There’s a great sense of anticipation among fans regarding the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 9. The level of excitement for the IPL has only risen since the league is coming back to India.
Last year, the IPL had to be postponed from its traditional window in April-May and was played in UAE at another slot in the calendar between September 19 to November 10 due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
However, with bio-secure restrictions and health safety protocols proving effective in delivering a successful IPL, the BCCI has gained in confidence and will be organising the league back on Indian shores this year.
Players from all over the world feature for eight IPL teams and enthrall the fans with stellar performances in their favourite format of the game. While the league witnesses some terrific spells from pacers and spinners alike, what fans most look forward to in the IPL and T20 cricket in general are explosive batting efforts that get etched in their memories.
IPL 2021 will be no different from the league’s previous editions, where outstanding batsmanship has made life difficult for bowlers and fulfilled the fans’ expectation of viewing huge sixes and flurry of boundaries.
And so today, we enlisted who could be IPL 2021’s five most dangerous batsmen and potentially end the coming two months with the best strike-rate next to their name.
Five Players Who Could Finish With The Best Strike-Rate In IPL 2021
1. Kieron Pollard
Mumbai Indians (MI) power-hitter Kieron Pollard is an unstoppable force in T20 cricket once he gets going. Pollard was once again instrumental to MI’s success last year, as he scored 268 runs in IPL 2020 at an astonishing strike-rate of 191.42.
Pollard, who was key to MI clinching their fifth IPL title in UAE, will be a vital cog in his team’s wheels this year as well. On flat Indian T20 wickets and generally small boundary dimensions here, Pollard becomes a very strong candidate to end IPL 2021 with the highest strike-rate.
2. Hardik Pandya
Another of MI’s aggressive middle-order batsman is Hardik Pandya, who made 281 runs at a fantastic strike-rate of 178.98 in the previous edition of the IPL.
Hardik, who didn’t bowl at all during last season because of injury concerns, focused primarily on his batting and showed an expanded range with the willow, especially in the death-overs.
Hardik has been an ever-improving cricketer for MI and will be looking forward to IPL 2021. He’ll be among the front-runners to end the race of finishing the tournament with the best strike-rate.
3. Andre Russell
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) power-hitter Andre Russell is an obvious candidate to end with the best strike-rate in IPL 2021. At his best, Russell can pulverise an opposition by hitting the ball to all parts of the ground.
The big Jamaican has a career strike-rate of 182.33 in the IPL after 74 matches. Russell’s belligerence as a batsman has been key to KKR’s success over the years.
Russell found life slightly difficult on traditionally spin-friendly tracks of UAE last year. But with the IPL back in India, he could again prove lethal. Russell is player opposition teams will be wary of through the course of next two months.
4. Ravindra Jadeja
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has faced question marks over his ability to consistently hit the ball out of the ground for a while now. Jadeja has a strike-rate of just 126.47 in his overall IPL career, which may reflect his struggles as a power-hitter.
However, in recent years, Jadeja has taken his game to another level and has shown a greater range to his batsmanship against both pace and spin. In the last year’s edition of the IPL, Jadeja batted at a strike-rate of 171.85 while averaging 46.40 per innings.
The left-hand batsman will be looking to continue in the same vein this year as CSK strive to bounce back after a poor IPL 2020 campaign in UAE. Jadeja’s improved ability to use the long handle makes him one of the candidates to finish with the best strike-rate in IPL 2021.
5. Nicholas Pooran
Punjab Kings (PBKS) batsman Nicholas Pooran was one of his team’s bright spots in IPL 2020 in UAE where they failed to make it through to the playoffs.
Pooran made 353 runs in 14 innings at an average of 35.30 and strike-rate of 169.71 even as PBKS won just 6 of their 14 matches and finished in the bottom half of the points table.
The attacking West Indies batter was tremendous as a middle-over aggressor. He caught teams off guard by altering the general mode of operation post the field restriction overs, going after the spinners instead of trying to rotate the strike.
Pooran played his role magnificently and if he can replicate that this year, PBKS may have a good chance of going all the way. He will be a candidate to finish with the best strike-rate in IPL 2021 for sure.
Also Read: IPL 2021: Can Tewatia Do A Tewatia Again?