The sixth edition of the Indian Premier League might have been loaded with raging controversies,but those who kept their faiths intact,were thoroughly entertained. When the Gayle storm ensured packed houses,Mitchell Johnson delivered some fierce bowling spells.
Shane Watson was like a breathe of fresh air despite the rising mercury in most parts of India. Rohit Sharma’s odd defying spirit made him the next big thing,while MS Dhoni led Chennai to a record 5th IPL final. To be precise it was yet another season of stellar performances. As the six weeks of the cricket feast ended,we rate the top performers of the tournament.
Rohit Sharma – 9.5/10
When Ricky Ponting stepped down from the captaincy and made way for Rohit Sharma,many believed that it will not be easy to lead a side that boasts of some of the biggest players from all across the world. Sharma,who had a point to prove,emerged as a perfect leader for a side that has always struggled to find a suitable skipper. He was a surprise package of the IPL 2013. When chips were down,he gave some brilliant batting performances and led Mumbai Indians to their maiden IPL title.
Mitchell Johnson – 9/10
Mitchell Johnson had a very bleak chance of making it to the playing XI as the team was led by an overseas skipper – Ricky Ponting. Even though he got his share of chances,it was assumed that he will always play a second fiddle to Lasith Malinga. But the Australian speedster managed to become the most effective bowler of the season with his accuracy and ability to create pressure in the first six overs. Johnson ended the tournament with 24 wickets from 17 matches,fourth in the list of top wicket-takers in the season.
MS Dhoni – 8.5/10
Chennai Super Kings exemplify the saying that,a team is as good as it’s captain and MS Dhoni is an epitome of excellence. Leading a team to 5 finals out of 6 is not a child’s play. The captain cool not only led the team,but played an important part in steering them to the final. In the initial stages of the tournament,CSK ‘s performance was not up to the task and that is when Dhoni stood tall among the ruins and soaked in the pressure. There were a number of 50 plus efforts from the captain that reversed the fortunes of CSK in IPL 2013
Shane Watson – 8/10
It is a sheer pleasure to watch an on-song Shane Watson. He is undoubtedly the backbone of Rajasthan’s batting order,and is capable to change the complexion of the game in no time. Watson capitalised on all the opportunities he got and anchored Rajasthan Royals to the 3rd spot. In addition to the stunning performances with the bat,Watson pitched in with the ball. The Aussie,with his all-round abilities,was rightly the ‘Most Valuable Player of the tournament’.
Chris Gayle – 7.5/10
When Chris Gayle plundered 17 sixes in his 66-ball 175 against the Pune Warriors,RCB became the front runners to claim the 2013 IPL title. Unfortunately,Royal Challengers Bangalore lost a few key games and missed the opportunity to make it to the eliminators. But the Jamaican surely took the T20 frenzy to a completely different level. He smashed four half-centuries,apart from the above-mentioned monumental effort against Pune.
Michael Hussey – 7/10
Mr Cricket might not be playing international cricket anymore,but he was the run-machine in this year’s IPL. The consistent Australian set the stage for MS Dhoni and R Jadeja to accelerate the scoring towards the end. His ability to build the innings and score comfortably against any bowling attack proved to be the mantra for CSK’s success. Although he failed to fire in the final ,he did enough to secure the ‘Orange’ cap with 733 runs in 17 games.