be the perfect man to take over the leadership duties in absence of skipper KL Rahul during IPL 2021.