The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely after some of the players and staff members were found positive for COVID-19 in the camps of KKR, CSK, and DC. Although it may seem frustrating, this step was necessary considering the safety of the players and staff of the teams. But don’t you worry, as we are here to keep you connected with Cricket. So, as we wait for IPL to return, let’s look at the best playing XI of IPL 2021 so far to keep you guys entertained.
Best playing XI of IPL 2021 so far:
#1 Prithvi Shaw:
Prithvi Shaw has been the best opener in the current edition of the Indian Premier League so far. Shaw has amassed 308 runs in eight innings facing just 185 balls, meaning that his strike rate in eight innings has been over 165, which is phenomenal. In a format like T20, a team wants its openers to take advantage of the field restrictions in the powerplay and provide them with a quick start. Well, this is exactly what Prithvi Shaw has done for Delhi Capitals in IPL so far and has even managed three half-centuries while destroying opposition bowling units.
#2 Shikhar Dhawan:
We can’t miss out on the Orange Cap holder while selecting the best playing XI of IPL 2021. Shikhar Dhawan currently sits at the top of the leading run-scorers list with 380 runs from eight innings. He averages 54.28 and has scored three half-centuries at a strike rate of 134.27. These numbers speak for themselves as to why Dhawan is the perfect opening partner for Shaw. Moreover, he also provides the advantage of a left-hand-right-hand opening pair.
#3 Faf du Plessis (↑):
Faf du Plessis has scored four half-centuries in just seven innings. He is the third-highest run-scorer in the IPL 2021, with 320 runs at an average of 64 and a strike rate above 145. Faf has also taken five catches till now. So, he can also be a valuable asset in the field.
Many would argue that Faf du Plessis should open in this playing XI, but that will ruin the left-right combo at the top. Besides, there have not been many noteworthy performances from number three this year, and Faf has a history of playing at number three. Faf’s game doesn’t change much at number three as he can be both reliable and destructive. That is our number three in this best playing XI of IPL 2021.
#4 KL Rahul(C/wk):
The flexibility with KL Rahul is that he can bat anywhere in the top and middle order. He has the experience of playing at almost every position till number five. Rahul can switch his game according to the situation like he has been doing for Punjab Kings. And when he goes into his hitting zone, we know how destructive he can be. This is evident by his stats in the current season as Rahul has hit the most number of sixes and is the second-highest run-scorer at the moment. Rahul has also been responsible in his leadership role, and that earns him the captainship of this playing XI.
#5 AB de Villiers (↑):
AB de Villiers is the only batter in the World who has proved time and again that conditions don’t trouble him. Even if the best batsmen are struggling to get runs on a surface, de Villiers just comes and does what he does best. AB proved this by snatching a win from Mumbai Indians’ hands in the first match of IPL 2021 while batting on a difficult Chennai wicket. He did it again by smashing an unbeaten 76 in just 34 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders.
#6 Kieron Pollard (↑):
Keiron Pollard has scored 168 runs in the tournament so far in just four innings at an average of 56 in IPL 2021. But what makes him more valuable is that he racked these runs with a strike rate of 171.42. Pollard also guided Mumbai Indians to a seemingly impossible victory which is expected from a finisher in T20s. In addition, Pollard also adds an extra bowling option to the team. His experience of playing T20s also comes in handy.
#7 Ravindra Jadeja:
Ravindra Jadeja is one of the best all-rounders in world cricket right now. Jadeja has scored 131 runs in six innings at a strike rate of 161.72 in IPL 2021. And he has only gotten out once in averaging 131 from his six innings. He has also taken the most number of catches this season. Not just that, Jadeja has also taken six wickets in seven matches and has bowled with an economy of just 6.7. With these stats, he can easily make his way in any T20 squad even if we leave out his run-outs and thrashing he gave to the Purple Cap holder.
#8 Rashid Khan (↑):
Rashid Khan is the last overseas player in this playing XI. His wrist spin is still a mystery to batters which is evident from his performance in IPL 2021. Rashid has taken ten wickets from seven matches this season at a bowling average of 17.2 and an economy of 6.14. These are dream figures for any spinner in T20s. He adds more value to the team as he can also play all kinds of innovative shots and slog in the lower order, which increases the teams batting depth.
#9 Harshal Patel:
2021 is proving to be the dream year for Harshal Patel as he is the highest wicket-taker of the tournament so far and leading by a significant margin. Harshal has taken 17 wickets in just seven matches at a bowling average of 15.11. With an exception of a few overs, he has also been an exceptional death bowler for Royal Challengers Bangalore this season. Moreover, his quickfire 31 off 13 balls against Punjab Kings proved that he can also act as a finisher, increasing the batting depth of this XI till number nine.
#10 Avesh Khan:
Avesh’s bowling has impressed everyone as he has not just bowled well in powerplays but also replaced Kagiso Rabada as Delhi Capitals goto death bowler. Avesh is the third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament till now. He has taken 14 wickets in eight matches at a bowling average of 16.5. Avesh has also been economic with his bowling giving away runs at just 7.7 per over.
#11 Mohammed Siraj:
Mohammed Siraj’s evolution as a bowler has been a treat to watch in IPL 2021. Siraj may have taken only six wickets in the IPL 2021 so far, but he has been exceptional in restricting batters with his tight line and lengths, giving runs at an economy rate of just 7.34. Mohammed Siraj has been consistently hitting blockholes in the tournaments. He has managed to restrict big hitters like Andre Russell, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, and KL Rahul with his perfect yorkers. That is why he earns the last spot on this playing XI.