Best Overseas Players of IPL 2021 Before the Covid Break
In this article, we look at the best overseas players of the IPL 2021 before a spate of Covid cases caused the tournament to be suspended.
Top Four Overseas Players of IPL 2021
AB de Villiers
At age 37, AB de Villiers continues to have a tremendous impact on the game. This was never more evident than in the IPL 2021, especially when he smashed 48 off 27 balls against Mumbai Indians, 75 in 42 balls against Delhi Capitals and got 76 runs from 34 balls versus Kolkata Knight Riders. With Kohli opening the innings and Maxwell batting at number four, the RCB batting order gave De Villiers the freedom to impose himself against spinners in the middle overs and against pacemen at the death. His impact between overs 16 and 20 was phenomenal, with 146 runs to show for his effort while registering a strike rate of 243.3 and sending nearly three out of every four balls received to the boundary.
Faf du Plessis
Du Plessis has been one of the most consistent overseas players in the IPL over the years. In IPL 2021, he gave more evidence of that consistency while reinventing himself as a T20 batsman to score 320 runs, including four half-centuries in seven matches. His new-found aggressive approach paid rich dividends at Mumbai’s batting-friendly Wankhede Stadium. In earlier years, when Du Plessis partnered Shane Watson at the top of the order, CSK suffered from the lack of runs in the powerplay overs. All that changed in the IPL 2021, with Du Plessis scoring his runs in the powerplay at a strike rate of 148.5, smiting about 2 out of 3 balls to the boundary. No other player except DC’s Prithvi Shaw had a better strike rate in the powerplay.
In an uncharacteristically poor season for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Jonny Bairstow gave the team’s fans much cause for cheer in the IPL 2021. He did for SRH what De Villers did for RCB, except that Bairstow had no support from any other SRH player. His remarkable consistency in the season witnessed 248 runs scored at 41.33 and a 141-plus strike rate. SRH secured their only win of the season against Punjab thanks to Bairstow’s unbeaten 63. Dominant innings against Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals underscored the England batsman’s value ahead of next year’s mega auction.
Pollard is one of three players, alongside De Villiers and Gayle, who have dominated the IPL across seasons. Mumbai Indians have reaped rich dividends after investing in Pollard. In the IPL 2021, Pollard’s performance in just one game – versus Chennai Super Kings – showed us why he must be considered as the champion team’s most valuable player. Not only did the West Indian take 2 for 12 in a game in which both sides scored 437 runs between them, but he also played one of the most unforgettable innings of 91 not out off 34 balls to pull off the most unlikely run chase we have ever witnessed. Another match-winning Pollard’s innings of 35 off 22 balls came against Sunrisers Hyderabad on a dodgy Chennai wicket.
There were a few more notable overseas performers including Maxwell, Moeen Ali and Morris, but we have picked what we consider the best four.
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