The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League came to an end yesterday with Mumbai Indians clinching a nail-biting thriller by a solitary run to record their 4th IPL title which is the most by an IPL team. The fast bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga held their nerves and did the job for MI in the last couple of overs.
During the course of the tournament, there were several great performances from individual cricketers. The Indian players made good use of the tournament as a preparation for the 2019 World Cup. The first ball of the 2019 World Cup will be bowled in 17 day’s time and there are several cricketers who could turn out to be the match changer for their respective teams.
Now let us have a look at 5 biggest positives for India from the IPL 12
The form of Jasprit Bumrah
There is no doubt about the fact that Jasprit Bumrah is the best bowler in the world at the moment. The same opinion was voiced by Sachin Tendulkar as the speedster returned with a match-winning spell in the final of the tournament.
He has been very impressive all through the tournament and has given Mumbai Indians the much-needed breakthroughs at crucial junctures of the game. There is certainly no doubt about the fact that his exceptional form with the ball will keep India in good stead ahead of the showpiece event slated to be played in England and Wales from 30th May.
The hitting prowess of MS Dhoni
The CSK skipper MS Dhoni was one of the most consistent batsmen in the tournament and bailed CSK out of trouble on numerous occasions. He is a powerful striker of the ball and it was quite evident during the course of the tournament. Dhoni was unfortunately run out in the final of the tournament which proved to be the decisive moment in the match.
His leadership qualities were superb as well as he handled his bowlers with disdain. In a match against RCB, Chennai needed 26 to win off the final over and he smashed 3 sixes and a four in the first 5 deliveries to bring the calculation down to 2 of the final delivery. However as he scampered for the single, Shardul Thakur was run out by Parthiv Patel.
Return of form by Shikhar Dhawan
The southpaw will be one of the most important players for India in the upcoming World Cup. Over the last few years, Dhawan has been India’s leading run scorer in ICC tournaments. He finished as the leading run-getter in the 2015 World Cup while also bagging the golden bat award in the ICC Champions Trophy in both 2013 and 2017.
Shikhar Dhawan didn’t look in the best of touches during the first half of the tournament. However, he bounced back strongly through the rest of the tournament and scored heaps for runs for Delhi Capitals and took them within touching distance of a title victory. The southpaw is a terrific striker of the ball who can change the complexion of the game anytime.
The Game Changer- Hardik Pandya
The Mumbai Indians all-rounder had the best IPL in his career by far and he smashed the ball towards all part of the stadium. He was quite inspiring as a player all through the tournament and kept on contributing with both bat and the ball. He also developed a new helicopter shot this tournament which he executed quite a few times in the tournament.
His knock of 91 of 34 deliveries is the best innings I have ever witnessed in IPL. Besides his batting abilities, Hardik Pandya also bagged a Man of the Match Award due to his bowling efforts. There is also no doubt about the fact that Hardik is a champion athlete and a safe fielder wherever he fields.
KL Rahul’s form with the bat
Kings XI Punjab opener KL Rahul again had a terrific season with the bat and scored the bulk of the runs for Punjab. However he didn’t start off well and had four poor scores to begin the tournament. However, the team management persisted with him and he repaid the faith shown in him by the stylish batsman.
He might not be in the Playing XI for the World Cup but can definitely make an impact if given an opportunity during the course of the tournament. He might bat at the middle order or could even open the innings if the first choice openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are injured.