Mumbai Indians (MI) became the first team to win a title thrice, ahead of Chennai Supers Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)    BCCI
Mumbai Indians (MI) became the first team to win a title thrice, ahead of Chennai Supers Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) BCCI

It seems only yesterday India were playing CB Series 2007-08 in Australia and the auction of inaugural edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) was making headlines at the same time. That said, the Indian T20 extravaganza completed a decade of spectacular cricket. MS Dhoni played in as many as 7 IPL finals. Mumbai Indians (MI) became the first team to win a title thrice, ahead of Chennai Supers Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) who won it twice. David Warner became the fastest to complete 4,000 runs in IPL. Suresh Raina has scored most runs in IPL but has never won the Orange Cap. Full scorecard: RPS vs MI

Yes, IPL has completed 10 years and the team that had won the CB Series then featured a 20-year Rohit Sharma who, on Sunday, became the only captain to win IPL as many as three times. In the finale of IPL 2017, Mumbai edged past Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) by a mere run at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad. Let us take look at the top episodes of this spectacle.

The ever-improving Unadkat: Unadkat, who had made his Test debut at the tender age of 18 in 2010, never represented India in Test cricket since. He played in IPL for various teams, but he could not put up performances that spoke volumes of his abilities. However, Unadkat rose to his best in IPL 2017 after he almost sunk into oblivion after all these years. He finished at No. 2 in the Purple Cap list, taking 24 wickets at 13.41 in 12 games, all this with an economy of 7.02. Well, his bowling skills were not his only traits that impressed all and sundry. With a couple of direct hits and one-handed stunners, Unadkat was one of the most improved players in IPL. In the finale, he ended with figures of 4-0-19-2.

Do not mess with Smith’s arm: Why would you take a quick single against Smith’s arm? It is like challenging Dhoni to stump you out. It is likely provoking Virat Kohli to drive past cover. Ambati Rayudu, for that matter, dared to that. And the result was as follows:

Side note: Smith often uses ‘arm…arm’ as a filler while speaking. Do drop me a line when you notice that.

The promising Krunal: While the remaining Mumbai players were reduced to loose canons, Krunal Pandya designed a different roadmap altogether. Amidst an ordinary batting, he scored 47 off 38 and added 50 runs with Mitchell Johnson for the eight wicket, taking Mumbai to 128 for 8. He then kept a lid on the runs and saved certain boundaries, eventually receiving Man of the Match.

Stop trolling Rohit, will you? We have already discussed that Rohit became the only captain to lift three IPL trophies. Well, let me tell you that Rohit is the only player to have been a part of an IPL-winning team four times. Now let us take it to the next level. Rohit has been a part of a T20-winning team seven times: four times in IPL, once in Champions League, once in Asia Cup 2016, once ICC WT20 2007. Remember these achievements before you post a troll on social media. In fact, we have not even spoken about his international achievements here.

The resolute Rahane: Rahane has been out of sorts this season. However, his two of four fifties for Pune had come against Mumbai. He would have made three of five, but Mitchell Johnson got the better of him on 44.

Smith, the last-man standing: A few may criticise Smith for not scaling up the run-rate in the middle overs. Along with Dhoni, he added run-a-ball 27. However, had he not pinned to the wicket, Pune may have faltered further. Or better, had Pune won the match, Smith would have been hailed as the hero. He scored a resilient 51 off 50 including 2 fours and as many sixes. He ended at No. 3 in the list of highest run-scorers’ list. No surprises there.

Johnson, the unsung hero: Should Rohit be awarded Man of the Match for his smartly rotating his bowlers or Krunal for top-scoring under pressure? Had the result gone the other way, Smith would have been in top contention. Having said that, Johnson’s vital partnership, 3 wickets, and the last-over thrillers deserve some credit.