IPL 2021 has thoroughly entertained cricket fans and lived up to its reputation as the most popular T20 league in the world. The second leg of the IPL was held in the UAE and the slow pitches on offer could hardly be termed as a batsman’s paradise. Cricket has largely been termed as a batsman’s game though. But this IPL season, the bowlers had their share of the limelight as well with some outstanding bowling performances across all teams, thus impacting the IPL match result.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 wicket-takers in IPL 2021.
The above table is important to consider for 3 reasons.
- All the Top 5 wicket-takers in IPL 2021are of Indian origin, which is a commendable feat in the presence of the best bowlers from different countries participating in the IPL.
- All the Top 5 bowlers on the list are fast bowlers, which ushers in a new era of fast bowling in India. Surprisingly, no spinner is part of the list.
- Even the Indian selectors could not have predicted this stupendous performance as the Top 2 fast bowlers in the list were not considered for selection for the T20 World Cup.
That is the greatness of the IPL as new Indian players are constantly emerging because of the league and becoming household names. The future of Indian cricket is bright, to say the least.
The Purple Cap is given to the bowler with the highest wickets at the end of the season. This time, the honor went to RCB bowler Harshal Patel, who picked up 32 wickets in IPL 21. Harshal equaled the record of CSK bowler Dwayne Bravo for the most wickets taken in a single season. The West Indian bowler had achieved this feat in the 2013 season of the IPL. Unfortunately, RCB lost to KKR in the playoffs to the Final of the IPL. This denied Harshal Patel from having a crack at another game and beating Bravo’s record. Harshal Patel is also the only bowler to pick a hat-trick this season. He did this against Mumbai Indians in Dubai. He is also one of the three bowlers to pick a five-wicket haul (5 for 27) this season alongside Punjab Kings’ Arshdeep Singh (5 for 32) and KKR’s Andre Russell (5 for 15).
Avesh Khan of Delhi Capitals finished with 24 wickets in 15 matches to end the IPL season at the 2nd position on the list. The young pacer who is waiting for his chance to play for India earned the praise of experts and fans alike for his outstanding bowling display. Impressive with his Yorkers at the death overs, his change of pace, and his ability to move the ball both ways, Avesh Khan stood out in the DC bowling lineup despite the presence of big names like Nortje and Rabada. No wonder DC coach Ricky Ponting had this to say about Avesh Khan-
“Avesh Khan is one of the most improved bowlers in the IPL. It’s a really enjoyable squad to coach with those players of youth and experience and Indian and overseas players,”
Many would have thought that Jasprit Bumrah would have been on top of this list at the beginning of IPL 21. But he could only manage the third position, which speaks volumes about the emergence of new talent in the form of fast bowlers in the IPL. But Boom Boom Bumrah lived up to his fearsome reputation, picking up 21 wickets in only 14 matches. He has been one of the stand-out performers in a jaded-looking Mumbai Indians team this season.
CSK all-rounder Shardul Thakur finished fourth in the list of the highest wicket-takers in IPL 21 with 21 wickets. Thakur is one player who is at ease in all formats of the game as witnessed in the Test Series against the Aussies as well as in the IPL. It would be interesting to see if he can perform under pressure in the T20 World Cup if he gets a chance to play.
The consistent Mohammed Shami is in 5th place on the list. He spearheaded the Punjab Kings’ pace attack in IPL 21, picking up 19 wickets in 14 matches.
Who would have thought that all the five names on this exclusive list would belong to Indian fast bowlers? The IPL continues to excite and surprise and we cannot wait for next year’s edition.
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