IPL 7: Ranking the Top 50 Players in the 2014 Tournament

Tim CollinsFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2014

IPL 7: Ranking the Top 50 Players in the 2014 Tournament

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    Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press

    A truly sensational 2014 Indian Premier League season reached its conclusion on Sunday, as the Kolkata Knight Riders edged out Kings XI Punjab in an enthralling finale to lift the trophy. 

    Despite a sluggish opening to the tournament, Gautam Gambhir's men put together nine consecutive victories from May 7 onwards to storm to a famous IPL title.

    But the men in purple weren't the only stars of the tournament.

    Each of the competition's other seven franchises contained a plethora of explosive stars who combined to make the 2014 campaign the most memorable season in the IPL's short history. 

    After already ranking the top 50 moments and performances of this year's IPL, we've gone a step further and ranked the top 50 players of the tournament, using advanced statistical analysis.

    Those rankings, in addition to the algorithm used to determined them, are presented across the following slides.

    Note: Due to BCCI copyright, relevant media wasn't available for all players listed.

Calculating the Rankings Step 1: Determining a Player's Role

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    Accumulated statistics form the basis of the statistical formula used to determine these rankings, but it's important to identify a player's true role before evaluating which statistics hold a relevance to each particular player.

    For instance, a strike bowler should be judged on his bowling statistics alone to prevent his ranking from being harmed by a handful of inconsequential low scores with the bat. The same should apply for a top-order batsman who bowls the odd over from time to time. 

    Therefore, each player is only judged by the statistics that apply to his given role in the side, with the bulk of players being assessed as purely batsmen or bowlers. 

    A player is only determined to be an all-rounder if he has batted and bowled in at least 66 percent of his total matches played.

    All other players are judged purely as batsmen and bowlers, and therefore, only the relevant statistics will be examined.

Calculating the Rankings Step 2: Points Allocation

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    As with all rankings systems, it was critically important to remove the heavy bias of opinion from these rankings by formulating an algorithm that could objectively evaluate the performances of each player.

    The first step in that process was to award points for each basic statistic accumulated by each player across every match of the 2014 IPL season.

    The points awarded for each basic statistic are listed below:

    PERFORMANCEPOINTS
    Runs1
    50s25
    100s50
    Wickets25
    4WIs40
    5WIs50

     

Calculating the Rankings Step 3: Rate of Performance

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    Given the time constraints inherent in Twenty20 cricket and its emphasis on the rate of scoring, it was vital that each player's accumulated statistics were measured against strike rates (for batsmen) and economy rates (for bowlers).

    To do this, it was necessary to establish a "par" measurement, by averaging the strike rates and economy rates of all players who competed in the tournament.

     

    AVERAGE STRIKE RATEAVERAGE ECONOMY RATE
    129.058.01

    With those "par" numbers attained, each player had his statistics measured against the rate at which they were accumulated.

     

    Batting Examples:

    PLAYERBATTING PTS S/RPAR S/RRELATIVE S/RADJUSTED PTS
    Batsman 1425112.79129.050.87 (112.79/129.05)371.45
    Batsman 2360151.21129.051.17 (151.21/129.05)421.82

     

    Bowling Examples:

    PLAYERBOWLING PTS ECONPAR ECONRELATIVE ECONADJUSTED PTS
    Bowler 15859.088.010.88 (8.01/9.09)515.50
    Bowler 24406.328.011.27 (8.01/6.32)557.66

    As you can see, performing this step ensures that quick scoring and tight bowling are rewarded, reflecting the standout factors that are inherent in Twenty20 cricket.

Calculating the Rankings Step 4: Adjusted Points Per Innings

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    The final step in the algorithm averages a player's Adjusted Points Total across the number of innings that are relevant to that player.

    This ensures that players are judged on a per-innings basis, rather than raw, accumulated totals.

    To do this, the Adjusted Points Totals from each player's batting and/or bowling statistics are divided by the number of innings to determine each player's Adjusted Points Per Innings.

     

    Example (All-Rounder):

    PLAYERADJ BAT POINTSADJ BOWL POINTSINNINGSADJ PTS PER INNS
     Example421.82 557.662539.18

     

    For a player to qualify, he must have competed in a minimum of seven innings across the duration of the tournament.

Limitations of the Ranking Algorithm

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    Every statistical algorithm has its limitations and this one is no exception.

    However, it's important to outline the limitations that are inherent in this objective ranking system.

    1. The formula can't account for the match situation. Therefore, runs and wickets compiled in pressured situations don't carry more significance than those accumulated at other times.

    2. The system can only judge a player on the accumulated statistics identified in the points-allocation slide. For example, a bowler who goes wicketless in an impressive spell will receive fewer points than a bowler who claims two fortunate wickets in an otherwise loose spell.

    3. In using par-adjusted strikes rates, the algorithm cannot determine if a player was forced to operate in a defensive manner following the loss of wickets.

    4. The system can't account for the varying degrees of scoring that occur in different conditions and venues.

    5. By judging players on a per-innings basis, this system will inherently favour those who have competed in fewer innings, as it's easier to maintain higher levels of performance across shorter time periods.

    6. Another downfall of evaluating players on a per-innings basis is that all-rounders are severely hurt by their performances in a match representing two separate scores rather than one. However, the per-innings basis needs to be utilised to level the playing field for the bulk of players in consideration who practice a predominant discipline.

    7. The system also can't take into account unbeaten innings, meaning the average-boosting effects of not outs mean little here.

Notable Absentees

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    A number of big names failed to make our top 50 from this season's IPL. Below are the most notable absentees and the reason for their absence from our rankings.

     

    Notable Absentees

    Gautam Gambhir (No. 54): Gambhir came back strong after a difficult beginning, but three consecutive ducks to open the tournament push him down these rankings.

    JP Duminy (No. 56): Duminy is extremely unlucky to miss out on the top 50. With 410 runs at an average of the 51.25, the South African was his team's standout player with the bat. However, Duminy bowled in 11 of his 14 matches, classifying him as an all-rounder in these rankings. Consequently, just three wickets in 33 overs hurt him dearly here. 

    Steve Smith (No. 58): Despite some late-game heroics, Smith never had the opportunity to compile large totals, finishing with just 147 runs for the tournament. 

    Shane Watson (No. 59): Watson endured a tough campaign in India. With the bat, he averaged just 20 across 13 innings, while his bowling produced just seven wickets for the competition. 

    Dale Steyn (No. 60): For a strike bowler, Steyn was nowhere near as prolific with the ball as expected. In 14 appearances, the South African claimed just 11 wickets without any significant hauls.

    Corey Anderson (No. 61): Despite an incredible 95 against Rajasthan, Corey Anderson was nonexistent with the bat for the Mumbai Indians for the bulk of this IPL season.

    James Faulkner (No. 64): Last season, Faulkner was extremely effective with the ball in hand. This year, however, the Australian conceded 9.74 runs per over to be among the most expensive bowlers of the tournament. Even his lusty hitting with the bat couldn't offset that figure.

    Chris Gayle (No. 67): In previous seasons, Gayle has been the IPL's biggest star. But in 2014, he was a shadow of his former self, battling with injury to score just 196 runs at a poor strike rate of 106.52.

    George Bailey (No. 73): He certainly produced some pivotal moments in the field, but with the bat, Bailey was disappointing in India. Without a score above 40, the Australian averaged just 28.55 despite recording seven not outs. 

    Kieron Pollard (No. 82): Pollard will be remembered for an eventful campaign that included thunderous sixes, superb catches and moments of drama. But as an all-rounder, the West Indian was a liability with the ball, conceding 10.48 runs per over across the tournament. 

    Darren Sammy (No. 91): After a superb showing at the ICC World Twenty20, Sammy simply wasn't able to propel Hyderabad to a similar level, struggling with the bat and rarely used with the ball.

50. Aaron Finch

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    Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

    Innings: 13

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 25.14

    Aaron Finch still has some development to undertake before being able to transfer his powerful skills to the subcontinent.

    As was witnessed in the ICC World Twenty20, the Victorian's game still lacks the finesse to succeed against the world's finest spinners on turning wickets.

    That was reflected by Finch's strike rate for this season's IPL. Across 13 innings, the Australian accumulated 309 runs at just 117.49—well below the competition average. 

    Presently, Finch's skills are somewhat limited to the fast and bouncy conditions of his homeland. 

49. Michael Hussey

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    Team: Mumbai Indians

    Innings: 9

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 25.61

    The evergreen Michael Hussey bounced back from a difficult beginning to this season's IPL to become an important figure at the top of the order for Mumbai.

    In nine innings, the veteran Australian compiled 209 runs including two 50s to provide valuable support to the prolific Lendl Simmons. 

    But at 39 years of age, Hussey may have played in the final IPL campaign of his glittering career. 

48. Manish Pandey

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    Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 25.76

    Manish Pandey produced one of the finest innings of the tournament in India this year.

    In his team's chase of 200 against the Kings XI in the final, the 24-year-old smashed a memorable 94 from just 50 deliveries to steer his team to IPL glory.

    But aside from his gripping finale, Pandey was relatively subdued during this season's competition, recording 401 runs from 16 innings at a modest strike rate of 117.94. 

    If more of his performances were of the same ilk as his showing in the final, the young Indian would have been far higher up this list. 

47. Shakib Al Hasan

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    Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

    Innings: 24

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 25.89

    Shakib Al Hasan is one of a number of all-rounders to be hurt by the algorithm used to determine these rankings.

    Despite being an extremely useful contributor in both of the game's major disciplines, the Bangladeshi was neither prolific nor spectacular with both the bat or ball.

    In 11 visits to the crease, the left-hander put together a moderate tally of 227 runs, while taking 11 wickets with the ball across 50 completed overs. 

    What really hurts Shakib is the per-innings measure in this system, which divides his contributions into two separate performances to ensure a more level playing field for the single-discipline players. 

46. Rishi Dhawan

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    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 13

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 25.97

    Punjab's Rishi Dhawan was rather unfortunate to be absent for his team's final encounter with the Kolkata Knight Riders.

    Up until the first qualifier of the 2014 playoffs, the right-arm seamer had been among the more impressive Kings XI bowlers. From 13 appearances, Dhawan had claimed 13 wickets and operated below the tournament's average economy rate by conceding 7.71 runs per over.

    The seamer enjoyed a particularly strong opening to this season's IPL, but two expensive performances in the latter half of the campaign cost the 24-year-old his place. 

    In these rankings, Dhawan is also hurt by a lack of four- or five-wicket hauls. 

45. Morne Morkel

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    Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

    Innings: 12

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 26.21

    Although spin-bowling has grown to become the most destructive variation in Twenty20 cricket, Kolkata's Morne Morkel proved there's still room for aggressive fast bowlers.

    With his characteristic pace and bounce, the South African made life uncomfortable for many of the leading batsmen in this season's IPL. 

    Indeed, from his 12 matches, Morkel claimed 12 wickets at a respectable economy rate of 7.64, with the bulk of his better performances coming during the Knight Riders' late surge to the final.

    Yet, like Dhawan, the 29-year-old is pegged back in these rankings because of the absence of significant wicket hauls next to his name. 

44. Yuvraj Singh

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    Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore

    Innings: 24

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 26.37

    Yuvraj Singh played two of the most explosive innings of the tournament this season, thumping 83 and 68 in consecutive matches against Rajasthan and Delhi. 

    So why does the Indian superstar feature so low in these rankings?

    Simply put, he did little else.

    Despite those two efforts, Yuvraj managed only 376 runs (an average of just 22.5 for his other 12 innings) and proved to be ineffectual with the ball, claiming just five wickets in 10 innings at an economy rate of 8.25.

    In that regard, Yuvraj is considered an all-rounder in these rankings and is hurt by a somewhat underwhelming campaign overall. 

43. Mitchell Starc

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    Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 26.74

    Mitchell Starc's IPL campaign in 2014 will be best remembered for his heated confrontation with Mumbai's Kieron Pollard. 

    But away from the controversy, the left-armer performed a key role for Virat Kohli this season.

    In 14 appearances, the Australian claimed the same number of wickets, conceding just 7.49 runs in the process—an impressive figure in comparison to a number of other prominent seamers in the 2014 IPL. 

    Starc will be particularly pleased with his ability to recover quickly after a disappointing showing at the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

42. Rajat Bhatia

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    Team: Rajasthan Royals

    Innings: 12

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 26.92

    Rajat Bhatia is certainly considered an all-rounder in India, but a lack of opportunities with the bat means that the 34-year-old is adjudged as a bowler in these rankings.

    He's indeed fortunate that's the case. 

    Despite his limited impact at the crease, Bhatia was a reliable figure with the ball for Shane Watson during this year's IPL.

    Across 12 innings, the right-arm seamer captured 12 scalps and operated at an economy rate of just 7.44.

    Had he been judged as an all-rounder, Bhatia wouldn't have made the top 50. But as a bowler, he has managed to climb to No. 42. 

41. Ravichandran Ashwin

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    Team: Chennai Super Kings

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 27.43

    After a vastly impressive ICC World Twenty20 campaign, Ravichandran Ashwin was expected to be a decisive weapon for MS Dhoni's side in this edition of the IPL.

    Yet, although the finger-spinner wasn't poor, he didn't become the match winner his team needed. 

    From 16 games, Ashwin claimed just as many scalps and did so at an economy rate of 7.30.

    However, a lack of standout performances and a pair of humblings by Glenn Maxwell during the league phase hurt the Indian star in these rankings. 

40. Virat Kohli

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    Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 27.64

    Virat Kohli's sublime showing at the ICC World Twenty20 had elevated the precocious Indian star to the forefront of the sport prior to the IPL.

    However, the 25-year-old failed to live up to his billing in this season's T20 indulgence.

    Perhaps weighed down by the captaincy of his struggling Bangalore outfit, Kohli managed just 359 runs from his 14 innings at an average of just 27.61. More telling was that his strike rate (122.10) was below the tournament average.

    Belatedly, the right-handed did discover a degree of the form in the closing stages of the competition, completing scores of 67, 38 and 73 in his final three innings. 

39. Dinesh Karthik

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    A.M. Ahad/Associated Press

    Team: Delhi Daredevils

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 27.89

    Dinesh Karthik couldn't quite re-produce his form from a year ago for the Delhi Daredevils in 2014.

    A member of the Mumbai Indians outfit that clinched last season's title, Karthik's presence in Kevin Pietersen's side was supposed to bolster the Daredevils line-up.

    While the right-hander did that to a certain extent, his average of 23.21 and strike rate of 125.96 (below the tournament average) weren't enough to haul Delhi away from the foot of the table. 

38. Shikhar Dhawan

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    Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 27.93

    Like Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan appeared to struggle with the burden of captaincy in this season's IPL.

    Despite a prolific 12 months in 2013, the Indian opener averaged just 29.00 at a laboured strike rate of 118.18 in the recently concluded campaign. 

    Interestingly, it was when Darren Sammy relieved Dhawan of the leadership duties in the closing stages of the tournament that the left-hander's talent began to show.

    In consecutive innings against Bangalore and Chennai, the 28-year-old cruised to totals of 50 and 64 to provide a late reminder of his abilities. 

37. Kevin Pietersen

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    Team: Delhi Daredevils

    Innings: 11

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 28.36

    From a personal perspective, Kevin Pietersen's IPL season in India this year was solid without being spectacular.

    From a team point of view, it was disastrous.

    Indeed, from 11 innings, the axed England star compiled 294 runs and got off to a start nearly every time he strode to the crease.

    However, his campaign will be remembered for an inability to convert those starts into meaningful totals, as well as his leadership of the worst side (statistically) in the competition's history. 

36. Ambati Rayudu

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    Team: Mumbai Indians

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 28.61

    Ambati Rayudu's form dropped away as his IPL campaign wore on, but the 28-year-old enjoyed a strong three-match spell during the middle of the tournament.

    With two consecutive fifties and a quick 33 against Kolkata, the right-hander established himself as an important middle-order player during Mumbai's late run to the play-offs. 

    Certainly, a tally of 361 runs from 14 innings was a reasonable return from a player not expected to figure prominently for the defending champions. 

35. Naman Ojha

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    Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

    Innings: 10

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 28.70

    Naman Ojha played one of the outstanding innings of the tournament when he clattered 79 from just 36 deliveries against Kings XI Punjab on May 14.

    With a quartet of fours and seven impressive sixes, the keeper-batsman punished George Bailey's seam attack in spectacular fashion.

    But that innings aside, the 30-year-old battled with form for the bulk of the competition. And despite recording a strike rate of 144.09 for the campaign as a whole, Ojha will be disappointed with his moderate tally of 232 runs. 

34. Sanju Samson

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    Team: Rajasthan Royals

    Innings: 13

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 28.79

    At just 19 years of age, Rajasthan's Sanju Samson looks like a star in the making.

    As a member of the Royals' top order, the young keeper-batsman impressed many with his temperament and striking ability in the concluded IPL season.

    From 13 innings, Samson reached 339 runs at an average of 26.07—a number that is better than it looks, given that his average didn't benefit from the boosting effect of not outs. 

    The right-hander's two most impressive performances were his smooth 74 against Mumbai and swift 52 vs. Punjab.

33. Mitchell Johnson

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    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 29.33

    Mitchell Johnson maintained his wicket threat in the 2014 edition of the IPL, but a recent injury layoff appeared the disrupt his rhythm somewhat.

    Although the brutal Australian captured 17 wickets in 14 appearances, an economy rate of 8.29 was well above the figure he set in 2013 when kick-starting his international renaissance.

    It certainly appeared as though the gruelling length of the IPL season took its toll on Johnson, given that his most wayward performances came in Punjab's play-off encounters against Chennai and Kolkata. 

32. Faf Du Plessis

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    Team: Chennai Super Kings

    Innings: 12

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 29.39

    A significant reshuffle of the Chennai batting line-up was required when Dwayne Bravo was ruled out through injury and Brendon McCullum was forced to fly home for a week in the middle of the tournament. 

    Promoted up the order to cover the absentees, Faf du Plessis performed a fine job for MS Dhoni's side.

    In spite on his uncertain position in the batting order, the South African raced to 303 runs from 12 innings in India this season, which included two impressive half-centuries. 

    Although De Plessis doesn't strike you as a typical T20 player, the right-hander's versatility continues to prove useful at both international and domestic level.

31. MS Dhoni

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    Team: Chennai Super Kings

    Innings: 15

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 30.36

    MS Dhoni averaged a staggering 74.20 in this season's IPL. On the face of it, you'd assume he enjoyed a blistering tournament.

    Not quite.

    Although the Chennai captain struck his runs at a strike rate of 148.40, 10 not outs grossly inflated his average across his 371 runs. 

    Most memorable, of course, was Dhoni's 19th over assault on Dale Steyn on May 22, when the Indian star clubbed two fours and two sixes from the penultimate over of the innings.

    However, the national skipper will be frustrated by his team's inability to quell the Kings XI batsmen who derailed their campaign.

30. Yusuf Pathan

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    Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

    Innings: 12

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 30.73

    Few will ever forget Yusuf Pathan's thunderous 72 against Hyderabad on May 24.

    Needing to reach their target of 161 in 15.2 overs to claim second place on the points table, the brutal Indian batsman thumped the fastest half-century in IPL history by reaching the milestone in just 15 deliveries.

    It was undoubtedly one of the finest innings of the tournament.

    Pathan also played a crucial role in the final when he thumped an unbeaten 39 alongside Manish Pandey.

    Overall, the 31-year-old bashed 268 runs at a strike rate of 162.42.

29. Harbhajan Singh

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    Team: Mumbai Indians

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 30.95

    Controversy has followed Harbhajan Singh wherever he's gone in the IPL in previous seasons.

    However, in 2014, the off-spinner managed to avoid the headlines and complete a fine tournament for the Mumbai Indians. 

    Although he was far from prolific with the ball (which is what hurt him in these rankings), Harbhajan's 14 wickets at an economy rate of just 6.47 was an impressive return for the veteran. 

    With unerring accuracy and supreme control of flight, the 33-year-old was a key component of Mumbai's late charge to the 2014 play-offs. 

28. Rohit Sharma

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    Team: Mumbai Indians

    Innings: 15

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 31.02

    Rohit Sharma's IPL season in 2014 was a neat encapsulation of his career.

    Time and time again, the vastly talented batsmen made a promising start before losing his wicket in disappointing fashion.

    That is reflected in Sharma's tournament statistics. From 15 innings, the right-hander compiled 390 runs at a strike rate of 129.13 but never made it past 59. 

    As is evident so often with Sharma, the ability is ever-present, but the unwavering attention to detail appears to be lacking. 

27. Ajinkya Rahane

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    Team: Rajasthan Royals

    Innings: 12

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 31.14

    Rajasthan's Ajinkya Rahane was another player to be consistent without being prolific in this year's tournament in India.

    With 339 runs and three fifties from his 12 innings, the stylish right-hander was the Royals' most impressive individual at the crease this season.

    However, Rahane's inability to conjure large totals and a relatively subdued strike rate of 116.49 held the Indian batsman back in these rankings. 

26. Karn Sharma

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    Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 32.00

    You would have been labelled as a fool if you'd suggested prior to the tournament that Karn Sharma would outperform Dale Steyn with the ball for Hyderabad.

    Yet, that's exactly what happened in 2014. 

    From the same amount of matches as his famous South African teammate, Sharma claimed four more wickets (15 in total) and did so at a better economy rate of 7.42.

    The young leg-spinner was also one of the few men to claim a four-wicket haul in the tournament, capturing 4/38 against Kolkata on May 24. 

25. Brendon McCullum

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    Team: Chennai Super Kings

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 32.31

    Brendon McCullum formed a brilliant opening partnership with Dwayne Smith for the Chennai Super Kings this season.

    However, the New Zealander's campaign was interrupted when he was forced to fly home for the birth of his child.

    Prior to that, though, McCullum had been in strong form for MS Dhoni's men, racking up 405 runs from 14 innings at an average of 31.15—a superb figure for an opener. 

    Included in that tally were three fifties, which featured some of the Kiwi's typically brutal striking. 

24. Akshar Patel

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    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 17

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 32.67

    Akshar Patel was a revelation for Kings XI Punjab in the latest edition of the IPL. 

    At just 20 years of the age, the young left-armer spinner operated with an efficiency that many could simply dream of. Across 66 overs in the tournament, Patel conceded just 405 runs at a miserly economy rate of 6.13. 

    The spinner was also a consistent wicket threat, claiming 17 scalps in as many matches to secure his position as his team's most reliable bowler.

    More impressively, Patel conceded just 21 runs from four overs in the final while his teammates were blasted around the park in Bangalore. 

23. Piyush Chawla

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    Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

    Innings: 11

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 33.23

    Piyush Chawla featured in the some notable events in the IPL's final. In addition to claiming a catch that bounced off his own mouth, the 25-year-old struck the critical boundaries that pushed Kolkata past Punjab's total of 199.

    However, Chawla's impact came with the ball throughout the rest of the tournament.

    In 11 appearances, the leg-spinner claimed 14 wickets at an impressive strike rate of 16.9. While he was more expensive than the aforementioned Akshar Patel, his ability to accumulate points through wickets at a faster rate helps him in these rankings. 

22. Kane Richardson

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    Team: Rajasthan Royals

    Innings: 7

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 33.79

    Kane Richardson is rather fortunate to feature so highly on this list, given that he made just seven appearances for the tournament.

    However, by meeting the minimum requirement, the Australian shoots into the top 25 due to his consistent wicket-taking ability. With nine wickets in seven innings, Richardson owned one of the better strike rates in the IPL in 2014. 

    But after a couple of expensive performances against Delhi and Bangalore, the 23-year-old didn't feature for the Royals after May 11. 

21. Ravindra Jadeja

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    Team: Ravindra Jadeja

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 34.09

    Ravindra Jadeja was a fine all-rounder for Chennai in 2014. However, in these rankings, the Indian star is viewed as a bowler due to only batting in 62 percent of his matches. 

    In that regard, the left-arm spinner was among the more prolific wicket-takers of the competition, claiming 19 scalps from 16 matches at a superb strike rate of 17.1.

    Jadeja also registered the best bowling figures of the tournament when he claimed 4/12 against Kolkata on May 2.

    The only factor that held the 25-year-old back in these rankings was his slightly expensive economy rate of 8.15.

20. Lakshmipathy Balaji

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    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 9

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 34.43

    Veteran seamer Lakshmipathy Balaji was certainly expensive with the ball for Kings XI Punjab during this season's IPL.

    But the right-armer finds himself in the top 20 thanks to an impressive strike rate and the capture of a four-wicket haul. 

    From just nine appearances, the 32-year-old claimed 12 wickets at 17 balls apiece and recorded the second-best bowling figures of the tournament with 4/13 against Hyderabad.

    Those numbers were enough to offset his poor economy rate of 8.79.

19. Virender Sehwag

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    Pal Pillai/Getty Images

    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 17

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 34.89

    Virender Sehwag's campaign in India finally burst into life when he annihilated the Chennai bowlers to score an unforgettable 122 in the second qualifier of the play-offs.

    However, prior to that performance, the former India superstar hadn't been able to convert brisk starts into large totals, made evident by the fact he only passed 50 on one other occasion. 

    But Sehwag will feel content with his series-defining innings against the Super Kings, and a tally of 455 runs at a strike rate of 144.44 represents a very respectable campaign. 

18. Pravin Tambe

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    Team: Rajasthan Royals

    Innings: 13

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 35.22

    One of the feel-good stories of the 2014 IPL season was Pravin Tambe's rise to prominence with the Rajasthan Royals.

    Plucked from obscurity, the 42-year-old who had scarcely played at the highest level became a revelation for Shane Watson's side.

    From 13 appearances, Tambe claimed 15 wickets at a superb economy rate of 7.26 to be his team's most prolific operator with the ball. 

    His most unforgettable moment came when he destroyed Kolkata with a sensational hat-trick on May 5.

17. Mohit Sharma

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    Team: Chennai Super Kings

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 36.70

    Mohit Sharma was the leading wicket-taker in this season's IPL, but the right-armer is held back in these rankings due to an expensive economy rate of 8.39.

    Of course, the Indian seamer rapidly accumulated his scalps, with his wickets—23 of them in totalcoming at 14 balls apiece.

    Sharma also recorded impressive figures of 4/14 to dismantle the Mumbai Indians in Dubai on April 25 but can look back to his inability to contain as the reason for missing the top 10 on this list.

16. Sandeep Sharma

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    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 11

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 37.19

    Like Mohit, Sandeep Sharma claimed his wickets at a rapid rate during his season with Kings XI Punjab this year. 

    In only 11 appearances, the talented 21-year-old used his uncanny ability to swing the ball to claim 18 wickets at a strike rate of 13.3. 

    The young Indian star enjoyed his best performances during the early weeks of the competition when conditions suited the seamers.

    However, as the pitches became slower and more receptive to turn, Sharma became expensive for George Bailey's side as his economy rate bloated to 8.81. 

15. David Miller

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    Gareth Copley/Getty Images

    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 37.64

    David Miller enjoyed a brilliant IPL campaign in 2014 in conjunction with Glenn Maxwell for Kings XI Punjab.

    After rising to prominence in the 2013 edition, the South African continued his blistering T20 form with 446 runs at a strike rate of 149.16 this season.

    Most memorable were his brutal 51 to snatch victory from Rajasthan and his powerful 66 against Bangalore which included a six that cleared the roof. 

    If not for a number of brief innings that took place in the final overs of his team's matches, Miller would have found himself among the top 10 in these rankings.

14. Varun Aaron

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    Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore

    Innings: 10

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 39.31

    He may have been a tad expensive, but Bangalore's Varun Aaron was a potent wicket-taker in this year's IPL.

    From 10 appearances, the Indian raced to 16 wickets at a superb strike rate of just 13.7. The right-armer also enjoyed six matches in which he claimed two wickets or more, with his best performance seeing him claim 3/16 against the eventual champions on April 24. 

    However, after a string of expensive spells, Aaron lost his place in the RCB side towards the end of the league phase. 

13. Wriddhiman Saha

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    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 13

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 40.04

    Like a number of his Kings XI Punjab teammates, Wriddhiman Saha enjoyed a fine campaign in this year's IPL tournament. 

    With 362 runs from 13 innings at a strike rate of 145.38, the keeper-batsman was an extremely reliable performer for George Bailey's side.

    Not normally known for his power, Saha also produced one of the best innings of the competition when he slammed 115 from 55 deliveries in the final against Kolkata. 

12. Karun Nair

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    Team: Rajasthan Royals

    Innings: 11

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 40.58

    At the other end of the scale to Pravin Tambe for the Rajasthan Royals was Karun Nair.

    At just 22 years of age, the young Indian batsman was a success story for Shane Watson's team, compiling 330 runs from only 11 innings at a strike rate of 142.24. 

    Included in that tally were three impressive fifties, the most notable of which came in the final game of the tournament's league phase against Mumbai.

    Alongside Sanju Samson, Nair was a pillar of stability at the top of the Royals' batting line-up.

11. AB De Villiers

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    Aijaz Rahi/Associated Press

    Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore

    Innings: 13

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 44.44

    AB de Villiers' team endured a rough time in India this year. Despite the team's star-studded batting unit, Bangalore simply couldn't find the right mix against more cohesive opponents.

    That, however, didn't stop the South African from showcasing his usual brilliance.

    In 13 innings, De Villiers crunched 395 runs at a blistering strike rate of 158.63, which included three half-centuries.

    Of course, no one will ever forget his mauling of South African teammate Dale Steyn on May 4 when the right-hander blasted 23 runs from Steyn's over to propel RCB to victory. 

10. Dwayne Smith

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Team: Chennai Super Kings

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 45.53

    A shift from the Mumbai Indians to the Chennai Super Kings did little to halt Dwayne Smith's brilliance in the IPL this season.

    After coming across from the men in blue, the West Indian crashed his way to 566 runs at a strike rate of 136.05 for MS Dhoni's team this time around.

    With his characteristically powerful hitting, Smith crunched five half-centuries from 16 innings and became pivotal to Chennai's success at the top of the order.

    A lethal 79 from 51 balls against the Delhi Daredevils was easily his finest effort.  

9. Suresh Raina

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    Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press

    Team: Chennai Super Kings

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 45.72

    Even without his extraordinary explosion in the second qualifier, Suresh Raina was one of the outstanding batsmen of the competition.

    Using his experience as the most capped IPL player in history, the left-hander cruised his way to 523 runs at a brilliant average of 40.23. A strike rate of 145.68 wasn't bad, either. 

    But it was a truly breathtaking innings against Punjab that will stick in the memories of the game's observers. Chasing the 227 set by the Kings XI, Raina clubbed 87 from 25 balls to record the highest strike rate for any innings of 50-plus runs in the tournament's history.

    It took a stellar run out from George Bailey to bring Raina's innings to a close. 

8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

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    Andres Leighton/Associated Press

    Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 46.46

    Bhuvneshwar Kumar's teammates struggled for much of this season's campaign in India, but the right-arm seamer was nothing short of sublime. 

    In his 14 matches, the India star racked up 20 wickets at a strike rate of 15.9—figures made more impressive by his outstanding economy rate of 6.65.

    With his trademark swing, Kumar unsettled countless batsmen in this year's IPL tournament, showcased best by his emphatic 4/14 against Rajasthan on May 8.

    Figures of 2/16 against Bangalore at the high-scoring M Chinnaswamy Stadium were also extremely impressive.

7. Manan Vohra

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    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 8

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 47.01

    At just 20 years of age, few had ever heard of Manan Vohra before this year's IPL began.

    By the end of it, the world knew exactly who he was.

    Despite playing just eight matches, the elegant right-hander raced to 324 runs at an average of 40.50 and a strike rate of 139.05.

    Class and glorious stroke-play defined Vohra's batting, as he struck some of the most graceful sixes witnessed across the whole tournament.

    The young batsman's temperament was also on show when he compiled a sterling 67 in the final against Kolkata.

6. Sunil Narine

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    Bikas Das/Associated Press

    Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 47.70

    Batsmen just don't seem to have an answer to Sunil Narine's wizardry. With nonchalant ease, the West Indian appears to have a spell-binding power over even the finest players in the world.

    After a brilliant ICC World Twenty20 campaign, the finger-spinner displayed those traits again at this year's IPL.

    Deceiving almost everyone with his variations and impeccable length, Narine claimed 21 wickets from 16 matches at a remarkable economy rate of 6.35.

    No moment best encapsulated his abilities than his 19th over in the first qualifier against Punjab, when he conceded just four runs in six balls with the game on the line.

5. Robin Uthappa

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    Aijaz Rahi/Associated Press

    Team: Kolkata Knight Riders

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 52.38

    Along with Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa's form for Kolkata became a catalyst in the Knight Riders' late surge to the IPL trophy in 2014.

    With 10 consecutive 40-plus scores in the tournament, the fluid right-hander accumulated an IPL-best 660 runs from 16 innings at an average of 44.00.

    Such numbers—which are added to by a strike rate of 137.78—are nothing short of mighty for an opener who is required to set the tone against the new ball.

    The 28-year-old might be able to use such an impressive campaign as a springboard for greater success at international level.

4. David Warner

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    Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad

    Innings: 14

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 52.84

    Perhaps it was the frailties of his team that prevented David Warner's performances from garnering the attention that surrounded other stars of the tournament. 

    Whatever it was, the left-hander's brilliance was somewhat glossed over in 2014.

    From 14 innings, the Australian hammered 528 runs at an average of 48.00 and a strike rate of 140.80. Furthermore, Warner did so even while floating up and down Hyderabad's line-up as the team searched for balance.

    Six fifties also littered the 27-year-old's campaign, which was unquestionably one of the finest of the competition. 

3. Lasith Malinga

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    Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press

    Team: Mumbai Indians

    Innings: 10

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 54.64

    He's the king of T20 bowling. It's as simple as that.

    Already the leading wicket-taker in the history of the competition, Lasith Malinga further entrenched his reputation as the world's best limited-overs seamer in this edition of the IPL.

    Although he played just 10 matches, the slingy right-armer grabbed 16 wickets at 14.6 balls apiece, while operating at an economy rate of just 6.45. 

    Had he not departed India to join up with his Sri Lankan teammates in England, the Mumbai Indians may have made a deeper run in the play-offs.

2. Glenn Maxwell

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    Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Team: Kings XI Punjab

    Innings: 16

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 59.29

    For the opening weeks of the IPL season, Punjab's Glenn Maxwell put on a show rarely witnessed in Twenty20 history.

    It was almost as though the rules and wisdom that govern the world's players didn't apply to the Australian in the first month of the tournament. 

    By May 7, Maxwell had already thumped four scores between 89 and 95, all struck at a strike rate close to—or above in some cases—200.00.

    In a manner that few could match, the right-hander regularly set about destroying opposing bowling attacks from his very first delivery, which made the spectacle even more compelling.

    Of course, Maxwell's tournament did tail off towards the end of the season, but his early fireworks left a lasting image on the competition.

1. Lendl Simmons

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    Team: Mumbai Indians

    Innings: 8

    Adjusted Points Per Innings: 68.06

    Yes, Lendl Simmons is a surprise No. 1. Possibly a controversial one, too.

    However, given the way these rankings are determined, no one came close to matching the West Indian.

    On a per-innings basis, the Mumbai batsman was truly outstanding. From only eight matches, the right-hander rushed to 394 runs at a table-topping average of 58.28 with just one not out (an unbeaten 100) while opening the batting for the Indians. 

    Remarkably, Simmons was drafted in late by Mumbai as cover for the injured Jalaj Saxena. It was hoped he'd add depth to the team's struggling line-up.

    No one, including the player himself, would have expected Simmons to become the most prolific batsman on a per-innings basis for the tournament.

     

    All statistics courtesy of ESPN Cricinfo.