The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League ended on Friday with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 27 runs in the final. Batting first, CSK posted a competitive 192 for 3 and then restricted KKR to 165 for 9. It was a thoroughly efficient performance with both bat and ball as CSK lifted their fourth title in the IPL courtesy of their win in Dubai. In the wake of Chennai’s triumph, we bring to you the IPL 2021 team of the tournament.
Openers: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis
It is no surprise that both the openers in the IPL 2021 dream XI are from CSK. Ruturaj Gaikwad won the Orange Cap in the tournament, smashing 635 runs in 16 games at a strike rate of 136.26. He scored his maiden hundred in the IPL, blasting an unbeaten 101 off 60 against RR. That apart, he also hit four fifties. Gaikwad was sublime throughout the edition and was deservedly the Emerging Player of the year.
Faf du Plessis was equally brilliant. He hammered 633 runs, only two less than Gaikwad. Du Plessis registered six fifties and scored his runs at a strike rate of 138.20. The former South African captain played some terrific strokes and reserved one of his best knocks for the final, smashing 86. It was an unforgettable partnership for CSK.
Middle-order: Venkatesh Iyer, KL Rahul, Glenn Maxwell (c), Sanju Samson (wk)
Yes, Venkatesh Iyer opened the innings for KKR but he was so good that he had to make the playing XI, even if not as an opener. Iyer turned around KKR’s campaign with his attacking mindset. The left-hander smashed 370 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 128.47 with four fifties. He was majorly responsible for KKR reaching the final and hit half-centuries in Qualifier 2 as well as the final.
KL Rahul was prolific for PBKS yet again even though the franchise struggled. He played only 13 matches and yet ended up amassing 626 runs at a strike rate of 138.80. He scored as many as six half-centuries none better than the unbeaten 98, ironically against eventual champions CSK.
Glenn Maxwell batted with amazing maturity for RCB in IPL 2021. He has taken part in the IPL before but this was his best effort to date, consistency wise. In 15 matches, he smashed 513 runs at a strike rate of 144.10. He scored six fifties and bailed the team out of trouble more than once. He will also lead the side.
RR skipper Sanju Samson was the lone ranger for the team. He smashed 484 runs in 14 games at a strike rate of 136.72 with one stupendous hundred and two fifties. Samson will be the wicketkeeper-batter in the team.
All-rounders: Shardul Thakur, Jason Holder
Lord Shardul Thakur did it again. He kept getting crucial breakthroughs for CSK almost every time MS Dhoni was looking for a wicket. Thakur did not have a great first half as he was taken for plenty of runs. But following the success in England, he returned a better player. Thakur picked up 21 wickets in 16 games at a strike rate of 17.09.
Jason Holder was among the few bright spots for SRH in a disastrous campaign. He claimed 16 wickets in eight matches at a strike rate of 11.93. Holder also chipped in with useful contributions with the bat.
Bowlers: Harshal Patel, Sunil Narine, Avesh Khan
Purple Cap winner Harshal Patel will lead the bowling attack. He claimed 32 wickets at a strike rate of 10.56. The numbers included a hat-trick against MI and a five-wicket haul against the same team. His slower balls and variations were deadly.
It was a tough tussle between Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy for the spinner’s slot. Narine claimed 16 wickets in 14 matches at a stellar economy of 6.44. Apart from his wicket-taking ability, his exploits with the bat sealed his spot.
Avesh Khan, who claimed 24 scalps in 16 matches, occupies the second seamer’s slot. IPL 2021 was a massive learning curve for him. He starred in the first half with some stupendous bowling efforts before tapering off towards the end.