Here we look at 5 players who made their mark in this year’s edition of IPL.
Before this IPL, Nitish Rana had scored 28 runs per innings at 8.47 runs per over which are good numbers for a T20 batsman. Rana lived up to those numbers for early part of the season but since then has tapered off scoring 78 runs in 6 games at an average of 13. His quick scoring has been an asset to the side and his ability to anchor the innings like he did in the game against Kolkata Knightriders has helped Mumbai Indians add some balance to the batting unit.
Rising Pune SuperGiant’s opening combination offers a unique challenge. The team likes to open with Ajinkye Rahane who isn’t renowned for quick scoring (he has scored at 7.18 runs per over), which means that his partner has to be a quick scorer who can allow Rahane time to settle down. This quick scoring opener was usually Rahul Tripathi who has been able to attack the bowlers freely in the powerplay and dominate the attack while scoring runs at 9.20 runs per over throughout the innings, which is great for an opener. Tripathi’s best innings was his knock against Kolkata Knightriders where he scored 93 runs at 10.73 runs per over, while the rest of Rising Pune SuperGiant scored 50 runs at 4.68 runs per over.
Stats do not always reveal the whole picture and traditional cricket stats in modern T20s mask this more than ever. This is where Basil Thampi has done well. His death bowling has enabled Gujarat Lions to show some fight this season, his yorkers have been spot on and it is no surprise that he has bowled the most yorkers this season. His death bowling was one of the best among all Indian bowlers and it was great seeing a youngster do well with the ball this season.
Okay, so this is not exactly a find as such. But Rashid Khan’s performance at the IPL has given him a huge platform to showcase his talents. I did not expect Rashid Khan to do as well as he did, but his ability to turn the ball both ways has been a huge bonus for his side and has seen him play all the games for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Rashid Khan conceded 6.67 runs per over in the league stage where the average run rate has been 8.55 runs per over. Rashid while not only being economical managed to pick wickets regularly (SR 19.0), his ability to turn the ball both ways was an asset which helped SRH massively and enabled them to finish in the top 4.
Sunil Narine has not been as effective as a bowler after his remodeled action, but he has added another dimension to his game as he now contributes to the side with both bat and ball. His quick scoring batting right at the top means KKR had the highest run rate in the powerplay for all 8 teams this season and this is in large part due to Sunil Narine’s ability to tear apart attacks with his batting, the best example of this being his 50 against RCB, the joint-fastest in IPL history.
Here we look at 5 players who failed to make their mark in this year’s edition of IPL.
RCB’s method to winning games is to get a lot of runs quickly in order to compensate for their poor bowling. The problem with such an approach is that it makes the RCB a pretty one-dimensional side. So when injuries hit them and their Big 3 (Kohli, Gayle & AB DeVilliers) failed, the whole house came crashing down.
Last year, RCB’s Big 3 scored 1,887 runs at 9.45 runs per over, while this year the same batsmen scored 724 runs at 7.51 runs per over. Moreover, the rest of the RCB batting was so poor that the entire team could not match the runs scored by the Big 3 last year, instead scoring only 1760 runs at 7.06 runs per over. The 2016 bowling attack that conceded 2669 runs at 8.68 runs per over, did marginally improve in 2017 after conceding 1991 runs at 8.18 runs per over. With the league average economy rate being 8.50 runs per over, this shows how much the RCB bowling improved. But it was their batting failure, which hurt them the most as they failed to compensate for their improved bowling attack.
Gujarat Lions were a good side last year, and that was because they had good players which they used well. But due to some injuries to key players this season and a poor auction strategy, Gujarat Lions were not able to use the players they had to their disposal in the right manner, Jason Roy who can lay claim to being one of the best T20 players in the world just played 3 games, one of which he didn’t open. Such poor use of players and poor tactics along with their bowling meant Gujarat Lions were out of the race for the playoffs pretty early.
In a lineup which boasts of Gambhir, Uthappa, Lynn, Narine & Manish Pandey, one would assume that Yusuf Pathan would follow in their footsteps and score runs quickly at the death, especially given that the team was missing the explosiveness of the banned Andre Russell. Instead, Yusuf was a let down for his side and 59 of his 143 runs in the league stage came in one innings against Delhi Daredevils. While his low tally could be excused given he comes late down the order, his scoring rate of 7.50 per over meant his side has lost their quick scoring ability late in the innings. To their credit, KKR responded well by moving Narine up the order but for Yusuf, it was an IPL to forget.
When you are the second most expensive player in the auction, there are some expectations from you. More so when you are a bowler, because the IPL is not known for splurging so much on an overseas bowler. Given the fact that there was a bidding war for Tymal Mills during the auction, a lot was expected of him this season. But his inability to deliver the goods meant that he was a huge flop. He played only 5 games this season and missed the remaining games because he was either injured or dropped. His bowling returns of 5 wickets for 153 runs at 8.57 runs per over just show how big a disappointment he was.
Malinga has been an IPL legend, who has the best economy rate in the IPL’s history and whose death bowling ability was never in doubt. But this season he has failed to live up to those expectations as he has leaked runs at 9.50 per over and looked ineffective with his death bowling. This slump could be due to him losing some pace, but there is no question that Malinga has been a major let down for his side this season.