New and experienced players made the return of cricket from IPL 2020 memorable
Dubai, 11 November |
Experienced players like Lokesh Rahul, David Warner, Jaspreet Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada leveraged their experience in the Indian Premier League played in difficult conditions due to Coronavirus. New players like Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, T Natarajan and Varun Chakraborty got their skills ironed.
Following is the list of some players who have shone with their performance in this T20 tournament which lasted almost two months.
In his first year as captain, Rahul scored 670 runs at an average of 55.83, giving Kings XI Punjab a grand start in most matches. He was the tournament’s top scorer for the third consecutive year. He had scored 593 and 659 runs in the previous two seasons.
Under his captaincy, the Punjab team made a spectacular comeback after losing six out of the first seven matches but missed out on a playoff by a slight margin.
Sunrisers captain David Warner once again got his bat ironed and became the first player to score more than 500 runs for the sixth consecutive season of the tournament. He also led the team to the playoffs after a poor start in the tournament.
Left-arm fast bowler T Natarajan, along with Warner and Rashid Khan, played the most important role in helping the Sunrisers finish third in the tournament. In the absence of an injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Natarajan improved his game and consistently added accurate yorkers. He took 16 wickets in the tournament at an average of 31.50.
The South African fast bowler was behind the success of Delhi Capitals who reached the final of the tournament for the first time. He took the highest 30 wickets in the season at an average of 18.26. He teamed up with compatriot Enrich Norje (22 wickets).
Throughout the season, the Delhi Capitals team struggled to get a good start of the innings but Shikhar Dhawan remained firmly on one end. He scored 618 runs in the tournament, including a record of scoring centuries in two consecutive matches.
In his opening season of the IPL, Devdutt Padikkal scored the top order of the Royal Challengers Bangalore with 473 runs. This young player who made attractive shots also reduced the burden of captain Virat Kohli and veteran AB de Villiers. He also became the rising player of the tournament.
For Ruturaj Gaikwad, this tournament was a journey from rags-to-riches. After being ruled out of the opening matches due to the Coronavirus, he scored zero, five, zero runs in the first three matches respectively when he got the chance. He, however, proved his skill with three consecutive half-centuries. It was the worst tournament for Chennai Super Kings but they got the future star.
Abuja spinner Varun Chakravati’s performance was so strong that Kolkata Knight Riders had to keep a veteran spinner like Kuldeep Yadav out of the final 11. He too did not disappoint the team with 17 wickets at an average of 20.94. It also includes five wickets in a match. He was also selected for the Indian team after this performance, but due to a shoulder injury, he was again replaced by Natarajan.
The young wicket-keeper batsman from Jharkhand played a key role in making Mumbai Indians champions. Kishan, who got a chance in the final 11 when Saurabh Tiwary was injured, scored 516 runs at an excellent average of 57.33. He also hit the maximum 30 sixes during the season. He also batted brilliantly while opening the innings when captain Rohit Sharma was injured.
Despite being away from cricket for nearly six months, there was no let down in the pace of Jasprit Bumrah, the Mumbai Indians fast bowler who took 27 wickets at an average of just 14.96. He, along with Trent Boult (25 wickets), did not allow the batsmen of the opposing team to score fast runs in the opening and final overs.