From Pollard power to Fantastic Faf: A look at top overseas performers from IPL 2021& |  Photo Credit: PTI
- Kieron Pollard demolished MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings to strengthen Mumbai Indians’ title bid
- CSK opener Faf du Plessis turned out to be the leading overseas run-getter in the IPL 2021
- Chris Morris played an instrumental role in helping Rajasthan Royals climb to the 5th spot in the IPL 2021 standings
Indian opener and Delhi Capitals (DC) superstar Shikhar Dhawan stamped his authority as one of the best batsmen in white-ball cricket in the recently suspended Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Joining Dhawan was versatile batsman KL Rahul as the Punjab Kings (PBKS) skipper picked up where he had left off in the previous season of the cash-rich league. Both Dhawan and Rahul were the leading contenders for the Orange Cap before the 14th season was called off due to the COVID-19 outbreak in its bio-bubble.
While Dhawan and Rahul dominated the batting charts, Indian seamer Harshal Patel emerged as a trump card for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Patel was on verge of securing the Purple Cap after scalping 17 wickets from just 7 matches. Even though Indian youngsters and seasoned campaigners were ruling the roost in the IPL 2021, the biggest domestic T20 tournament also saw the rapid rise of several overseas superstars.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) stalwart Jos Buttler smashed his maiden IPL ton while Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) superstar Rashid Khan continued to trouble batsmen with his spin wizardry. Legendary South African batsman AB de Villiers also remained in sublime form. Having said that, let’s take a look at the top 5 overseas performers who were having a fruitful season in the IPL.
1) Moeen Ali
As Sunil Gavaskar rightly put it, Moeen Ali turned out to be a masterstroke for MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 14th edition of domestic cricket’s biggest extravaganza. The RCB-reject triggered a bidding war at the IPL 2021 auction before CSK acquired his services for INR 7 crore. Moeen settled into CSK’s top order in his debut season and the Englishman produced played some scintillating knocks. Moeen scored 206 runs for CSK and the all-rounder also bagged 5 wickets.
2) Faf Du Plessis
Another vital cog for the Dhoni-led CSK, South African opener Faf Du Plessis provided the much-needed impetus to make sure Chennai bounce back following their worst-ever finish last season. Du Plessis laid the foundation of remarkable chases and match-winning totals for the Dhoni-led side. The former South African skipper remained the highest-scoring overseas player before the tournament was suspended after 29 league matches. Du Plessis scored 320 runs and the Proteas opener notched up 4 half-centuries.
3) Kieron Pollard
A name that needs no introduction! Mumbai Indians (MI) all-rounder Kieron Pollard was the knight-in-shining armour for Rohit Sharma-led side against CSK in the IPL Clasico. In the high-scoring encounter, Pollard demolished the CSK bowling attack and smashed the record-equalling fastest half-century for Mumbai in just 17 balls. Pollard remained unbeaten on 87 off 34 balls to help Mumbai record the 2nd-highest chase in IPL history. A regular contributor in the IPL 2021, the old warhorse played 7 matches for Mumbai. Pollard scored 168 runs and chipped in with 3 wickets.
4) Chris Morris
With no Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, Rajasthan Royals (RR) had their back against the wall during their initial stages of the tournament. However, the 2008 champions were bailed out on several occasions by record signing Chris Morris. While Morris powered RR to an impressive win over Delhi with his explosive knock, the Rs 16 crore signing was the wrecker-in-chief with the ball for Sanju Samson’s men on several occasions. Morris managed to scalp 14 wickets for RR the most by any overseas player in the tournament.
5) Glenn Maxwell
Punjab Kings-reject Glenn Maxwell set the record straight in the IPL 2021 by hitting the purple patch for Kohli-led RCB. Maxwell’s batting onslaught prevented AB de Villiers to do the heavy lifting for RCB in most of the matches. Maxwell shared the burden with RCB’s go-to-man in his debut season for the Kohli-led side. The Australian power-hitter played a prominent role in making RCB a force to reckon with during the league phase of the 14th season. Maxwell amassed 223 runs for RCB and the swashbuckling batsman also slammed a brace of half-centuries.