It has been the best season of the Indian Premier League and all the teams had to face steep challenge to keep themselves alive in the tournament. As the tournament gradually progressed, the notion of favorites started fading away and the tournament became more and more interesting.
It happened for the first time that till seven teams were in contention for the play-offs and the top four teams who eventually qualified were sure of their spot only in the fag end of the league stages.
And this kind of competition was only possible due to the skippers leading their team. Every team had quality players at their disposal but the success depended on only how they were led by their skippers. All the nine teams had great names of international cricket as their captain and everyone knew the best as to how to lead their side. It was just a matter of some decision, strategy that shone for someone while backfiring for others.
Here are the four captains who held on to their nerves and ensured that their teams excelled and made it past the league.
Let’s have a look at the captain’s of the top four teams of the IPL V and how they fared:
Virender Sehwag: Sehwag had been a great captain in this year’s IPL. After a horrible last season, he looked like a man on mission and captained Delhi past the league stage for the second time in the history of IPL. And at a personal level, he has been very influential batsman as well and led the batting chart s for the team with 494 runs including five consecutive half centuries.
He captained the side well, but then at some stages made decision which did not go in their favor and the team had to suffer. Example to that is in the last match when it was known that the pitch would help the slow bowlers Sehwag decided to go in with all pace attack which backfired and they ended up chasing 163 which eventually they could as Kolkata Knight Riders’ slow bowlers did the job for them. Also his decision to send Pawan Negi ahead of Irfan Pathan and Ross Taylor which worked against them and they lost the match.
Sehwag had been a fine captain throughout the series but then there were some decisions that which did go against him but overall he was a good leader for the series.
Gautam Gambhir: He is by far has been the best captain of the Indian Premier League. He himself has been the second highest scorer of the Indian Premier League and led the side from the front. It is under his captaincy that fortune changed for the Kolkata Knight Riders and after three horrendous seasons, he brought complete overhaul in the side. After getting out of the play-offs last season, he helped Kolkata to their maiden IPL finals. He has stood by his players and his decision making has been exemplary. In their last match, he stuck to his plan of playing slow bowlers knowing Delhi’s prowess at playing spinners. His plan eventually helped them win the match and also his decision to persist with Yusuf Pathan, who flopped throughout the season, was also justified as he played a great role in helping KKR make it to their first IPL final appearance.
Harbhajan Singh: Harbhajan Singh, who last year led Mumbai Indian to their first Champions League T20 win, came on board as a regular captain in this year’s IPL after Sachin Tendulkar stepped down. He has been a good captain and all his years of expertise at the top level cricket helped him in being a good leader. Captaincy brought about a change in him and he looked lot more calm. His decision more or less helped the team in its endeavor and unfortunately for him the team is out of the IPL due to their loss in the last match.
His captaincy did bring lot of praises and even the great Indian captain Sourav Ganguly could not help but talk high about Bhajji’s attributes as a leader.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Captain cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni lacked his Midas touch in the tournament and his captaincy at times did raise doubts. Even though he won the last match and would play for to qualify for the finals, his captaincy did lack that cutting edge. Charismatic Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings to two IPL triumphs and this year they were almost on a verge of getting eliminated from the tournament.
After a mediocre captaincy throughout the tournament he shone in the last match both as a batsman and captain. He always had it in him to shift the momentum at the right time and if his jump to form in the last match is not a one off things then there is nothing that can stop them from being the champion for the third consecutive times.
By Indian Sports News Network