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IPL 2018

Batsmen that lit up the IPL

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Close finishes, big hitting, balls flying out of the ground, and the crowd on their feet. This is the spectacle called IPL. This edition was one of the most competitive IPL edition in the history of this tournament. The top 4 wasn't decided until the penultimate game of the preliminary matches. Close finishes and fans having endless heartaches, was the main highlight of this edition. This wouldn't be possible, if not for the batsman's nerve to hold it till the final over, to finish the game off. I sometimes wonder how the batsman complete such feats of brilliance when the fans, and myself included, can't hold still with the tension that builds up. It is a truly remarkable skill which only a few possess. The amount of batsman scoring more than 600 runs has been by far the most. Barring the season where Virat Kohli and David Warner had plundered excess of 900 and 800 respectively, this season has seen more 500+ and 600+ runs by individuals than any other season. The volume of runs scored per individual has made this IPL more competitive. If you see other editions where the IPL hasn't been that competitive, you can see the disparity in the runs scored by the top batsmen versus the others who lag far behind them. The top scorer this season was the indomitable Kane Williamson with a tally of 735 with a strike rate of 142. This has come as quite the surprise. The unassuming Kane Williamson, with all due respect, wasn't one of the main contenders for that position. His skills are assumed to be a much better fit for the one day, or rather the test game. But he showed that he could adapt, which is all great batsman do, when faced with a different challenge. His silky smooth hands which he uses to caress the ball were put into great use. Rishabh Pant was the runner up for the top spot. This is definitely not that big a surprise, but astounding none the less. Last year, he found his feet quickly and could very quickly step up to the task of scoring the big runs. But this time, it has not only been big runs, but the consistency in scoring them. Huge backlift, swing of not only the bat, but the body as well, has seen him score 684 runs with a strike rate of 173. He really wants to take the leather of the ball, when he hits it. It has been questioned whether he can continue that on a long term basis, as it isn't the most conservative approach and many haven't seen him use any other approach. For now, he definitely showed it. The third on the list, was again a surprise. KL Rahul. He scored 659 runs at strike rate 158. He showed consistency and great pacing-the-chase capabilities, which were only a few talking points the Kings XI could boast about in a subdued kind of tournament they had, even after a great start. He is one of the players who have a classical touch, but still scores at a quick pace. This, combined with his consistency this IPL, was one of the things which still kept the Kings XI in the tournament. The special mentions for this article would be Ambati Rayudu, who was the top scorer for CSK, Shane Watson, who was played a pivotal role in the top order, Virat Kohli, who can forget about the ever ready and consistent Kohli, Jos Buttler, who virtually sent Rajasthan Royals into the playoffs single-handedly and finally MS Dhoni, who was written off for not being at his best and not having the same capabilities.

- Shubham Anuraj, 12:52PM, 05 June, 2018

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