Reviewing 10 years of IPL: Shane Warne, MS Dhoni and the five most influential players
Following the completion of the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League, Dileep Premachandran looks back over the 10 years and selects the five most influential players to have graced the tournament. To move on to the next player, click the red arrows in the bottom right corner of the image, or if using a mobile device, simply swipe.
Shane Warne (Rajasthan Royals)
He had retired from international cricket 15 months earlier, but Warne threw himself into the Rajasthan Royals challenge with the same enthusiasm he once summoned up for Ashes contests. His bowling was a mixed bag, some magic spells interspersed with mediocre, but he led with verve and imagination as a side with names such as Swapnil Asnodkar, Sohail Tanvir and the much-mocked Shane Watson stormed to the top of the table and then the title. By taking the competition as seriously as he did, Warne gave the IPL immediate legitimacy.
MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings/Rising Pune Supergiant)
When you think of the IPL, the first image that comes to mind is Dhoni in Chennai Super Kings’ canary yellow, yelling instructions to a bowler and then slapping the big gloves in celebration as the plan came off. No other individual came to be so closely associated with a franchise — for good or bad — and there were two titles to celebrate, along with five other final appearances (one with Pune). It would be a huge surprise if he isn’t back in yellow next season.
Chris Gayle (Kolkata Knight Riders/Royal Challengers Bangalore)
For three straight seasons starting with his late call-up as a replacement in 2011, Gayle redefined Twenty20 batsmanship, following up a 608-run season with two years in which he topped 700. The mojo may have gone now, but who can forget the 30-ball hundred on his way to 175, or the record number of sixes, most of them launched with the insouciance of a man throwing crumpled paper into the bin.
Lasith Malinga (Rajasthan Royals/Mumbai Indians)
When most needed, Malinga came up with a champion performance, conceding just 21 runs in the final. Like Gayle, his best years are behind him, but having taken 44 wickets across Mumbai’s first two title-winning seasons, his place as an IPL legend is assured. And with 154 wickets, he’ll stay atop the all-time leading wicket-takers’ list for a while yet.
Rohit Sharma (Deccan Chargers/Mumbai Indians)
Sachin Tendulkar couldn’t win it, neither could Ricky Ponting. Year after year, Mumbai Indians flashed the cash at the auctions, but came up short when it mattered. Then, in 2013, they gave the captaincy to Rohit, who had won a title with Deccan Chargers in 2009. In the five seasons since, Mumbai have become the first team to win the IPL three times. Though he had a relatively poor time with the bat this season, he did become the third player to top 4000 career runs, and Rohit’s calm leadership, especially the faith reposed in the likes of Krunal Pandya, was central to Mumbai’s success.
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport
Updated: May 23, 2017 04:00 AM