With just weeks left for the new season of the Indian Premier League to begin, the air fills with the excitement of what is to come. The shorter format of the game is more commonly considered to be a batsman-friendly game, and so batsmen who can consistently get runs on the board are valuable for any team. T20 is all about hitting across the boundaries but also smart running between the wickets to keep the runs flowing when it comes to a batsman.
The orange cap is a prized possession and is awarded to the highest run-getter in the respective season of the IPL. and hence a prestigious award for the batsman. If there is a batter who can consistently score piles of runs, their teams often do well. So today we are going to take a look at our top 5 contenders for the IPL orange cap.
Devdutt Padikkal (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The Kerala-born batsman lit up the league with his batting last season and was one of the consistent performers of the team. His batting often alleviated some pressure from Kohli's shoulders, opening the innings, making sure he took the attack to the opposition. Batting with grace and fluency, the batsman was consistently among the top run-scorers of the team.
But he has improved even further since the last IPL, with good outings in the Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare tournaments. Showing consistency, the RCB player finished the recently concluded Vijay Hazare with the numbers 737 runs from 7 games over a strike rate of 95.96 with an average of 147.4 including 4 centuries and 3 half-centuries. Great is expected of this upcoming Indian player.
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
King Kohli, world's top 5 batsmen in all three formats. He has been the franchise’s star player since dawn. A run machine who single-handedly dragged the team to the finals in 2016 scoring 973 runs under his belt, setting new benchmarks in the tournament. He and Suresh Raina have been the league's best batsman throughout the history of IPL.
He has scored over 5878 runs over 192 matches in the world’s toughest T20 league at a strike rate of 130.73, which includes 5 centuries and 39 half-centuries. With such phenomenal numbers, the team will continue to look to their skipper to lead with the runs. With the T20 World Cup around the corner, the skipper would be auditioning as an opener in the IPL and look to prove his mettle again.
Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings)
One of the top run-scorers, second to only Virat Kohli in runs accumulated in their IPL career. Suresh Raina will be looking to make huge strides on his return after missing last season. He has scored a total of 5368 runs from 193 matches in his IPL career. Exerting his impact for the side, there is no season the Indian batsman has scored less than 350 runs in a season.
He wasn't part of the last edition of the T20 league and also retired from all forms of international cricket. But that has not stopped the veteran batsman to drop his levels as his records speak for themselves. Scoring 1 century and 38 half-centuries with a mind-boggling 493 fours and 194 sixes, the batsman will be looking to shoot himself to the absolute top.
Shikhar Dhawan (Delhi Capitals)
Having an exuberant personality, Shikhar Dhawan is part of a long list of aggressive stroke players from Delhi, a local boy. He has piled over 5197 runs over 176 matches in his IPL career, which includes a remarkable 41 half-centuries. One of the top performers of the league, once again he will look to further stamp his authority.
He was absolutely sensational in the last edition of IPL as he finished second to only KL Rahul as the two fought out for the orange cap. He took the responsibility and produced consistent performances to stabilize the team’s innings. He ended up scoring 618 runs from 17 matches scoring at a strike rate of 144.73 which included 2 centuries. Having proven his prowess in the Indian T20 league with years of consistency, He will be expected to lead the Delhi batting attack from the start.
Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)
A legend in the making for the Indian Cricket team is the most successful captain in the competition. Winning five IPL trophies is the most by any captain in the IPL. Having the ability to bat with much ease, there are very few batsmen who can match his batting prowess. He has scored over 5230 runs over 200 matches in the whole of his IPL career.
In the last edition of the tournament, the skipper was in decent touch as he opened the innings for the franchise scoring 332 over 12 matches which included 3 half-centuries. A prolific run-getter, his confidence will be high as he enters the new season. Once again all eyes will be on him, as he leads his team to be the first team to win the IPL three times in a row.
Any of these players could win the orange cap or we could be in for some new surprises. With every batsman looking to make a mark in this competition, it's an open field and the battle is tough. Let us know your thoughts on our choices and who you think will win the orange cap for IPL 2021.