IPL 2023: Rinku Singh to Shikhar Dhawan, five Players Who Won Hearts Despite Team’s Poor Show

Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Delhi Capitals were largely the teams, whose performances left a lot to be desired but they did end the season with promises of coming back better with some of their stars performing. MyKhel brings to you five such names.


Rinku Singh

Rinku Singh (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Kolkata Knight Riders had a long shot of qualifying for the playoffs till the penultimate day of the league phases but their fans knew deep within that the two-time champions had plenty of flaws but Rinku Singh wasn’t one of them.

With Andre Russell misfiring in the role of finisher, Rinku Singh carried the baton in the lower-order while KKR top-order often struggled to put runs on the board in the powerplay. His career-defining five sixes in the last over with 30 needed off the last over against Gujarat Titans made him an immediate fan favourite.

He won another crucial match against Punjab Kings with a last-ball boundary to confirm that the knock in Ahmedabad wasn’t a fluke. He finished the season with 474 runs at an average of 59.25 while striking close to 150, which is a pretty amazing feat for a lower-order batter in T20s.

Shikhar Dhawan (Punjab Kings)

Punjab Kings remained true to their tag of perennial underachievers as their batting fallacies were exposed during the IPL 2023 season. The franchise was too reliant on their captain Shikhar Dhawan, whose 99 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad for a losing cause summed up the Punjab Kings’ season.

The skipper scored the bulk of runs in SRH’s 143/9 while the side looked at the sea with nine wickets down for 88 runs. The skipper also missed three games in the season with a shoulder injury, exposing PBKS’s worries more. Dhawan eventually returned to finish the season with 374 runs at an average of 41.44 while his strike rate improved to 142.91 after struggling for the last two seasons.

Heinrich Klaasen (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s batting concerns were no different from PBKS as their top-order misfired often despite the presence of the likes of Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Tripathi and skipper Aiden Markram in the side.

Heinrich Klaasen’s presence in the lower middle-order was the only positive for the side to take from the season as the South african wicketkeeper clobbered 448 runs at an alarming strike rate of 177.08 in the season.

His century in front of the fans in the last home game of the season against Royal Challengers Bangalore earned a standing ovation as the batter ended the season at an average of 49.78.


Axar Patel

Axar Patel (Delhi Capitals)

Delhi Capitals certainly missed a trick or two in a miserable season when they decided to remain adamant with an in-form Axar Patel in a lower-order finisher role. The all-rounder came into the IPL 2023 in hot form after scoring runs in the Border-Gavaskar series while doing enough damage with the ball.

Axar often gave Capitals’ total some semblance of respect after the top-order time and again looked too weak for a side that played the final two seasons ago. Patel ended the season with 283 runs in 14 games while taking 11 wickets with his left-arm orthodox bowling. What surprised many that he wasn’t often asked to bowl his entire quota of overs as well.

Varun Chakravarthy (Kolkata Knight Riders)

20 wickets in 14 games, Varun Chakravarthy put himself back in the reckoning for the Indian team after the leg spinner lost his place in the side after the 2020 T20 World Cup debacle. His performance was regarded among the comebacks of the season after Varun took just six wickets last season as many feared his magic has wore off.

The bowler had to wear the hat of a senior bowler as the likes of Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, and Tim Southee were too ordinary in the season to lead the charge.

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