IPL 2021: Beware of These Lethal Weapons

With the second half of the IPL 2021 all set to take place in UAE from September 19, the tournament serves the purpose of a perfect dress rehearsal for the majority of players before the T-20 World Cup in October. Some players, both bowlers and batters, are at their devastating best or can turn lethal as the tournament progresses and the opposition would be mindful of these ticking time bombs. Keeping this in mind, it is time to find out the players who are capable of giving sleepless nights to the opposition in the 14th edition of the IPL. 

Players the rival teams would be wary of 

Steve Smith (Delhi Capitals) 

Image Credits: Insidesport

The former Australian captain has had a tough time in the aftermath of the ball-tampering controversy against South Africa in 2018. However, the prolific Oz batter has buried the unsavoury episode with scintillating performances in international matches, especially in the Ashes. But in the IPL he is yet to show his evil side. With 104 runs from 7 matches in the first half of the IPL at a strike rate of 111.82, it would be easy to be dismissive of this unorthodox player. However, with T-20 WC round the corner, he will be raring to go and has fully recovered from an elbow problem that haunted him at the outset of this edition of the IPL. So, a fully-fit Steve Smith eager to take the bull by its horns can be an extremely dangerous proposition for the other teams in the T-20 league. 

Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad) 

Image Credits: Hindustan Times

The turmoils in his home country have not affected him at all but his cricket board’s indifference has. There is still no clarity over his captaincy status with regard to the national team but the Leggie from Afghanistan can be a tough customer to deal with on UAE’s low and slow pitches and the batsmen will be content with playing percentage cricket when he is the bowler. Having played seven matches in this year’s IPL so far, scalping 10 wickets at an economy rate of 6.14, he has already instilled fear among opposition teams. In the UAE leg of the league, Rashid Khan can be more threatening, considering the nature of the tracks over there, so the batsmen, even the best in business, will be treading with extreme caution while facing his varieties of Googlies. 

Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad) 

IPL 2021, MI vs SRH: Can Sunrisers beat Mumbai without unfit Williamson
Image Credits: Insidesport

With a cool and calm demeanor, the New Zealand captain is not only a gentleman known for his extremely good conduct on the cricket field but also a great batsman of this era. After taking over from an out of form David Warner this year, the Sunrise skipper has so far scored a brilliant 128 runs in four matches with a strike rate of 126.73 in the Indian leg of the IPL. He has had to wait for his opportunities in several IPL seasons due to the heavy influx of foreign players in the Hyderabad team, but whenever he has got the opportunity he has made it count. This year the Sunrisers are at the bottom of the points table and the team needs Williamson’s astuteness badly to get them out of the current morass. In the 2018 IPL, without Warner, Williamson had led Hyderabad to the final and the fact will not be lost on the other teams in the league. 

Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians) 

Image Credits: Republic World

He has been the go-to man, whether it’s Virat for Team India or Rohit for MI, during the crisis. Bumrah has always delivered whenever the ball has been given to him during the IPL. After terrorizing England in their backyards with 18 wickets in four matches, the timing could not have been more appropriate for Mumbai Indians to unleash him upon the hapless opposition. With six wickets in seven matches, he has had a sedate start by his standards in the IPL so far. With Trent Boult at the other end to partner him, the lethality of Bumrah’s bowling is bound to go several notches higher. Also, by now, his slow, as well as fast yorkers, would be disturbing several batsmen’s routine sleep, so the opposition is bound to feel the heat whenever they find the ball in Bumrah’s hand. 

Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals) 

Image Credits: Insidesport

The wicketkeeper-batsman from Kerala has mostly flattered to deceive in national colours. After returning with ordinary returns as a Team India player against Sri Lanka his national ambitions might hit a temporary roadblock but he will be eager to prove to everyone that the Lankan tour was a minor blip on the radar. In this year’s IPL, Samson has so far scored 277 runs in 7 matches, boasting a magnificent strike rate of 145.78. This shows that he is a different kettle of fish altogether while playing in the IPL. For the last few years, the Kerala batsman has been constantly aggregating 350 runs in every season, and this year he nearly pulled off an impossible win against Kings XI Punjab with 119 of 63 balls, the RR fell short eventually by 4 runs. With an unconventional batting style and natural hitting abilities, Samson can be a nightmare for the rival teams in the IPL. 

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