The new teams in IPL this year – Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants – surprised most fans of the competition after they got off to a remarkable start and both qualified for the playoffs. Their second league encounter with each other, however, was a bit of a washout as LSG were bowled out for 82 while chasing a low score of 145.
LSG team coach and two-time IPL winning captain Gautam Gambhir was unflinching in his post-match team talk, reminding the players that this competition has no place for those who are weak.
2. RCB watch MI vs DC
As is usually the case, the final few days of the IPL threw up plenty of drama. Royal Challengers Bangalore were on course to qualify for the playoffs for the third season in a row provided Mumbai Indians defeat Delhi Capitals in the penultimate league game of the season.
The RCB players and staff got together to watch the match in their designated bio-bubble area, which made for quite a few memorable moments including Virat Kohli’s energetic reactions not too dissimilar to those of him on the field.
3. Shikhar Dhawan’s father knocks him out
The 2022 IPL saw Shikhar Dhawan play for his fourth franchise after the Punjab Kings picked him up at this year’s auction. Despite having a solid batting lineup including Johnny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, and captain Mayank Aggarwal, Dhawan and co could not inspire the team to the playoffs.
The 36-year-old maintained a sense of humour about it though, as he posted a video on his social media about his father “knocking him out” for failing to make the knockout phase.
4. Samson dedicates final to Warne
Forever with us, forever our First Royal – this one's #ForWarnie.
Thank you for everything, legend. 💗 pic.twitter.com/sMKFjvU8V0
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) April 30, 2022
Rajasthan Royals have been one of the most consistent teams of the season. After finishing second, the team was knocked into the second qualifier by table-topping Gujarat Titans, before a Jos Buttler century against RCB took them to the final.
In a chat with Buttler following the match, RR skipper Sanju Samson dedicated the feat to Shane Warne. Warne, who passed away earlier this year, inspired then underdogs RR to pick up the inaugural IPL trophy in 2008 as captain.
5. Virat addresses his golden ducks
Much has been made of Virat Kohli’s faltering form over the course of the IPL this season. The former India skipper has only mustered 341 runs, with an average of 22.73. Kohli’s form was a major talking point following his back-to-back golden ducks in the league session against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Lucknow Super Giants. But the 33-year-old had a sense of humour about it when asked in a light-hearted chat with Danish Sait on RCB Insider, and was sporting enough to talk about the unique experience.
“First-ball ducks. After the second one, I actually realised what It feels like to be like you (Sait’s character Mr Nags), absolutely helpless. It hasn’t happened to me ever in my career, I think. I have seen everything now. It’s been so long, I have seen everything in this game,” Kohli said.
6. GT celebrates Nehra’s birthday
Gujarat Titans were the surprise package of the IPL. The new franchise, with new captain Hardik Pandya, and new coach Ashish Nehra, topped the table and went straight into the final after a solid performance against RR in the first qualifier.
If the celebrations around Nehra’s birthday, which GT posted on their social media, are anything to go by, the close-knit nature of the group may well have been their secret to success.
7. Irfan Pathan celebrates Umran Malik’s India selection
One of the biggest finds of this season’s IPL has been Umran Malik, whose 157 kmph ball shattered the IPL record, and whose 22 wickets had him fourth in the race for the purple cap. The Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler did not make it to the playoffs this year, but his efforts did lead him a callup to the Indian national team for the T20I series against South Africa.
Following the announcement, former India bowler Irfan Pathan put out a video of the special celebration he held for the 22-year-old alongside his Sunrisers and J&K Ranji teammate Abdul Samad
8. Virat laughs at pitch invader
When the intruder towards Virat Kohli at Eden Gardens – VK couldn't control his laugh seeing policeman's reaction 😂 pic.twitter.com/Ctvw8fU4uy
— sohom ᱬ (@AwaaraHoon) May 26, 2022
RCB made it to the second qualifier of the 2022 IPL after two consecutive losses in the eliminator in the previous years. The occasion was marked by a match-winning century from Rajat Patidar, but one of the most memorable moments may have been courtesy of a pitch invader.
Pitch invaders made their way to both Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni on separate occasions this year, but this time he was stopped before he could get close to Kohli by two policemen at the Eden Gardens. The 33-year-old’s reaction was priceless and quickly did the rounds on social media during the game.
9. Rohit’s moment with Ramandeep
Record five-time champions Mumbai Indians struggled in this season’s IPL. The team’s top-order batting lineup never quite took off and after eight consecutive losses, they were quickly eliminated from playoff talks, and eventually finished last in the league stage.
Skipper Rohit Sharma – whose own form was subject to criticism – did show signs of measured leadership though, and won hearts on social media after the team posted a video of his gesture to teammate Ramandeep Singh. “Take care buddy. Call me if you need anything,” the Indian captain tells the 25-year-old as the players leave their bio-bubble.
10. RR recreate Phir Hera Pheri song
The Rajasthan Royals squad welcomed their new trio of New Zealanders – Jimmy Neeshaam, Trent Boult, and Daryl Mitchell – in unique fashion. The team posted a video online of the trio recreating the song ‘Aye Meri Zohrajabeen’ from the 2006 movie Phir Hera Pheri.
The video had full potential for virality, and with 6.2 million views on Instagram alone, it did not disappoint.
11. Siraj’s rendition of the RCB victory song
After some of the most seasoned cricketers of the Royal Challengers Bangalore group came together to create and sing a ‘victory song’ for the franchise, it instantly became a hit in the dressing room. This priceless rendition from star bowler Mohammed Siraj is among the best. Virat Kohli cannot contain his laughter, and it is easy to see why.