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Indian Premier League Season 8: The Impact Index

Last updated on: May 26, 2015 07:56 IST
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Mitchell McClenaghan of Mumbai Indians celebrates a wicket. Photograph: BCCI

The eighth edition of the Indian Premier League was by far the most competitive.

Till the very end it was not clear which teams would make the final four.

As such, the individual contributions to the team's cause assumed greater significance.

Rediff.com takes a look at a few players who made a significant impact to their team's fortunes in the eighth edition of the cash-rich Twenty20 extravaganza.

Mitchell McClenaghan (Mumbai Indians)

Lasith Malinga struggled under the burden of expectation.

The onus of being Mumbai's strike bowler got to him. He failed to make an impact in the first few games.

Then Mitchell McClenaghan joined him as his new ball partner.

McClenaghan replaced countryman Corey Anderson, one of Mumbai's best players in the first four games till injury cut short his campaign, and made a telling impact.

The 28-year-old took 18 wickets, including three in the final, as Mumbai thrashed Chennai.

Malinga may have ended up with more wickets, but it was McClenaghan who made the bigger impact.

Mumbai Indians Mentor Sachin Tendulkar with Lendl Simmons. Photograph: BCCI

Lendl Simmons (Mumbai Indians)

Another replacement who grabbed opportunity with both hands.

Lendl Simmons replaced an out-of-form Aaron Finch after three matches.

The 30-year-old, thereafter, formed a formidable opening partnership with Parthiv Patel to considerably improve Mumbai's fortunes.

Simmons finished with 540 runs (in 13 matches) in the tournament, with six half centuries, including a 45-ball 68 in the final.

Besides, he was a livewire in the field.

Dwayne Bravo of Chennai Super Kings. Photograph: BCCI

Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings)

He finished the tournament with 26 wickets, to take home the 'Purple Cap'.

He one-handed effort on the boundary to dismiss Shane Watson was named catch of the tournament.

Besides, he had a strike rate of 132.

Need we say more?

Mitchell Starc of Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrates a wicket. Photograph: BCCI

Mitchell Starc (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Bowling was Royal Challengers Bangalore's weakest link in the early part of the tournament.

The withdrawal of New Zealand quick Adam Milne made it worse.

However, a lifeline came in the form of Mitchell Starc.

The 25-year-old Australian, who finished as the highest wicket-taker in the recent ICC World Cup, made an instant impact.

And the RCB attack suddenly looked more potent.

Starc took 20 wickets in 13 matches as Royal Challengers Bangalore finished as the third-best side in the tournament.

Had it not been for dropped catches, and RCB's love-hate relationship with rain, the Australian could easily have finished as the tournament's top wicket-taker.

Andre Russell of Kolkata Knight Riders. Photograph: BCCI

Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Kolkata Knight Riders had Morne Morkel, one of the world's best fast bowlers, in their ranks.

However, despite taking 10 wickets from seven matches, captain Gautam Gambhir was somewhat reluctant to use the South African.

Blame it on his over-reliance on spinners.

It was under these circumstances that Andre Russell came to his captain's rescue.

The 27-year-old picked up 14 wickets, mostly as the side's sole medium pace option.

He also scored 324 runs, most of them significant contributions to the Kolkatan cause.

Besides, he was a livewire in the field.

No points for guessing... he was named the 'Player of the Tournament'.

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