IPL 2022 has been a tournament to remember so far for two key reasons.
One is the dismal performance of the two most successful teams in the franchise's history, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, who ended at the bottom of the points table.
Second is the performance of the Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals, who weren't considered formidable on paper, but ended in the playoffs. Gujarat are already in the IPL 2022 final and Rajasthan have a chance of getting there too if they win Friday's game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Rajasthan Royals's Jos Buttler has been the standout batter and RR's Yuzvendra Chahal the standout bowler. They are the prime reasons why their team has done so well so far.
In addition, the 2022 season proved another breakthrough year for talented Indian players, who shone brightly.
Laxmi Negi picks the finest cricketers of this IPL:
K L Rahul. Opener. Lucknow Super Giants
The 'Mr Consistent' of IPL 2022.
Dependable as ever at the top, he scored 616 runs in IPL 2022 at an average of 51.33.
Jos Buttler. Opener. Rajasthan Royals
Three centuries in his first seven games, he has scored 719 runs at an average of 47.93 and has a chance to add to his tally in Qualifier 2 on Friday and in the final if Rajasthan win the May 27 game.
Shikhar Dhawan. Punjab Kings
Since 2015, the prolific Dhawan hasn't scored under 300 runs in the competition, showcasing his consistency.
He was in rollicking form for Punjab in IPL 2022, amassing 460 runs in 14 matches at a strike-rate of 122.66.
Faf du Plessis. Captain. Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB have a shot at a place in the final after Wednesday's win in the Eliminator game against the Lucknow SuperGiants.
Faf has led RCB in his own style while appreciating the collaborative leadership and the presence of experienced heads in the dressing room.
With 443 runs in 15 matches, Faf is also RCB's highest scorer this season so far.
Tilak Varma. Mumbai Indians
The only shining light in batting for the Mumbai Indians, Tilak was the glue that held the brittle MI lineup together, often playing both anchor and aggressor in the same innings.
Tilak finished the tournament with 397 runs in 14 games, the second-highest run-scorer for his team.
Liam Livingstone. Punjab Kings
The hard-hitting batter smoked 34 sixes including sixes that went past 110 metres, scored 437 runs at a strike rate of 182, took six wickets and some amazing catches.
For many, he was the finest all-round talent in IPL 2022.
Dinesh Karthik. Wicketkeeper. Royal Challengers Bangalore
DK has been the perfect finisher for RCB, salvaging the side after top order collapses and taking the score to defendable totals.
14 innings, 324 runs and counting, that's how the season has been for the best finisher of IPL 2022.
Rashid Khan. Gujarat Titans
In IPL 2022, the Afghan leggie ended up taking 18 wickets at an impressive economy of 6.94. With the bat, this is Rashid's best season in his IPL career with 91 runs. He has the third-best strike-rate (206.81) in the tournament after KKR's Pat Cummins, and MI's Tim David.
Jasprit Bumrah. Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians's star pacer Jasprit Bumrah didn't have the best IPL season, but still finished with 15 wickets from 14 games at an average of 25.53 and an economy rate of 7.18.
Yuzvendra Chahal. Rajasthan Royals
In tandem with off-spin legend Ravichandran Ashwin, Chahal has been instrumental in revitalising a Rajasthan spin attack that in seasons past had repeatedly ranked as the league's worst.
Umran Malik. Sunrisers Hyderabad
When he was not winning the 'Fastest Delivery' award at the end of every SRH match, he alternated between hurrying the batsmen with rapid length balls above 150kmph along with the odd yorker.
Though his economy rate is on the higher side due to a couple of off days, Malik ended up with 22 wickets.
In the game against PBKS, Malik finished with 4/28 and took three wickets in a single over. A week later, the 22 year old took five wickets with his innate pace and accuracy, disturbing the timber of the batters.