The Orange Cap is a precious commodity in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and is awarded to the highest run-scorer in a particular season of the tournament. To win the Orange Cap, a player has to be extremely consistent throughout an IPL season, and at the same time score runs at a good pace. In the 13-year history of the IPL, David Warner has won the award a colossal 3 times.
Also, Chris Gayle is the only batsman to have won the Orange Cap on 2 consecutive occasions. In the 13 seasons of the IPL, only 4 Indian batsmen have won the coveted Orange Cap. While Sachin Tendulkar was the first Indian cricketer to win the Orange Cap and did so in the 2010 edition of the IPL, Robin Uthappa and Virat Kohli won the award in 2014 and 2016 respectively. KL Rahul won the Orange Cap in the 2020 edition of the league that was held in the UAE.
Now, the upcoming season promises to be one filled with a lot of fervor. And needless to say, several batsmen will be vying to wear the Orange Cap on their head.
Let us take a look at 5 players who can win the Orange Cap in the 2021 edition of the IPL:
1. David Warner
David Warner was in blistering form in the 2020 edition of the IPL that was held in the deserts of UAE. The left-handed batting legend scored 548 runs for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) side in the 13th IPL edition and scored them at an average of 39.14 and a strike rate of 134.64. Warner also scored 4 fifties last year as well.
In fact, the SRH skipper has scored in excess of 500 runs in every season of the IPL that he has played since 2014. He has averaged in excess of 55 in 3 out of the last 4 editions that he has played, and these are numbers that are simply astonishing. Warner is also one of the greatest batsmen to have ever wielded the willow in IPL cricket and has scored 5254 runs at an average of 42.71.
Also, let us throw in another fact that will spice things up a little bit. Warner won the Orange Cap for the first time in 2015. He then won it in 2017, and followed that up by winning it for the third time in 2019. Going by the same trend, 2021 could be the year where he wins it for the 4th time!
2. Devdutt Padikkal
2020 was his debut year in the IPL, and Devdutt Padikkal shone resplendently with the willow in hand. The 20-year-old batting sensation plundered 473 runs in the previous season and scored his runs at an average of 31.53. He also emerged as the highest run-scorer for the Royal Challenges Bangalore (RCB) side last year, and that is an incredible achievement for an uncapped batsman, considering the fact that there are players like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in RCB’s arsenal.
And, Padikkal has had a fairytale run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well. In the 6 innings that he has played in the tournament thus far, the left-hander has already smashed 673 runs and has scored them at a surreal average of 168.25. Also, in these 6 innings, he has blasted 4 centuries and 2 fifties as well.
With Padikkal in such astonishing form, there is a very good chance that he can emerge as the leading run-scorer in the 2021 edition of the IPL.
3. KL Rahul
He is the ‘defending champion’ of the Orange Cap. KL Rahul was in excellent form in the 2020 edition of the IPL that was held in the UAE and plundered 670 runs at an average of 55.83. In fact, Rahul has been in astounding form in the IPL over the last 3 years. In the last 3 seasons of the IPL, the Punjab Kings’ skipper has scored 659, 593, and 670 runs respectively.
Rahul has averaged in excess of 50 in every IPL season in the last 3 years and has scored 17 fifties and 2 hundreds in the last 3 editions alone. Rahul was in excellent form in the year 2020 in T20Is as well. He scored 404 runs in 10 innings at an average of 44.89 and a strike rate of 140.77 for the Indian side.
Rahul also scored 4 fifties in the 10 innings that he played in the year 2020 for India in the T20 format. Needless to say, the 28-year-old is in the form of his life and there is every chance that Rahul will win the Orange Cap in the 2021 edition as well.
2. Rishabh Pant
The year 2021 has started as a dream for Rishabh Pant. The 23-year-old has scored 515 runs from 10 innings in the whites this year and has scored his runs at an average of 64.38. He has also emerged as a vital cog in the Indian Test setup and has dismantled several bowling attacks with the bat in hand.
Pant has had a good run with the bat in the last 3 years in IPL cricket. In the 2018 edition, the left-hander plundered 684 runs and scored his runs at an average of 52.62 and a whopping strike rate of 173.60. In the 2019 season, the Delhi Capitals’ left-hander amassed 488 runs at a strike rate of 162.67. In the previous edition, he scored 343 runs at an average of 31.18.
Looking at the form that he has shown with the bat in recent times, there is a high probability that Pant can win the Orange Cap in the 2021 edition of the IPL. And such is his impact, that if he can do so, the Delhi Capitals will also fancy their chances of lifting their maiden IPL title.
1. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli scored 466 runs at an average of 42.36 in the IPL last year. Yet, there were many who felt that the RCB skipper was not at his best with the willow. Such is the standard that Kohli has set. In the year 2020, Kohli scored 431 runs at an average of 47.89 in ODI cricket. And, in the 9 innings that he played last year in the ODI format, he scored 5 fifties.
But yet again, it was not considered a successful year for the Indian batting maestro. Kohli has accumulated glittering numbers in his IPL career. The 32-year-old is the highest run-scorer in the IPL and has scored 5878 runs at an average of 38.16. The batting icon has also scored 5 hundreds and 39 fifties in the IPL.
While he has experienced a trough (again only by his exalted standards), a peak is definitely not far away. And, if Kohli can get back into the groove in the 14th IPL edition, then he stands a very good chance of winning the Orange Cap for the second time in his IPL career.
Note: All the stats have been taken from Howstat cricket, Cricinfo, and iplt20.com and have been updated as of 10th March 2021
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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