By Rohit Ghosh on May 27, 2014
As we head into the IPL playoffs, we can now look back at the best performers of the season. There were bowlers who won games, fielders who limited runs, and most entertaining of all, batsmen who showed the world just how fun the game of cricket can be. Here are a list of the five best batsmen of the IPL 2014 season, based on their season and potential.
Despite batting down the order, James Faulkner is one of the few that can still pose a big-time threat to the opposition. In 12 innings with Rajasthan, Faulkner scored 181 runs at an incredible strike-rate of 192.55. Even more critical is the fact he has batted with four overs or less remaining in the innings in 6 of his 12 outings this season – still being able to put up runs quickly. He had twice as many sixes as fours, including a 17-ball 41.
Sunrisers Hyderabad needed Warner to cement the middle of the batting order, and the cricket veteran did just that. Not only did he finish with 528 runs in 14 matches with a strike-rate of 140.8, but also elevated his intensity as game progressed. He scored at just over a run-a-ball until the end of the 14th over. By 15th over and after, it would inch up to 208. Doing it when it counts, that's the Warner way.
Playing for Kings XI Punjab, the Australian batsman started the season ablaze as he dominated the UAE portion. His first three matches resulted in scores of 95, 89 and 95 – each scoring at a strike-rate of at least 195. So far his only weakness has been leg-spinners. Having played fewer games thus far compared to Robin Uthappa and Dwayne Smith, Maxwell’s chances at the Orange Cap aren’t completely gone. He has 533 runs in 12 matches.
With 535 runs in 14 matches, leaving Smith off this list would be an injustice to the great West Indies batsman. He was part of the 2012 ICC World T20 winning West Indies team, before joining the Mumbai Indians in the IPL in 2013. Chennai Super Kings took him in the 2014 IPL Player Auction. While he may not have as high of an average as Maxwell or Warner, his consistency is truly an asset.
With 613 runs in 14 matches, Robin Uthappa is on top of the runs leader-board. After batting in the lower-middle spot of the order in the UAE leg of the IPL season, Uthappa was placed into the opening spot. He had just 97 runs in five innings at a strike-rate of just over 100 in that portion of the season. Since the India portion of the season, Uthappa has re-defined consistency, scoring at least 40 runs in each of Kolkata’s nine matches.
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