Last year’s IPL (2017) we had David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar winning the title for orange cap and purple cap respectively. The other two players who came after Bhuvneshwar Kumar were Jaydev Unadkat (RPS) who scored 24 wickets and Jasprit Bumrah(MI) who scored 0 wickets. And for the orange cap, the two players who came after Warner was Gautam Gambhir (KKR) who scored 498 runs and (SRH) who scored 479 runs. The orange cap is associated with maximum runs while the purple cap is associated with maximum wickets. Both players gave a stellar performance for their team SRH, with Kumar scoring 26 wickets and Warner scoring 641 runs.
Unfortunately, this year, Warner was unable to perform due to David Warner getting banned from playing this season after Cricket Australia (CA) issued a yearlong ban on him after his debacle with ball tampering.
His absence was majorly felt by SRH. Warner had been among the top 5 run-getters in the IPL the past four years, winning the orange cap twice in the past three seasons and coming second best to Kohli in 2016. It goes without saying that SRH lost a senior player and productive run-scorer at the top of the order and a proven leader.
As for the other two players in the orange cap category, after a series of defeats which has left Delhi Daredevils sinking to the bottom of the points table, the captain of the team, former India opener Gautam Gambhir, stepped down from his post. Replacing him will be Shreyas Iyer.
“I have announced Shreyas Iyer as the next captain and this is the right way forward. We still believe that we have got the group to turn it around. This is absolutely the right time. We need to win seven out of eight games, which is possible in this format. Teams have done it in the past and it can be repeated,” Gambhir said while adding, “Sometimes your conscience tells you to put your hand up and take responsibility.”
Dhawan, too was not up to his mark this season. He started off on a good note with 78 and 45 in the first two games this year but managed just 7 runs in the third game against Kolkata Knight Riders. His injury in the next match against the Kings XI Punjab forced him to walk off the field and sit out the following match against CSK as well. After his return for the clash against Mumbai Indians, it was expected that he’d be fantastic with the bat and take the load off, Williamson. However, Dhawan had a dismal run in the next five matches and the team failed to put up a big score on the board every time.
On the other hand, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has become a vital component for whichever team he plays for, and the Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer says experience and superior fitness have drastically improved his bowling. Although, he couldn’t play against Mumbai Indians due to his back injury. Bhuvneshwar, incidentally, was the only bowler SRH retained, which also shows their preference for homegrown pace bowlers. This has been a minor setback for him compared to his performance last year.
Similarly, Jaydev Unadkat became the most expensive Indian player in the Indian Premier League 2018 auction held in January after he was bought by the Rajasthan Royals for Rs 11.5 crore. Unadkat was because of his specialist T20 skills and the fact that he took 24 wickets for Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017. He was also named the man of the series in India’s T20 series against Sri Lanka. However, this season he was completely abysmal and not up to his standards. His performance leads to tweets like:
If Rajasthan Royals were a govt body, by this time the opposition would be demanding a CBI investigation for the 11.5 cr purchase of Jaydev Unadkat.