The 11th season of the most entertaining T20 league in the world, the Indian Premier League (IPL) will commence from April 7, 2018. The first match will be played between defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and the team that is returning from a two-year suspension, Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
There are many awards apart from the IPL Trophy for which players are judged upon. The highest run-getter in a particular season is given the Orange Cap, which changes hands throughout the competition. Then there is the Purple Cap, which is owned by the bowler with most wickets during different stages of the competition and changes hands various times.
However, the most coveted prize in the IPL is the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award which is given to the player who had an impactful performance in the tournament, which helped his team achieve success.
Here are the top 5 contenders for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in IPL 11
RASHID KHAN (SRH)
19-year-old Rashid Khan has been brilliant for Afghanistan in the past 2-3 years. He has been picking wickets with amazing regularity and that helped him get an IPL deal last year and he responded with heaps of wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad. He then turned out in the Big Bash League and had more impact than any other spinner in the Australia T20 league.
He can also swing his bat down the order and if utilized properly, Rashid could perform as a genuine all-rounder for SRH in IPL 2018 and this might also lead him to be considered as one of the Most Valuable Player award contenders.
HARDIK PANDYA (MI)
Hardik Pandya used the IPL as a platform to catapult himself into international superstardom and into the Indian team. Mumbai Indians retained Hardik Pandya for the IPL 2018, along with Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah.
Pandya can hit the ball a long way and his bowling is more than useful. Pandya was the reason, Mumbai Indians have done so well in IPL recently, as they have another finisher to help Kieron Pollard down the order and Pandya can be utilized as a pinch hitter if needed.
He will definitely be one of the top contenders for the MVP award in IPL 11 if he can perform consistently.
DAVID WARNER (SRH)
David Warner has been excellent in the IPL for the past three seasons. He won the Orange cap in IPL 2015 for scoring 562 runs and in IPL 2017 with 641 runs. He narrowly missed winning the Orange Cap in IPL 2016, despite making 848 runs; as Virat Kohli smashed a record 973 runs and took home the honor.
Warner, however, won the war, as he led SRH to the IPL title in 2016 edition, over Virat’s RCB in the final. Warner has always been amongst the runs in the IPL and was retained by SRH along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for IPL 2018.
Rest assured that Warner will be scoring heaps of runs again and lead SRH to their second title, and will be a leading contender for the MVP award in IPL 2018 edition.
BEN STOKES (RR)
Ben Stokes won the MVP award in IPL 2017 for leading the Rising Pune Supergiant team into the finals of the tournament. Though he didn’t play in the finals, Stokes did enough with both the bat (316 runs) and ball (12 wickets). He hit a century and was impactful when it was needed the most by his team.
Stokes became the most expensive player in the IPL 2017 auction, as Rajasthan Royals bought him for Rs 12.5 crores and ECB gave him clearance to play for the whole tournament. Stokes will now be once again amongst the contenders to win the MVP award, as he will be expected to perform to the standards he set in the previous IPL season.
VIRAT KOHLI (RCB)
Virat Kohli is a third all-time highest run scorer in the IPL and was the Orange Cap holder in the IPL 2016. He scored a record 973 runs in the tournament and a record four centuries in a single season to his name.
He also led RCB to the finals in that season as well. However, the fortunes turned for him and RCB, as they finished at the bottom of the table in IPL 2017. Kohli will be eager to do a repeat of the IPL 2016 season and this time, win the tournament as well.
Virat Kohli is in terrific form with the bat and if he fires, will also be a contender for the MVP award in the IPL 2018.