Gulf News experts discuss the impact of Suryakumar Yadav and Faf du Plessis in this season. Video Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal, Senior Visual Journalist

Dubai: The Indian Premier League Season 16 is league is hitting the home stretch with all of the nine teams are still in with a chance to make the playoffs. It was time to take stock of what went right for the top teams, while not so right for the early pacesetters like Rajasthan Royals, who have suffered six losses in their last eight games.

While the focus is on the teams, there are few individual brilliance that has set the league alight. Yashasvi Jaiswal continuing to stand tall and torment his rivals, but still his team has ended up on the losing front. But two batters, Faf du Plessis, and Suryakumar Yadav have made their performances count, guiding their teams to victories and keeping them in the chase for the final four spots.

Consistency and Twenty20 format

It’s difficult to maintain consistency in Twenty20 format, but still du Plessis defied the norms. The South African has not only maintained his consistency this season, he has been doing for the couple of seasons, winning the Orange Cap in 2021 for Chennai Super Kings. Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper is topping the chart with 631 runs from 12 matches and keeping his team’s hopes alive. On the other hand Suryakumar Yadav had a shaky start to this campaign, after coming into the IPL following a torrid run against Australia, scoring three ducks in three successive One Day Internationals.

The Mumbai star batter, once he got into the groove, was at his imperious best, and showed why he is the No 1 in Twenty20 format in the world. Suryakumar also scored his first IPL century against Gujarat Titans in their previous encounter at home. His overpowering form was the catalyst that sparked Mumbai’s resurgence after a late start. The five-time champions are in third spot with 14 points, a territory they are very familiar with and there will be no looking back from now.

Captain's role

Are these individuals responsible for the turn around? What sort of a role do the captains play in steering the ship towards the victory line? The answer, the captains play a big role in the team’s fortunes in cricket, unlike in other sport. A captain’s role is 1000 times more magnified in a Twenty20 game where the ground shifts extremely fast under your feet, sometimes leaving no time to react.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rohit Sharma are master tacticians, winning nine IPL titles between them. So are Hardik Pandya and Faf du Plessis, who had a big shoes to fill when Virat Kohli stepped down as the skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore.

So who is the best IPL captain of them all and why? Find out what the Gulf News experts think about. For more of IPL, watch the video. Our special guest of the week is Paul Nixon, former England cricketer and one of the coaches at the Mentors Academy by JMR Sporting, Dubai. We also have cricket enthusiast Sai Prasad to talk about the IPL week that was.