The Indian Premier League 2021 season saw some very high-quality matches before it got suspended. It is likely to resume in UAE later this year however. Let’s take a look at the top 10 players at the hallway point of this season.
Top 10 Cricketers In The Indian Premier League 2021
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10. Glenn Maxwell – Royal Challengers Bangalore
Glenn Maxwell, rightly called "The Big Show," is perhaps the greatest batter in Australia's current lineup. He is a major performer and a clear fan favourite in India.
Maxwell is a strong slogger of the white ball, and his best areas are over mid-wicket and over long-on, but he has also created a number of the most popular strokes, including various types of scoops over the keeper, as well as his signature reverse-hit / reverse sweep, which he smacks with such strength that the ball regularly clears the rope! He is also fairly handy with the ball, and a very valuable 6th bowling option. He has taken a total of 20 IPL wickets in his career.
Maxwell is also one of the world's top fielders, having taken some really stunning catches in the IPL over the previous eight years. In the 2021 IPL auctions, RCB paid a whopping 14.25 crores for him. However, Maxwell has done very well to justify that price tag, with 223 runs this season in just 7 innings, regularly steadying the ship in case the batting collapses.
With Devdutt Padikkal injured in the first few matches, Virat Kohli opened the innings, leaving a middle order slot empty, with a real risk of a batting collapse. However, Maxwell more than stepped up to the task and has been brilliant throughout the season so far, with 3 half centuries and some of the biggest sixes seen in the league so far.
9. Prithvi Shaw – Delhi Capitals
It's probable that Prithvi Shaw's story and development matches the great Sachin Tendulkar's in more ways than one. Prithvi Shaw, 20, holds the distinction of striking a century in his Ranji debut, Duleep Trophy debut, and now his test debut as well, making him the youngest Indian to do so.
In the previous two seasons, he has already recorded 600 runs as Delhi's opener, with a highest score of 99 as he nearly missed out on a first century last season. Shaw, who has an impressive strike rate of 141, is expected to open the Delhi Capitals' batting for many years to come and is a crucial element of the team's famed Indian batting core.
Delhi finished second last season, but they were top of the table when the 2021 IPL was suspended, and Shaw was in excellent form, scoring 308 runs in just eight innings. He is the current 4th highest scorer this season, with 4 half centuries to his name, and a highest score of 82. His strike rate of 166 proves what a dynamic and attacking little batsman he is, with his impeccable timing of the ball his biggest asset. Shaw has been hailed for a very bright future ahead, and all the signs so far this season suggest he is on the right path.
8. Rashid Khan – Sunrisers Hyderabad
The Afghan spin phenomenon, one of the most highly regarded spinners in recent years, is perhaps the most inspiring tale in cricket. Rashid Khan has undoubtedly been the most consistent bowler in the IPL since his debut, despite coming from a war-torn nation.
In the previous four seasons, the mystery spinner has taken 75 wickets at a dangerously low economy rate of less than 6.05. He is one of the most difficult bowlers to score against, and those who attempt frequently end up surrendering their wicket. Rashid is still young and has advanced to the level of a top-class cricketer, so it would not be surprising if he takes his game to the next level this season.
Last season, the young spinner took 20 wickets in just 16 innings, which led him to be one of the favourites for the Purple Cap this season. At the halfway stage, Rashid has already taken 10 wickets in just 7 matches, therefore he is already going at a better rate than last season. Till now, most of the top batsmen in the league have been unable to figure out his variations.
7. AB De Villiers – Royal Challengers Bangalore
Mr 360, as he is affectionately known by his legions of followers across the world, AB Devilliers is a real performer and a freak of nature. A great cricketing icon, ABD is possibly the most loved overseas cricketer in IPL history, with no detractors. He frequently perceives the cricket ball as a football, or so it appears based on the ease with which he smashes it to every part of the field.
ABD is one of the few players who has played in the IPL from its inception in 2008. He began his career with the Delhi Daredevils (now known as Delhi Capitals) and was their leading run-scorer in the 2009 season, which was held in South Africa. His transfer to the Royal Challengers Bangalore, on the other hand, took his game to the next level.
ABD has scored 5056 runs in 176 IPL innings, with a devastating combo of a 150+ strike rate and an average of almost 40, with 3 centuries and 40 half centuries. This season itself, ABD has played 3 typically explosive innings and has scored 207 runs in just 6 innings, at an average of above 50.
6. Sanju Samson– Rajasthan Royals
One of the most underrated cricketers in the Indian cricket setup, Sanju Samson has been consistently explosive every single season he has played. Now given the responsibility of captaining the Royals after the departure of Steven Smith to the Delhi Capitals, Samson has elevated his game in his new role. Sanju scored 342 runs in IPL 2019 and then followed it up with 375 runs in the IPL 2020, forming a solid partnership with fellow wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler.
Despite his small stature, Samson is one of the hardest hitters of the white cricket ball, and his repeated exclusion from the Indian Cricket Team has raised many eyebrows. This season, in just 7 innings he has scored 277 runs at an average of 46.16, studded with a stunning century, his 3rd of his IPL career.
5. Chris Morris – Rajasthan Royals
Chris Morris is the gold standard of pace-bowling all-rounders, having been a prolific wicket-taker throughout his IPL career. The lanky South African has tremendous pace and power, and can rattle the best of batsmen with his bounce. He is also a very solid lower order batsman who can snatch the game away from the opposition with a few lusty blows.
Morris is currently the most expensive player in IPL history, after Rajasthan Royals broke the bank to sign him for a whipping 16.25 crores, just one year after RCB had splashed out 10 crores on him. Making him the first IPL player to earn 26 crores in just 2 seasons!
The South African was a prolific wicket-taker for the Delhi franchise for several seasons, before taking 11 wickets in 9 matches for RCB last year. This season he has again been among the wickets with 14 wickets in just 7 matches, to emerge as the second highest wicket taker behind Harshal Patel, single handedly winning 2 matches for the Rajasthan Royals, who are otherwise struggling. Morris is one of the best death over bowlers, with a lethal yorker up his sleeve.
4. FAF Du Plessis – Chennai Super Kings
The experienced South African top-order batsman has been remarkably consistent for the Chennai Super Kings in recent seasons. However, last season, he truly stepped up after Suresh Raina pulled out of the tournament. FAF Du Plessis has been a mainstay in the South African ODI side for a while now, and has scored over 750 runs in the last two ICC World Cups, more than any other South African player.
Even in the IPL, he has amassed 2622 runs in just 91 innings, with an average of 35, with 20 half centuries. In the 2018 season, he singlehandedly led CSK to the final in what looked like a losing cause, as their entire batting order crumbled under pressure while chasing a meagre total of 139 against SRH in Qualifier-1.
Du Plessis held his ground though, and scored a match-winning 67 off 42 balls to take his team to the final, which they eventually won for their 3rd IPL title. Last season he was CSK’s top scorer again, with 449 runs in 13 matches. This season, FAF has again hit top gear, and in just 7 innings, has already scored 320 runs at an average of 64, with a highest score of 95* and 4 half centuries, already totaling last season’s record.
3. Harshal Patel – Royal Challengers Bangalore
Another player who benefitted immensely after a trade between franchises, Harshal Patel is having a dream season so far. The all-rounder was traded by the Delhi Capitals to the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were struggling with pace bowling options. Let’s just say the Capitals must be regretting their decision big time now.
Harshal Patel is one of the few bowlers who are equally effective in the powerplay overs as well as in the death overs. Despite not boasting of some scary pace, Patel has managed to perfect his line and length and is often very difficult to score against.
Many batsmen end up giving up their wickets while trying to score off his bowling. Harshal Patel rose to prominence with a huge 5 wicket haul in a crucial game, and then proceeded to prove that he is not a one match wonder, by picking up a staggering 17 wickets in just 28 overs! He is currently leading the Purple Cap race, and has single-handedly improved RCB’s erstwhile average bowling attack.
2. KL Rahul – Punjab Kings
The current Orange Cap holder from last season, KL Rahul is yet again right up there on the scoring charts, trailing behind only Shikhar Dhawan, thereby proving he is one of the most consistent batsmen in the world.
Last season, KL Rahul was in phenomenal form, hammering every team's bowling attack to all areas of the pitch with surprising regularity. He scored 670 runs in 14 innings at an astounding average of more than 55, with 1 century, 5 half-centuries, and a top score of 132*. This won him the Orange Cap and nearly single-handedly propelled Punjab to the knockout stage. The fact that he did it with a strike rate of over 130 demonstrates how successful a T20 batter he is.
Along with Mayank Agarwal, Rahul has formed a lethal opening pair. This season, he has scored 331 runs in just 7 innings, at an average of more than 66, the highest in the league. He has struck 4 half centuries and has a highest score of 91*. Rahul has time and again proved that he is not a one season wonder, and he is here to stay as one of the very best players in the league.
1. Shikhar Dhawan – Delhi Capitals
“Gabbar” as he is fondly known, Shikhar Dhawan has completely reinvented himself ever since returning to the Delhi franchise after a huge gap of 10 years. Before being traded to the Delhi Capitals in 2019, Dhawan was often seen in the shadow of mercurial SRH opener David Warner, who often took all the plaudits. His technique was forever compared to that of the Australian, and when found lacking, was heavily criticized.
However, Dhawan is the undisputed big fish in a very talented Delhi squad now. He has finished as the top scorer of the team for both of his full seasons since his move, and was also the leading scorer of IPL 2021 before it got halted, with a mammoth 380 runs in just 8 innings, with 3 half centuries and a highest score of 92. Last season Dhawan became the first player in IPL history to score back to back tons, and he is definitely the best as well as most consistent batsman in the league currently, along with fellow prolific opener KL Rahul.
A dynamic and attacking opener, the southpaw from Delhi is an absolute delight to watch when in full flow. Having dealt with consistency issues throughout his career, the veteran has now put those troubles behind him.
Who is the all-time highest run scorer in Indian Premier League History?
India and RCB captain Virat Kohli is the highest run scorer in IPL history with 6076 runs in 191 innings.
Who is the highest wicket taker in IPL history ?
Sri Lanka and Mumbai Indians’ legend Lasith Malinga is the highest wicket taker in IPL history with 170 scalps.
Which player is the highest run scorer this season?
Shikhar Dhawan is leading the Orange Cap race this season with 380 runs in 8 innings.
Who is the highest wicket-taker this season?
RCB’s Harshal Patel is the surprising leading wicket taker this season, with 17 wickets in just 8 matches.