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

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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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IPL 2019 Dream XI: KKR's Andre Russell and Mumbai Indians' Rohit Sharma lead the way

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Russell and Rohit feature in our IPL 2019 Dream XI. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) drew to a close on Sunday with Mumbai Indians getting their hands on a fourth title.

After what has been an exhilarating IPL 2019 campaign, we have compiled our Dream XI.

BATSMEN

David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad

A sensational return to the IPL after a one-year absence for the Australian who finished as the top-scorer despite playing only 12 matches. Scored 692 runs overall at a staggering average of 69.20 and a strike-rate of nearly 144.

David Warner. Image: IPL/Twitter.

David Warner. Image: IPL/Twitter.

Shikhar Dhawan – Delhi Capitals

The decision to bring back the India stalwart to his hometown franchise paid dividends with the left-hander showing his class and experience. In all, 521 runs were a handsome return for Dhawan who finished as the second-highest Indian run-scorer.

Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians (c)

A decent showing from the Mumbai skipper following a dreadful 2018 campaign. Having returned to his favoured opening slot, Rohit chipped in with 405 valuable runs while leading his side to a record fourth title.

KL Rahul – Kings XI Punjab

The KXIP opener backed up his 2018 displays with another prolific campaign that saw him finish second in the run-scoring charts. Six fifties, one superb ton and a total of 593 runs meant Rahul also booked his World Cup spot.

WICKETKEEPER

MS Dhoni – Chennai Super Kings

Although CSK had to content with a runners-up finish, veteran Dhoni continues to go strong in the IPL. The India stalwart averaged over 83 with the bat and bailed out his side on several occasions while his glovework remained top-notch.

CSK skipper MS Dhoni. Image: IPL/Twitter.

CSK skipper MS Dhoni. Image: IPL/Twitter.

ALL-ROUNDERS

Hardik Pandya – Mumbai Indians

The all-rounder was Mumbai’s player of the tournament with several match-winning displays with both bat and ball. His 401 runs came at an astonishing strike-rate of over 191 while he also fetched 14 crucial wickets.

Andre Russell – Kolkata Knight Riders

The most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament, Russell took IPL 2019 by storm in a power-packed display. The KKR man struck 52 sixes while maintaining a strike-rate of over 200 and also chipped in with 11 wickets.

BOWLERS

Imran Tahir – Chennai Super Kings

Tahir continues to grow strong at 40 with his 26 wickets in the 2019 edition being the most by any spinner in IPL history. He did it all while maintaining an economy-rate of less than seven.

Kagiso Rabada – Delhi Capitals

Rabada finished just one wicket behind his compatriot Tahir in the wicket-taking charts with the Proteas pacer’s 25 scalps being a major reason for Delhi’s fine campaign.

Shreyas Gopal – Rajasthan Royals

The Rajasthan man outbowled plenty of more illustrious wrist-spinners in the competition with 20 wickets in just 14 appearances. His hat-trick against RCB which included the wickets of Kohli and ABD was sensational.

Jasprit Bumrah – Mumbai Indians

Bumrah’s stellar man-of-the-match display in the final was only a continuation of what he had done all season. The India man showed why he is considered the best limited-overs bowler around with his 19 wickets coming at an economy of 6.63.

12TH MAN

Deepak Chahar – Chennai Super Kings

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IPL 2019 review: Shreyas Gopal best bargain buy, Ben Stokes most expensive dud of season

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Shreyas Gopal. BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League was an incredible season to say the least. Last-over finishes, super overs, ‘Mankading’, and the title decided off the final ball… it had it all.

As the teams that made the cut and those who failed take stock of the season, we look at players who provided the most bang for the buck and also those who performed nowhere near the salary they earned.

For analysis of best bargain buys, only those with a salary of less than $150,000 were considered while those commanding over $1 million were taken into consideration while looking into biggest duds.

Also players like KXIP’s Varun Chakravarthy and CSK’s Dwayne Bravo who had serious injury issues were not considered.

For comparison, the IPL’s most expensive players – Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, and Rohit Sharma – net over $2million.

Best bargain buys

1. Shreyas Gopal (Rajasthan Royals)

Salary: $29,000. Matches: 14. Wickets: 20.

Comfortably the most ‘valuable’ player of not only IPL 2019 but also among all-time best. The leg-spinner turned into a trump card for Rajasthan early on, dismissing RCB star batsmen Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers both home and away. An economy of 7.2 was incredible. Plus looked more than capable with the bat. A dream buy if there ever was one. Finished fourth among top wicket takers.

2. Imran Tahir (Chennai Super Kings)

Salary: $140,000. Matches: 17, Wickets: 26

The resounding success of IPL 2019. The 40-year-old leggie keeps getting better with age and aided by the supremely helpful track in Chennai, put in a monster season. At one tenth the price of many star names, Tahir had the biggest impact of the season as he took his team right to the cusp of IPL title.

Not only was he the highest wicket taker of the season, his economy of 6.6 was brilliant as well. Should demand a raise next season one way or the other.

3. Deepak Chahar (Chennai Super Kings)

Salary: $110,000. Matches: 17, Wickets: 22

Another bowler on the list – which is understandable since it’s a batsman’s game and hence they get the most money. Costing just $110,000, the right arm seamer became the go to bowler for MS Dhoni after frontline seamers Lungi Ngidi, David Willey and later Bravo became unavailable.

At the start of the season, batsmen simply played out his overs in the powerplay overs and even after the opposition started to go after him, Chahar managed an economy of 7.4 to go with the third-best wickets tally.

Most expensive duds

Ben Stokes. Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Ben Stokes. Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

1. Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals)

Salary: $1.8 million. Matches: 9, Runs: 123 Wickets: 6. Economy: 11.2.

Sadly, a disastrous season for the Englishman. Among the top five costliest players in the league, Stokes failed with the bat and ball. Not only did runs and wickets desert him, his economy rate was the worst among frontline bowlers.

After a tough 2017/2018 following the infamous Bristol bar brawl and with the 2019 World Cup on the horizon, a lot was expected from the Englishman. But it couldn’t have been a worse outing for him and Rajasthan, who were relying heavily on him. Luckily, he was called back to England for World Cup preparations early.

2. Andrew Tye (KXIP)

Salary: $1 million. Matches: 6. Wickets: 3. Economy: 10.5

Aussie quick Tye was the No1 bowler of 2018 with 24 scalps. But in one year, the Kings XI seamer has had an alarming dip in form. The master of the knuckle ball was carted around in the six matches at an economy of over 10.

Probably the million dollar tag this season got to him, as has happened to Rajasthan seamer Jaydev Unadkat among others over the years. But for a T20 specialist to fail at such a scale jeopardises his opportunities in subsequent seasons.

3. Kedar Jadhav (Chennai Super Kings)

Salary: $1.1 million. Matches: 14. Runs: 162.

The jack-of-all-trades turned out to be a master of none this year. Wasn’t bowled at all this season – probably to shield him ahead of the World Cup. That meant he only had his batting to fall back on and that failed miserably on some tough wickets at the start of the season. MS Dhoni bailed his team out with the bat time and again, which meant at least Jadhav didn’t face the pressure of failure like Stokes.

Hurt his shoulder and was ruled out of the playoffs, which capped a miserable outing. Not good news for a key India player ahead of the World Cup.

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