Runs against all kinds of bowling. Runs all around the ground. Runs all across the country. A lot of runs that stated Test-match strokeplay has a place in T20s. Not sure what more he needs to prove. Perhaps the existence of time travel.
Scored IPL 2016's fastest century from No. 3 and hunkered down to salvage a failing innings from the same position in a big-match scenario. Considering his reality-bending batting and the chemistry with Kohli, perhaps he should try bending space-time next.
Began his tournament trying to fit in among the sloggers, then realised his USP is playing proper shots. Provided Royal Challengers peace of mind with four fifties when Chris Gayle was misfiring. Had to deal with keeping wicket too.
At one stage, he was averaging more than Kohli. Finished with 72.20, although eight not-outs in 13 innings helped. But that's what is required of a finisher. Seeing a chase through. Did spectacularly in Bangalore, when he took a task of 120 in 11 overs and wrestled it to the ground with five balls to spare.
Edged out Shane Watson and Andre Russell because of his range of skills. He made a fifty on Test debut, so he can bat properly, and he made a 17-ball fifty in the IPL, so he can bat crazily. Is a standout with the ball as well, courtesy his ability to rush batsmen with pace and bounce, and undo them with excellent yorkers.
Most of his runs came up the order, including a blinding 86 off 37 balls against Delhi Daredevils. But his clean ball-striking could be effective down the order as well. His left-arm spin is rapid and accurate, so batsmen can rarely use the pace to their advantage. Dismissed de Villiers and Kohli in the same over. Dismissed de Villiers again in Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore's next encounter.
Swings the new ball. Jams the old one into the batsmen's toes. Trusted himself to execute yorkers - a ball which, if misplaced by an inch, could go a mile - at a time when bowlers prefer other options. Was Mr Dependable for Sunrisers - all the more impressive considering he bowled an over that cost 28 runs in his first game of the season.
The fact that he played most of his games at M Chinnaswamy Stadium - one of the smallest grounds in the IPL - and ended up the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament speaks of his knack for T20 cricket, and also pushed him into this XI ahead of Amit Mishra, who is arguably the better all-format bowler.
A T20 game is usually won or lost in the early exchanges. With his 14 wickets in the Powerplay, Kulkarni is an asset. It wasn't often that he bowled in the slog overs but with Bhuvneshwar, Morris and the next man in, he doesn't need to in this side. He made it here ahead of the Sharmas, Sandeep and Mohit.
He kind of already makes time stop still with his cutters. Just ask any batsmen he has dismissed. He pitches the ball outside leg to tempt the slog and gets it to break off the deck towards the outside edge. And he has a mean yorker. The one that left Russell on the ground with his stumps askew provided one of the images of the IPL.
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo