It has been a remarkable start to IPL 2021. In the first week of the tournament, there have been some thrillers. These thrillers have included low as well as high-scoring games. Even though most victories have been collective victories, some of the individuals have stood out with brilliant performances.
Ahead of the start of the second week of IPL 2021, let’s have a review of the first week through some of the top performers of the tournament until now.
Leading the race for the Orange Cap, Nitish Rana has been in sublime for Kolkata Knight Riders in the first week. Continuing his Vijay Hazare Cup form to the Indian Premier League, he made two stunning half-centuries, scoring 80 and 56in the first game against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Rana was unstoppable in the game with Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he made 80 off just 56 balls, showering a plethora of boundaries (nine 4s and four 6s). His hard-hitting gave a push-start for KKR to post a total of 187 and subsequently win the match. However, despite being the highest scorer in yet another match (57 off 47 balls), KKR failed to grab the win against Mumbai. Having made an impact so deep in both the matches, the top performer of the week will be expected to deliver in the games to come.
Startling the IPL fans in the opening match of the tournament, Harshal Patel grabbed a five-wicket haul in the first game against Mumbai Indians. Although Royal Challengers Bangalore went on to win the close match, Patel was the one to be credited to restrict Mumbai to 159, dismissing the likes of Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, and Kieron Pollard. The right-arm medium was the player of the match for his incredible 5/27.
The former Delhi Capitals player was also able to shine brightly in RCB’s next match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Proving himself not to be a one-match wonder, he picked up two more wickets in the game. He is currently leading the race for purple cap withs seven wickets in two matches.
New RCB recruit Glenn Maxwell, on whom the management spent Rs 14.25 crore, has been able to live up to the hype as of now. The 32-year-old Australian has played two decent knocks in as many games, scoring 39 against Mumbai Indians and 59 against Hyderabad. The skillful batsman, who had a terrible IPL season in UAE last year, has redeemed himself and started off on a good note.
He has made a significant contribution for RCB in both matches and due to this, they are at the top of the table being the only team to win both games in the first week of the tournament. Glenn Maxwell made the highest runs in the game against SRH. He ended up receiving the player of the match award since his innings was the difference between the two teams.
Mumbai Indians star batsman Suryakumar Yadav has had a decent start to IPL 2021. Despite losing the opener against RCB, SKY did play his part by scoring a decent 31 off 23 balls, hitting four 4s and one six. However, this contribution wasn’t enough for the MI side, as Bangalore edged them in a tight contest.
Yadav was phenomenal in his second game while facing KKR. Though Deepak Chahar managed to attract all the limelight upon himself, SKY too played a very crucial role in building a competitive total, barely crossing the 150 run threshold. His 56 runs off 36 balls was significant to add to the margin of their victory. Yadav needs to keep up this form to remain in contention for the Indian team.
Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson had a week full of mixed emotions. He made this season’s first century, by producing one of his best performances in the tournament. RR fell short by just four runs while chasing 221. The team began to collapse in the early overs, with players like Ben Stokes and Manan Vohra returning back to the pavilion for low scores. Sanju Samson single-handedly carried the team to what could have been one of the most successful run chases in IPL history. However, his majestic 119 off just 63 balls proved to be futile as the skipper got caught in the final ball of the match, losing the game by four runs.
Nevertheless, RR did make a comeback while facing Delhi Capitals in their next match. This time, though, Samson was beaten way too quickly. He was sent back to the pavilion by Rabada, caught by Dhawan in the slip. In spite of one poor performance, he is currently on the second position for the purple cap race, just 14 runs behind Nitish Rana.