Kings XI Punjab star player KL Rahul is emerging as the star player for the Indian Premier League 2018, ensuring the best value for each penny the Preity Zinta co-owned IPL franchisee has invested on their wicketkeeper-batsman.
The top performers in the professional sports league auction room often fail to match their ‘price tags’ with the performance in the middle. Globally there is a long list of professional sports stars who have grabbed more headlines for their big fat contracts than the show of skill when it really mattered. The majority of IPL 2018’s Rs 11 crore plus club does not figure in the majority list for the top performers for the season.
If Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni justify their high salaries with exemplary performances, Rohit Sharma has turned out to be the anti-thesis for his Rs 15 crore retention deal with Mumbai Indians. Rohit, in spite of two half-centuries, has scored a mere 267 runs from 11 matches. His team has just managed to hang on the fourth position on net run runs in IPL 2018 standings.
Kohli and Dhoni remain the tried and trusted hits – giving their respective franchisees the value for the money invested on the two master craftsmen in the best possible manner. Kohli, the highest ever paid IPL star for his Rs 17 crore retention deal with Royal Challengers Banglore is among the top five performers in the IPL Moneyball Performance ranking. With 396 runs, he is placed at the No. 5 position in the race for the Orange Cap as season’s top scorer.
The Chennai Super Kings skipper Dhoni, too, figures in the top ten batters with 360 runs. The table is headed by the Kings XI Punjab’s ‘King’ Lokesh Rahul – the top scorer for the season by far. Rahul also tops the IPL Moneyball Rank with 495 points – a point each for his 471 runs and three points apiece for one stumping, six catches and a runout.
Ben Stokes and Jaydev Undakat, Rajasthan Royals’ surprise Rs 11 crore acquisition, have been among the top two disappointments for all the hype around them during the player auction for the season. Sunil Narine is another Rs 12.5 crore buy like Stokes. However, unlike Stokes the West Indian all-rounder his shaping up Kolkata Knight Riders’ fortunes with his all-round performance. Thus, justifying his salaries.
Hardik Pandya had initially let the Mumbai Indian down with the bat. But this team India all-rounder is effectively repaying Mumbai Indians Rs 11 crore investment on him – having taken 16 wickets from 11 matches alongside 188 runs to be on the ninth position in the IPL Moneyball Impact rankings.