CWC 2019: Five biggest positives for India from IPL 2019

Vaskar Gautam

2019 IPL Final winner Mumbai Indians (Picture courtesy: iplt20.com/BCCI)

After 51 days and 60 matches the IPL 2019 was finally over at Hyderabad on May 12 with a nail biting final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Mumbai won the final by just 1 run and hence became the most successful team in the history of IPL by winning it record 4 times.

The IPL 2019 saw a lot of brilliant individual performances along with some great team effort. For Indian team also there were some great positives to take from the IPL. The players who were struggling for form seems to have got their form back in this IPL.

Now that the IPL is over the focus shifts to ICC’s mega event, the World Cup which will kick-off on 30th May. The IPL was the perfect platform to see the form of the players going into the World Cup. So let’s have a look at 5 of the biggest positives for team India from the IPL 2019.

#5 Jasprit Bumrah ruling the depth overs

2019 IPL Final - Mumbai v Chennai (Picture courtesy: iplt20.com/BCCI)

Jasprit Bumrah has been bang on target in his depth over bowling right throughout the IPL. He didn’t end up the tournament as the highest wicket taker but his contributions made sure that Mumbai become the 4-time champions.

Bumrah doing what he does best is not a matter of surprise at all but still to see him getting perfect at his job makes every Indian fan happy. In his last ODI and T20 series against Australia in home conditions he looked a little rusty. But the IPL 2019 has once again proved it why he is the world's No. 1 bowler.

Bumrah’s figure of 4 overs, 14 runs and 2 wickets in the final match of the tournament was evidence of the golden form he is in. He picked up 19 wickets in the 16 matches of the IPL 2019 but most importantly his economy rate was just 6.63.

Heading into the World Cup, team India will be relying hugely on Jasprit Bumrah to deliver. In England where conditions will likely be favoring the fast bowlers Bumrah will definitely hold the key to team India’s success in the upcoming tournament.

#4 KL Rahul among the runs

India v Australia - T20I

Even though he had made a comeback against Australia in the home series, KL Rahul looked out of touch. So a big IPL 2019 was very necessary for his confidence and a place in the World Cup. Fortunately, he scored some huge runs in the tournament. Rahul has been in the news in 2019 mostly due to wrong reasons. He was not having a great run with the bat during the Australian tour and then his controversial chat show with Karan Johar came up. He was banned from the team for a while.

Rahul ended the IPL 2019 as the second highest run-getter just behind David Warner. He scored 593 runs at an average of 53.90 in the 14 matches that he played. He even scored a century in the tournament along with six half-centuries.

Rahul looked very much focus and didn’t give his wicket away after getting set. Although some has criticized him for not getting off the blocks quickly, it shouldn’t be a matter of worry in the ODIs.

Since Ambati Rayudu hasn’t been picked in the team, Rahul might get the opportunity to bat at No. 4. With his stroke playing abilities and his class, Rahul should do well in that position given the fact that he will be high in confidence because of a great IPL.

#3 Shikhar Dhawan goes all guns blazing

IPL Eliminator - Delhi v Sunrisers (Picture courtesy: iplt20.com/BCCI)

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have formed a formidable opening combination in world cricket for almost six years now. Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians might have won the IPL 2019 but his form in the tournament hasn’t been that great. But Shikhar his opening partner has been in some sensational form.

The Delhi Capitals made it to the playoffs this year first time since 2012 and Dhawan played a major part in that. He made sure that Delhi had a good start almost in every match. His hunger for runs was great to watch.

Dhawan made 521 runs in 16 matches at an average of 34.73 and ended as the fourth highest run-getter in the tournament. He looked to be aggressive from the start and utilized the powerplay overs quite brilliantly.

In recent times Dhawan hasn’t been consistent enough in international cricket. After a superb Asia Cup, he had a terrible West Indies and Australia series and followed by a decent New Zealand series. His last home series against Australia was a disappointing one.

But the IPL 2019 has given us indications that he is ready and eager to do well in the World Cup. He has been especially very good in the ICC events before so every Indian fan would be hoping to get a smashing start from the southpaw. 

#2 MS Dhoni regaining his finishing touch

IPL Qualifier - Chennai v Delhi (Picture courtesy: iplt20.com/BCCI)

CSK had the worst run-rate of 6.24 and have lost the most wickets in the powerplay overs. In short, MS Dhoni had to come to the crease very early and make up for the failure of the top order.

He scored 416 runs in the tournament at an astonishing average of 83.20 along with a strike-rate close to 140.In this IPL 2019, MS Dhoni literally carried Chennai Super Kings on his dodgy back. He was their standout player not only with the bat but also with his glove work and captaincy.

The most satisfying thing for all Indian fans was that Dhoni was there till the end and finishing the games just like the old times. His valiant knock of 84 not out against RCB was one of the top innings of IPL 2019 while chasing a score.

Dhoni always has been an essential part of the Indian team for more than a decade now and heading into the ICC World Cup 2019 he is still one of the main men. Dhoni getting his power game back at the back end of the innings was a great sight to watch in this IPL. Most probably his last World Cup, Dhoni would like to finish it very strongly and prayers of millions will be with him.

#1 Hardik Pandya's all-round prowess

New Zealand v India - International T20

Just like KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya too had to face a temporary ban due to inappropriate comments on a TV show. So he needed to deliver in the IPL 2019 to silence the critics and didn't he do that in style.

He channelised all his energies on the field during the seven weeks of IPL and produce results that will be remembered for a long time. Pandya has been a sensation in this year's IPL. Andre Russell for Kolkata was running havoc with the bat and if there was any batsman near his strike-rate, then it was only Pandya.

He played the role of a true all-rounder for his team Mumbai Indians and was one of the main reasons for their title triumph. 402 runs at a strike-rate of 191, 14 wickets and 11 catches are the proof of his all-round success in the tournament. 

Pandya was always known for his big hitting with the bat but in this IPL he took it a level up. He hit 29 sixes in the tournament, third highest just behind Russell and Chris Gayle. Even with the ball in hand he was very effective. He used to take wickets at the right time and break partnerships. He bowled at good pace too throughout the tournament.

The off-field controversy early this year seems to have done more good than bad to Hardik. He looks focus and determined to do well in the field now. Team India desperately need a power hitter at the back end of the innings and Pandya is just perfect for the role. If he hangs on with his IPL form than India will definitely go the distance at the ICC World Cup 2019.