IPL 2019 Alternative Awards: From RCB's unsurprisingly poor season to Ravi Ashwin's 'Fairplay' moment

Ajit Vijaykumar 21:31 13/05/2019
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The 12th edition of the IPL is over with Mumbai Indians pipping Chennai Super Kings to the post by one run.

There was a keen battle between bat and ball throughout the IPL and we witnessed some exciting and some not so inspiring passages of play.

Here we recognise the most memorable moments of IPL 2019, with a twist.

‘Fairplay’ award: Ravi Ashwin ‘Mankading’ Jos Buttler

Kings XI Punjab captain Ravi Ashwin lit a fire under the IPL by ‘Mankading’ Rajasthan Royals star batsman Jos Buttler. It was a crucial moment of the game with Ashwin not warning the batsman before going ahead with the dismissal. What’s more, Ashwin was seen halting in his delivery stride before running Buttler out, which did not go down well with most cricket experts across the world. Even Ashwin’s India captain Virat Kohli mocked Ashwin’s ‘Mankading’ after taking his catch in a subsequent game.

Ashwin insists he was right to do what he did as he was not breaking any rules. Since that incident, batsmen have all but stopped backing up.

Captain Not So Cool: Dhoni argues with umpires

MS Dhoni.

MS Dhoni.

The match between Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings witnessed a truly rare occurrence – MS Dhoni completely losing his cool.

In the final over of a close chase, Ben Stokes bowled a high full-toss to CSK’s Mitchell Santner, leading umpire Ulhas Gandhe to signal a no-ball for height.

However, square-leg umpire Bruce Oxenford overruled his colleague’s decision which resulted in Dhoni blowing his lid off, storming on to the pitch and pointing angrily to the umpire as he marked his protest.

Dhoni was fined half his match fee. After the game, his former India partner Virender Sehwag stated he had never seen Dhoni so emotional and charged up while playing for India.

Crash of the season: RCB

Not only was it an epic crash, the cricketing world saw it happen in slow motion. From the start, it looked like Royal Challengers Bangalore were going to have another horror run, with their exceptionally weak bowling attack and non-existent batting line-up outside Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.

It came as no surprise that RCB were the first team to get knocked out of the playoff race. Kohli’s acumen as a T20 captain also came under scrutiny as another season went by with RCB failing spectacularly.

How much longer the franchise puts its faith in Kohli remains to be seen because IPL heavyweights like Rohit Sharma, Dhoni and even Ashwin have proven to be much better tacticians when it comes to picking the right squad.

Foes turn friends: David Warner and Jonny Bairstow

David Warner and Jonny Bairstow.

David Warner and Jonny Bairstow.

They are expected to be fighting it out after the World Cup in whites during the Ashes in England in opposite camps. But in India, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow teamed up to form the most devastating opening partnership.

In just nine innings, the Sunrisers Hyderabad openers went past Warner and Shikhar Dhawan’s all-time record of 731 runs for the first wicket in a season. If the two had played together throughout, maybe Sunrisers would have gone deeper into the season.

Both players will take the great form from IPL into the World Cup and it was all because of a partnership no one thought would be this good.

Superhero of the season: Andre Russell

Andre Russell was sensational for KKR. Image - @IPL/Twitter.

Andre Russell was sensational for KKR. Image – @IPL/Twitter.

With dodgy knees and a hurt wrist, KKR all-rounder Andre Russell inflicted a level of pain on bowlers they hadn’t endured before. Sustaining a strike rate of well over 200 throughout the season, the Jamaican hit an astonishing 52 sixes and scored more than 500 runs.

Cricket hadn’t seen such a sustained spell of power hitting against all types of bowlers. One wonders what the scenario would have been if Russell was fully fit.

He was more than handy with the ball as well, picking up 11 scalps. But Kolkata management made a mess off his batting position, pushing him down the order instead of up. By the end of the season, even Russell was forced to admonish his team’s poor decision making.

Youngest at heart: Imran Tahir

The Chennai Super Kings veteran spinner has the heart of a teenager. The 40-year-old Tahir celebrates each wicket as if it’s his first. The 12th edition of the IPL saw 26 trademark Tahir celebrations as he became one half of the two-man driving force in Chennai’s campaign along with captain MS Dhoni.

During the tournament, Dhoni revealed he had told Tahir that neither he nor Shane Watson will bother running after him to celebrate each wicket. While both Dhoni and Watson are much younger than Tahir, it’s the South African who turned out to be the livewire of CSK’s squad.

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