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In September and October of 2021, the UAE will host the final 31 IPL games. After an outbreak of covid-19 spread to four franchises in early May, the competition was put on hold.

At this point in the tournament, the Delhi Capitals lead the table, followed by the Chennai Super Kings on points difference. Shikhar Dhawan is the team’s top run scorer and Harshal Patel is the team’s leading wicket-taker.

First-half IPL 2021 pitches in Mumbai would be better for batting than those in Chennai and Ahmedabad. As a result, knowing the success numerous batters had last season, the UAE will have ample of opportunities to score even more runs.

IPL 2021: 5 Batsmen Who Have a Chance to Win the Orange Cap Following the UAE Leg

Shikhar Dhawan

By the end of the IPL 2021 season, Shikhar Dhawan will be the favourite to take home the orange cap. Last year, he came up short to Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul. In contrast to last year, the left-hander appears more at ease this year because to Prithvi Shaw’s strong starts as an opener.

The southpaw has a 380-run average in 8 innings against him. As Dhawan plays second fiddle to Shaw’s mind-blowing attacking binge and takes up the reins following Shaw’s dismissal, his strike rate has dropped to 134.27 this year from 144.73 last year.

Prithvi Shaw

As for the small opener Prithvi Shaw, he’s back to his brilliant self following a poor year in 2019. He followed up his record-breaking performance in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with an equally impressive start to the IPL 2021 season. So far this season, he has hammered 308 runs at 38.50, striking out 166.48, the best strikeout rate among the top 10 run scorers.

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Shaw plays the aggressor, an out-and-out attacker, a destroyer of the opposition’s bowlers in the powerplay. He’d also be expected to go one step further and notch his first ever IPL tonne.

His average and strike rate this season are already scary, but he would join India’s elite group of openers if he keeps scoring at the same rate.

 KL Rahul

While KL Rahul continues to amass massive runs in the IPL, his strike rate has been criticised over the last three seasons. The strike rate dropped from 158.41 in 2018 to 135.39 and 129.34 in the next two seasons.

While he has scored 331 runs this year and is only a few runs behind Dhawan in the batting race, his strike rate of 136.21 is once again problematic. Since Punjab’s middle-order is so shaky, their captain needs to bat deep and take considerably less risks than he would have and is no doubt capable of doing in an improved batting lineup. Nevertheless, last year’s orange cap champion is back for a second go-round.

Faf du Plessis

The opening partnerships of Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad have played a significant role in the turnaround of CSK’s position in the points standings. Gaikwad has done well to fill Shane Watson’s enormous shoes, and du Plessis in particular has been a regular and reliable hitter for the Super Kings throughout the years.

Even better than last season’s averages of 40.81 and 140.75, he has a season average of 64.00 and a strikeout rate of 145.45 for his 320 runs in 7 innings. In-form all-rounders Moeen Ali and Sam Curran are set to be unavailable for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2021 second round. To offer the batting order greater solidity, Du Plessis must pick up his game. The top of the order has always relied on excellent starts from the middle order.

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Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant’s strike rate of 131.48 this season does not reflect his potential and abilities, both of which have been demonstrated in the past. At that batting average, he has scored 213 runs at an average of 35.50. Pant’s batting approach thus far in his debut leadership season is evident from his average and strike rate.

When the Royal Challengers Bangalore won by one run on the last ball, he tried to bat through the innings holding the line-up, but it didn’t work.

It’s safe to say, though, that Shreyas Iyer, who has recovered from injury, will return to the line-up and take over as captain for the remainder of the season. It’d be an enormous shock to see Iyer lose the job despite DC topping the points table under Pant.

Hence, it would free Pant from all the additional strain and duties he was carrying, allowing him to enjoy in his role as a cricket ball marauder, where he could attack the bowlers whenever he wanted.