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17th edition of the IPL revolutionised cricket.

The Indian Premier League final between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrises Hyderabad (SRH) at Chennai’s M.A. Chidambaram Stadium may have been disappointing, but it shouldn’t detract from an exciting two months of sport. KKR won their third title, and first since 2014, with an eight-wicket victory over SRH. However, the latter’s reputation should not be tarnished despite the one-sided match. In 2023, KKR and SRH finished seventh and tenth, respectively. However, they broke out of their slump by playing more aggressive cricket. This season saw eight of the top nine IPL totals, with KKR and SRH contributing five of them.
The Impact Player rule allowed for an extra batter or bowler to be brought into the playing XI, resulting in massive scores. The teams’ think-tanks deserve credit for assembling such well-rounded teams. KKR’s success may be attributed to Shreyas Iyer’s leadership, Sunil Narine’s experience, Andre Russell and Mitchell Starc, and a strong Indian core of Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy, and Vaibhav Arora. Under Pat Cummins’ supervision, SRH improved T20 batting with Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma, and Heinrich Klaasen.

While KKR and SRH expanded the scope of T20 cricket, other teams made valiant efforts to keep up during IPL-17. Virat Kohli recorded his second-best IPL (741 runs) and scored at an unprecedented rate (154.70). The aggressive hitting of Jake Fraser-McGurk and Tristan Stubbs kept Delhi Capitals in Playo’s contention for a long time, while Will Jacks helped Royal Challengers Bengaluru reach the last four despite losing seven of their first eight games. Mayank Yadav’s quickness, Harshit Rana’s trickery, and early-career batters Abishek Porel and Nitish Kumar Reddy all contributed to the competition’s success.

Dinesh Karthik and, to a lesser extent, M.S. Dhoni were notable for their everlasting contributions to cricket. The absence of T20 World Cup-bound Indian stars in the tournament’s final stages was a notable drawback, despite their impressive performances. A week of rest in a busy schedule could benefit India. Rohit Sharma’s team has a potential to overcome their long ICC trophy drought if Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shivam Dube, Suryakumar Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah maintain their form in the upcoming biennial event, starting on Sunday.

ABHISHEK VERMA

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