The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) lasted just three and a half weeks before it was forced to be suspended by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there were a few standout performances during the course of the competition and some by the overseas stars. While some of the big purchases in the auction like Jhye Richardson and Kyle Jamieson were not at their best, some others like Glenn Maxwell and Faf du Plessis stole the show with some breathtaking performances.
We look at five of the best overseas performers in IPL 2021.
1. Faf du Plessis (Chennai Super Kings)
Faf Du Plessis was the Mr Consistent for CSK producing match-winning performances at the top of the order. He continued from where he left in IPL 2020 in the UAE and had an aggregate of 320 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 145.45 with 4 fifties in the competition. He was very consistent and registered a 30-plus score in every match since being dismissed for a duck in CSK’s season opener.
He was the third-highest run-getter of the tournament and scored big runs at a high rate giving CSK the platform to put up totals in excess of 180 in almost every match they played in the competition. An unbeaten 95 off 60 deliveries against KKR and 50 off 28 deliveries against the Mumbai Indians were his standout innings in the competition.
2. Glenn Maxwell (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
A change in jersey completely transformed Glenn Maxwell’s fortunes in the IPL. He had a nightmare of a tournament in the UAE last year scoring 108 runs in 13 innings at a strike rate of 101.88. Maxwell produced three defining performances with the bat for RCB at the start of the season - 39 off 28 deliveries, 59 off 41 deliveries and 78 off 49 deliveries - Maxwell was the X-factor for RCB in the middle order in this edition. A stable position at number 4 worked wonders for the Australian maverick who had otherwise been used as a floater by the Punjab Kings. Maxwell aggregated 223 runs in 6 innings at a strike rate of almost 145 in the tournament.
3. Moeen Ali (Chennai Super Kings)
Moeen Ali surprised everyone with his brilliant all-round display for the Super Kings. He was used as a cameo-specialist at number three and did not disappoint. Ali consistently produced the quick 30s, 40s and 50s keeping the momentum at the top of the order while also relieving the pressure of the middle order. He had an aggregate of 206 runs in 6 matches at a high strike rate of 157.25. 36 off 24 balls against the Capitals, 46 off 31 against Punjab Kings, 25 off 12 against KKR and 58 off 36 against MI - Ali was instrumental in providing the rollicking starts and keeping the momentum going in the middle overs for CSK.
He was also very effective with his off-spinners picking 5 wickets and being very economical conceding just 6.16 runs per over which was a splendid effort for a fourth/fifth bowler in the XI.
4. Chris Morris (Rajasthan Royals)
Chris Morris was the joint second-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 with 14 wickets in 7 matches at a strike rate of 11.1. Morris ran through the lower-middle order of KKR returning with 4-23 in 4 overs setting up the match for the Royals. He also bagged 3-29 against the Sunrisers. Morris also produced a cameo with the bat against the Capitals. He came out to bat at 90 for 6 in the 15th over and hammered an unbeaten 36 off just 18 deliveries to help RR chase down the target of 148 with three wickets in hand and two balls remaining.
5. Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians)
Kieron Pollard produced one good performance and one great performance with the bat in the IPL. He had a poor start but made up when it really mattered for the Mumbai Indians. He smashed 35 off 22 balls against the Sunrisers before delivering two economical overs. But this was just the curtain raiser! He blasted an unbeaten match-winning 87 off just 34 deliveries taking the Mumbai Indians to a sensational win off the last ball of the match against arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings in Delhi in what was one of the greatest innings in the history of the IPL. MI had pulled off the second-highest chase in the history of the IPL. They hammered a record 138 in the final 10 overs of their chase - the maximum runs scored in the last 10 overs of a successful chase in the IPL.