Twenty20 cricket is such a beast that consistency is really hard to achieve, especially with the bat. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and David Warner though have held their own this IPL edition, proving an exception to the rule.
These players have not only scored big runs but delivered in nearly every game. They all average more than 50 and have the most match-winning knocks to their credit.
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, Warner’s knocks have been the most crucial. With most batsmen in the side not clicking, the team’s batting has ebbed and flowed with the Aussie.
With nine fifties, including an unbeaten 93 in Qualifier 2, Warner has led Sunrisers’ campaign from the front. It was no different in the final on Sunday.
He brought up another half-century, a crucial knock of 69 in just 38 balls. That effort laid the base for the 200-plus total.
Kohli has ruled the batting statistics this season. His consistency from even before the IPL began underscores his form, leaving him in a league of his own. However, the only time he failed (0 v Gujarat Lions in Qualifier 1) de Villiers take charge.
In Sunrisers, that has not quite been the case. Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh have played useful knocks, but their intensity is nowhere close to what Warner has brought to the team.
A key area is Warner being restored to his favourite slot at the top of the order. He struggled in the World Twenty20 after being asked to bat at No 4 to allow the in-form Usman Khawaja to open.
The IPL is a long tournament and provides a player many opportunities. But to maintain intensity through the season that stretches up to two months and nearly 17 games is not easy.
What has stood out is the different approaches to batting by the trio. Kohli has prospered playing conventional shots, Warner has excelled in power-hitting and De Villiers has mixed orthodoxy with innovation.