Chennai Super Kings became the first team to book their place in IPL 2018 Final following a nervous 2 wicket win against Sunrisers Hyderabad, who will now take on the winner from the match between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders. The 2018 IPL points table was the closest in the tournament’s history, with just 8 points separating the top from the bottom, each and every team had their good moments this season. However, the reason behind such close proximity between all the 8 teams has been the individual performances that have lit up the tournament since day 1. One look at the stats and you notice that the majority of the players in the top 10 highest run-scorers and highest wicket-takers list are from the teams that have not qualified for the playoffs and that just goes to show the massive performances some players have put in for their teams this season. In this article, we will look at Player of the Season for each of the 8 IPL Teams.
Kane Williamson IPL 2018 (SRH Team 2018)
Many people were sceptical when Kane Williamson was handed the captaincy as the replacement for David Warner. Having played so little in the previous seasons, Williamson suddenly found himself in the centre of the SRH franchise. The Kiwi international has not been only fantastic with his captaincy but has single-handedly led the SRH batting unit, which has clearly been the weakness for the side. His 661 runs in the league were second highest overall but what was crucial in these runs was that they came in at a time when the team needed them the most and no one else around him stood up like him. His consistency has been phenomenal, scoring 8 half-centuries at a strike-rate of 143. Will be very surprised if he doesn’t finish the season as the top scorer.
MS Dhoni IPL 2018 (CSK Team 2018)
MS Dhoni IPL 2018 has been by far the best season he has had as a player in the league’s history. 446 runs at an average of 89.20 batting at number 4 or 5 just goes to show the kind of talent the former Indian captain still possess and the biggest positive for CSK has been Dhoni finishing games for them just like he used to do in the earlier phase of his career. Dhoni the captain has been fantastic but that is always expected of him but what many people didn’t see forthcoming was his batting form throughout the season. CSK’s performance this season has been all about team contribution but one man who has stood among the bunch of players is MS Dhoni.
Sunil Narine IPL 2018 (KKR Team 2018)
Even though Sunil Narine has picked up 16 wickets this season at an economy of 7.62, what most people are talking about is his contribution with the bat that he has made opening the innings with Chris Lynn. The West Indian has scored 327 runs in 14 matches with a strike-rate of almost 190. On more than one occasion, his quick-fire knock has given KKR the advantage that they so desperately look for at the start of the innings. There is no doubt Sunil Narine is a legend of the T20 game but this season he has shown immense improvement in his batting which makes him KKR’s most valuable player.
Jos Buttler IPL 2018 (RR Team 2018)
What a big loss Jos Buttler is going to be for Rajasthan Royals in the playoff stage. Against all odds, the RR franchise managed to get through to the playoff round and that was all thanks to the brilliant batting effort by Jos Buttler following his move from lower down the order to the opening slot. In just 13 matches, Buttler scored 548 runs, including 5 consecutive half-centuries, equally Virender Sehwag’s record from 2012. He was the find of the season for sure and definitely the player of the season for RR, however, if they are planning to win their 2nd ever IPL Title, they must do it without the English international, who I am sure will be keeping a close eye on the proceeding from his hotel in London.
Suryakumar Yadav IPL 2018 (MI Team 2018)
In a Mumbai Indians team filled with T20 superstars from top to bottom, it was Suryakumar Yadav who was the only player who showed some sort of consistency with his performances in IPL 2018. Hardik Pandya did well for the team but only in the late stages, while Suryakumar was contributing with the bat from Match 1. Although it was a disappointing season for the defending champions they will surely take their openers performance as a big positive from this season. It will be interesting to see whether he can repeat this sort of performance next season and not become a one season wonder that players of his calibre of tend to do.
Umesh Yadav IPL 2018 (RCB Team 2018)
In a team filled with batting stars like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, when a bowler is regarded the best player from the season, one can immediately imagine the kind of season Royal Challengers Bangalore have had in 2018. Although both Kohli and De Villiers scored plenty of runs this season, however, the game-changing player for them this season was Umesh Yadav with his express pace in the powerplay overs. On numerous occasions, he was able to remove 2-3 top batsmen from the opposition which gave Virat Kohli’s men a big advantage going into the match. He has been in lethal form this season picking up 20 wickets in the league and there is no doubt Indian captain Virat Kohli will be pleased to see him bowling with so much rhythm, especially before such an important tour to England.
KL Rahul IPL 2018 (KXIP Team 2018)
Not only the player of the season for Kings XI Punjab but probably the player of the season for IPL 2018. KL Rahul made sure from his performances that cricket fans will be talking about him till the start of next season. He scored 659 runs in 14 matches at an average of 54.62 as an opener and a really good strike-rate of 154. He was the sole reason why RCB managed to get whatever points they did this season because apart from him and one or two innings by Gayle, there was no other batsman who showed application in the middle for the KXIP franchise and after almost the perfect start, their season just spiralled out of control eventually leaving them 7th on the points table.
Rishabh Pant IPL 2018 (DD Team 2018)
Another player who was fantastic for the duration of the whole of IPL 2018 but was, unfortunately, was part of a sinking ship in which no one really put their hand up as he fought all alone in the middle. There is no doubt Rishabh Pant will go on to become a big player for India in the future, he is too good a player to fail. His power hitting and stroke-making was mesmerizing at times and there is something he shares with legendary Indian opener Virender Sehwag and that is fearlessness. No matter who came on to bowl against him, he was ready to wallop them over the lines and fortunately for Delhi Daredevils he that in many matches this season hence they managed to finish with 10 points.
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