IPL 2012 May 28, 2012

Champions' resilience tested until the end

Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine were the headliners of a successful campaign, but Kolkata Knight Riders weren't merely a two-man team
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Where they finished


Champions. After coming second to Delhi Daredevils in the league stage by one point, Kolkata Knight Riders beat Daredevils in the first playoff to qualify for their maiden final, in Chennai, where they beat Super Kings by five wickets and two balls to spare. Knight Riders won 10 of their last 13 games (one was washed out). They were deserved champions and their campaign a glorious revival.

Key player


Gautam Gambhir's pay cheque of $2.4 million, the highest for anyone bought at an open IPL auction, came with a heavy mandate: to turnaround the fortunes of the poorest performing franchise. Knight Riders had been the only constant in the bottom four in each of the first three seasons. Those campaigns were weighed down by a leader past his prime fitness and form, divisive coaching experiments such as split captaincy, and a vicious blogger purporting to be a team insider. So, in the lead-up to the 2011 auction, the Knight Riders management retained none of their players. During the auction, they did not bid for most either, including former icon player Sourav Ganguly. The first name on their new roster was that of Gambhir, after intense bidding involving four other franchises. Under his leadership in 2011, Knight Riders finished fourth.

In 2012, Gambhir was exemplary. As captain, he was patient with under performing players, especially those part of the core group, and with a team that shape shifted several times before arriving at its ideal combination. His leadership conformed to his aggressive character and though he was emotive on the field his team was not adversely affected by it. They were galvanised instead.

As a batsman, Gambhir was Knight Riders' lynchpin and finished with the second highest aggregate of the season. He was their most reliable run-scorer and also their quickest (among those with at least 150 runs), averaging 36.87 at a strike rate of 143.55. Gambhir made six half-centuries and was dismissed in single digits only three times. Before the final he had 588 runs in 16 innings; Kallis was Knight Riders' second best with 340. Gambhir's performance is particularly impressive because the pitches at Eden Gardens were among the most difficult to bat on. They were often slow, with the ball stopping on the batsmen and spinning appreciably. Through his nimble footwork, Gambhir adapted and carried his team's batting for majority of the season.

Bargain buy


Considering the million-dollar salaries some franchises paid for under-performing players, buying the future Player of the Tournament for a mere $700,000 was a steal. At the 2012 auction Knight Riders secured Sunil Narine's services after an eyebrow-raising bidding war with Mumbai Indians, who then settled for the South African Robin Peterson a few minutes later. Narine was a little-known Trinidad & Tobago spinner, who had impressed during his brief international career, and it was a testament to Knight Riders' foresight that his mystery sustained through the season. The auction had taken place before Australia's tour of the West Indies, and because Narine was not WICB contracted and the board had given no indication of Test selection, he was free and willing to head to India.

Narine finished the season with 24 wickets in 15 matches at an average of 13.50 and economy rate of 5.47 - the second highest aggregate, the best average for anyone who bowled more than 10 overs, and the second best economy. He conceded more than 30 in a four-over spell only once and went for six an over or fewer ten times. Narine became Gambhir's go-to bowler in a variety of situations - to pull back a bad one or to consolidate a good one. He bowled 16 overs during the fielding restrictions at an economy of 4.50, and in 26.1 overs during the last five of an innings, his economy was only 7. Narine's variations - the sharp offbreak with side spin, the ball that breaks the other way, and the straighter delivery - bowled at tricky pace with a high-arm action that generated bounce were unreadable to even Sachin Tendulkar.

Flop buy


With a purse of $2 million, Knight Riders bought three players during the 2012 auction: Narine, Brendon McCullum for $900,000 and Marchant de Lange for $50,000. The management would have expected more from McCullum, who scored only 289 runs with one half-century in 12 innings at a strike rate of 102. The Eden Gardens pitches were not conducive to McCullum's style of batting. He prefers hard, bouncy surfaces where the ball comes on to the bat, but had to cope with sluggish ones that made timing the ball a challenge. He was still Knight Riders' third highest run-scorer, though, and maintained the balance of the team by keeping wicket. However, with the other wicketkeeper Manvinder Bisla playing a match-winning innings in the final, McCullum will be challenged to keep his spot next season.

Highlight


Consider these circumstances. Knight Riders had progressed to the final through consistent performances but were suddenly underdogs against a resurgent Chennai Super Kings, who had the home advantage and the momentum. Then L Balaji, who had an economy of 5.40 this season, failed to recover from his hamstring strain, disrupting Knight Riders' settled combination. Without a quality Indian seamer on the bench, they had to bring in Brett Lee and leave out McCullum, which meant Bisla, who had played only one game in the previous month, would keep wicket and open as well.

And then Gambhir lost the toss, Lee got plundered, Narine went for 0 for 37 in his worst performance of the season, Super Kings amassed 190, and Gambhir was dismissed for 2 in the first over of the chase. It could not have got much worse, before Bisla blindsided Super Kings and Jacques Kallis played the perfect foil during a substantial partnership at breakneck pace that won the title for Knight Riders. They were faced with long odds that mounted during the game but had the resilience to beat them.

Lowlight


Perhaps the highlight of Knight Riders' campaign is that they won the tournament with only one match-winning cameo from Yusuf Pathan, who built his reputation on destroyed IPL attacks in seasons past. This year, he scored 40 off 21 balls in the playoff against Daredevils, without which Knight Riders might not have played the final. Apart from that Yusuf failed, with only three 20-plus scores and a strike rate of 115. He did not bowl much either and was expensive when he did - three wickets in 22 overs across 12 innings with an economy of 8.27. For a $2.1 million investment, the returns were meagre, but Knight Riders backed Yusuf until the end.

Verdict


"It was important to prove to the country that cricket is a team game, and hopefully we've gone some way in doing that," Gambhir said after the final. Through the tournament, when questioned about his or Narine's starring performances, Gambhir took pains to stress the importance of smaller, vital contributions from the others.

Be it Kallis' steady batting combined with vital breakthroughs with the ball; Balaji's prodigious seam movement which earned him the best economy rate of the tournament; the triumvirate of spinners, which included Shakib Al Hasan and Iqbal Abdulla, and Rajat Bhatia who operated with control; or the nuggety middle-order contributions that raised the total by 10-15 runs, Gambhir acknowledged them all. Without them, his and Narine's efforts would have been in vain, like Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers' were for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Knight Riders had most of their squad pulling in the right direction for most of the tournament and that made all the difference.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | May 30, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    Not a big fan of KKR but for me it was Dhoni Vs Gauti and wanted Gauti to come on top and so he deservingly did. For India, Dhoni can play in T20s, may be ODI's but defintely NOT Test's. Get rid of this from Test matches. But that is unlikely to happen cause he is a very good politician as well.

  • POSTED BY on | May 30, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    @a85j u must be forgetting gambhir's excellent 97 in world cup final.....yes dhoni did win the match for us but it was gambhir who build the innings after the first over dismissal of sehwag......next sachin's glorious hundred in chennai in 2008 test against england where india chased 384......plus in the same match sehwag hit a fast 63 ball 84 to set up the match....so now i hope u will believe that the top 3 have performed at big stage even its for one time.....and stop comparison between dhoni and gambhir.....give gambhir more chances of captaincy and then we can compare....

  • POSTED BY on | May 30, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Top 10 players of KKR (according to me) based on their performances in IPL 2012- 1. Narine 2. Gambhir 3. Kallis 4. Shakib 5. Bisla 6. Balaji 7. Bhatia 8. McCullum 9. Tiwary 10. Yusuf, Das, Shukla & Iqbal.

  • POSTED BY shah_of_usa on | May 30, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    for the next season, KKR should try to get Dale Steyn or Morkel and get rid of Lee.....in addition, they need to get a good Indian pacer like Awana as a backup for Balaji....on the batting, they should sell McCullum and get AB DeVilliers if possible since he can add the late boosts, which Yusuf failed to do..finally they should add another top order batsman(preferably Indian) to strengthen their camp

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | May 30, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    Thoroughly deserving winners. Well done KKR.

  • POSTED BY ddlj26 on | May 29, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    Congrats KKR on this well deserved victory... i believe the city of kolkata and its fan have every reason to feel proud as all odds in the finals were stacked against them but despite that they came up trumps and also a hearty congratulations to SRK for sticking with this team and providing them the moral support in the previous seasons when things were going awry... you are truly a superstar !!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    In my opinion Kallis should have been given the player of the match award considering his bowling contributions. Really the presence of legendary Kallis in the other end made Bisla play scintillating innings. Kallis bowling statics in the final match was better than mystery spinner Narine.

    t.k.abdulla kunhi, Ayathil, Kollam-21

  • POSTED BY a85j on | May 29, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    The one thing that bothers me. No offence to the 3, they are great players of the game indeed: Sachin, Sehwag, and Gambhir, but I hardly remember a time when they played a match winning innings in a high pressure game. And these are the guys who are main stay in the Indian team. And to people as well as Cricinfo critics who say Gambhir is a great captain than Dhoni, even in IPL 2012: Gambhir is just way too far from Dhoni's league, and can only dream to be there, and which by the way will never come true.

  • POSTED BY cricketcrazyyy on | May 29, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    @IndiaRulesEverybody: Dear bro, why r u so jelous abt Shakib? Yes his contribution id good for KKR. All we know, he got 2 mom in 8 matches he played. Also his contribution was significant in the final. He has bowled superbly through the tournament. His economy was fourth best in the tournament(6.50) and got 12 wicket. If he got chance to play all the 16 matches he could have won the purple cap.Yes it is right that his batting was not upto mark. But how u forgot his performance in Asia cup. He was man of the series despite the presence of several world class players. In IPL, among indian spinners only Chawla got 16 wickets from sixtin matches and rest were pathetic you know. And according to ICC ranking he ig no. 1 allrounder in both test and ODI for 3 long years. Dont mistake me with BD fan. I am indian. :D

  • POSTED BY aniket.g on | May 29, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    guys lets give credit where it's due....kkr hav played lyk champions this year....no 1 can deny that....luck had little 2 do with it...consistency was rewarded handsumly!!!

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | May 30, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    Not a big fan of KKR but for me it was Dhoni Vs Gauti and wanted Gauti to come on top and so he deservingly did. For India, Dhoni can play in T20s, may be ODI's but defintely NOT Test's. Get rid of this from Test matches. But that is unlikely to happen cause he is a very good politician as well.

  • POSTED BY on | May 30, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    @a85j u must be forgetting gambhir's excellent 97 in world cup final.....yes dhoni did win the match for us but it was gambhir who build the innings after the first over dismissal of sehwag......next sachin's glorious hundred in chennai in 2008 test against england where india chased 384......plus in the same match sehwag hit a fast 63 ball 84 to set up the match....so now i hope u will believe that the top 3 have performed at big stage even its for one time.....and stop comparison between dhoni and gambhir.....give gambhir more chances of captaincy and then we can compare....

  • POSTED BY on | May 30, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    Top 10 players of KKR (according to me) based on their performances in IPL 2012- 1. Narine 2. Gambhir 3. Kallis 4. Shakib 5. Bisla 6. Balaji 7. Bhatia 8. McCullum 9. Tiwary 10. Yusuf, Das, Shukla & Iqbal.

  • POSTED BY shah_of_usa on | May 30, 2012, 3:32 GMT

    for the next season, KKR should try to get Dale Steyn or Morkel and get rid of Lee.....in addition, they need to get a good Indian pacer like Awana as a backup for Balaji....on the batting, they should sell McCullum and get AB DeVilliers if possible since he can add the late boosts, which Yusuf failed to do..finally they should add another top order batsman(preferably Indian) to strengthen their camp

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | May 30, 2012, 3:19 GMT

    Thoroughly deserving winners. Well done KKR.

  • POSTED BY ddlj26 on | May 29, 2012, 18:43 GMT

    Congrats KKR on this well deserved victory... i believe the city of kolkata and its fan have every reason to feel proud as all odds in the finals were stacked against them but despite that they came up trumps and also a hearty congratulations to SRK for sticking with this team and providing them the moral support in the previous seasons when things were going awry... you are truly a superstar !!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    In my opinion Kallis should have been given the player of the match award considering his bowling contributions. Really the presence of legendary Kallis in the other end made Bisla play scintillating innings. Kallis bowling statics in the final match was better than mystery spinner Narine.

    t.k.abdulla kunhi, Ayathil, Kollam-21

  • POSTED BY a85j on | May 29, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    The one thing that bothers me. No offence to the 3, they are great players of the game indeed: Sachin, Sehwag, and Gambhir, but I hardly remember a time when they played a match winning innings in a high pressure game. And these are the guys who are main stay in the Indian team. And to people as well as Cricinfo critics who say Gambhir is a great captain than Dhoni, even in IPL 2012: Gambhir is just way too far from Dhoni's league, and can only dream to be there, and which by the way will never come true.

  • POSTED BY cricketcrazyyy on | May 29, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    @IndiaRulesEverybody: Dear bro, why r u so jelous abt Shakib? Yes his contribution id good for KKR. All we know, he got 2 mom in 8 matches he played. Also his contribution was significant in the final. He has bowled superbly through the tournament. His economy was fourth best in the tournament(6.50) and got 12 wicket. If he got chance to play all the 16 matches he could have won the purple cap.Yes it is right that his batting was not upto mark. But how u forgot his performance in Asia cup. He was man of the series despite the presence of several world class players. In IPL, among indian spinners only Chawla got 16 wickets from sixtin matches and rest were pathetic you know. And according to ICC ranking he ig no. 1 allrounder in both test and ODI for 3 long years. Dont mistake me with BD fan. I am indian. :D

  • POSTED BY aniket.g on | May 29, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    guys lets give credit where it's due....kkr hav played lyk champions this year....no 1 can deny that....luck had little 2 do with it...consistency was rewarded handsumly!!!

  • POSTED BY r0ketman on | May 29, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    @IndiaRulesEverybody: Shakib is 10th on bowling average, just under the great Lasith malinga. He is 14th on Econ Rate. just under..you want to guess? The great Murali. He is 15th on Bowling strike rate, only 0.3 and one place apart from - guess again the mystery bowler Sunil Narine. If you take out bowlers who have bowled less than 10 overs, Shakib's strike rate, econ rate and and average is much higher than the rankings I have listed above. Did you think no one was going to check the stats page, and take your baseless claims as true? What about the 2 man of the match awards? This just goes to show you just plain hate Shakib, the reason is unknown, as you are trying to deny the contributions he made in this IPL by stating false statistics. Shakib Al Hasan was one of the better bowlers in this IPL and he made solid contributions with the bat as well. It is the truth, and the stats agree. Fortunately, what you "think" of Shakib does not alter the "facts".

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    @Sehwag3rd300: You have correctly pointed out. All Dhoni wants is to control runs and expects his batsmen to score the runs. Its puzzling for me when he goes on encouraging someone like Munaf, Vinay and takes the likes of Umesh and Aaron as the guys who leak runs, his field setting for them is appallingly defensive as seen in Australia. I would like to see Gambhir captaining a side in tests with Zak, Aaron and Umesh in the side.

  • POSTED BY OttawaRocks on | May 29, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    As a Bengali-Canadian, I have to say the 2 outstanding performers for KKR this season were Gambhir and Narine - by far the most consistent throughout the season. In the playoffs, both of them had a great game against DD in the first qualifier and of course, in the final match Bisla and Kallis were the outstanding performers for KKR. All hail captain of the champions Gautam Gambhir!

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    I am ashamed to take Shakib's name as one of the good contributor to KKR championship, because he got Man of the Match for 2 games. The final game was a team effort regardless of Shakib's last over economic bowling while Narine went for 37 in 4 overs, a spectacular catch to take out M Bijay who could hurt KKR more, and a timely scoop of 4 runs from Hilfy's full toss. Why I should be ashamed of this, because his contribution worth nothing to any of us. Either he is a joke or we are jokes to him.

  • POSTED BY praveen4honestremark on | May 29, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    @Sehwag3rd300..You are very little true may be a 10 percent when u comment on Dhoni. Let me explain you why we didn't fair well. 1) Indian team rarely plays test matches, it is More worse than WI which plays more test matches than India even though it has low revenues. 2) BBCI did a big mistake of sending Indian team to two big tours at a stretch. BCCI wanted to make money so it selected tours at wrong time and also two tours at stretch is very hectic. 3) Senior players are over hyped in India, especially Sehwag, Gambhir and Sachin. One lacks footwork, another one pokes ball to slip region and third one is always a player who is just enjoys playing for himself, but not for team. So, some replacements should have been done or some extra players should have been sent. 4) Fitness of bowlers and players except players like Umesh Yadav, Dhoni , Kohli is big question mark. On big grounds they cannot field and shame Zaheer's hamstring issue. Atlast , before you blame some one think !!

  • POSTED BY India_Rules_Everybody on | May 29, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    @Niaz Chowdhury -- There is no Shaking Al Hassan because he did nothing to help KKR win the trophy. See the list of Top 20 performers in both batting and bowling. That is a list of 40 ( yes FORTY) names. Shaking Al Hassan is NOWHERE! I hope you get the point of actually how mediocre he really is.

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | May 29, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    I would say LUCK in the form of Gambir and Narine has played a big part.

  • POSTED BY masud69 on | May 29, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    @Hayat22, your first line says it all,"Sure Shakib has been one of the performers and nobody is denying this," that was only my point, the report didn't mention a single word, which is not coincidental.thanks for acknowledging his contribution.

  • POSTED BY avi82 on | May 29, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    CSK is good only on super slow spin friendly tracks, even Punjab defeated them easily in Dharmasala where there was pace and bounce. This is the case with current Indian team also led by Dhoni tigers at home lambs abroad. Now even getting defeated at home.

  • POSTED BY riaz_7214 on | May 29, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    KKR is mising a second Indian Pace bowler..they need to search for it..and Shakib has bowled every time within power play..even in the Final he bowled 2 overs in power play and one over the 20th where he gave just 7 runs in front of DHONI & RAINA..but astonishingly his name is not here in the Report..was it intentional???

  • POSTED BY joynal693 on | May 29, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    @Niaz Chowdhury, I completely agree with you. Anyway, we are waiting for the next season as GG has already have enough confidence on Shakib. Wish he will be in the top inshallah.

  • POSTED BY Sehwag3rd300 on | May 29, 2012, 1:14 GMT

    I believe gambhir would be a good captain for india in test cricket because hes agressive and wants to take wickets and india struggle to take wickets in overseas tests dhoni doesnt have that for test cricket and thats why india were steamrolled in 8 consecutive tests

  • POSTED BY Sehwag_Is_Ordinary on | May 28, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    Narine has to prove in Test Cricket. Time will tell. I have a feeling he's the next Mendis and will be flop from now on mainly because when he came to bowl those lat overs, teams were mostly in trouble or their requiring run rates were well above high made by other bowlers. When the team was not in trouble like in final, Narine was no good and also in some earlier matches same thing happened when teams were not in trouble. I hope Narine proves in Test matches otherwise he will be Ashwin, a big failure

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    shakib has never gone wicketless in this ipl!he came in after 1st 2 matches(in both matches-kkr lost) and completely changed the scenario.12 wickets from 8 matches with a great strike rate & economy rate,cool calm finishing in 2 matches,winning 2 mom awards from just 8,being inspiration in all fields in the final-everything is telling highly about his talent and determination

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | May 28, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    @Balu_raj, whats wrong with you? Raina, Balaji, Badri were nothing when they came to csk??!! Badri was captain of SouthZone and TN for a decade ! He was supposed to be playing for India since when Vengsarakar was the chief selector and he (Vengasarkar) openly said that. Ashwin is the only one that might fit your description.

    @Baundele, completely agree. It is not as if KKR performed consistently as a team. They were struggling too. It seems more like a coincidence that they beat csk. Honestly no one would have bet Bisla would score this much. IMO csk lost because of Dhoni's and many csk members' initial carelessness (over confidence after Gambhir's wkt). Then it became too late for them.

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    According to Cricinfo, Top all-rounders in IPL 2012 (min 75 runs and 10 wickets)

    Player Batting points Bowling points Total points: 1. Shakib Al Hasan 6.53 24.52 31.05 2. Kieron Pollard 11.17 19.48 30.65 3. Azhar Mahmood 8.52 22.00 30.52 4. Dwayne Bravo 13.27 16.82 30.09 5. Jacques Kallis 10.68 17.06 27.74 6. Piyush Chawla 2.21 19.06 21.99 7. Albie Morkel 3.18 16.93 20.11 8. Ravindra Jadeja 6.56 10.72 17.28 still no shakib in this report?!!!funny!

  • POSTED BY Hayat22 on | May 28, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    @masud69, Sure Shakib has been one of the performers and nobody is denying this, but the two stand out performers have been Narine and Gautum, Karbon Kamal and 2 moms considered. Perhaps the Shakib fans need to mature, otherwise I see his fan base going to be like SG fans, that only makes teams wary towards such players. With such fans, Shakib won't need enemies. Putting off other fans with oversells and annoying lists is hardly the right way. Tell me honestly, who has been the most marketed player, by fans, this IPL?

  • POSTED BY Provost on | May 28, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Hopefully Akram trains KKR bowlers....... their bowling was very ordinary

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | May 28, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    For most of the tournament Gambhir and Sunil carried the KKR. Their team combination was in chaos. McCullum, Kallis, Pathan and Tiwary's lack of form showed in their low scores. In the final, they were lucky to get Bisla, who was dropped earlier for no good reason.

  • POSTED BY eZoha on | May 28, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Brett Lee was disappointing. He played 10 games and took 7 wkts with an economy rate of 7.86. I hope Pattinson will be available next season. De Lange promised a lot but delivered little. They also need another local seamer to complement Balaji.

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    12 wickets in 8 matches, with one of the best economy rate, average and strike rate, Sakib could be the man of the tournament, or the best bowler if played all 18 matches. And he is the top all rounder in the tournament.

    I hardly think the exclusion of Sakib Al Hasan from this report is unintentional.

  • POSTED BY Balu_raj on | May 28, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Wow .. CSK you beauty ... What a Team .. Proud to be a CSK fan .. No team is a match for us.. Everyone was talking of LUCK and said csk dont deserve to be in playoffs but check out guys.. We gave MI and DD run for their money... After all its tough to play 3 games in 5days and that fatigue was seen yesterday from CSK's fielding and bowling... Love you CSK ... CSK built the team from unknown local talents and made them the BEST.. Raina, Badri, balaji, Vijay, Morkel, Ashwin, Gony..These guys are nothing when they came into CSK and they grown together wth CSK... Best team that brings out best in Crunch games.. !!! CSK for life !!!! Whistle podu .. Love ya ..

  • POSTED BY HyderabadiFlick on | May 28, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Congrats! KKR. No Sourav Ganguly in KKR and now KKR has moved from bottom to top in 2 seasons.I hope BCCI will get Kochi Tuskars back and and I also hope that Kochi Tuskars do not get ganguly into their team like PWI, as he did not decide on retiring from all cricket. Kochi Tuskars be aware of your team selection next season if you are back in IPL. Gautam Gambhir is probably the only Indian cricketer who performs in crunch games. T20 final Vs Pak (75) and in the WC'11 he scored 97 and more than Dhoni. He is better than Sehwag to replace Dhoni as captain in tests for India. Remember 5-0 Vs NZL. He scored back to back centuries in that series, real captains perform when team is in trouble and some captains ride on luck. And he backed his team and praised each and every player and staff for the efforts for KKR's win. You are the true modern great of India. Good Luck with your future leadership responsibilities. - Jai Hind

  • POSTED BY SamiraH on | May 28, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    What? Not a word about Shakib?

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | May 28, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    I agree that Yusuf Pathan's form was a matter of concern. When Yusuf is on song, its one of the most thrilling sights on a cricket field but he needs to be more consistent every time, otherwise, he can waste his talent like Afridi did. I am glad that he atleast hit a good 40 in the semis and also hit a useful 20+ in a few crucial games. Too often though, he would come, hit a six and be out next ball or in the same over after that. Great performance overall from them with the highlights being Gautam's return to form while batting, captaincy and Narine's bowling and an excellent supporting role played by the others. While they had a few individual standout performers, they played extremely well as a team overall. Congratulations to them for winning.

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Welll done KKR the way u played u deserved to win

  • POSTED BY masud69 on | May 28, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    not a single word used for the contribution of shakib, who got 2 man of the match award, one super six and one carbon kamal catch award or 8 matches he played. who was never been wicketless in any single game he played-12 wickets in total, not to mention abt is economy rate.

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    Outstanding team performance, Kudos to KKR

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Out of all the IPL Seasons including IPL 1st Edidtion , IPL 5th Edition was far better than any of the precious IPL Editions ! I say this because most of the games ended in a theatrical finish or a nail biting one to be precis including the final i.e it went till the last over. So yeah this year's IPL i've enjoyed!

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    After watching all seasons, I feel like luck is also a big factor. So my vote is for LUCK.

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  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    After watching all seasons, I feel like luck is also a big factor. So my vote is for LUCK.

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 14:45 GMT

    Out of all the IPL Seasons including IPL 1st Edidtion , IPL 5th Edition was far better than any of the precious IPL Editions ! I say this because most of the games ended in a theatrical finish or a nail biting one to be precis including the final i.e it went till the last over. So yeah this year's IPL i've enjoyed!

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    Outstanding team performance, Kudos to KKR

  • POSTED BY masud69 on | May 28, 2012, 15:19 GMT

    not a single word used for the contribution of shakib, who got 2 man of the match award, one super six and one carbon kamal catch award or 8 matches he played. who was never been wicketless in any single game he played-12 wickets in total, not to mention abt is economy rate.

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Welll done KKR the way u played u deserved to win

  • POSTED BY Mr_Anonymous on | May 28, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    I agree that Yusuf Pathan's form was a matter of concern. When Yusuf is on song, its one of the most thrilling sights on a cricket field but he needs to be more consistent every time, otherwise, he can waste his talent like Afridi did. I am glad that he atleast hit a good 40 in the semis and also hit a useful 20+ in a few crucial games. Too often though, he would come, hit a six and be out next ball or in the same over after that. Great performance overall from them with the highlights being Gautam's return to form while batting, captaincy and Narine's bowling and an excellent supporting role played by the others. While they had a few individual standout performers, they played extremely well as a team overall. Congratulations to them for winning.

  • POSTED BY SamiraH on | May 28, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    What? Not a word about Shakib?

  • POSTED BY HyderabadiFlick on | May 28, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Congrats! KKR. No Sourav Ganguly in KKR and now KKR has moved from bottom to top in 2 seasons.I hope BCCI will get Kochi Tuskars back and and I also hope that Kochi Tuskars do not get ganguly into their team like PWI, as he did not decide on retiring from all cricket. Kochi Tuskars be aware of your team selection next season if you are back in IPL. Gautam Gambhir is probably the only Indian cricketer who performs in crunch games. T20 final Vs Pak (75) and in the WC'11 he scored 97 and more than Dhoni. He is better than Sehwag to replace Dhoni as captain in tests for India. Remember 5-0 Vs NZL. He scored back to back centuries in that series, real captains perform when team is in trouble and some captains ride on luck. And he backed his team and praised each and every player and staff for the efforts for KKR's win. You are the true modern great of India. Good Luck with your future leadership responsibilities. - Jai Hind

  • POSTED BY Balu_raj on | May 28, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Wow .. CSK you beauty ... What a Team .. Proud to be a CSK fan .. No team is a match for us.. Everyone was talking of LUCK and said csk dont deserve to be in playoffs but check out guys.. We gave MI and DD run for their money... After all its tough to play 3 games in 5days and that fatigue was seen yesterday from CSK's fielding and bowling... Love you CSK ... CSK built the team from unknown local talents and made them the BEST.. Raina, Badri, balaji, Vijay, Morkel, Ashwin, Gony..These guys are nothing when they came into CSK and they grown together wth CSK... Best team that brings out best in Crunch games.. !!! CSK for life !!!! Whistle podu .. Love ya ..

  • POSTED BY on | May 28, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    12 wickets in 8 matches, with one of the best economy rate, average and strike rate, Sakib could be the man of the tournament, or the best bowler if played all 18 matches. And he is the top all rounder in the tournament.

    I hardly think the exclusion of Sakib Al Hasan from this report is unintentional.