IPL 2016: Rating the captains of the 8 IPL teams
The Sunrisers Hyderabad played some excellent cricket throughout the 9th edition of the Indian Premier League and deservedly won the title – their first – by defeating the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday, May 29th, 2016. Their campaign was lead from the front by their aggressive captain, the Australian southpaw David Warner, who not only scored runs in a heap throughout the league but also lead the side effectively to take them to victories at crucial junctures.
Warner's performances this season threw further light on the need for an effective, dynamic captain to lead the teams in the shortest format of the game, especially in franchise-based cricket. Just like the Australian, there were other leaders too who carried the mantle of the side on their shoulders to good effect, and despite not being able to win the title left a considerable impact on their team, the players, and on the tournament as a whole.
Here, in this piece, we take a look at the performances of various captains during the 9th season of the IPL and rate them on a scale of 10.
9. David Miller: Kings XI Punjab – 3/10
The Kings XI Punjab could not recover from their shambolic performances last season, as they finished at the bottom of the points table this year as well losing 10 of their 14 games. The team management has chosen a new captain to lead the side, the South African southpaw David Miller, a move that backfired, just like the move to give George Bailey the leadership had backfired last season.
Apparently, the burden of captaincy became too much to bear for the left-hander as he could neither do well with the bat nor could he inspire his troops on the field, as the Kings XI slumped to 5 losses from 6 games under his leadership. As if these results weren’t enough, Miller’s dwindling form with the bat, that saw him register scores of 15, 9, 7, 6, 9 and 30 was also stacked against him, and consequently, he was removed as the team’s captain midway through the season.
8. Murali Vijay: Kings XI Punjab – 5/10
The Kings XI’s ploy of changing the leadership midway through an ongoing tournament didn’t work for them either, as after giving them a glimmer of hope in the first match that he captained the side, even Vijay couldn’t guide his side to victories on a consistent basis. However, Vijay did do his part exceedingly well, as he emerged out as the best batsman of the side, accumulating 453 runs from 15 games at an average of 26.43 and a strike rate of 123.39.
While that average and the strike rate aren’t awe-inspiring, but given the dire straits that the Kings XI found themselves in this season, Vijay was easily the most prolific batsman of the side. However, he couldn’t lead the side to considerable success and couldn’t prevent the bottom-of-the-table finish, as under his leadership too, the team lost 5 of the 8 matches. The end of their season perfectly eulogised their run throughout the tournament, when Vijay gave the left-arm spinner Axar Patel the last over when they had 23 runs to defend against the Rising Pune Supergiants.
MS Dhoni plundered the spinner in the last over, hitting three sixes and a four to complete a remarkable run-chase and snatch the victory right out of the Kings XI’s jaws. It was regarded as a tactical blunder committed by Vijay – giving the last over to a spinner – and that pretty much summed up the team’s journey in the league.