On a thrilling Sunday night, Mumbai Indians became the first team to win 4 IPL titles. Captain Rohit Sharma not only became the first captain to win 4 titles, but the first IPL player to win 5 titles (1 with Deccan Chargers, 4 with MI). Records were broken, hearts were broken, not least of them Shardul Thakur’s – the CSK man from Mumbai who was LBW off the final ball of the tournament. Off the final slow Malinga yorker of IPL 2019. The MI-CSK final had everything: dropped catches, controversial decisions, sixes, marauding Australians, choking South Africans, Jasprit Bumrah’s genius, Pollard’s attitude and Dhoni’s grace. MI defended a score of 149, thanks to some terrific bowling by Rahul Chahal, Bumrah and, the man redeemed, Lasith Malinga. CSK fell short again in the final, becoming the only IPL team to lose 5 finals (3 to MI, 1 to KKR, 1 to RR).
View this post on Instagram
Man of the tournament: Andre Russell
Orange Cap: David Warner
Purple Cap: Imran Tahir
The 12th season of the Indian Premier League, like the final, had everything. An entire alternate awards ceremony can be constructed out of the drama:
CAPTAIN COOL AWARD:
Rohit Sharma, obviously, deserves this again. Every alternate season since 2013, MI has won the title. Their 4 have come in 8 successful seasons, while they’ve won 4 out of 5 finals, and the last two of them by a single run. Sharma’s leadership has been way better than his batsmanship in the last five years. He has, quite simply, been the best T20 captain in the world.
CAPTAIN UNCOOL AWARD:
Dinesh Karthik will be happy that he has been selected in the Indian World Cup squad on basis of his batting and keeping. But DK wasn’t wise with his strong KKR team this season, taking decisions that even managed to anger the great Andre Russell. By the time he realized that Shubman Gill was being wasted down the order, it was too late for KKR. They had their destiny in their hands, but KKR veterans’ poor form – DK, Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav – cost them a playoff spot.
FUTURE PERFECT AWARD:
Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar impressed for MI as much as his cousin Deepak Chahar did for CSK. He bowled a terrific spell in the final, and has been the find of the tournament for Indian fans and selectors. He made up for Krunal Pandya’s topsy-turvy tournament, and bowled with great control to world-class batters. Chahar will remain a crucial cog in the wheel of the Mumbai setup for years.
BIG MATCH PLAYER AWARD:
Shane Watson frustrated CSK fans throughout the tournament, but it was almost predestined that, being an Aussie, he would come to the party when it mattered the most. And Mumbai Indians almost bore the brunt of it, just as SRH had no answer to his mental strength in last year’s final. His 80 at Hyderabad on Sunday night was almost double the second highest scorer in the match, and he single-handedly kept CSK in it after they lost their way in the middle overs. In the end, it was his legs that let him down, not his bat.
BEST BALL AWARD:
Malinga was torn apart for 3 of his 4 overs on Sunday. Watson slammed him for 20 runs in the 16th over. And then he bowled the final over, and bowled perhaps the bravest last ball in IPL history. After bowling around the wicket for 5 balls, he not only changed sides but immediately took to the new angle with the riskiest ball in cricket: the slow yorker. Of course, for Malinga, the highest wicket-taker in IPL history, it was just another day. Just another ball on the biggest stage in franchise cricket.
MOST EXCITING TEAM OF IPL 2019:
The rebranded Delhi Capitals have come a long way from the previous few seasons. Shreyas Iyer’s team was young and exciting, always keeping the watcher on the edge, collapsing and destroying with equal efficiency and consistency. DC were unpredictable, talented, gloriously gifted and volatile.
Although IPL 2019 is over, there are more exciting upcoming sports events. Check them out here.