Indian cricketers form the core of any IPL team. If an IPL franchise does not usually have strong Indian cricketers, they usually lose way in the tournament. When the Indian cricketers are capped, it becomes all the more useful to the team because they will have players who have played at the highest level. However, a few franchises have not used some capped Indian cricketers. In this article, we take a look at the list of seven capped Indians who did not play a single game in IPL 2021 so far.
There are a lot of dynamics involved while selecting the playing XI. Many factors such as match-ups, pitch conditions, boundary size and the current form will have to be considered. Hence, despite being capped, an Indian may not get game time in an IPL XI.
1) Cheteshwar Pujara (Chennai Super Kings)
Cheteshwar Pujara is one of the capped Indians who did not play a single game in IPL 2021. When he was purchased at his base price by CSK, there were discussions if Pujara would be useful for the squad. There are plenty of Indian batters in the roster and Pujara being a specialist Test player, the move by CSK could not be understood by many.
2) Kuldeep Yadav (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Kuldeep Yadav surprisingly did not play a single game for KKR this season. This is despite him being one of the best Indian spinners in recent years. Kuldeep also suffered an injury and was recently ruled out of the tournament.
3) Pawan Negi (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Pawan Negi was once a happening player in the Indian T20 circuit. However, for a few years, he warmed the benches at RCB. In the 2021 auctions, KKR picked him but did not offer him any matches. Hence, he is also a part of the list.
4) Karun Nair (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Karun Nair was a surprise pick by KKR at the auctions. This was because even in domestic cricket, Karun was going through a tough phase. With the good form of Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi, Karun did not receive any opportunities this season.
5) Umesh Yadav (Delhi Capitals)
Umesh Yadav is one of the capped Indians who did not play a single game in IPL 2021. The right-arm pacer was picked up by Delhi Capitals at the auctions. With Ishant Sharma already in the squad, Umesh was anyways going to find it hard to play for the franchise. However, with the emergence of Avesh Khan, the slight chance also vanished.
6) Karn Sharma (Chennai Super Kings)
CSK have used the spin combination of Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali and hence, Karn Sharma has not got a chance this season. The Railways leg-spinner has also played Test cricket for India. Since 2018, he has been with CSK but has hardly played for the franchise.
7) K Gowtham (Chennai Super Kings) – Became a capped cricketer after the first phase
Had Moeen Ali not been part of the UAE leg, CSK would have used the services of K Gowtham. With the Englishman becoming available, the costliest player for CSK at IPL 2021 auctions has found it hard to obtain game time. It also needs to be noted that when Gowtham was picked up by CSK, he was still an uncapped player. However, in the recent Sri Lanka tour, the all-rounder had made his India debut.