IPL 2022: Buttler Tons To Kohli Ducks – Hits And Misses Of The Season So Far

The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022) is halfway through a month of high-level action in the world’s richest Twenty20 cricket tournament.

Here are the five big talking points from the first half of the season.

– Smiling Killer –

Jos Buttler has smiled his way to the top of this season’s battle chart with three sparkling centuries for Rajasthan Royals.

The soft-spoken Englishman has been a nightmare for bowlers with 491 runs in seven matches to take Royals to the top four of the 10 team table.

His last 65-ball knockout of 116 against Delhi Capitals gives him a chance to chase Virat Kohli’s 2016 record of 973 runs in a season.

“Jos has a cheat code for batting,” tweeted English fast bowler Jofra Archer.

– Kohli flops –

Former Indian captain and national superstar Kohli is grappling with the worst slump of his stellar career after two consecutive golden ducks for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Kohli came to just 119 runs from eight games, following his lackluster recent form for his country with the prolific runs scorer who was unable to complete an international century for over two years.

Disbelief after discharge, a wry smile and a dejected walk back to the pavilion were familiar sights for “King Kohli” this IPL season.

Bats great Sunil Gavaskar said it is “fear” to get going that plays in the mind of the star batsman.

– Powerhouses tumble –

Mumbai Indians and defending champion Chennai Super Kings have won nine of the 14 IPL titles since the competition launched.

But the powerhouse teams are languishing at the bottom of the standings with Mumbai without a win and Chennai taking just two wins out of eight.

Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma, who has only scored 153 runs, blamed his batsmen, including himself, after the latest loss to Lucknow Super Giants when he failed to chase 168.

Fans have supported a turnaround and Rohit has so far acknowledged their “faith and undying loyalty to this team”.

– Titanic debut for Gujarat –

IPL debutants Gujarat Titans were the team to beat this year and top the table with six wins from seven games.

Allrounder Hardik Pandya led from the front with 295 runs and four wickets from his bowling pace.

Afghan spin wizard Rashid Khan also shone with the ball and a match-winning batting blitz, while South African David Miller made an unbeaten 94 to stun Chennai.

Gujarat has also shocked two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders and former India opener Wasim Jaffer called them a “surprise package”.

– Referees Get Pant Smoking –

Delhi Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant nearly called his batsmen off the field to protest a referee’s call to Rajasthan Royals during an ill-tempered match last week.

The drama happened on the third ball of the final over when Obed McCoy threw a high, full toss which, according to Delhi, should have been called a no-ball for being above the waist.

Pant and assistant coach Pravin Amre, who walked onto the field, were both fined 100 percent of their game money. Amre was also suspended for one game.

Referee controversies are not new to IPL. Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked onto the field in 2019 to protest a no-ball call and was awarded 50 percent of his match money.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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