At the halfway stage of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL), we are witnessing a tight race for the four playoff spots. With as many as eight teams firmly in the battle for the top-four positions, the second half of the competition promises to be an exciting one.
Several stars have come to the fore with exceptional displays during this captivating tournament’s last four weeks. We pick the three players who have impressed us more than others.
FAF DU PLESSIS
The 38-year-old veteran is drinking at the fountain of youth if his performances so far are anything to go by. The Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper is running away with the Orange Cap after amassing 422 runs in his 8 innings which have included 5 half-centuries. More than the volume of runs, it is the destructive manner in which the South African has scored them that has been a joy to watch. He has struck 27 sixes and 34 fours in the 252 deliveries thrown at him.
The fact that Chennai Super Kings have not been made to regret their decision to release Faf du Plessis is mainly down to the sparkling form shown by Conway. The Blackcaps opener has finally found his feet at the franchise this year and that has resulted in a string of half-centuries. Four fifties in just 7 innings from Conway have been instrumental in setting the tone for CSK’s batting supremacy in the tournament. He has been one of the key pillars for MS Dhoni’s side who are looking ominous in their quest for a record-equaling 5th IPL title.
The India pacer has been a revelation with the new ball this year, with his ability to generate seam movement turning into a nightmare for opposition batters. His tally of 14 wickets has seen him join Rashid Khan in the lead for the Purple Cap award this season. The bulk of the RCB ace’s wickets have come in the PowerPlay overs where the sight of him knocking over the stumps has been a common occurrence. Siraj has always been able to produce special deliveries with the new ball, but he has taken it up by some levels this year with some remarkable accuracy and intensity.