Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting revealed his list of players to watch out for in IPL 2021. Former Australian's list is one to look out for as he has lifted nearly every silverware there is in the game. Furthermore, the list comprises of a player each from all the franchises except Delhi Capitals this season. Following the return of the league in India, the list is made up of majorly Indian stars with some overseas achievers. Here is the list -
Chennai Super Kings - Suresh Raina
Mr. IPL was the pick of Australian legend from MS Dhoni-led side. Former Indian batsman Raina is known for his run-scoring record in IPL, which has helped side bag 3 titles. Earlier, the Indian veteran had missed IPL 2020 due to personal reasons but will be back this year. Ponting expects Raina to be a crucial batsman for Chennai's middle-order.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Varun Chakravarthy
Varun Chakravarthy introduced himself with a bang in IPL 2020. The wrist-spinner scalped 17 wickets in just 13 games with a best of 5 wickets for 20 runs. The 29-year-old also got his maiden call-up for the Indian squad, but the Kolkata star was not drafted into the final squad as he failed in the fitness test. Chakravarthy will want to continue his good form in IPL 2021 and help his franchise get ahead.
Mumbai Indians - Hardik Pandya
The Indian all-rounder is the perfect package for any team. Hardik Pandya plays the role of a hard-hitter for IPL champions and boosts the run-scoring rate. Baroda-born stalwart is also a medium-fast bowler and has enough variations in his arsenal for more than a decent middle overs spell.
Punjab Kings - Nicholas Pooran
West Indies star plays as a wicketkeeper-batsman for the country but is also an excellent fielder as seen by his superman save last season. Pooran is the backbone of Punjab middle-order and can influence the game single-handedly with his knocking abilities. While the Caribbean had a slow start to the season last time, he soon became one of the most consistent batsmen and will want to continue with the form.
Rajasthan Royals - Rahul Tewatia
Indian spin bowling all-rounder Rahul Tewatia hogged the limelight last year with 5 maximums in a single over that guided Rajasthan to win over Punjab. Following the excellent batting performance, Tewatia later put icing on the cake with his spin bowling, scalping several crucial wickets. The all-rounder also displayed excellent fielding performance.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Devdutt Padikkal
Emerging player of the tournament in IPL 2020, Devdutt Padikkal is one of the must-watch players on Ricky Ponting's list. Quoting him as a perfect tall, left-handed batsman, Ponting emphasized Padikkal's contribution from opening for Bangalore. The southpaw went on to score 438 runs for the team.
Sunrisers Hyderabad - Thangarasu Natarajan
A player to watch from Orange Army will be Thangarasu Natarajan, according to Ricky Ponting. The Indian seamer helped his side to playoffs in IPL 2020 with 16 wickets in as many matches. Known for his precision yorkers, Natarajan has continued to shine since IPL 2020 as he later got drafted to the Indian squad for series against Australia and had an unforgettable debut.
IPL 2021 is slated to commence on Friday with champions Mumbai Indians locking horns against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the tournament opener.