The year 2008 will always be earmarked as a path-defining year in World cricket. It paved the way for the launch of the IPL, a league that helped cricket transcend boundaries, cultures, and ethnicity.
The IPL not only served as a financial fillip for world cricket, it also led to a plethora of greats of the game from all over the world share dressing room with each other thus reducing the animosity that existed prior to the lucrative T20 league.
Another thing that the IPL does that it stacks fellow countrymen against each other and a pulsating rivalry ensues with both cricketers vying for the elusive bragging rights. The 2018 edition of the IPL promises to be no different to the aforementioned fact with a plethora of mouth-watering clashes up for grabs. In this blog today, here’s a look at four rivalries to look out for in IPL 2018.
Here’s the compilation:
#4 MS Dhoni & Kuldeep Yadav
MS Dhoni is a master-tactician when it comes to playing or captaining the spinners and has a plethora of experience behind him while adjusting to numerous conditions. This IPL, it’d be interesting to see how the former Indian skipper fares against the newest spinning sensation, the left-arm Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.
Yadav and Dhoni have been involved in numerous duels in the IPL, the most prominent being the one in 2016 when KKR skipper Gambhir employed an umbrella field for Dhoni with silly-point, short-leg and two slips surrounding the former Indian skipper. Yadav, with his guile and variations, had Dhoni in all sorts of problem and the latter hobbled his way for a painstaking 8 off 22 balls.
Kuldeep, who has had an amazing start to his international career, one that has witnessed him pick a hat-trick against Australia in Kolkata has himself credited Dhoni for his growth as a spinner and it’d be interesting to see how the duel pans out this time with MS having returned to his den read CSK again.
Also Read: An IPL XI that can take on MI
#3 Suresh Raina & Ravichandran Ashwin
Both of the aforementioned names have shared the same dressing room for the better part of first ten years of the IPL, both having played a pivot part in building the brand that CSK is today.
The eleventh edition of the IPL promises to be different as Ashwin, who was bought by the Preity Zinta led franchise for Rs 7.6 crores, will lead the Kings X1 Punjab while Raina will once again don the yellow jersey of the Chennai Super Kings as the franchise aims to re-establish itself after a two-year sabbatical.
This means Raina would be up against the vile Ashwin. It is important to note the sub-plots that would make this rivalry or duel particularly intriguing. Raina is one of the best batsmen of spinners in the world and his pristine eye and understanding of the different variations that a bowler can bowl, make him a hard nut to crack. On the other hand is Ravi Ashwin who along with a plethora of guile and experience has numerous tricks in the arsenal to fox the batsman. Also, with Ashwin aiming to try his hand at leg-spin this time around, the battle between Raina and the vile spinner promises to be a mouth-watering affair.
#1 AB de Villiers & Chris Morris
There is no better sight in world cricket than a fast bowler charging in against his compatriot one of world‘s most prudent batsman. The sight would behold magnanimous proportions if the batsman in question is Mr 360, AB de Villiers and the bowler- Kagiso Rabada.
On his day AB de Villiers, with his 360-degree strokeplay can slay reputations and subsequently pulverize the bowler into submission. AB de Villiers annihilation of Dale Steyn, one of the greatest fast bowler to have graced the game of cricket, in the 2014 edition of the IPL bore a testimony to the aforementioned fact.
This time around de Villiers (RCB) will be up against his South African compatriot Chris Morris (DD) and it’ll be interesting to see if de Villiers can turn back the clock and lay into Rabada like he did against Steyn or will Morris get one over his South African teammate.
#1 Virat Kohli & Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit‘s Bumrah‘s rise through the ranks remains one of the fascinating stories of the IPL. Initially spotted for his unorthodox action that bore resemblance with Malinga, Bumrah was picked by the Mumbai Indians for the 2013 season. Bumrah gauged an instant impact when he trapped India’s superstar Virat Kohli leg-before-wicket to scalp his maiden T20 wicket.
Bumrah has grown by leaps and bounds in the five years that followed by developing a plethora of skills in his arsenal and has established himself as a first-choice bowler for India across formats.
Five years down the line, Bumrah who was retained by the Mumbai Indians will resume his rivalry with Kohli and with numerous tricks up his sleeves he’d be hoping to achieve bragging rights against the Indian captain, again.
Also Read: All-time IPL XI