The unfortunate suspension of the IPL 2021 in early May proved to be a blessing in disguise for the T20 World Cup stars as they got the chance to fine-tune their games in conditions in UAE just prior to the major ICC event.
Prominent Indian and overseas gents had a fantastic opportunity to play and prepare on and off the field on surfaces in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah before joining the squad of their respective countries with an eye towards clinching the coveted world crown.
There were multiple great performers from the IPL 2021 that shined with the bat or the ball and are now all set to carry a wave of great confidence and momentum behind them into the T20 World Cup.
So today, we are enlisting these notable performers from the best T20 franchise league in the world who could also go on and dominate oppositions in the much-awaited ICC event.
Dominant performers from IPL 2021 who could also shine at the T20 World Cup
1. KL Rahul
Strike-rate was in focus with Indian opener KL Rahul throughout the IPL 2021 as the Punjab Kings (PBKS) skipper looked to cut down risks – sometimes, excessively – to try and cover for his team’s middle-order flaws by batting deep.
But by blasting an outstanding 98* off 42 in PBKS’ last league game, Rahul showed that he can anytime switch on the aggressor’s mode depending on his team’s requirement. He ended the IPL 2021 with 626 runs – third-highest in the batting charts – with an average of 62.60 and strike-rate of 138.20.
In the Indian team, given that he will be surrounded by two great top-order anchors in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Rahul could be required to quickly shift away from anchoring duties himself and play the aggressor’s role but he seems up for it.
2. Glenn Maxwell
Considered a risky pick by many, Australian maverick Glenn Maxwell repaid the trust shown in him by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Throughout the IPL 2021, Maxwell was RCB’s most stand-out batting performer. He played multiple game-transforming knocks and ended the tournament as his team’s highest run-getter: 513 runs at 42.75 per innings while carrying a strike-rate of 144.10.
In such dangerous form, Maxwell becomes an even bigger threat for the opposition teams entering the T20 World Cup. Australia will hope that he can continue in his merry way and help them lift their maiden title in the game’s shortest format.
3. Anrich Nortje
Nortje didn’t take part in the Indian leg of the IPL 2021 but returned with a bang in UAE for Delhi Capitals (DC). The South African speedster perfectly exploited the dry, uneven surfaces in UAE with his tall stature and express pace. The 27-year-old ended up taking 12 wickets in the tournament from his eight outings with an economy rate of just 6.16. In such fine form and rhythm, Proteas will be hoping that Nortje continues to retain wood over batters throughout the T20 World Cup as well.
4. Varun Chakravarthy
It is commendable that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) spinner Varun Chakravarthy has managed to keep his mystery and success intact for two consecutive IPL seasons now. Chakravarthy, who rose to fame last year via the IPL 2020 after giving up his career in architecture, continued to make an impact in the KKR jersey. The 30-year-old took 18 wickets in the competition this year with an economy rate of only 6.58 and was pivotal to KKR’s resurgence that saw them reach the final.
Chakravarthy has been in the fray for team India selection since the last IPL and made his debut in Sri Lanka this July. While he has been held back by injury and fitness issues at times, Chakravarthy’s mystery and guile are vital for India as they look to reclaim their T20 World Cup title.
5. Rashid Khan
Amidst all the doom and gloom within the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) camp, Afghanistan wristspinner Rashid Khan once again proved to be a shining light. Rashid ended the IPL 2021 with 18 wickets from his 14 games while going for just 6.69 runs per over. With giant-killers Afghanistan hoping to take down a few major oppositions in the Super 12s stage at the T20 World Cup, they’ll be looking at their premier spin bowler to provide them control and wickets through the middle-overs.
6. Lockie Ferguson
Even though Ferguson had an expensive outing in the final, the New Zealand pacer still ended the IPL 2021 as one of Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) better performers with the ball. Ferguson finished the tournament with 13 wickets from his 8 matches and a respectable economy rate of 7.46 despite bowling a lot of his overs at the death.
Given the make up of the New Zealand side, they’ll depend quite heavily on Ferguson’s ability to consistently nail his yorkers in the end-overs. If the tall pacer covers up this aspect of his team’s game, he will have done a commendable job as they eye their maiden T20 World Cup crown.