The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 has reached its midway amidst plenty of excitement and action with several players staking their claim to be amongst the top. Some fresh faces have come up, besides several regulars upping the ante in getting runs freely. Who Have Been The Most Influential Batsmen In IPL 2018?
The IPL, over the years, has maintained its strength with the front-line batsmen scoring the bulk of runs and making the difference. This season too has seen the same trend. Teams like Chennai Super Kings have benefitted from that.
To have said the same, it has been the experienced customers that have taken their responsibilities well. It’s not about just the runs, but the influence they have had in putting their teams in winning positions. T20s isn’t just bang bang, but the application in reacting to situations as per the demands.
IPL 2018: Most Influential Batsmen
MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings)
Old is gold! Well, MS Dhoni has shown age does not matter in a sport. He also got former Australia star and current teammate Shane Watson to be in awe of him and draw inspiration. That is MSD for you! He has been a respectable personality for years. This IPL though has been a special one for the former India skipper. He has notched the highest strike-rate of his IPL career in 2018.
Dhoni has a strike-rate of 169.23 in 8 innings. Recently his 22-ball fifty against the Delhi Daredevils was the second fastest recorded by him in IPL. MS Dhoni has 286 runs this season and has already amassed three fifties. The perfect finisher in an innings, MSD has been brutal in his treatment of bowlers in this IPL.
Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
What David Warner achieved for SRH in the last couple of seasons, interim skipper Kane Williamson is doing it in 2018. Besides winning games as the captain, he has has been the leader in getting runs. What’s impressive is Williamson’s consistency and a healthy strike-rate.
Four fifties already and 322 runs under his belt, Williamson has performed for a side that hasn’t batted well. The Kiwi skipper has been the engine for this side.
Chris Gayle (Kings XI Punjab)
Twenty20 ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle was a major name ignored in the auction earlier in January 2018. He was finally bought at his base price of Rs 2 crore by KXIP. According to reports, Gayle recently stated that he felt let down by the snub especially from his former franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore.
But he is champion for a reason. He did not let it affect him. In four innings, he has 252 runs that includes a 104* against SRH. He has given the impetus to KXIP to stay in the top four.
Ambati Rayudu (Chennai Super Kings)
The former Mumbai Indian batsman has been the architect of CSK in shaping their growth with the bat. Often laying the foundation and following it up with aggression, Rayudu is enjoying his versatility both as an opener and in the middle-order.
The Orange Cap holder has 370 runs from eight matches. Rayudu has given CSK the platform to carve victories. His aggressive knocks, of 79 and 82 runs against SRH and RCB respectively, were the standout moments of this season. He has been the best bargain purchase.
Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Well, you cannot keep him out, can you? He is the best in the world. Virat once again has been the flag bearer of inconsistent RCB. Quality shots pleasing to the eye, besides always keeping the fielders busy with quick runs, Kohli’s consistency needs to be lauded.
The Indian captain is often the lone man standing. 349 runs at a strike-rate of 138.49, Kohli’s attacking foray has been terrific. RCB can still root for a place in the top four, and Kohli will have to continue taking center stage.
Shane Watson (Chennai Super Kings)
The former Australian all-rounder has been a masterstroke signing by CSK. A massive figure in the line-up, Watson not only is grooming the youngsters but has performed consistently which has been an added bonus. Runs and plenty of it atop, the veteran has shown flashes of his old self.
281 runs in eight innings along with 106 as the best score shows Watson’s heroics. What has been done well by him is to keep scoring emphatically in the power-play overs. He has been part of key opening partnerships in most games for the side.
Rishabh Pant (Delhi Daredevils)
He has been one of the major highlights this season. Pant has muscled his way with 306 runs in his kitty and alongside Shreyas Iyer, has carried forward Delhi. His attributes in clearing the ropes is a well-known factor. The 79 against CSK was a special effort despite DD’s loss.
Against RCB too he enthralled the crowds with a best of 85. The youngster has special abilities. A massive strike-rate of 170.94 tells how much Pant has grown as a player.
AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The Superman of cricket has been missing the last couple of matches with injury, but prior to that, he has been excellent. 280 runs in six innings which include a match-winning 90* against DD has been the highlight of his season. A special match-winner, AB has been the shining armor for Kohli & Co.
RCB’s ability to put big scores on the board is mostly contributed by AB and Kohli and the former needs to come back soon and help his side push for the playoffs.