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IPL 2019: Talking points of week 1

The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League has started with a bang. Let's have a look at a few talking points of the tournament.

Last updated: 01.04.2019
IPL 2019: Talking points of week 1 | Sports Social Blog

The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League has started with a bang. It's always expected the unexpected kind of a tournament and as the first week of the 43-day long tournament commenced on Saturday, let's have a look at a few talking points of the tournament.

1)  The Mankad gate feat Ravichandran Ashwin and Jos Buttler

Rajasthan Royals were cruising in search of the 185-run target set by Ravichandran Ashwin-led Kings XI Punjab. Things were looking ominous for Kings XI Punjab as Royals' opener Jos Buttler was looking in full swing. However, Ashwin when found no ways to get Buttler out, ran him out using the Mankad rule when the non-striker was out of the crease. Interestingly, post the Buttler wicket, Rajasthan Royals lost wickets in heaps and eventually failed to chase down the target, losing the game by 14 runs.

And, that sparked a huge controversy. Fans including the former players had some sort of say on Ashwin's action. A section of fans and former players were against Ashwin running the batsman out as they said that the action Ashwin retorted to was against the sportsman spirit. However, Ashwin got support as well, with fans saying that whatever Ashwin did was within the rules and that it was Buttler who was not following the rules and he should've been careful.

While Ashwin in the post-match presentation took a stance and said that he had done nothing wrong and it was within the rulebooks, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the custodians of cricket laws issued a statement stating that Ashwin had every right to run the batsman out and he had done nothing against the spirit of the game. The saga was far from getting over as the MCC made a U-turn from its statement and stated that Ashwin had paused too long and waited for Buttler to get out of the crease before dislodging the bails and it was against the spirit of the game.

The drama around the Mankading has continued as Mumbai Indians' Krunal Pandya warned Kings XI Punjab batsman Mayank Agarwal during their encounter on Saturday as the right-hander wandered out of his crease before the senior Pandya had bowled the delivery.

2) Dre Russ Demolition

The big man from Jamaica has taken the tournament by storm. Kolkata Knight Riders were chasing 182 runs at the Eden Gardens, When Andre Russell Walked out after the wicket of Nitish Rana, KKR needed 64 runs in 4.3 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar who is regarded as one of the best death over bowlers did justice to the tag when he bowled a 6-run 17th over to make equation tougher for KKR with them needing 53 runs off 18 deliveries.

And that's where the Russell mania started. The 30-year-old smashed 42 runs in the next 11 balls he faced. He pummelled Bhuvneshwar Kumar in his 4th and the penultimate over of the match for 21 runs to tilt the game in the favor of the home team. Shubman Gill finished the match with consecutive sixes but it was all about the Jamaican.

The Dre Russ attack was hard to stop, again. It was Kings XI Punjab this time who were getting hammered. Interestingly, they had the big man very early but because of a novice error of having just 3 fielders inside the crease. Russell was on 3 when Shami nailed down the stumps with a stunning yorker.

And, it was Demolition time, again. In the next few balls Russell faced, he hit five sixes and three fours, with Shami getting some hammering. Russell eventually got out for 48 off just 17 deliveries but not before helping KKR set a massive target to the Kings XI.

Russell continued his terrific form with the bat and it was demolition in Delhi this time. KKR looked in massive trouble when they were five down for 61 runs. Skipper Dinesh Karthik was joined by Russell. With his team reeling, batting first, Russell played sensibly early on and then went on for the carnage whenever he got the opportunity. He got out for 63 runs off just 28 deliveries, hitting 6 sixes and 4 fours during the Dre Russ show at the Firoz Shah Kotla in Delhi.

3) Return of pocket-sized dynamo David Warner

Ever since the ball-tampering episode in South Africa last year, things have not been really great for the Australian left-hander. Coming into the IPL, Warner had a point to prove. To himself, to the national selectors who will be picking the squad for the upcoming World Cup in England.

Returning to the IPL after missing from the action in last season, Warner started the tournament with a bang. A superbly crafted 85 off just 53 deliveries helped Sunrisers Hyderabad post a very good total. While SRH was blown away after Andre Russell storm hit them, Warner's roaring form would've made the management very happy.

He continued his terrific run with the willow in the second game as well and scored yet another half-century, a 37-ball 69 runs during the run chase. As we compile the article, the 32-year-old smashed a scintillating ton against the Royal Challengers Bangalore

4) Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant blitz

Shane Warne who has been associated with the Rajasthan Royals franchise for quite a while had made a prediction that Sanju Samson might be the orange cap holder as the tournament ends. The 24-year-old Kerala-born right-hander is just doing that to prove Warne's prediction a spot on. After scoring a 30 in the first match for the Royals, Samson smashed an amazing century against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 8th match of the tournament.

The Delhi-based franchise has come with a change of name in the tournament with a hope of change in their fate as well. And, a lot of that depends on the shoulders of young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant. The left-hander did not disappoint one bit when he took the bowling unit of Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede, tearing them apart during his blitzing knock of 78 runs off just 28 deliveries with the help of 7 sixes and as many fours.

As the tournament progresses in the second week, there will more drama, some amazing performances and everything you expect from a blockbuster.

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