New Delhi: With Chennai Super Kings winning their third IPL title, the MS Dhoni-led side emerged as the best team of the tournament. While the batsmen were outstanding for CSK, the bowlers came out good too. The win in the final will perhaps be the most satisfying one for the team as it came against mighty Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Till the last week of the tournament, as many as three teams had a chance to make it to the playoffs. But in the end Kolkata and Rajathan won that race. It wouldn't be wrong to say that this was one of the most closely-fought IPL.
CricketNext takes a look at the performance of all the eight teams in the tournament in order of their positions:
Chennai Super Kings: (Overall Rating: 9.5/10)
What can you possibly say about a team that comes back into the tournament after a two-year suspension and lifts the trophy. A third IPL win for CSK just shows that MS Dhoni & Co is arguably the best bunch in the tournament. The team put up an all-round show where bowlers and batsmen shone together, to silence their critics. What was even more satisfying was skipper’s form with the bat that had come under scrutiny.
Batting: (Rating: 9/10)
MS Dhoni led with some power-packed performances with the bat as he amassed 455 runs coming in the middle-order. Then there was Ambati Rayudu who had his best ever IPL and scored 602 runs that included a ton. Australian Shane Watson finished things off with an unbeaten 117 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final. He scored two centuries and as many fifties in the season. All in all, it was a batting display worth remembering by CSK batters.
Bowling: (Rating: 8.5/10)
Bowling looked a concern at the start of the season, but the likes of Deepak Chahar (10 wickets), Shardul Thakur (16 wickets) and Lungi Ngidi (11 wickets) removed them. Even Harbhajan Singh, who underperformed according to his own high standards, ended with seven wickets.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: (Overall Rating: 9/10)
For a team that lost its regular skipper David Warner even before the start of the tournament, SRH did a commendable job to reach the final of the IPL for the second time. Kane Williamson led from the front and ensured the side topped the league phase. His own performance with the bat was a big plus too. There were a few hiccups on the road to the final, but the bowlers stepped-up every time, when the team was in need.
Batting: (Rating: 7.5/10)
Kane Williamson was their biggest asset in the batting department, and by a mile. The Kiwi batsman amassed 735 runs in 17 matches and won the Orange Cap for his efforts. He ended the tournament with 8 fifties. But what was lacking was proper support for him at the top of the order. After starting off well, Shikhar Dhawan faded in the middle stages, but came back well to score three fifties in four matches to get his campaign back on track, scoring 497 runs in all. Dhawan's display in the playoff matches continued as he failed in all the three games. Their chances were marred by lacklustre performances by the middle-order. Shakib Al Hasan (239), Yusuf Pathan (260) and Manish Pandey (284) were inconsistent to say the least.
Bowling has been the forte for the Hyderabad franchise and it remained the same this season as Siddarth Kaul and Rashid Khan claimed 21 wickets each in the season, to finish joint second-highest wicket takers behind KXIP’s Andrew Tye (24 wickets). They successfully defended some of the lowest totals in the history of the IPL in this edition. The two were ably supported by the likes of Shakib Al Hasan (14 wickets) and Sandeep Sharma (12 wickets). The only dark spot could be that four out of five centuries this year were scored against them.
Kolkata Knight Riders: (Overall Rating: 8/10)
There was a lot of debate about KKR going for a relatively young team in the auction and also releasing Gautam Gambhir. But the move seems to have worked as under Dinesh Karthik as the team thrived and managed to make it to IPL playoffs. Youngsters like Prasidh Krishna, Shubman Gill and Shivam Mavi emerged as the core members of the team and impressed by their performance in the tournament.
Batting: (Rating: 8.5/10)
Dinesh Karthik seems to have turned a new leaf when it comes to finishing games and he was once again the pivot around whom the Kolkata batting functioned. He scored 498 runs and was ably supported by Chris Lynn (491 runs) as the two senior pros gave the guidance to youngsters like Shubman Gill (203 runs) and Nitish Rana (304 runs). Sunil Narine (357) and Andre Russell (316) produced swashbuckling innings from time to time. They would have expected more from Robin Uthappa, but could only contribute 351 runs in the season.
Bowling: (Rating: 8/10)
DK looked to give youngsters like Mavi and Prasidh, an opportunity to make the stage their own. The latter looked good with his pace and accuracy and accounted for 10 wickets this IPL. On the other hand Mavi, though low on the wicket count (5) showed a lot of potential. The skipper would want them to come back strongly in the second half of the season as they look to win their third title. Sunil Narine (17 wickets) and Kuldeep Yadav (17 wickets) ensured that the inexperience in the side didn’t hurt the team.
Rajasthan Royals: (Overall Rating: 7.5/10)
Back into the tournament after a 2-year suspension, Royals brought in Shane Warne as the mentor, but Ajinkya Rahane’s boys must thank the stars and Jos Buttler for being able to qualify for the knockouts. Rahane himself wouldn’t be too pleased with the way he led the team. Apart from a few individual performances here and there, the team failed to function as one unit that led to their failure in the knockouts.
Batting: (Rating: 6.5/10)
Apart from Buttler (548 runs) and Sanju Samson (441), none of the top-order batsmen looked convincing. Consistency was a huge issue for the boys as even skipper Rahane managed just 370 runs with a fifty. Rahul Tripathi failed to find a position at the top of the order and that curtailed his influence as he managed just 226 runs. Ben Stokes was a big disappointment too.
Bowling: (Rating: 7.5/10)
The bowling looked slightly better with Jofra Archer (15 wickets) and Shreyas Gopal (11 wickets) doing a good job. They were well supported by K Gowtham (11 wickets). Jaydev Undakat though bagged 11 wickets but failed to rise to the challenge as the most expensive bowler bought at the auction. Stoke was slightly better with the ball as he picked 8 wickets.
Mumbai Indians: (Overall Rating: 7/10)
The defending champions clearly didn’t deserve to find a place in the knockouts as they once again started with a string of losses. They did have a chance in their last game against DD on Sunday, but they lost that to crash out. In the end, Rohit Sharma would have to admit that they were just not consistent enough.
Suryakumar Yadav (512 runs) was like the lone bright spot as he failed to find consistent support from the others. Evin Lewis with 382 runs was good in patches, but you cannot win games when there is no sense of consistency. Ishan Kishan (275) too did a decent job and even though skipper Rohit did manage 286 runs, a lot more was expected from him.
The bowling was comparatively better for the defending champions as the likes of Jasprit Bumrah (17 wickets) and Hardik Pandya (18 wickets) led the show. Mayank Markande (15 wickets) was the surprise package as the Mumbai Indians bowlers did a quality job. They would rue the fact that the batsmen were not on the mark in some of the crucial games.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: (Overall Rating: 6.5/10)
Virat Kohli came into the tournament saying that the boys wanted to lift the cup this time, but unfortunately the performances didn’t show the same zeal as the skipper’s intention. It was again a lone battle from Kohli and AB de Villiers with the bat and Umesh Yadav with the ball. There was no teamwork as such as they finished sixth with 12 points.
Batting: (Rating: 7/10)
Virat Kohli finished with 530 runs and ABD hit 480 runs. But that was as per the script. What hurt the RCB franchise was the lack of consistent performance from the others. 252 was the third-highest score in the team from Mandeep Singh, followed by Quinton de Kock’s 201 runs. It was a complete failure on a home ground which has a batsman-friendly wicket.
Bowling: (Rating: 6/10)
Bowling has never been RCB’s forte over the years, but Umesh Yadav did make a statement as he finished with 20 wickets in the league stages. It was almost like he was driving home a point after Kohli didn’t play him for India in the South Africa series. But Chahal was quite a disappointment and that didn’t help as he has been a pivot for RCB in the last couple of years. The spinner managed just 12 wickets.
Kings XI Punjab: (Overall Rating: 5/10)
The Punjab campaign just fell flat in May after a brilliant start in April. They were one of the lesser fancied teams, but their start had everyone sit up and take note. But sadly, Ashwin’s team failed to rise to the challenge when the going got tough and finished 7th on the points table.
Batting: (Rating: 4/10)
It was again a case of just KL Rahul (659 runs) and Chris Gayle (368 runs) firing at the top and a brittle middle-order undoing the hardwork put in by those two. The middle-order puzzle left KXIP out of the knockout spot as the batting just didn’t have the firepower once Rahul was dismissed.
The likes of Ankit Rajpoot (11 wickets), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (14 wickets) and Andrew Tye (24 wickets) did show signs of match-winning skills, but you need your batsmen to flourish in a format like the IPL. Also, R Ashwin managing to pick just 10 wickets isn’t a display that the captain will be proud of.
Delhi Daredevils: (Overall Rating: 3/10)
Rishabh Pant shines like the only bright spot for a franchise which otherwise continued to remain in the bottom of the points table almost right through the league stages. They finally managed just 5 wins and finished with 10 points. This is a campaign they would again wish to forget at the earliest. Not to forget the mid-season drama of Gautam Gambhir stepping down as skipper and not playing another game.
Pant finishing with 684 runs makes it even worse as one feels that the batsmen suffered due to the lack of support and could well have been gearing up for the knockouts if he was part of any other franchise. Shreyas Iyer played decently as the mid-season skipper managed 411 runs. Prithvi Shaw with 245 runs flattered to deceive and Glenn Maxwell would find it difficult to find an IPL side if he continues like this.
Bowling: (Rating: 2/10)
Trent Boult was again the only bright spot in the bowling department with 18 wickets. Amit Mishra finished with 12 and Sandeep Lamichhane (5 wickets) did impress in the latter half of the season, but the decision to not play him earlier comes as a shock. As was the decision to bench Harshal Patel (7 wickets) and play someone like Rahul Tewatia.