Five players who grabbed the headlines during the league stage of the 2022 IPL.
Dewald Brevis (Mumbai Indians)
The 19-year-old South African batsman made his presence felt with knocks to remember for wooden-spooners the Mumbai Indians.
Brevis scored 161 runs in seven matches for the five-time champions, who bought the U19 World Cup star for just over R6 million.
He capped the IPL with a crucial 37 off 33 balls in Mumbai’s win over Delhi and credited South African great AB de Villiers for his success.
“He is such a great human being … and he is really one of the best,” said Brevis.
“Having him as a mentor is special to me,” added the youngster who has been nicknamed ‘Baby AB’ for his ability to hit innovative big shots like his older compatriot.
Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals)
The England batsman has bossed this IPL with three centuries to help Rajasthan finish second on the table, awaiting the table-topping Gujarat Titans in the first qualifier on Tuesday.
Buttler has been a smiling assassin, stroking 629 runs in 14 matches – the most of any player – while smashing 37 sixes at a strike rate of 146.96.
Buttler has received praise from his rivals, with Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Shreyas Iyer hailing the skill of the Englishman after he scored 103 against his team last month.
“The way he manoeuvres the ball, he is a classy batsman,” said Shreyas.
Umran Malik (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
The 22-year-old speedster took the IPL by storm and on Sunday earned his maiden India call-up for the T20I series against the Proteas.
Malik, from the Jammu region of Indian-administered Kashmir, bowled the fastest ball of the tournament at 156.9km/h and took 22 wickets in 14 matches.
His thunderbolts won rave reviews from international cricketers, including Hyderabad’s bowling coach Dale Steyn who said he was “blown away” by the youngster’s pace.
Rashid Khan (Gujarat Titans)
Rashid was key to his team starting with a bang as they remarkably topped the table in their debut season.
The Afghanistan wizard not only bamboozled the batsmen with his leg-spin bowling, but also provided some explosive batting as he displayed his all-round talent.
He scored a whirlwind unbeaten 31, including two sixes from the last two balls, to pull off a stunning chase against Hyderabad. And his four wickets against Lucknow helped Gujarat become the first team to book a playoff spot.
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen said Rashid “delivers whenever the captain looks at him”.
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The superstar’s batting slump has been a constant talking point during the season as he suffered three uncharacteristic golden ducks.
But King Kohli bounced back just in time for his team’s final league game with a match-winning 73 off 54 balls that helped the team make the top four.
The 33-year-old has endured a torrid 12 months during which he was replaced as India captain, gave up the Bangalore armband and failed to score a century in more than 100 matches in all formats.
Now Bangalore and he stand just three wins from a maiden IPL title and play the Lucknow Super Giants in an eliminator on Wednesday.
“I’m actually in the happiest phase of my life. I am not finding any self-worth or value in what I do in the field. I’m way past that phase. This is a phase of evolution for me,” Kohli said.
© Agence France-Presse