It was another week with some exciting matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with 9 matches played across the 7 days. The week witnessed some terrific performances from both bat & the ball. Here are eleven of the best players, earning themselves a place in our team of the week (There’s no limitation for the number of overseas players):
Devdutt Padikkal (M: 2, R: 117, S/R: 137.65) : Devdutt Padikkal has so far lived up to the hype. The Karnataka youngster knocked two half-centuries in the two games his team played this week. Padikkal is now also the first batsman in the history to smash three half-centuries in his first four innings. His performance has been key to RCB’s great start in the tournament.
Faf Du Plessis (M: 2, R: 109, S/R: 151.39): The South African veteran added an unbeaten 181 runs with Shane Watson in CSK’s 10 wicket win against KXIP. Faf is currently at the second position in orange cap race with 282 runs in 5 innings, 20 runs behind leader KL Rahul. If CSK has to turn things around then they would wish that Du Plessis carries on with his batting form.
Shreyas Iyer (c) (M: 2, R: 109, S/R: 177.97): Shreyas Iyer didn’t have a great outing in his team’s first match of the week where he could manage just 17 runs off 21 balls in team’s 15-run loss against Sunrisers Hyderabad and questions were raised over his approach in this format. However, the DC skipper silenced his critics in style playing the most destructive knock of the week as he hit 7 fours and 6 sixes in his unbeaten knock of 88*(38) against Kolkata Knight Riders, which occurred in an 18-run win for his side. Iyer will lead the team as he was spot on with his bowling changes, particularly in the match against Kolkata where his team emerged victorious in a run fast at Sharjah.
Ishan Kishan (M: 3, R: 158, S/R: 139.82): Former India U19 captain played an extraordinary knock of 99 (58) against RCB where he and Pollard almost pulled off one of the greatest run chases in the tournament’s history. Ishan also got starts in the next two games. Though he failed to convert, both his partnerships with his partners proved to be crucial for his side as it laid the platform for MI’s finishers for a strong finish. Ishan also plucked a brilliant diving catch to dismiss David Warner which ended SRH’s all hopes of chasing down the huge total set by MI.
AB De Villiers (w) (M: 2, R: 67, S/R: 197.05): AB De Villiers continues to be an impactful performer in the IPL. The veteran whacked an unbeaten 24-ball 55 against defending champions Mumbai Indians to help his team cross 200 run mark and then again aided his side to chase down 8 runs in the super over. De Villiers was awarded the Man of the match for his outstanding knock against the defending champions and is now tied with Chris Gayle for most “man of the match” awards having received it 21 times.
Kieron Pollard (M: 3, R: 132, S/R: 231.58): Pollard was the MVP of the week with 3 amazing performances in the 3 innings he batted. Pollard struck a total of 12 sixes in the 57 balls he faced across 3 innings, scoring 132 runs without being dismissed once. He nearly pulled off one of the greatest run chases in tournament’s history against RCB where he added 79 runs in last 4 overs with Ishan Kishan. Pollard generated another stunning performance against KXIP where he smashed 17-ball 40 and was awarded the “man of the match” for his impactful knock. Pollard’s form has helped his team finish the week as table toppers.
Washington Sundar (M: 2, W: 1, Eco: 4.00): The RCB spin-bowling allrounder put the breaks on scoring rate of the opponents as he finished the week with an economy of just 4.00. Against MI, in a match where more than 400 runs were scored, Sundar conceded just 12 runs in 4 overs, picking up an important wicket of Rohit Sharma. Sundar had another good outing against RR where he gave away just 20 runs in his 4 overs. Bowling has been the weakling for RCB over the years but RCB seem to have strengthened at least their spin attack with Sundar bowling tight overs in the power plays while Chahal doing the damage in the middle overs.
Rashid Khan (M: 3, W: 4, Eco: 4.00): The Afghanistan superstar was the bowler of the week. Rashid produced match-winning performance against DC where he picked 3 wickets for 14 runs, helping his side defend 162. Rashid bowled another tight spell against 3 times champions CSK where he conceded just 12 runs in his 4 overs where SRH triumphed by 7 runs. Then on Sharjah pitch, where almost every bowler got hammered, he gave away just 22 runs in 4 overs, picking up the wicket of Quinton De Kock. With 3 brilliant performances with the ball, it’s fair to assess that Rashid Khan is back to his best and his four-over spells are going to be a major factor in SRH’s coming matches.
Jofra Archer (M: 2, W: 3, Eco: 4.50): Archer has bowled fast and looked impressive. In a league where most of the pacers have struggled, Archer has troubled the opposition batsmen with his pace and bounce. Archer took 2 for 18 in his 4 overs against KKR where he bowled 14 dot balls and then picked 1 for 18 in four overs against RCB. However, Archer’s outstanding efforts couldn’t prevent his side from losing both the games. Archer will need some assistance from his teammates if the team has to achieve positive results.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (M: 2, W: 3, Eco: 6.28): Bhuvneshwar Kumar came back to his own this week, discomforting the opponents with his swing with the new ball. The Indian pacer dismissed Shaw in the first over and the came back in the second spell to get rid off Hetmeyer, who was threatening to take the game away as Bhuvneshwar finished with 2 for 25 in his 4 over in SRH’s 15-run victory against Delhi Capitals. Then against CSK, Bhuvneshwar dismissed Watson in the first over to put his team in the front in the defence of 164. Though Bhuvneshwar couldn’t bowl his final over as he pulled up his hamstring but by that time SRH had surged way ahead in the match and they grabbed two points despite some hitting from the CSK lower middle-order. Bhuvneshwar missed the encounter against MI where his team lost by 34 runs. SRH would want their premier pacer to get fit again and return to action as soon as possible.
Trent Boult (M: 3, W: 5, Eco: 8.67): The Kiwi pacer has been a joy to watch out in this edition of the IPL. Boult is currently the joined highest wicket-taker in the tournament. The left-arm grabbed 5 wickets in 3 matches he played in the week and his best performance came against SRH on the high scoring ground of Sharjah where he picked up two wickets for just 28 runs in his four overs and was awarded the player of the match for his efforts. While Jasprit Bumrah has not had a great IPL as per his standards, Boult has stepped up for the defending champions, consistently providing them with crucial breakthroughs which has ensured MI’s place on top of the table.