The first week of IPL 2021 has been eventful until now. Apart from the two games involving Chennai Super Kings, all matches have gone to the wire with an even contest between bat and ball. On some occasions, the slow nature of pitches has provided good bowling conditions.
Despite some low-scoring games throughout the first week, there have been some standout batting performances for different teams. Let us look at some of the best innings played by batsmen until now.
Nitish Rana (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Kolkata Knight Riders managed to defend 187 runs in their first match of IPL 2021 season at Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday to clinch victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The team got off to a flying start as Nitish Rana scored 80 off 56. He is building on his last year’s performances.
The left-handed batsman had a decent outing in the 2020 edition of the IPL with 352 runs from 14 matches at a strike rate of 138.58. Rana adds value to the side with an ability to stabilize the innings and accelerate when required. He also scored an impressive 57 against MI but KKR suffered an embarrassing loss despite his efforts. Rana currently leads the race for Orange cap the 137 runs to his name in two matches.
Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)
Sanju Samson marked his captaincy debut with a sensational hundred in IPL 2021. The skipper almost took Royals home with a breath-taking 119 off 63 balls, but he was caught in the deep when Royals needed five runs in the last ball to chase down a target in excess of 200.
This innings was Sanju Samson’s first century as a captain and overall third in the Indian Premier League. He is also the first man to score a hundred on an IPL captaincy debut. However, his efforts weren’t enough as Rajasthan Royals lost the game by a narrow margin. On a low-scoring day, Samson couldn’t perform the same as he did in the first match as he only scored four runs against Delhi Capitals. He is currently second in the Orange cap race with 123 runs to his name in two matches. There are likely to be more innings like the one in the first game throughout the tournament.
Shikhar Dhawan (Delhi Capitals)
Delhi Capitals sent out a big statement to other teams in the tournament by clinching an emphatic win against Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium. The team enjoyed a winning start to IPL 2021 after a destructive opening partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw.
Dhawan scored an impressive 85 off 54 balls as DC was chasing a mammoth target of 189. He scored his 42nd half-century in IPL, most for an Indian player. However, the second match was not the same for Dhawan he scored only nine runs but the tournament has many matches left and Pant would be counting on him to deliver more such performances.
KL Rahul (Punjab Kings)
KL Rahul scored a sensational 91 off 51 balls in his team’s first match against Rajasthan Royals. His innings consisted of seven fours and five sixes, but it was overshadowed by the century scored by Samson.
It was an impressive performance knock as Rahul paced his innings to perfection. He combined with both Chris Gayle and Deepak Hooda to take the score to 221. The captain was dismissed early in the second match after scoring just five runs. The team will be counting on him to lead as an example in the upcoming matches of IPL 2021.