Updated: May 23, 2022 4:16:31 pm
The Indian Premier League returned to India bigger, better and longer. It was the first time since 2011 when 10 teams were fighting it out for the crown jewel of Indian cricket. It was also the first time when just four venues hosted 70 league matches. There was a Covid scare, too, but the lucrative league managed to pull it off. The season brought its share of outstanding performances, new records and notable triumphs. Out of the many individuals that stood out, we’ve put together an XI of the season by batting position.
1. Jos Buttler
Matches: 14, Runs: 629, Avg: 48.38, SR: 146.96, 100s: 3, 50s: 3, HS: 116
It has been a season of two halves for Jos Buttler. The English batter hammered three centuries in the first seven games and scored 491 runs. But in the last seven games, he managed only 138 runs. Buttler’s three centuries are also the most in an IPL season by anyone other than Virat Kohli in 2016.
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2. David Warner
Matches: 12, Runs: 432, Avg: 48.00, SR: 150.52, 50s: 5, HS: 92*
After making his IPL debut for the Delhi franchise in 2009, David Warner, an IPL legend, returned to represent the team in 2022. After missing a couple of games due to national duty, he set the IPL on fire and formed one of the most dangerous opening pairs with Prithvi Shaw. But Warner failed to inspire Delhi Capitals to reach the playoffs.
3. Rahul Tripathi
Matches: 14, Runs: 413, Avg: 37.54, SR: 158.23, 50s: 3, HS: 76*
Rahul Tripathi has scored 1798 runs, the most by any uncapped player in the IPL. He was Sunrisers Hyderabad’s go-to-man and played a crucial role in their five-match winning streak. He has upped his six-hitting game to wreak havoc on bowlers this season. He is 31, and while age may not be on his side to break into the national team, he should take a cue from Suryakumar Yadav’s book.
4. Hardik Pandya
Matches: 13, Runs: 413, Avg: 41.30, SR: 131.52, 50s: 4, HS: 87*, Wkts: 4, Econ: 7.79
Call it beginner’s luck, but Hardik Pandya’s team Gujarat Titans are the most successful team after the league stage with 10 wins. Before IPL 2022, Pandya had only eight half-centuries in 175 T20s but this season alone, he has scored four fifties. It is also because he is batting higher up the order for Titans, while for Mumbai Indians, his role was that of a finisher. But his strike-rate has also gone down. Hardik’s bowling is still a concern as he bowled only 24.3 overs and also missed a game due to a groin injury. But if the IPL gave a Captain of the Tournament award, no one would have a greater right to it than Hardik Pandya.
5. Liam Livingstone
Matches: 14, Runs: 437, Avg: 36.41, SR: 182.08, 50s: 4, HS: 70, Wickets: 6, Econ: 8.78
Liam Livingstone was one of the most expensive players in the IPL. Punjab Kings broke the bank for England’s swashbuckling all-rounder and got him for Rs 11.50 crore. The hard-hitting batter proved his worth. Livingstone smoked 34 sixes in the tournament, second only to fellow Englishman Buttler (37). It was also fitting that he smashed the 1000th six of the IPL season. Livingstone also bagged six wickets with his off-spin and leg-spin.
Matches: 14, Runs: 287, Avg: 57.40, SR: 191.33, 50s: 1, HS: 66*
Dinesh Karthik has excelled in the finisher’s role for RCB this season, with 287 runs at a strike-rate of 191.33. His consistent performance has helped him earn another India call-up for the five-match T20I series against South Africa. “The bigger vision is that I want to play for the country. I know there is a World Cup around the corner. I want to be part of that World Cup desperately, and help India cross that line,” Karthik had told Virat Kohli during an IPL interview.
7. Rashid Khan
Matches: 14, Wickets: 18, Avg: 21.55, Econ: 6.94; Runs: 91, SR: 206.81, HS: 40
Rashid Khan is probably the best spinner in the game’s shortest format. With a new team and extra responsibility, the Titans vice-captain showed why he is one of the most sought after players in franchise T20 leagues. In IPL 2022, the Afghanistan leggie ended up taking 18 wickets with an impressive economy of 6.95. With the bat, this is Rashid’s best season so far in his IPL career. No one does the check-whip better than Rashid Khan in modern-day cricket. He has the third-best strike-rate in the tournament after KKR’s Pat Cummins, and MI’s Tim David.
Matches: 14, Wickets: 26, Avg: 16.53, Econ: 7.67
It has been a season of redemption for Yuzvendra Chahal. He was first dropped from the Indian team for the T20 World Cup; then he was released by RCB, with whom he had spent eight years. Rajasthan Royals got him for Rs 6.50 crore, probably one of the bargain buys during the auction. Alongwith R Ashwin, he has formed a formidable pair. Chahal is currently leading the bowling charts with 26 wickets in 14 games.
Matches: 13, Wickets: 18, Avg: 19.77, Econ: 7.68
Harshal Patel made an impact when he picked up 32 wickets in 15 appearances for RCB and helped them make the playoffs in IPL 2021. This year, he showed he is not a one-season wonder and justified his price tag. Harshal’s fortunes changed in the auction. From a base price of Rs 2 crore, he was bought for Rs 10.75 crore by RCB. Patel was again RCB’s go-to man in the death overs.
10. Mohsin Khan
Matches: 8, Wickets: 13, Avg: 13.23, Econ: 5.93
With an economy-rate under six in eight games, Mohsin Khan is easily one of the finds of the season. The left-arm pacer from Uttar Pradesh has shown that he is not a one-trick pony. It is not always the sheer pace, the variations, or the left-armer’s angle which aids Mohsin. It also involves his smart cricketing acumen. In Lucknow Super Giants’ last league match against KKR, Mohsin bowled an excellent 17th over and outsmarted Andre Russel with his clever change of pace.
11. Umran Malik
Matches: 14, Wickets: 22, Avg: 20.18, Econ: 9.03
Indian cricket fans have been awed by the sheer speed of Umran Malik. The tearaway fast bowler has made 150 kph-plus deliveries a new norm in the IPL. Such has been his performance this year that fans were seen holding placards that read, ‘I am here to see Umran Malik’s bowling.’ Yes, he has been erratic in a few games, but when he is on song, he has left the likes of Matthew Wade, Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer gasping for breath. It was Malik’s first proper season in the IPL, but he certainly promises to be a nightmare for batsmen around the world.
12th Man: R Ashwin
Matches: 14, Wickets: 11, Avg: 36.36, Econ: 7.14; Runs: 183, Avg: 30.50, SR 146.40, HS 50
There was a time when it was said that Ravichandran Ashwin was past his best with the white ball. Of late, however, he has gone from strength to strength in Test cricket and also shown that his white-ball prowess hasn’t diminished. In IPL 2022, he has played a perfect second foil for Chahal by keeping one end intact. But it is Ashwin’s batting which has become the talking point. Ashwin scored his maiden T20 half-century for Rajasthan Royals against Delhi Capitals. He has been used as a floater by the RR team management; he even retired himself out, a first in the tournament. Ashwin’s 40 not out off 23 balls against CSK helped RR seal the second spot.
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