IPL 2021
IPL 2021 - Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

IPL 2021: Best XI of the Indian Premier League 2021 so far

6 mins read :

IPL 2021 has been postponed, but fans are still having its hangover as it was one of the best seasons so far. But there is hope that the tournament will be played at a later date, and would bring the smiles back among the fans. CricChronicle makes the best playing XI of the postponed IPL 2021. Check if your favourite player makes it to the list.

Openers

KL Rahul (PBKS)

KL Rahul – Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

Punjab Kings’ batting rested on its captain KL Rahul who single-handedly guided his team during the tournament. As his team has an inexperienced middle-order, he took the responsibility of anchoring the innings before exploding in the death overs. He scored the joint-most fifties (4) along with Faf du Plessis of CSK, but considering the enormous burden of guiding a team through, Rahul deserved to be the opener in this XI ahead of the South African cricketer. Rahul scored 331 runs @ 66.20 with 4 fifties in 7 matches.

Prithvi Shaw (DC)

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw – Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

Shaw turned up as a different player this IPL season after he was dropped from the national team post twin failures in the Adelaide Test in Australia. He came out all guns blazing, and scored at a brisk pace. His strike rate of 166.48 is the best among the top 10 run-getters in IPL 2021 so far. He also smacked 6 straight fours in an over in the first over of the match against KKR, setting up a record in T20s. He scored 308 runs @ 38.50 with 3 fifties in 8 matches.

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Middle-order

Sanju Samson (RR)

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson – Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

Leading for the first time in IPL, Samson of Rajasthan Royals cracked a brilliant 119 in the first match against PBKS but fell just short of a boundary to level the scores. Although he then fell into a mini-lean patch, he recovered brilliantly to score 3 consecutive scores of forty and more. Samson gets a place in this XI as he is a true match-winner and can win the game single-handedly. He scored 277 runs @ 46.16 with 1 ton in 7 games.

AB de Villiers (RCB)

AB de Villiers – Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

ABD needs no competitive matches to get into the groove straight away. He scored a brilliant 48 in the IPL 2021 opener against Mumbai on a slow track to steal the game for RCB. He then played a few brilliant knocks of 76* against KKR, and 75* against Delhi Capitals to power RCB into the top four consistently. If not for ABD, RCB would have struggled to get going in the first leg of the tournament. He scored 207 runs @ 51.75 with 2 fifties at a strike rate of 164.28 in 7 games.

Keeper and captain

Rishabh Pant (DC)

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant – Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

Pant’s Delhi was leading the points table before the tournament was postponed. He has led admirably except a few captaincy lapses on the field that cost Delhi 2 games. But otherwise, Pant has done a good job so far, both as captain and keeper-batsman. He has juggled all three roles perfectly. Although he could not finish off the game against RCB, and fell short by just a run to level the scores, he ensured his team stayed in the hunt till the end of the match. Overall, Pant showed he is a good captaincy material and could lead the team from the front. He scored 213 runs @ 35.50 with 2 fifties in 8 games.

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All-rounders

Kieron Pollard (MI)

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard celebrates after winning the match against CSK. Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

Pollard played the innings of IPL 2021 when he cracked 87 not out to single-handedly win a match against CSK. Chasing 219 for a win, Pollard cracked 8 sixes and 6 fours to seal the win on the last ball of the match. He also took 2 wickets in the match. For this performance alone, Pollard gets a chance in this best XI of IPL 2021.

Chris Morris (RR)

Chris Morris
Chris Morris – Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

Morris was bought for a record price of Rs 16.25 crore – the highest ever – in IPL 2021 auction. After Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson snubbed Morris, denying the South African the strike in a valiant but vain chase against Punjab, Morris bounced back to show his worth, cracking 36 not out to seal a last-over win over Delhi Capitals. He then did his job as a bowler, taking 14 wickets in 7 games – the joint second highest in IPL 2021.

Ravindra Jadeja (CSK)

Ravindra Jadeja – Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

Jadeja had a great IPL 2021, with RCB bearing the brunt of the all-rounder’s skills. Jadeja first slammed 36 runs of Harshal Patel’s last over, before taking 3/13 and effecting a run-out to single-handedly destroy Virat Kohli and his men. He came ahead of MS Dhoni to finish off games, and took crucial wickets in middle-overs. And his fielding was simply inspiring. It would be a blunder to leave out Jadeja from this XI.

Spinner

Rashid Khan (SRH)

Rashid Khan – Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

In an otherwise dismal show by SRH, Rashid Khan was the lone standing performer for them. Even though opposition batsmen had decided to play out Rashid’s over, the Afghan leg-spinner still went ahead and took 10 wickets in 7 games. And it includes world-class batsmen in AB de Villiers, Shikhar Dhawan, Faf du Plessis, Chris Gayle among others.

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Fast bowlers

Harshal Patel (RCB)

Harshal Patel – IPL Facebook page

Patel has been easily the find of the season. He took at least one wicket in 6 straight games before going wicketless in his 7th game. He started with a bang taking 5/27 in the opener against Mumbai Indians. He bowled in the dangerous death overs, and more often than not came out with flying colours. The only two times he erred – against Jadeja of CSK, and KL Rahul of PBKS, RCB lost both the matches. But overall, his was a decent act, and truly deserve the purple cap.

Avesh Khan (DC)

Avesh Khan (second from right) – Photo courtesy: IPL Facebook page

Avesh Khan was part of Delhi since IPL 2018 but is finally making his presence felt in IPL 2021. He has been Delhi’s main strike bowler ahead of experienced Ishant Sharma and overseas star Kagiso Rabada. His clever change of pace, precise line, and length had made it difficult for batsmen to play across the line, and score runs off him. And the result is that Avesh is the joint second-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 with 14 wickets. And it also earned him a spot as a standby for the WTC final and England Tests.

Playing XI: KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson, AB de Villiers, Rishabh Pant (keeper, captain), Kieron Pollard, Chris Morris, Ravindra Jadeja, Rashid Khan, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan

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