The Indian Premier League (IPL) is easily the most competitive T20 League in the world. The 14th edition of the IPL begins in Chennai on Friday. Here is a glance at the Kerala players who will be on view this IPL.
Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)
The star Kerala batsman has played some spectacular knocks in the IPL. Sanju will have the added responsibility of leading his side Rajasthan Royals this season. Sanju will be determined to make a big statement as he attempts to make a comeback to the Indian T20 squad.
K M Asif (Chennai Super Kings)
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) retained the 27-year-old pacer from Malappuram. Asif did not get to play a single game for CSK last season. The right-arm bowler is nippy and could get his chance at some stage of the campaign.
Basil Thampi (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Like Asif, Basil Thampi too has been retained by his franchise – Sunrisers Hyderabad. The right-arm fast bowler got a lone game in IPL 2020. Basil has recovered from an injury. The 27-year-old is lively and is effective with his yorkers at the death.
Mohammed Azharuddeen (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Mohamed Azharudden has the potential to be one of the stars of IPL 2021. The opener scored a breathtaking hundred against Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The 27-year-old from Kasaragod is a wicketkeeper too and it could help him force his way into a very strong Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) playing eleven.
Sachin Baby (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Sachin Baby has made a return to RCB. The 32-year-old left-hander is a solid batsman and a live wire on the field. Sachin is a proven performer at the domestic level and will be eager to grab his chances.
Vishnu Vinod (Delhi Capitals)
Just like Azharuddeen, Vishnu Vinod too is an aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman. Vishnu can be floater in the powerful Delhi Capitals batting line-up. With captain Rishabh Pant the number one choice for the wicketkeeper's slot it remains to be seen whether Vishnu will get a chance to showcase his skills as a specialist batsman.
Robin Uthappa (Chennai Super Kings)
Kerala's outstation professional Robin Uthappa will be donning CSK colours in IPL 2021. The former Indian top-order batsman is most likely to open the innings along with Ruturaj Gaikwad. The 35-year-old from Karnataka could also play in the middle order if needed. Uthappa played a key role in Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) triumphant campaigns in 2012 and 2014. He had a rather disappointing season with Royals last year and was traded to CSK in January.
Jalaj Saxena (Punjab Kings)
The domestic stalwart is another outstation player for Kerala. The 34-year-old all-rounder is yet to feature in an IPL game despite being part of Mumbai Indians, RCB and Delhi Capitals squads. Saxena will be hoping to end his long wait this season. He was roped in by Punjab Kings for Rs 30 lakh in the auction. The man from Indore was miserly with his off-spin bowling in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Sandeep Warrier (Kolkata Knight Riders)
The 30-year-old pacer from Thrissur moved over to Tamil Nadu last season in his attempt to get the India call-up. Warrier has been retained by KKR. Though Warrier featured in a solitary game last season, his ability to swing the ball both ways at a lively pace could help him find a spot in the playing eleven.
Note: Kerala all-rounder Rojith Ganesh has been added to the Mumbai Indians squad as a reserve player.