The 2021 edition of IPL was suspended at the half way stage as there was an outbreak of the pandemic inside the bio-bubble. Though only 29 matches were played, there were abundance of individual performances with the bat. Few were in winning cause and few in losing. Let’s have a look at some of the best individual performances form this 2021 edition of IPL:
Jos Buttler – 124 (64) vs SRH
Match 28, Delhi
Buttler as an opener has always been a successful batsmen, especially for Rajasthan Royals in IPL. However, of late, Ben Stokes has taken over the duty of being an opener for them. After his national teammate departed sighting an injury, Buttler had the opportunity to open the innings. In the first four innings, he got two scores of 40 but couldn’t convert. A big innings was on the cards and that came against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Slow at start, Buttler took his time before he got settled in. Buttler had scored at a strike-rate of 80 in his first 15 balls. In the next 15, he had struck at 133.3. After facing 30 balls is when the carnage started. In balls range between 31-45 he had struck at 213 and after 45, he struck at 316. Eventually, He scored 124 runs before being dismissed in the 19th over - the highest score by a Rajasthan batsmen in IPL.
Kieron Pollard – 87* (34) vs CSK
Match 27, Delhi
There is a reason Mumbai Indians team management persist with Pollard, even if he has underperformed and in their match against Chennai Super Kings, it was evident. Not only did he pick up wickets, but also, contributed with the bat, for which he is known for.
In deep trouble while chasing a mammoth target of 219, Mumbai needed something special from their middle and lower middle order which was their strength last year. Pollard came into bat with MI requiring 138 runs of 11 overs. From there on it was a one-man show. Pollard brought up his half-century in just 17 balls, the joint fastest for Mumbai in IPL and the fastest of this season. Out of the 138 required, Pollard alone had amassed 87 runs. From the jaws of defeat, Pollard snatched a victory, which is why, this knock will go down as one of the best in IPL history.
Devdutt Padikkal – 101* (52) vs RR
Match 16, Mumbai
Down with COVID, Padikkal missed the first match of IPL 2021. The highest run scorer for Royal Challenger Bangalore in IPL 2020, continued from where he had left off on his return. After few scratchy innings, Padikkal was in full flow against the Rajasthan Royals.
Chasing a target of 178, Padikkal, who partnered with the skipper Virat Kohli, was the aggressor from the start. In fact, Kohli was a mere spectator at the other end, at least till the halfway stage (first 10 overs). Padikkal alone had scored 80 out of 107 runs. Padikkal had brought up his half-century in 27 balls. With a century in sight, Padikkal went all guns blazing to reach the milestone in the next 24 balls. Padikkal became the third youngest batsman to a ton in IPL and also registered the fastest ton by an uncapped player.
Prithvi Shaw – 82 (41) vs KKR
Match 25, Ahmedabad
A typical Virender Sehwag approach is what can be seen in Prithvi Shaw. Watch the ball and go for it. Earlier, the approach had some technical drawbacks, but in IPL 2021, there never seemed to be one.
Kolkata Knight Riders has been one his favorite opponents in IPL. In four innings prior to the 25th match, Prithvi had scored three 50+ scores against them. He continued the trend by smashing another half-century that started with six fours in the very first over itself. His U-19 teammate Shivam Mavi was dispatched for a boundary in off all six deliveries. In the end Shaw smashed 82 runs before Pat Cummins got the better of him in the 16th over.
Sanju Samson – 119 (63) vs PBKS
Match 4, Mumbai
Sanju Samson has always been a prolific run scorer for Rajasthan and that is one of the reasons they released Steven Smith and gave captaincy to Samson. The start to his captaincy would have been exceptional if he had managed to pull off a blinder of a chase.
It was a déjà vu of what had happened in IPL 2020 in Sharjah between the two teams. Punjab had a set a mammoth target of 222, a run shorter to what they had set last year. Rajasthan skipper was early into the scene (1st over). Due to the lack of support from the other end, Samson scored the bulk of the runs. He reached his half-century in 33 balls. But, the next 50 runs came in 21 balls as Samson registered his third IPL century off 54 balls. He also became the first ever captain in IPL history to hit a century on his captaincy debut. Though, Samson and Rajasthan fell short by four runs, his innings will go down as one of the best.
Ravindra Jadeja – 62* (28) vs RCB
Match 19, Mumbai
Making his comeback to competitive cricket this season, Ravindra Jadeja had missed a large chunk of action over the months. Jadeja was one of the key finishers for Chennai in the last season.
In his first match, Jadeja looked a bit rusty scoring 26* off 17 balls. Even in his innings against Bangalore, Jadeja was slow to start. However, one over changed the dynamics of everything. Heading into the last over of the innings, Jadeja was on 26 off 21 balls. Against the Purple Cap holder – Harshal Patel – he walloped 36 runs for himself and an extra run through no-ball. He clubbed five sixes, one four and a double in that over. He became the second batsman to score 36 runs in an over after Chris Gayle. In addition, he was also the third batsman to hit five sixes in an over.
Four 200+ totals, with both Man of the Match in losing cause
MI off the mark, best season for an RR batter & Gaikwad-Conway hoist CSK’s best PS
Records tumble as Buttler hits 3rd ton of the season to help RR post the highest total against DC
Bowlers, middle-order leave "consistent" Samson high and dry
2nd best score on debut by Roy & SRH’s best powerplay score sees Samson’s third 50+ go in vain
The top-six close encounters of IPL 2021
IPL XI of the Year 2021, thus far
Second-highest run chase, fastest fifty for Pollard, and more
Samson becomes first player to score century on his IPL captaincy debut