The first leg of the Indian Premier League Season 14 was played between 9 April and 4 May 2021. In this article, we look at the top 10 highest-paid cricketers in the IPL 2021. Several new players such as Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant, Pat Cummins and Jhye Richardson broke into the list of the highest-paid IPL players.
1. Virat Kohli (RCB)- Rs 17.00 Crores
For the second year in succession, the Indian skipper and batting legend has received the highest IPL salary. In the first leg of the IPL 2021, Kohli has scored 198 runs from 7 innings at 33.0 with a strike rate of 121.47. While the numbers may appear modest by Kohli's lofty standards, he has played a steadying role at the top of the order. With fellow opener Padikkal in good form and players like ABD and Maxwell to follow, the strategy has worked for RCB who are currently in 3rd place and look set to qualify for the playoffs.
2. Chris Morris (RR)- Rs 16.25 Crores
Morris is a new entrant on the list of the highest-paid IPL players. In the injury-related absence of players like Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, RR were looking for a match-winning overseas all-rounder. Morris proved to be the right man, making an instant impact by playing a winning hand in each of RR’s three wins in the first leg of the competition.
3. Pat Cummins (KKR)- Rs 15.50 Crores
KKR made a winning bid for Pat Cummins making him one of the highest-paid players in the IPL. Cummins, who is one of the world's leading fast bowlers, has not had the best of seasons, taking 9 wickets in 7 games; he has been impacted by KKR's overall poor showing. Often, KKR's top order has failed to deliver. Ironically, Cummins delivered with the bat scoring 93 in 7 games at 33.00 with a strike rate of 166.07. Unfortunately for KKR, Cummins has chosen not to play in the 2nd leg.
4. MS Dhoni (CSK)- Rs 15.00 Crores
MS Dhoni continues to draw a big paycheck for his captaincy skills if not for his role as a finisher with the bat. Though his batting has been on the decline, Dhoni continues to be one of the best captains. CSK are currently 2nd in the league table and appear likely to qualify for the playoffs.
5. Rohit Sharma (MI)- Rs 15.00 Crores
Sharma has led MI to five IPL titles, the most by any captain. The Hitman has justified every penny that MI have invested in him. So far, MI have not done as well as they were expected to, winning four and losing three of their seven games. But with the competition moving to the UAE, MI are considered favourites in conditions that benefitted them in 2020. So far, Sharma has done his bit, scoring 250 runs at 35.71 in 7 innings at the top of arguably the strongest batting order in the IPL.
6. Rishabh Pant (DC)- Rs 15.00 Crores
Pant was a new entry on the list of top earners in the IPL. His international exploits in Australia and against England on their tour of India preceded the IPL auction. In the absence of Shreyas Iyer (side-lined through injury), Pant was elevated to captain. It was money well spent by DC: at the halfway stage, the franchise are perched at the top of the points table. With 213 runs at 35.50 from 8 matches, Pant has performed his role to perfection in the lower middle order.
7. Kyle Jamieson (RCB)- Rs 15.00 Crores
Jamieson has given RCB the thrust they needed alongside other overseas players like Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers to keep them in contention for an elusive IPL title. In 7 games, the fast bowler has taken 9 wickets including the best performance of 3/41. He has also made useful runs down the order.
8. Glenn Maxwell (RCB)- Rs 14.25 Crores
Maxwell was one of the top earners in the 2020 IPL season when he was paid 10.75 crores by Kings Punjab. But after a disappointing performance, he was let go by the franchise.
As things transpired, RCB made a winning bid for the Australia all-rounder. Maxwell has more than made up for a bad 2020 season, making 223 at 37.16 in 7 games, with a strike rate of 144.80.
9. Jhye Richardson (PBKS)- Rs 14.00 Crores
Another surprise entry on the list, Richardson has met Punjab's need for a new-ball operator. So far, Richardson has only played 3 games in which he has taken 3 wickets with the best performance of 2/41.
10. David Warner (SRH)- Rs 12.50 Crores
Warner continues to be on the list of top earners in the IPL and justifiably so, given his brilliant past record in the competition. Unfortunately for Warner and SRH, the Australia star has had his worst IPL season so far, scoring just 193 runs at 32.16 in 6 games with a mediocre strike rate of 110.28. In fact, Warner was dropped in a game and lost his captaincy. But knowing Warner, he will be keen to make up in the second leg. In the absence of Jonny Bairstow, SRH will rely on Warner in their bid to revive their season.
With the T20 World Cup around the corner, the 2nd leg of the IPL has taken on greater significance as it would give many players a chance to prepare for the global ICC event. Some of those on the list of the highest-paid players in the IPL will get a chance to justify their top earnings.