Mitchell Starc's Magic Ball and KKR's IPL Triumph

In the IPL final, Mitchell Starc's away-swinger to Abhishek Sharma was hailed as the 'ball of the IPL' by Matthew Hayden, while Sunil Narine was lauded as KKR's standout player. KKR, led by Shreyas Iyer, clinched their third title, defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets.

PTI | Chennai | Updated: 27-05-2024 14:31 IST | Created: 27-05-2024 14:31 IST
Mitchell Starc's Magic Ball and KKR's IPL Triumph
Mitchell Starc
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Former Australia batter Matthew Hayden has termed Mitchell Starc's outstanding away-swinger to Abhishek Sharma in the IPL final as the ''ball of the IPL'' while describing Sunil Narine as the ''best player'' for triumphant Kolkata Knight Riders. Shreyas Iyer's rampant KKR, who were unstoppable throughout the 17th edition of the IPL, crushed Sunrisers Hyderabad in the summit clash by eight wickets to add a third trophy to their cabinet on Sunday. ''The moment that ball bowled to Abhishek Sharma came out of Mitchell Starc's hands, it was game over. It was destined to be the best ball of the IPL — an absolute peach at a time when it was so important," Hayden told Star Sports Cricket Live. Former England batter Kevin Pietersen said Starc's ability to get his wrist position right towards the end of IPL and cranking up extra pace along with Narine's all-round ability bolstered KKR. ''Mitchell Starc was averaging around 136-137 kmph during the majority of the season. But in the last two weeks he has gone above 140 kmph and that is his average. He is bowling fast," Pietersen said. "We never saw him swing the ball for the first seven, (or) maybe even eight weeks of this tournament. (But) in the last few weeks, he has got his wrist in a good place and started to swing the ball back," he added.

Pietersen was lavish in praise of Narine, saying that the KKR veteran gave his critics a perfect reply. "I was one of the most vocal critics at the start of the tournament saying I didn't like Sunil Narine at the top of the order, due to his inconsistency. He would typically hit a six and then get out, disrupting the momentum," Pietersen said. "However, this season he has been consistent. He has thought like a batter, batted like a batter and got the runs of a batter. He has averaged more than many batters and his strike rate has been phenomenal. He has played both sides of the wicket exceptionally well." "We don't need to say much about his bowling — he is an out-and-out superstar. His ability to change his action and still produce such impressive numbers is quite something. He is the heart and soul of this outfit," Pietersen said. Former India batter Ambati Rayudu, meanwhile, credited KKR captain Iyer, coaching staff as well as the team's domestic talent for coming together. ''Shreyas Iyer has been tremendous in terms of leading KKR, and we should give him a lot of credit. He was not in the best of forms with the bat, but still, the way he has led the team, the way he has used his resources, is commendable," Rayudu said. Rayudu said a huge tally of runs from an individual is not as crucial as the others contributing collectively. "That is exactly how teams win the IPL. We have seen this over the years; it is not the orange cap that wins you the IPL, but it is the contributions from 4-5 batters with 300-400 runs each — that is what gets you to the finals," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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