The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season is set to come to an end this Friday. After seeing the tournament suspended midway in May, the action resumed last month in the UAE. We had a fantastic 56 set of matches across the two phases between 14 teams in the league stage. Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kolkata Knight Riders qualified for the playoffs in the eight-team table. CSK have reached the final and one between DC and KKR will join the Yellow Army for a shot regarding the trophy.
The IPL 2021 season helped us witness several top knocks by batters in the league stage. Players just came out and expressed themselves in playing some great knocks for their sides. It wasn’t easy on these tricky UAE pitches where bowlers had more fun, unlike back in India. Here we present you the 10 best knocks witnessed in the IPL 2021 season league stage.
KL Rahul (98* vs CSK)
IPL’s most consistent batter over the last few seasons – KL Rahul’s name just needed to belong to this list. The magician weaved his skills in Punjab Kings’ final league game against CSK, hitting a cracking unbeaten 98 in a winning cause. CSK managed 134/6 in 20 overs before PBKS sealed the deal in just 13 overs. Rahul scored 98 out of the 139 runs managed by PBKS. He was a delight to watch, slamming seven fours and eight sixes in a 42-ball affair. With a strike rate of 233.33, Rahul, who scored 626 runs this season, gave fans joy with one of the best T20 knocks.
Ruturaj Gaikwad (101* vs RR)
IPL 2021’s second-highest scorer – Ruturaj Gaikwad will have one more shot to surpass Rahul for the Orange Cap. The opener has played several crafty knocks this season but the best of the lot was his unbeaten 101 against RR. He was so sweet to watch and kept CSK’s scoreboard ticking all along. Ruturaj showed his prowess in finding the gaps, hitting nine fours and five sixes in a 60-ball show. Although RR went on to chase down the target, Ruturaj was majestic and became the youngest CSK batter ever to score a century (24y 244d).
Sanju Samson (119 vs PBKS)
In April 2021, RR captain Sanju Samson showed his mettle by smashing a whirlwind 119 from 63 balls against Punjab. In this run-fest, PBKS managed 221/6 before Samson got RR fighting with a top-notch effort. His side fell four runs short but what an innings this was. Despite seeing his side off to a poor start, Samson played as per to his strengths and his clean hitting resulted in 12 fours and seven majestic sixes. Samson’s blinder kept RR in the game and it was another top effort by a player who has bagged tons earlier as well.
Jos Buttler (124 vs SRH)
RR senior batter Jos Buttler was on song and showed how destructive he can be against SRH back in May. He lit the Kotla in Delhi with a majestic knock. Buttler smashed his maiden IPL century, hitting 11 fours and eight sixes. He had a strike rate of 193.75. His effort helped RR post a mammoth 220/3 and that saw them win the match as well. A knock that we witnessed was one of the best ever in IPL history and to be honest this was a rare gem from a player who can rip apart anyone on any given day.
Devdutt Padikkal (101* vs RR)
RCB youngster Devdutt Padikkal is one of the rising forces and he showed why he can be a star for many years to come. His unbeaten 101 against RR at the Wankhede in April was a gem of an innings. RR posted 177 but were left shocked as Padikkal and Virat Kohli came out and went berserk from the word go. It was a clinical 10-wicket win for RCB as both Padikkal and Kohli stood tall. Padikkal got his runs in 52 balls, managing 11 fours and six sixes. His strike rate of 194.23 was sensational. It was one of the breeziest knocks during a chase in the IPL.
Suryakumar Yadav (82 vs SRH)
Mumbai Indians needed a Herculean task against SRH to reach the playoffs. It was not possible in the end but the batting on display by two Indian batters in the Team India World T20 squad, was on another level. Suryakumar Yadav’s blistering 82 from just 40 balls was magic. He continued from where Ishan Kishan left off. Unlike Ishan’s all-out attack, SKY played at his stylish best and never seemed to hit the ball too hard. He was clinical and eased the ball into the gaps. He hit 13 fours and three sixes as MI posted 235 before winning the match.
AB de Villiers (76* vs KKR)
AB de Villiers rolled back the years in a sublime 76*-run knock against KKR in Chennai. He came in at a crucial phase of the game and looked positive from the start. ABD went bonkers at the death and had Glenn Maxwell for company. ABD played his wide range of shots. He brought up his fifty from 27 balls and smashed Andre Russel in the 20th over to get RCB past 200. The last three overs by KKR produced 56 runs and ABD was at the thick of things, helping RCB win.
Jason Roy (60 vs RR)
Imagine sitting out and warming the bench and then coming to play for a team done and dusted in the tournament, the mood is often a dampener. However, SRH’s Jason Roy channelled his frustration into something worthwhile. In his debut game for SRH, the Englishman was just superb playing a match-winning knock in a chase of 165. Roy smashed 60 from 42 balls, hitting eight fours and a six. Roy looked in sync and it wasn’t just shot-making but the running between wickets and partnership with Kane Williamson that stole the show.
Kieron Pollard (87* vs CSK)
Probably this is the best knock IPL witnessed this season. Just before the tourney was suspended, Pollard came in and played a blinder to stun CSK in a classic. The match in Delhi saw CSK post 218/4 and MI won a last-ball thriller. All thanks to Pollard. The giant West Indian smashed a breezy 87 from just 34 balls, hitting six fours and eight sixes at 255.88. Notably, MI registered 138 from the last 10 overs. Pollard smashed a 17-ball fifty and won the match for his side, playing shots that were sheer magic.
Ravindra Jadeja (62* vs RCB)
This was a special innings by Ravindra Jadeja, who went on to muster a winning 62* for CSK, helping them post 191/4 in 20 overs. CSK were 142/4 after 17.3 overs and from there on Jadeja swung the game. Jadeja’s 26-ball effort saw him also managed 36 runs from the last over. He smashed Purple Cap holder Harshal Patel for five sixes and a four. He brought up his fifty of the 25th ball with a six. This was a masterclass from Jadeja, who then worked his magic with the ball as well.