From Punjab’s Mayank Agarwal to Mumbai’s Quinton de Kock, Indian T20 League’s big run-getters this season have been as unusual as the tournament’s time and place on the cricketing calendar.
While cricket has kept its promise of lacing UAE’s deserts with fours and sixes over the past few weeks, their batting superstars have mostly been from teams who have little to no chance of reaching the playoffs.
Here are the best openers from the tournament so far.
KL Rahul (Punjab)
Undoubtedly the best opening batsman that the Indian T20 League has seen so far this season, KL Rahul is carving a niche for himself. Despite being accused of making a slower approach to the T20 format of cricket, KL Rahul now has a set viewership who turns on the TV to get a glimpse of his impeccably timed shots and poised batting. He has already scored 525 runs in nine matches with an average of 75. With his last five scores reading 77, 61*, 74, 11 and 63, cricket fans haven’t seen a more consistent run-scorer either.
Quinton de Kock (Mumbai)
An in-form Quinton de Kock signals the large extent to which things have clicked for Mumbai in a strange season. From the tournament getting pushed to uncertainty to it getting shifted to UAE, most franchises have had troubles adapting to the conditions. But Mumbai players have ridden the desert storm and Quinton de Kock is the perfect example. The southpaw is on course to have the best Indian T20 League season since his first appearance in 2013. Opening the innings for Mumbai, De Kock has amassed 322 runs already with an average of 40.25 and has four fifties to his name.
Mayank Agarwal (Punjab)
Yet another batsman, who could see his whole cricketing career change following this season of the Indian T20 League, Mayank Agarwal has been unstoppable alongside KL Rahul for Punjab. Having played in the tournament since 2011, Agarwal’s best season was 2019 when he had garnered 332 runs in 13 matches. This season Agarwal has already tallied 393 runs with only nine matches played so far. What makes his season more exciting, is the sheer pace with which he has gone about. Averaging 43.66 so far, KL Rahul is scoring at a strike rate of 159.10 with one century to his name already.
Shikhar Dhawan (Delhi)
Not only players at their primes, but the veterans have also joined the bandwagon in this season of the Indian T20 League. 34-year-old Shikhar Dhawan, who had to spend a significant chunk of last year’s cricketing calendar with injury, has returned in style and amped up the heat in UAE. The southpaw has had more responsibility with his willow since jumping ship from Hyderabad to Delhi and he is rising to the expectations. Dhawan has amassed 359 runs already at a strike rate of 143.02 with one match-winning century already to his name.
David Warner (Hyderabad)
One would empathize with Hyderabad for the way this season has turned out for them. Like Chennai, their squad was picked from their familiar homes and dropped amidst an alienated condition and to further exacerbate their journey, star players were injured in the process. Hyderabad needed a strong-willed skipper to keep moving against such odds and they have got one in David Warner. After nine matches Warner has managed an impressive 331 runs and this is nowhere near his best season, which hints at the standard at which the Australian has operated. His last five season tallies have been 692, 641, 848, 562 and 528.
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