IPL is a tournament that has dazzling batsmen across the eight teams. The pandemic-disrupted Indian Premier League (IPL) will resume on September 19 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings in the first game. Both the franchises have an array of stars in their line-ups who will be leaving no
IPL is a tournament that has dazzling batsmen across the eight teams.
The pandemic-disrupted Indian Premier League (IPL) will resume on September 19 with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings in the first game. Both the franchises have an array of stars in their line-ups who will be leaving no stone unturned to enthral the returning fans at the world-class stadiums in UAE. But IPL is a tournament that has dazzling batsmen across the eight teams.
Now meet the five top-scorers of the season who will hope to continue their superb form in UAE.
Shikhar Dhawan (Delhi Capitals)
The free-flowing batsman failed to earn a spot in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup. But the 35-year-old Dhawan remains a prolific scorer. When the Covid-19 pandemic brought the 2021 edition of the IPL to a screeching halt, Dhawan was the leading scorer with 380 runs from eight matches. Delhi, who are chasing their first IPL title, will hope Dhawan, the second-highest scorer last season with 618 runs, continues his golden touch in their remaining six matches of the campaign in UAE.
KL Rahul (Punjab Kings)
The cricket world is now filled with some outstanding batsmen — Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, Joe Root, Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam. But ask Brian Lara who his favourite batsman is and the iconic West Indian will point to KL Rahul. It’s the Bangalore batsman’s easy technique and graceful shot-making that have made Lara his biggest fan. While Rahul hasn’t quite illuminated the international stage despite his magnificent talent, he continues to be a shining star in the IPL. Rahul’s willow will be key to Punjab’s fortunes in UAE.
Faf du Plessis (Chennai Super Kings)
The veteran South African suffered a groin injury in the Caribbean Premier League and might not be available for selection in the Chennai Super Kings’ opening match in UAE. Chennai will hope for a quick recovery for the classy batsman whose runs played a big role in the team’s stunning turnaround in fortunes. The 37-year-old Du Plessis was easily the team’s best batsman in the first half of the campaign, scoring 320 runs from seven matches and helping the team occupy the second spot in the points table.
Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Capitals)
With his international career at a crossroads after the horror show in Australia, Shaw went back to the drawing board, worked hard on his game and became the first player in history to score more than 800 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy (a domestic 50 overs tournament). Shaw carried the momentum into the IPL 2021 (308 runs from 8 matches) before Covid-19 brought the league to a screeching halt in May. Now the Delhi Capitals, chasing their first IPL title, will be relying on his runs at the top and his red-hot partnership with Shikhar Dhawan.
Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)
As Harsha Bhogle once tweeted, watching the graceful Sanju Samson conjure majestic innings is akin to listening to a symphony. But the gifted wicketkeeper-batsman can ill afford to put a foot wrong while leading the Rajasthan Royals in UAE when the IPL resumes on September 19. Without their three English superstars — Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer — for the final stretch, the onus will be on the 26-year-old batsman to lead from the front as the Royals look to reach the playoffs for the first time in three years.