From KKR’s Dinesh Karthik to RCB’s Virat Kohli, the Indian T20 League has seen some new heroes emerging last week (October 5-11), who were struggling for form since the beginning of the tournament. The shift in venue has also seen a new set of favourites in the points table halfway into the season, and our team of the week reflects the same.
QUINTON DE KOCK (Mumbai)
One of the main reasons why Mumbai is being hailed for their balanced team now is their numerous backup options fitted beautifully in an eleven-man squad. Despite having Rohit Sharma to open for them, Mumbai have never been over-reliant on him and Quinton de Kock is showing exactly why. After the South African’s 53-run innings helped Mumbai seal the match against Delhi, the southpaw’s 49-run opening stand with Sharma helped Mumbai put up an unbeatable 194-run target against Rajasthan as they lead the points table with 10 points.
VIRAT KOHLI (Bangalore)
It might have taken a few games in the desert for Virat Kohli to get going, but the Bangalore skipper looks ready now. Having a mixed campaign in the tournament so far, Bangalore were over-reliant on AB de Villiers in the first few games before Kohli came along. While his 39-ball 43 might have been insufficient in chasing DC’s target of 197, it was a sign of things to come. A struggling CSK bore the brunt of it as Kohli doubled his work rate to score a 52-ball 90 as Bangalore took the match home.
SURYA KUMAR YADAV (Mumbai)
Mumbai coaching staff’s tactical acumen was at the fore yet again when they brought Mumbai-lad Surya Kumar Yadav from Kolkata and promoted him up the order. It turned out to be one of the best decisions taken by them. Yadav had amassed 936 runs in the last two editions, and he does not seem to stop this season. He has already scored 233 runs in seven games and was Mumbai’s star batsman last week. After a match-winning 53 against Delhi, Yadav’s unbeaten 79 helped Mumbai post a supreme target against Rajasthan.
DINESH KARTHIK (Kolkata)
Like Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik had also been at the receiving end of criticism until his fine innings changed the perception to a large extent. Though Karthik’s leadership is the bigger factor that brought him in the best eleven this week, his 29-ball 58 – which included eight boundaries and two sixes in the middle overs against Punjab – was the differential for his side eventually. Kolkata’s almost impeccable death bowling in their last two matches, where they pulled off 10 runs and 2 runs victory against Chennai and Punjab respectively, should also be attributed to their skipper.
MARCUS STOINIS (Delhi)
Delhi have been on the margin for long in the tournament, but their recruitments – both on and off the field – have shown intent over the past few years and bringing in Marcus Stoinis was one such import. The Australian was instrumental for Delhi last week. While his unbeaten 53 helped Delhi beat Bangalore. He sent Hardik Pandya for a duck to keep his side in a losing cause against Mumbai as well. If that wasn’t enough, Stoinis turned up the heat against Rajasthan where his 39 helped Delhi post a 185-run target before he returned with 17/2 in the second innings to beat Rajasthan by 46 runs.
RAHUL TEWATIA (Rajasthan)
Rahul Tewatia is the perfect example of the optimism that a good performance can spur. Following Tewatia’s “that” performance against Punjab, the batsman has assumed Rajasthan’s finisher’s role well, although his inexperience meant it did not come out perfectly. After an underwhelming inning against Mumbai to start the week with, Tewatia’s gritty 38 was Rajasthan’s only hanging hope against Delhi. However, all this culminated into the match-winning 45 that helped Rajasthan beat Hyderabad.
CHRIS MORRIS (Bangalore)
Chris Morris has arrived at the Indian T20 League late with RCB, but he has made quite the noise with it. After sitting out on the bench during Bangalore’s match with Delhi, the all-rounder was brought in to give Kohli’s team some extra bowling depth against Chennai. After Kohli’s masterclass helped Bangalore post a competitive 169-run target in the first innings, Morris’ bowling figures of 19/3 got the rest of the job done for his side. With wickets of Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo, Morris was Bangalore’s hero of the day.
SUNIL NARINE (Kolkata)
Kolkata’s hero in past title-winning seasons, Sunil Narine had also struggled for form this season. However, he found it in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Defending 167 runs, Karthik introduced Narine in the 12th over of the match when Chennai were at 94-1 with Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu on both ends. A disciplined Narine gave away just eight runs in his first two overs and took Watson’s wicket. Though he conceded 23 runs in his next two overs, he returned with an economy rate of 7.8. Narine’s heroics were more prominent against Punjab where he took 2/28 and kept Glenn Maxwell silent in the last over with Punjab needing only 12 runs.
RASHID KHAN (Hyderabad)
With one victory and one defeat in his bag, Hyderabad might have had a mixed run in the week but their star spinner Rashid Khan remained at the top of the game. The Afghanistan bowler took three wickets conceding 12 runs against Punjab to help Hyderabad register a massive 69-run win, before his 25/2 remained Hyderabad’s only good figure against Rajasthan as David Warner and Co. lost the match by five wickets. Rashid Khan has already taken 10 wickets in seven matches so far.
KAGISO RABADA (Delhi)
Leading the race for the purple cap, Kagiso Rabada has had yet another prolific week with the ball for Delhi. Though Delhi lost two of the three matches that they played last week, Rabada remained their most consistent performer. He started with 24-4 against Bangalore in the first match of the week, returned with 35-3 against Rajasthan and ended the week with 28-2 against Mumbai. Rabada has garnered 17 wickets in seven matches with an unreal strike rate of 9.76.
JASPRIT BUMRAH (Mumbai)
Another week and another masterclass from Mumbai’s blue-eyed boy Jasprit Bumrah. After playing a crucial role against Delhi, where despite going wicketless Bumrah conceded just 26 runs in four overs to limit Delhi’s total to 162 runs, he took a four-fer against Rajasthan to bowl them out for a paltry 136 runs. The speedster sits second behind Kagiso Rabada in the purple cap race with 11 wickets.
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