With IPL 2021 finally wrapped up over six months after it first started, we’ve picked Wisden’s team of the tournament.
Prithvi Shaw – Delhi Capitals
15 matches, 479 runs, HS 82, Avg 31.93, SR 159.13
Look at that strike-rate. Shaw has taken attacks apart during the powerplay and often got his Delhi Capitals side off to a rapid start. This was the former India U-19 captain’s best IPL season to date scoring four half-centuries across the campaign.
Ruturaj Gaikwad – Chennai Super Kings
16 matches, 635 runs, HS 101*, Avg 45.35, SR 136.26
The leading run-scorer in the competition in just his second year of playing in the IPL, Gaikwad is the first uncapped Indian player to win the Orange Cap. He just pips his opening partner Faf du Plessis to this place. We were torn as to whether to pick both the Chennai openers, however we decided to take one and pair them with Shaw to make sure we got off to as fast a start as possible.
KL Rahul – Punjab Kings
13 matches, 626 runs, HS 98*, Avg 62.6, SR 138.80
The leading run scorer in the group stages, Rahul had an exceptional season with the highlight being his staggering 98* off 42 balls against CSK. Rahul bats three in this side although if he and Gaikwad wished to swap, that’d be just fine by us.
Also, blimey – what an absurd season KL had.
Batting Impact +8.4, eighth best ever for an IPL season min 500 runs.
When @fwildecricket & I did our podcast on India's T20 side in March, I wanted Kishan and KL to open – with KL above Rohit.
I stand by it. He's unbelievable.
— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) October 11, 2021
Sanju Samson – Rajasthan Royals
14 matches, 484 runs, HS 119, Avg 40.33, SR 136.72
The highlight of Samson’s campaign was without doubt his 119 off 63 balls against Punjab Kings, despite it coming in a losing cause. Incredibly, that knock happened over six months ago but Samson also paired it with fifties against the Sunrisers and Capitals in the second half of the tournament.
Glenn Maxwell – Royal Challengers Bangalore
15 matches, 513 runs, HS 78, Avg 42.75, SR 144.10, 3 wkts, Econ 8.43
A genius of his time, Maxwell took his maverick reputation to new heights with his innings of 56 against Mumbai Indians where exactly half of his runs were scored with either reverse or switch shots. A strike-rate in the 140s, can bat anywhere in the order and also has the ability to bowl some offies as well, Maxwell is arguably the most versatile T20 cricketer in the world.
Shimron Hetmyer – Delhi Capitals
14 matches, 242 runs, HS 53*, Avg 34.57, SR 168.05
The cameo man of IPL 2021. Hetmyer’s stock rose exponentially with his ability to provide late-innings bursts to Delhi Capitals. His success has been such that many fans and analysts are calling for him to be given a chance up the order next year.
I am a simple man. I ask simple things: whoever gets Hetmyer next year, play him at 3 or 4. Thanks.
— Alagappan Vijayakumar (@IndianMourinho) October 10, 2021
Ravindra Jadeja – Chennai Super Kings
16 matches, 227 runs, HS 62*, Avg 75.66, SR 145.51, 13 wkts, Econ 7.06
Can there be a select XI in this day and age without Jadeja featuring? An absolute rockstar in the field and with the ball who now possesses a power-hitting game to boot. A strike-rate of 145 may be down on last season’s 171.85 but is still more than enough to get him a slot in this XI.
Sunil Narine – Kolkata Knight Riders
16 wkts, BBM 4-21, Avg 22.56, Econ 6.44
Narine was one half of a formidable spin partnership formed with Varun Chakravarty who between them played a major role in KKR’s route to the final. His performance in the Eliminator against RCB was one of the great individual performances of the competition as he took 4-21 before hitting a six off each of his first three balls en route to a match-defining 26 off 15.
Harshal Patel – Royal Challengers Bangalore
32 wkts, BBM 5-27, Avg 14.34, Econ 8.14
By far and away Patel’s best season in the IPL having only ever taken more than ten wickets in a season once before: in 2015 when he took 17. Patel tied Dwayne Bravo’s record for number of wickets in an IPL season which makes him an automatic selection for the team of the tournament.
Avesh Khan – Delhi Capitals
24 wkts, BBM 3-13, Avg 18.75, Econ 7.37
A toss up here between Avesh and Jasprit Bumrah, whose numbers are almost identical. But, having been part of the Delhi side that finished top of the table, Avesh gets the nod. Avesh made his debut in the IPL in 2017 but this is without doubt his breakout season having played just nine games in the previous four years of IPL.
Varun Chakravarty – Kolkata Knight Riders
18 wkts, BBM 3-13, Avg 24.88, Econ 6.58
The ying to Sunil Narine’s yang. Chakravarty’s mystery spin was a key component of KKR’s run to the final. On a personal level. it was a second consecutive year where Chakravarty excelled. This season he took 18 wickets which was one better than his haul last year of 17.
Wisden’s IPL 2021 Team of the Tournament