The Indian Premier League (IPL) season for 2021 has reached its midway mark. All the eight teams have completed at least 7 out of their 14 scheduled group-stage matches. And true to the nature of the league, this edition has also been full of nail-biting encounters.
Many of the Indian cricketers have outshone their overseas counterparts in IPL 2021 and have emerged as the Most Valuable Players (MVP) for their respective sides. Apart from the great outings of the usual IPL icons, this season has also seen breakthrough performances by emerging talents like Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Once the IPL reaches completion, India's next major T20 assignment would be the ICC T20 World Cup, slated to be held in India itself later this year. Hence, the IPL performance of every Indian player this season is likely to leave a longer impact than usual and influence the selectors when the World Cup comes around.
On that note, we take a look at two such players who might have already sealed their spots in the playing XI for the ICC T20 World Cup courtesy of their IPL 2021 campaigns.
Ravindra Jadeja's name has been doing the rounds in IPL 2021 following his iconic performances for the Chennai Super Kings.
The 32-year-old all-rounder has been in stellar form of late. He has improved on his ability to take charge from the very first ball and has been clearing the boundaries for fun. In the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore on 25 April, he scored 37 runs off the final over of the Chennai innings enroute to his knock of 62 off 28 balls.
He has bowled superbly as well, regularly stifling the batsmen with his tight line and length. In addition, he has been his usual livewire-self on the field, taking spectacular catches and making direct hits to run out multiple players.
India captain Virat Kohli also lauded Jadeja for his extraordinary performances, saying
“His (Jadeja) ability has been there for everyone to see. I am very happy to see him perform with the bat, ball and on the field."
“After two months, he will be back playing for India and it is always a pleasure to see your premier all-rounder do well with the bat. When he plays well and is confident, it lets out many opportunities.”
With such dazzling performances for his team, Ravindra Jadeja has definitely sealed his spot in India's T20 playing XI.
Shikhar Dhawan has silenced his critics this season with scintillating performances for the Delhi Capitals at the top of the order.
Being labeled as a slow starter in the T20 format, Dhawan was subject to a lot of criticism prior to IPL 2021.However, he has caught everybody's eye with his spectacular knocks, thus falsifying that claim. Dhawan has been getting his runs both consistently and quickly. He has scored 380 runs from his 8 matches so far, at a whopping average of 54.28 and a strike rate of 134.27.
With the way Shikhar Dhawan has been going, there's little doubt over the fact that he has already guaranteed his place in India's playing XI in the T20 World Cup.