From Lockie Ferguson to Jasprit Bumrah, speedsters rocked the entire last week of Indian T20 League that unbelievably saw as many as three super-overs proving yet again why it is the best twenty-over league in the world.
Here is the best team from the last week.
KL RAHUL (PUNJAB)
Leading the orange cap race and overshadowing Virat Kohli with his mind-boggling consistency, KL Rahul gets into our team of the week yet again. Punjab’s chase of 178-run target set by Bangalore was possible largely because of Rahul’s unbeaten 61 as he provided the foundation for Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle to finish off things. Rahul’s second knock was even more important as it came against an in-form Mumbai side with Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult spitting fire. Rahul scored 77 off 51 deliveries to push the match into the super-overs before Punjab won the tight contest.
SHIKHAR DHAWAN (DELHI)
It was time Indian cricket fans recalled the brilliant opener that Shikhar Dhawan was. The southpaw was put under early pressure against Rajasthan after Prithvi Shaw was dismissed for a duck but the veteran batsman rose to the occasion to help post a match-winning 161-run target with his 33-balls 57 knock. Their second clash with Chennai saw Shaw returning with another duck, but this time Delhi were chasing a steep target of 180. Hence, Dhawan needed to see off things and he did it magnificently by scoring an unbeaten 101 – which had a whopping 14 boundaries and a maximum.
QUINTON DE KOCK (MUMBAI)
With Rohit Sharma being his usual self against Kolkata during a paltry 149-run chase, Mumbai saw Quinton de Kock scoring a handy 44-balls 78, to steer his side home within 16.5 overs. Despite defending a small target Kolkata bowler had kept it tight and if not for De Kock Mumbai could have witnessed a major collapse. An unusual batting debacle by Mumbai against Punjab also demanded that De Kock stood up to the occasion, and he did. His steady 53-run knock helped Mumbai post a 177-run target after they were reduced to 38-3 at one point.
AMBATI RAYUDU (CHENNAI)
Ambati Rayudu has been handed the massive responsibility of anchoring Chennai’s innings in the absence of Suresh Raina. And while the veteran batsman has been slow, he has shown his ability to dominate bowling attacks while coming at the crucial fourth position. After Faf du Plessis was dismissed for a duck against Hyderabad, Chennai needed a solid middle-order display and Rayudu stitched an 81-run partnership with Shane Watson to help Chennai post a target of 168. While his 41-run knock helped Chennai win, his 25-balls 45 came in a losing cause against Delhi. However, his consistency has been lauded by one and all.
AB DE VILLERS (BANGALORE)
AB de Villers is a gift that has kept on giving unbridled entertainment to the cricket fans, since he joined Bangalore. Coming fourth in the order against Kolkata, De Villers needed to accelerate his team’s innings to post a big target and the South-African batsman scored 73 off 33 balls – which had five boundaries and six maximums – to forge a 100-run stand with Virat Kohli. The ask was different against Rajasthan. De Villers was needed to see off a 178-run target this time, with Gurkeerat Singh Mann at the other end, and he won the match with one boundary and six sixes to score 55 runs in 22 balls.
EOIN MORGAN [C] (KOLKATA)
With Kolkata having to play three matches this week, it was expected to be a hectic seven days. However, after the one-sided defeat to Bangalore was followed by a mid-season change in captaincy for the team, it went from bad to worse. But the ICC World Cup-winning captain managed the chaos well to come out better in the end. While Morgan had no option to stay on the crease with his 29-balls 39 knock after an early collapse against Mumbai, the Englishman was called into action under pressure yet again against Hyderabad. Morgan’s 23-balls 34 helped Kolkata remain competitive, but more than his late knocks, it was Morgan’s conviction and use of his bowlers that has brought him into the team of the week. He made urgent changes into the team and churned out a close victory against David Warner and Co.
RAHUL CHAHAR (MUMBAI)
One look at how a young Raul Chahar has grown leaps and bounds and it will be evident that Mumbai scouts have done it again. With his dreadlocks adding a West Indian touch, Rahul Chahar was at his destructive best against Kolkata on Friday, as he dismissed Shubman Gill and Dinesh Karthik to limit the side to just 148 runs in the first innings. His 2/18 remained the best performance by any bowler on that day. While he was not half as effective against Punjab, Rahul managed to scalp the wickets of stalwarts Chris Gayle and Glenn Maxwell, to end with figures of 2/33.
LOCKIE FERGUSON (KOLKATA)
Called into the squad only in his side’s ninth match, New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson was at his best right from the word go. While most players played two matches this week to get into this list, Ferguson needed only one to create his impression and another super-over to rest his case. Despite Hyderabad’s struggling batting-order Kolkata’s target of 164 wasn’t challenging enough, but Ferguson was the man standing between the sides. After the pacer helped Kolkata push to a decider by taking wickets of Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg and Manish Pandey, Ferguson uprooted David Warner’s stumps on the very first ball before repeating it against Abdul Samad on the third ball of the super-over as Kolkata chased down 3 runs.
JASPRIT BUMRAH (MUMBAI)
Yet another week and yet another masterclass by Mumbai’s Jasprit Bumrah. After most of his colleagues contributed to dismantling Kolkata with ease in their first match of the week – where Bumrah returned with numbers of 1/22 – it was against Punjab that Bumrah’s services were especially needed. With KL Rahul bashing every Mumbai bowler Bumrah was the only exception who took wickets of Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran and KL Rahul himself to end with 3/24. However, it was his bowling in the first super-over that brought all the accolades. Bumrah single-handedly stopped Punjab by conceding just five runs and taking wickets of Rahul and Pooran yet again.
DEEPAK CHAHAR (CHENNAI)
With things not going their way with the bat, MS Dhoni is seen turning to his bowlers often. And while most have returned with modest figures, Deepak Chahar has turned on the heat. Defending a target of 180 against Delhi, Chennai needed early wickets to get a win and Deepak Chahar was Dhoni’s biggest weapon. Claiming wickets of Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane, Chahar conceded just 18 runs in his four overs, although Chennai didn’t end up winning. Against Hyderabad, Chahar went wicketless but maintained an economy rate of 7, which helped Chennai to win the match.
JOFRA ARCHER (RAJASTHAN)
Rajasthan sit at the bottom of the table after nine games with just three wins in their pockets. And while none of their stars, from Jos Butler to Steven Smith, have been able to influence a change in their mindset, Jofra Archer kept leaving his mark at crucial points. It was Jofra’s needle-sharp bowling that saw Rajasthan limit a batting-heavy Delhi to 161 runs while bowling first. The English pacer had sent Shaw, Rahane and Rahul Tewatia back to the pavilion within no time, returning with figures of 3/19 in his four overs. However, Rajasthan’s batting wasn’t up to the mark and Archer’s frustration was evident in Rajasthan’s match with Bangalore.
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