The closest ever Indian Premier League league stage came to end last weekend with Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kolkata Knight Rider and Rajasthan Royals going through to the playoffs and subsequently CSK confirmed their place in the Final, while RR were knocked out by KKR in Eliminator 1. Over the past 2 months, we have seen some exhilarating cricketing action with brilliant individual performances not only from the players of the team that made it to the top 4 but even players like Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul, who didn’t make the playoffs but still made huge contribution throughout the season. IPL 2018 Captains have played a massive role this season with some big changes taking place at the helm prior to the start. Gautam Gambhir moved from KKR to DD before eventually giving up captaincy after the initial 6 matches. MS Dhoni returned to captain CSK once more and has proven all his doubters wrong not only with his leadership but even with the bat.
Dinesh Karthik and Kane Williamson have been fantastic leading an IPL side for the first time, both of them will be going head to head on Friday (May 25th) to decide who meets CSK in the big Final on 27th May at the Wankhede Stadium. Rohit Sharma and Ravi Ashwin had their glorious moments but the season ended with disappointment. Probably the most frustrated IPL 2018 captain would be Indian captain Virat Kohli, who although played brilliantly but couldn’t help his team get further than the league stage. In this article, we will look at the IPL 2018 captain and see how they got on in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League.
CSK Captain – MS Dhoni IPL 2018
MS Dhoni is currently enjoying his best ever IPL season individually and as a captain like past years, the former Indian captain has been fantastic leading his side to yet another Final. In the 9 seasons till now that CSK have been part of, they have reached the play-off 9 times and have reached the Final a record 7 times and much of that credit goes to the leadership of Dhoni, who has used his resources brilliantly this season and on current form, there is no doubting the fact that CSK are favourites to lift their 3rd IPL Final in Mumbai on Sunday.
Rating – 9/10
SRH Captain – Kane Williamson IPL 2018
Like MS, many pundits feared for SRH and Williamson when he was suddenly handed over the captaincy following the ban on David Warner but not surprising the Kiwi international has been the player of the season as far as Hyderabad franchise is considered. Apart from being the highest run-scorer for his team, Williamson has shown great consistency scoring 8 half-centuries. The added responsibility seems to have worked wonders for the 27-year-old, who will be desperate to reach the Final and win it in order to secure his legacy at this franchise just like Warner has done.
Rating – 8/10
KKR Captain – Dinesh Karthik IPL 2018
Taking over from a captain as successful as Gautam Gambhir was never going to be an easy task but surprisingly Dinesh Karthik has looked extremely comfortable leading the KKR franchise this season. He is not the one to scream and shout on the field, rather he follows Dhoni’s path of staying and composed even when the stakes are against his team. Karthik’s individual form has also been pretty fantastic and like Dhoni, he has turned himself into the perfect finisher for his team. With the momentum on his side and 4 wins on the trot, KKR are looking set to reach their 3 IPL Final.
Rating – 8/10
RR Captain – Ajinkya Rahane IPL 2018
Rajasthan Royals did extremely well sneaking into the playoff round but how much was that to do with Rahane’s captaincy one is not sure. The Indian international has struggled at times to rally his troops behind him and one of the main reasons for that has been the dip in his own personal form. The constant chipping and chopping has been good to instil confidence in the fan base but he would have been pleased to finish 4th on the points table even though some of his top players failed miserably this season.
Rating – 6/10
MI Captain – Rohit Sharma IPL 2018
Like seasons before Mumbai Indians started off in a disastrous fashion losing 5 of the first 6 matches and after the half-way stage the team rallied together to string together some wins, unfortunately for the franchise and the captain Rohit Sharma, this year the final act wasn’t enough to drag them to the playoffs and they were knocked out from the league stage. Speaking about individual performances, in complete contrast to Dhoni, Rohit Sharma has endured his worst ever IPL season scoring less than 300 runs for the first time. He will be hoping he can improve his performances next season as he is a key part of whatever MI do in the IPL in the future.
Rating – 5/10
RCB Captain – Virat Kohli IPL 2018
Highest run-scorer for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2018 ahead of AB de Villiers. Just like seasons before RCB left their fans utterly disappointed only a handful of players apart from their star duo contributed to the teams cause this season leaving majority of the burden on De Villiers and Kohli’s shoulders. It is still a mystery how a team with probably the two best T20 batsmen in the world can fail to not make it to the top 4 of the IPL. Both RCB management and Kohli need to do a lot of brainstorming over the next one year as they look to end this much-awaited wait for an IPL Trophy in 2019.
Rating – 6/10
KXIP Captain – Ravi Ashwin IPL 2018
A lot of people were surprised when Ravi Ashwin was announced as KXIP captain for IPL 2018 but those doubts were quickly put to rest as the franchise made a fantastic start to the season and was on top of the points table at the half-way stage. However, no one could have predicted what about to unfold in the 2nd half of the campaign as KXIP won just 1 of their last 8 matches finishing shockingly second last on the points and ending what was looking to be a promising campaign on a sour note as reports of internal team rift appeared in the media. Ravi Ashwin will need to introspect what went wrong suddenly for him and his team and plan to come back much stronger next season as they definitely have the squad now capable of winning the title.
Rating – 5/10
DD Captain – Shreyas Iyer 2018
Many people were expecting Delhi Daredevils to be challenging for the title this season, given how successful they were in the auction in creating what looked like a fantastic squad. Unfortunately for them, the season started off in a disastrous fashion and just before the half-way Gautam Gambhir announced that he would be stepping down from captaincy in order to allow another player to play in place of him. This decision led to young Shreyas Iyer being handed over the captaincy. The youngster played a few key knocks for his team this season and one must credit him that he never looked bogged down by the responsibility and in all fairness, the team’s performance also did improve from the time he took over. It’s not clear whether he continue being the captain next season but there is no doubt that he is a fantastic talent who also looks like a natural leader.
Rating – 6/10
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