IPL 2021: Predicting the final top 3 of the Orange Cap

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan
Sai Krishna
Modified 05 May 2021

Just as Shikhar Dhawan wrested the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) Orange Cap from the incapacitated KL Rahul, the tournament was indefinitely suspended.

No IPL action is expected in the immediate future, with the players having been asked to head home. The Kolkata and Bangalore legs of the IPL would've been next, had the tournament gone through Delhi and Ahmedabad unscathed, and high-scoring encounters would've been inevitable.

A number of players would've had the opportunity to finish as the IPL's leading run-getter. Here, we attempt to predict the three batsmen who would've finished in the top three of the IPL 2021 Orange Cap list. Interestingly, none of these players have won the accolade before.

Honorable Mentions: Prithvi Shaw (308 runs), Sanju Samson (277 runs), Mayank Agarwal (260 runs), Virat Kohli (198 runs)

#3 Rohit Sharma - currently 8th on IPL 2021 Orange Cap list

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

When the tournament was brought to a close, Rohit Sharma was placed a lowly 8th on the IPL 2021 Orange Cap list. But there's reason to believe that the Mumbai Indians (MI) captain would've been able to soar up the standings and finish in the top three.

With 250 runs in 7 games at an average of 35.71, Rohit was on pace to enjoy his most prolific IPL season ever. He would've gotten the opportunity to play more games than the likes of Sanju Samson, Mayank Agarwal and Jos Buttler, who are placed ahead of him and might not have made the playoffs - unlike MI.

Bangalore and Kolkata, where the ball comes on to the bat and the boundaries are short, are among Rohit's favorite venues. He could've made oppositions pay in the second leg of the tournament and made a serious run for the IPL 2021 Orange Cap.

#2 Faf du Plessis - currently 3rd on IPL 2021 Orange Cap list

Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis

The ageless Faf du Plessis simply seems to be getting better for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL. Despite not being completely active in international cricket, the Proteas legend was among CSK's most consistent batsmen in the first half of IPL 2021.

Stringing together a number of fifties and giving the Men in Yellow explosive starts in the powerplay, Du Plessis had the Orange Cap on his head for a couple of games. With 320 runs in 7 games at an average of 64, he was placed third when the tournament was postponed and would've easily leapfrogged KL Rahul (331 runs).

Du Plessis would've been a genuine contender for the IPL 2021 Orange Cap, especially since CSK were primed to make a deep run into the playoffs.

#1 Shikhar Dhawan - currently 1st on IPL 2021 Orange Cap list

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan

Last year's Orange Cap runner-up Shikhar Dhawan went a step further in IPL 2021. With 380 runs in 8 games at an average of 54.28, the southpaw had firm control over the award when the tournament was brought to a close.

Dhawan benefited from having a settled, in-form opening partner in Prithvi Shaw. He had the freedom to take his time in the middle as Shaw took the attack to the opposition, and then joined in on the fun once he was settled. Importantly, the 35-year-old presented his case as an opener for the T20 World Cup after losing his place in the Indian T20I side earlier.

With Rahul out with appendicitis, Dhawan was the runaway favorite for the IPL 2021 Orange Cap. The Delhi Capitals were in prime position to finish in the top two, and a deep playoff run would've helped his cause immensely.

Published 05 May 2021
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