Since 2007, few sporting events have enticed and captivated global audiences quite like the Indian Premier League. Over the past 13 years, the annual 20-over cricket tournament has welcomed some of the finest local and overseas cricketers. As such, winning the league, or the individual awards given to high-performing players isn’t an easy task. Each year, the playing standard appears to go up a level, with many up-and-coming young players growing increasingly comfortable with the weight of expectation and level of opposition.
From a batting perspective, top-order competitors will undoubtedly have their sights set on the Orange Cap, which is awarded to the batsman who ends the campaign with the most runs. In 2020, KL Rahul walked clinched the honor, beating Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner, and Shreyas Iyer, respectively. Impressively, 22-year-old Ishan Kishan was the fifth-highest scoring batsman in the 13th edition of the IPL. In turn, some believe that he will return in 2021 hungry to win the Orange Cap. But, can he do so?
An Impressive Campaign in 2020
Compared to years gone by, the class of the 13th edition of the IPL had arguably more pressure on their shoulders to deliver. Fundamentally, this is because IPL viewership figures increased by 30 percent in 2020. However, that didn’t hinder Kishan, who took the competition by storm. As touched on above, the 22-year-old Indian ended the Orange Cap race behind numerous established players. In doing so, he also outperformed some of the world’s best batsmen, including Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, and Virat Kohli.
By the end of the 13th installment of the IPL, the Times of India report that Ishan Kishan registered 516 runs in 14 matches, recording a high score of 99. Along the way, the Patna-born left-hander hit four half-centuries. Interestingly, compared to the four high-scoring batsmen that finished ahead of Kishan in the Orange Cap race, none of them had a superior batting average. As per statistics from the official IPL website, the Mumbai Indians player also had the fourth-best batting average in the competition. At 57.33, Ishan Kishan trailed only Wriddhiman Saha, Tom Curran, and Deepak Hooda, respectively. Moreover, with a strike rate of 145.76, the 22-year-old bettered Dhawan, Iyer, Rahul, and Warner in this regard.
Despite the pressure of playing in the final, Ishan Kishan rose to the occasion. After Rohit Sharma kick-started the innings with a score of 68, a succession of wickets saw the 22-year-old face 19 high-stakes balls. In that time, he hit 33 runs. Ultimately, this proved instrumental in taking the Indians to their fifth IPL title.
The Future of India’s Batting Line-Up
Domestically, the left-hander has proved himself capable of standing up to the pressure of representing a country that possesses more than 90 percent of cricket’s one billion global fans. Although many were aware of Ishan Kishan’s talent prior to the 2020 IPL season, the 13th edition of the limited-overs competition saw his stock rise exponentially. As such, many believe that he’s now on the cusp of a place in the national line-up. As well as being a prolific runs scorer, the 22-year-old was also the former India U19’s captain, in addition to being a capable wicket-keeper.
Based on his skill set, he has the profile and natural ability to be the face of India’s national team for much of the next decade and beyond. As such, following the emergence of some of the trusted operators at Asiabet, cricket fans are now able to immerse themselves in his progress. Having compared over 100 casinos and sportsbooks, more than 120,000 users have used the comparison platform to find reliable gambling platforms, including ComeOn! and Dafabet, each of which covers cricket-related markets. This level of local insight is pivotal in finding the right site for each individual punter in India, as well as a number of other countries.
The Orange Cap Isn’t an Unrealistic Target for Ishan Kishan in 2021
Each year, Ishan Kishan has shown impressive development across numerous facets of his game. Most notably, he became a consistent scorer of runs in the 13th edition of the IPL. While he isn’t guaranteed to win the Orange Cap in 2021, the feat undoubtedly isn’t beyond him. Should he maintain his batting average and strike rate, then he’ll once again be in with a chance of winning the award. However, with further progression, he’ll be a tough man to beat.