8 opening ceremonies, leg spinners, Afghanistan players-there was a lot new to IPL 2017 © BCCI, IANS
8 opening ceremonies, leg spinners, Afghanistan players-there was a lot new to IPL 2017 © BCCI, IANS

The 10th season of Indian Premier League (IPL) has come to an end with Mumbai Indians (MI) winning the title for the third time. Like any other season, IPL 2017 had its own set of special attractions, performances and events that made rounds among the cricket enthusiasts. Here are the factors that created much buzz during this Indian summer.

A new beginning

Apart from cricket, IPL is reputed for the glamour it is studded with. Bringing Bollywood and cricket together at one place, IPL has turned out to be the biggest entertainment in India. It is a custom that every year IPL will see a handful of Bollywood stars making appearance in the inauguration which, this year, happened eight times. While it seemed to be eight times the fun, it promptly became the talk of the town and was loved as much as it was bashed for killing the excitement with repetitive shows.

MS Dhoni-Sanjiv Goenka controversy

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) had ended IPL 2016 at the bottom of the table. As a result, the owners dethroned MS Dhoni from the captaincy and placed Steven Smith at the helm.

In RPS’ first match of the season, Smith scored a brilliant 84 to thrash MI. Following the match, Harsh Goenka — brother of owner Sanjeev Goenka — tweeted: “Smith proves who’s the king of jungle. Overshadows Dhoni totally. Captains innings. Great move to appoint him as captain.”

This, for apparent reasons, did not go very well with Dhoni’s fans and became an instant controversy. However, Harsh Goenka deleted the tweet following the rage oozed by Dhoni’s fans on social media.

The Afghanistan phenomenon

This was the first time Afghanistan players played in IPL. While Mohammad Nabi was the first to be picked, Rashid Khan made his own fanbase in India with his impeccable bowling for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), who shelled out a whopping INR 4 crore for the leg-spinner.

Rashid ended IPL 2017 at No. 6 in the list of highest wicket-takers.

Leg-spinners

The wrong ‘un trended throughout the season. Even a batsman of Rohit Sharma’s class fell prey to it. As a matter of fact, leg-spinners dismissed Rohit as many as four times. So flummoxed was Rohit that he asked Sachin Tendulkar to bowl leg-spinners to him in the nets.

Be it late entrant Imran Tahir for RPS, Rashid for SRH, or Yuzvendra Chahal for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), all proved to be key players for their side, providing crucial breakthroughs, impressing the spectators and making full use of the subcontinent conditions.

The magic of knuckle ball

While leg-spinners stole a lot of limelight, pacers used the knuckle ball to good effect this season to outwit the best of batsmen. Zaheer Khan, who had used this weapon during the twilight of his international career, was seen hurling it again. Let alone Zaheer, other bowlers such as Siddarth Kaul, Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar too joined the bandwagon and tasted success.

RCB’s plunging curve

What are the odds that a team which ended the previous season as the runners-up will struggle to bag a mere 3 victories in 14 matches? Well, that was the story in brief for RCB in IPL 2017. It was ironical how the team’s batting line-up, which boasts of world’s finest limited-overs players such as Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson, collapsed for IPL’s lowest total (49). The match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is also recorded to be the most viewed match on the internet.

KKR’s openers

Gautam Gambhir’s KKR, despite not making it to the final, were among the favourites and put up an impressive performance. While the team acted as a unit to reach the qualifiers, what became the talking point were their openers. As IPL 2017 began, ‘Lynn’sanity hit the KKR camp, storming them through with the initial matches. Sadly, Lynn got himself injured and had to sit out for a major chunk of the tournament. KKR came up with a rather unexpected replacement in Sunil Narine, who unleashed his ruthless hammering to continue from where Lynn had left. He blasted the joint fastest half-century in IPL (off 15 balls).

Domestic dynamites

IPL every year serves as the launchpad for many domestic players, who have the talent and promise to represent the national team. This year, especially, such inspiring performances came in abundance. Among batsmen, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tripathi were the top performers, while Basil Thampi, Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan impressed with the ball. Krunal Pandya’s all-round contribution was key to MI’s success in many matches.

Dropped catches

Traditionally, IPL has witnessed the most innovative and unique catches, which gathered a lot of applause from the spectators. This year, it was a different story altogether, with the focus being on dropped catches.

Starting from Amit Mishra, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat to Virat Kohli, the number of catches dropped this season is relatively much high as compared to the previous season. EspnCricinfo reported that as many as 40 catches were dropped in the first 19 IPL games this season. Even David Warner once dropped a sitter.

Which talking point was your favourite? Let us know.