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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL 2021: Wisden’s overseas team of the tournament

IPL 2021 overseas
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

With Chennai Super Kings’ fourth title marking an end to IPL 2021, here’s an XI made up of the best overseas players in the tournament.

The tournament, split into two legs – in India and the UAE – saw a stream of fine performances from both domestic and overseas players. And while the runs and wickets charts were dominated by domestic players, a select bunch of overseas players fared well throughout the tournament too.

Here’s the team:

Faf du Plessis

16 matches, 633 runs @ 45.35, HS: 101*, SR: 136.26

Much to what would have been the dismay for South Africa fans, Faf du Plessis – ignored for the upcoming T20 World Cup – was in red-hot form throughout IPL, combining with young Ruturaj Gaikwad to make the tournament’s most dazzling opening pairing. He crossed 40 nine times, including four back-to-back fifties, and ended as the highest overseas run-scorer this season.

Jos Buttler

7 matches, 254 runs @ 36.28, HS: 124, SR: 153.01

Buttler played in just the Indiab leg of IPL 2021, but was in his element in the short window, hitting the only century by an overseas player this year. It was his last innings of the season – before that, he collected only a couple of notable forties, but still ended as his side’s second-highest run-scorer this season.

Glenn Maxwell

15 matches, 513 runs @ 42.75, HS: 78, SR: 144.10

The undisputed overseas star of the season, Maxwell carried RCB’s batting through to the knockout stages, slamming six fifty-plus scores in what was his best IPL season in years. Batting in a refined, fluent fashion, he accelerated through the middle stages, hitting 21 sixes, the most by a player from the overseas contingent.

Moeen Ali

15 matches, 357 runs @ 25.50, HS: 58, SR: 137.30; 6 wickets @ 26.83, ER: 6.35, BBI: 3-7

Moeen turned around a below-par UAE leg with a dominant batting display in the final, giving CSK a handy push in their innings with a 20-ball 37* at No.4. He was in fine touch during the India leg, scoring 206 runs in six innings. While used sparingly, he was useful with the ball too, ending with the best economy in his team among those who played more than once this season.

Shimron Hetmyer

14 matches, 242 runs @ 34.57, HS: 53*, SR: 168.05

Delhi Capitals’ problems last year lay in their inconsistent middle order, so Shimron Hetmyer’s rapid cameos were beneficial this season. He went 50 only once, but consistently chipped in useful scores, often turning below-par scores into challenging ones, and ended with the highest batting strike-rate among all players this season.

Andre Russell

10 matches, 183 runs @ 26.14, HS: 54, SR: 152.50; 11 wickets @ 17.09, ER: 9.89, BBI: 5-15

Russell wasn’t exactly in vintage form but did enjoy moments of brilliance in a season that was stalled by a hamstring issue. He hit three thirty-plus scores, including a 21-ball 50; with the ball, he snared 11 wickets, including a five-for in just two overs against MI.

Jason Holder

8 matches, 16 wickets @ 15.43, ER: 7.75, BBI: 4-52; 85 runs @ 14.16, HS: 47*, SR: 118.05

Holder did not have a great season with the bat but was one of the bright spots for Sunrisers Hyderabad in a forgettable year, ending with the most wickets among overseas seamers. Picking up wickets in clusters, he stood up when the rest of the SRH seamers failed to create much impact. A 21-ball 47* from No.7, albeit in a losing cause, was, in hindsight, a good reminder that he probably should have been tried higher up the order.

Sunil Narine

14 matches, 16 wickets @ 22.56, ER: 6.44, BBI: 4-21

Another notable absentee from the upcoming T20 World Cup, Narine’s bowling clicked on the right occasions, bagging key wickets while being jawdroppingly economical. Only twice in 15 games did he concede more than 35 runs, keeping a tight lid on runs in the middle overs, and he was characteristically flamboyant with the bat.

Rashid Khan

14 matches, 18 wickets @ 20.83, ER: 6.69, BBI: 3-36

Given the kind of season SRH had, Rashid’s performances flew under the radar, but he was still, statistically, the most successful overseas bowler this season. He picked up at least a wicket in all but one game the whole year, conceding over 40 only once.

Lockie Ferguson

8 matches, 13 wickets @ 17.23, ER: 7.46, BBI: 3-18

The final was a blip, but Ferguson was ferociously effective throughout, using his pace to pepper batsmen with short-pitched stuff and the occasional serving of yorkers. After being confined to the benches for the India leg, Ferguson’s speed burst through UAE’s slow pitches (his fastest delivery stood at 153.63kph) Barring the final, he took at least a wicket in every game he played.

Anrich Nortje

8 matches, 12 wickets @ 15.58, ER: 6.16, BBI: 2-12

Another speed merchant who did not play the full set of games, Nortje, too, breached the 150kph+ barrier regularly, carrying on his good form from the 2020 edition.

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