The Purple Cap is a dream for every bowler in the IPL. The bowler who has the most wickets after every franchise has played its opening game of the season becomes the first player to receive the IPL Purple Cap. Soon, the competition for the award becomes more intense as the tournament progresses. Eventually, the bowler with the maximum wickets gets the Purple Cap award at the closing ceremony.
So far, only three bowlers winning the Purple Cap have lifted the IPL trophy in the same season. Sohail Tanvir and RP Singh did so in the first two seasons, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar achieved this feat in 2016. Last year, Kagiso Rabada accounted for the most wickets, but his team finished second.
With IPL 2021 almost upon us, here are the top five contenders for the prestigious Purple Cap.
5. Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan has achieved incredible success in the game's shortest format. The Afghan leg-spinner holds the top spot in the ICC T20I Rankings for bowlers. Even in the IPL, Khan has been the most successful player from his country.
The leg-spin bowler has represented the Sunrisers Hyderabad since 2017. In 62 games for the Orange Army, Khan has scalped 75 wickets at an economy rate of 6.25.
In IPL 2020, Rashid conceded runs at an economy rate of just 5.38 runs per over. Rashid Khan has a tendency to frustrate batsmen with dot balls before they eventually end up gifting their wickets.
Khan picked up 20 wickets in 16 outings last year. Because of his consistency in T20 cricket, he will start as one of the favorites to win the Purple Cap in 2021.
4. Pat Cummins
Before IPL Auction 2021, Pat Cummins was the most expensive overseas signing in IPL history. The Kolkata Knight Riders secured his services for a whopping ₹15.5 crore at IPL Auction 2020.
Unfortunately, Cummins could not justify his price tag in the UAE last year. He played all 14 league matches, picking up 12 wickets at an average of 34.08. Given how talented Cummins is, the fans are backing him to perform better in IPL 2021.
Cummins has a bowling strike rate of 17.84 in T20 internationals. If he can pick up wickets with such consistency in IPL 2021, the Aussie will likely take the Purple Cap home.