One of the most popular outright markets to bet on in any IPL season is the leading run scorer. Here we preview the odds and offer predictions on who will be the top tournament batsmen in IPL 2021.
As with every year, the contest to don the Orange Cap as the IPL’s top run scorer for the season will be a fierce one with some of the biggest names in the history of T20 cricket going toe to toe over the course of the 14 match IPL season and the playoffs that follow.
When making predictions on who is going to be the leading run scorer in the IPL, it’s always worth considering that in limited overs cricket, the players coming in at the top of the order will get the most time in the middle and therefore are likely to be the ones with the greatest chance of making the consistent big scores that are necessary to be ranked as the highest run scorer come the end of an IPL season.
As such our tips for the IPL top tournament batsmen will generally focus on those players who will are likely to spend most of their time batting in the top 3 spots for their chosen franchise.
Equally, the decision to play all the IPL 2021 fixtures at neutral venues throws an extra dimension into any predictions for how successful a batsmen is going to be this season. Our stats by IPL venue gives us a great advantage when considering how certain conditions are likely to impact the race for top tournament run scorer this year and we’ll be factoring it into all of our tips below.
We’ll start with our top tip for the this year’s leading batsmen in the IPL and to be honest it’s not a very surprising prediction! Virat Kohli is arguably the greatest white ball cricketer to have played the game and he is the leading all time run scorer in the IPL.
While it’s been a little while since Kohli finished an IPL season as the top batsmen, his announcement that he will be opening the batting for RCB this year should be a clear indication that he plans to bat long and bat big in the 2021 tournament.
While the debate about whether Kohli should open the batting in T20 cricket will rage on for the duration of the IPL and probably the World Cup to follow, it’s worth taking a moment to consider then man’s record in that regard. Here are a few of the top line stats for Kohli as an opener in T20 cricket and you can also read our full analysis here
|Average opening the batting in T20s||46.24|
|100s / 50s opening the batting in T20s||5 / 18|
|Innings per half-century opening the batting in T20s||3.09|
As you can see, Kohli’s record at the top of the order is mighty impressive and therefore having some money riding on him to be the leading run scorer at odds of 9.0 seems a no brainer.
Last seasons leading run scorer in the IPL is once again favourite for the Orange Cap in 2021. Despite playing just 14 matches as his KXIP failed to make the playoffs, KL Rahul still managed to finish 52 runs clear of his nearest rivals who all played 2 or 3 games more.
While, KL Rahul is coming off a shocking T20 series with India where his form eventually led to him being dropped there is hope still hope he can recapture last season’s heroics after a decent cameo in the 1st ODI that followed and the fact that he averages over 80 batting at the Wankhede Stadium where PBKS will play their first 3 games.
If money starts to flow away from KL Rahul and towards a few others on this list (as I think it might) then we may yet see his odds of 8.0 to be the top tournament batsmen begin to drift and that could be the time to strike.
The Sunriser’s captain is a machine when it comes to run scoring in the IPL and a solid prediction as top tournament batsmen for any year. Last year, Warner didn’t quite manage to emulate the consistency that he showed in IPL 2019 when he won the Orange Cap by passing 50 on 9 out of the 12 occasions he batted but he wasn’t far off the pace in 2020.
Still this is a batsmen who has been the leading run scorer in the IPL on 3 separate occasions and since 2014 has never finished outside the top 5 highest run scorers for any IPL season that he has played in.
The one niggling doubt about Warner for this year is the way the fixtures have fallen for him and how that might impact his run getting in IPL 2021. SRH start off their campaign with 9 games played on the slower tracks of Chennai and Delhi, pitches on which Warner’s record is not quite as good. Despite this, Warner has sufficient experience and class to overcome such obstacles and a bet at odds of 9.0 on him betting the top tournament batsmen is still good value for money.
Another opener and another player with a record in the IPL to suggest that he will be there or thereabouts as leading runs scorer during the 2021 tournament. Shikhar Dhawan made 2 of the 5 centuries to be scored in last season’s IPL and he’s very likely to be the man tasked with batting through the innings once again as Delhi Capitals look to go one better than their final appearance in 2020.
Excellent against pace and with a superb record against spin, Dhawan is the complete T20 batsmen and it looks as though he’ll come into the 2021 version of the IPL off the back of some good form following his match winning innings vs England in the 1st ODI of the series. You can back him as top tournament batsmen at generous odds of 13.0
Moving now to consider some real outsider predictions for top run scorer in IPL 2021 although perhaps a player with Smith’s pedigree should never be entirely written off. The Australian master batsmen has something of a point to prove having been shown the door at previous franchise Rajasthan Royals.
There is no doubt that T20 cricket is Smith’s weakest form but as a once in generation talent, I wouldn’t bet against him working it out. I probably would have avoided adding Smith to this list of tips for top batsmen had it not have been for the injury sustained by DC captain Shreyas Iyer which looks certain to limit his action in the IPL this year.
While there were a few eyebrows raised at Smith’s acquisition by Delhi during the auction given that they have a very strong top order already, the gap left by Iyer who was probably due to bat at number 3 suddenly presents the perfect opportunity for Smith to rebuild his reputation in the IPL. Working with former Aussie captain Ricky Ponting, I expect Smith to get the full backing of his new side and at long odds of 19.0 to be the top tournament batsmen there is value to be had on a small stake.
One of my favourite players to watch in any form of cricket and a man who optimises everything that is good about the sport is Kiwi captain Kane Williamson. Williamson finished as the IPL’s top batsmen in the 2017 season, topping the 700 run mark a feat that hasn’t been bettered by anyone since.
Beyond his obvious class and run scoring ability, Williamson’s chances of finishing this IPL season as the leading run scorer are enhanced by the fact that his record at several of the venues SRH will play their games at this year is superb!
Why then are Williamson’s odds of 21.0 to be top tournament batsmen so long? Well the one concern would be whether he is an automatic pick for SRH who have plenty of overseas talent to choose from at the top of their order and will need to make some tough decisions about how to balance their team. However, if Williamson gets the nod early in the tournament and scores runs then he’s going to be very difficult to leave out and those long odds will look like a real bargin!
The youngest and least experienced player on this list of predictions for IPL leading run scorer in 2021. However, Padikkal can already boast the fact that he outscored Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in last year’s IPL (his maiden tournament) and he comes into this year’s version off the back of some very impressive form in 20 and 50 over cricket.
Second season syndrome is of course a concern for any young player and you can bet that opposition bowlers will know more about this young superstar in the making than they did 6 months ago. Still, Padikkal has shown throughout his fledgling career that he has the talent and temperament to overcome any obstacle and at odds of 21.0 to be the top tournament batsmen he represents good value for money as an outside bet.
Here is a batsmen brimming with form and confidence ahead of IPL 2021 and at the price being offered, he represents a really good tip to be top run scorer for the tournament ahead. Suryakumar Yadav may be new to international cricket but he is certainly not new to the IPL where he has been a consistent run scorer for the most successful franchise in history for some time.
After bursting onto the international stage this month with a couple of fantastic knocks vs England he’ll be looking to cement his place in India’s white ball plans for the foreseeable future by scoring big runs in IPL 2021. He’s finished each of the last 3 seasons with a min 400 runs and on one occasion has breached the 500 mark. He’ll need to push above the 600 mark to have a realistic chance of being the leading run scorer and you can back him to do just that at odds of 26.0
Our final prediction for leading run scorer in the 2021 IPL is another exciting young Indian batsmen in the form of Prithvi Shaw. The 21-year-old right-hander is something of a cricketing prodigy and has already won caps for his national team despite his tender age. While he was dropped during the winter tour of Australia, his response has been to smash bowling attacks up and down the country for century after century on his way to a record breaking domestic season.
With India having so many talented young batsmen to choose from, Shaw knows he must carry on that run scoring form on the big stage provided by the IPL to have a chance of re-entering the fold. Since his school days in Mumbai, many in India have tipped Shaw to be Sachin Tendulkar’s heir apparent and 2021 could be the year that he finally delivers on that promise. Odds of 26.0 to be the top tournament batsmen are good value for a player in red hot form!
Of course the above players only represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to predictions for the leading run scorer in IPL 2021. There are literally dozens of big name players that we haven’t considered in this article including the likes of Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock and Jos Buttler who are all seeing money being placed on them early on.
With such a competitive field, I’d say that it’s well worth hedging your bets with stakes across several of the main candidates for top run scorer this season. Whoever you pick, good luck and enjoy the cricket!