The Orange Cap has been one of the most sought-after awards in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ever since Shaun Marsh clinched it in the inaugural IPL season, the Orange Cap has been on some legendary cricketers' heads. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and David Warner have all won the accolade on at least one occasion.
Last year, Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul was the runaway winner of the Orange Cap. Apart from the usual suspects such as Rahul, we name 5 dark horses who could claim the Orange Cap in IPL 2021.
#5 Suryakumar Yadav - Mumbai Indians
Suryakumar Yadav is in the form of his life. Having finally made his India debut after years of waiting, the Mumbai Indians No. 3 is primed for a career-best season in the IPL.
MI play 5 games in Chennai and 4 games in Ahmedabad, and Suryakumar is arguably the best player of spin in the country. The classy right-hander has a rock-solid batting lineup around him and he can afford to play his natural game without any fear.
We could see Suryakumar contend for the Orange Cap in an IPL season which will have a major bearing on selection for India's T20 World Cup squad.
#4 Devdutt Padikkal - Royal Challengers Bangalore
Reports have suggested that Devdutt Padikkal has made a complete recovery after testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago, and will be available for the IPL 2021 season opener against the Mumbai Indians.
Padikkal finished last year's IPL as the Royal Challengers Bangalore's leading run-scorer, making more runs than even Kohli and AB de Villiers. The young southpaw is on the back of a spectacular domestic season, especially in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Padikkal could catapult himself into reckoning for the national team with a prolific IPL season, and winning the Orange Cap would go a long way in achieving the same objective. He could be among the frontrunners for the award throughout IPL 2021, especially with Kohli as an opening partner.