Looking at success stories of 12 IPL champions

Looking at success stories of 12 IPL champions

Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma with his teammates celebrating with Indian Premier League 2019 winning trophy after win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Final cricket match at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, Monday, May 13, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Mumbai Indians claimed their fourth Indian Premier League title with a one-run victory over Chennai Super Kings in a final that saw the teams’ fortunes swinging wildly, highlighting why the IPL is arguably the best T20 extravaganza.

Rohit Sharma’s side had their bases covered prior to the season and thanks to consistent form, they raced to the top of the pile. The Mumbai Indians held their nerve in crunch situations, found a robust team balance and were led by a street-smart captain.

Every title-winning side has a winning philosophy, so we look back at the journeys of the teams that have lifted the coveted trophy.

Mumbai Indians – 2019

MI, ahead of IPL 2019, looked a powerful unit on all fronts, owing to powerful match-winners and new recruits. MI started the season in ordinary fashion but then went on a rampant run. 

They faced off against CSK in the first Qualifier. Bowling first, MI restricted their rivals to a paltry 131. The run chase was made easy by Suryakumar Yadav, whose unbeaten 71 was enough to take MI to their fourth IPL final. 

The final was against CSK again. Rohit Sharma batted first, and his side scored a modest 149. Sensational middle overs bowling from Rahul Chahar and Jasprit Bumrah, followed by a thrilling last-over spell from the legendary Lasith Malinga ensured a gripping one-run victory for Rohit Sharma's team.

Chennai Super Kings – 2018 

CSK marked one of the most emotional triumphs in sporting history in 2018, by clinching the IPL trophy after a two-year ban. 

A team full of experience and cricketers above the age of 30 weren't expected to challenge the bigger, more energetic sides in the league. 

The team, however, had an uncanny knack of producing a different match-winner in each game. MS Dhoni's troops showed a massive rise in form towards the business end of the IPL, winning each of their final three games to finish in the top two spots. 

Up against SRH in the final, they shipped 178 runs - a huge total, considering the pressure of a final. In reply, they started off slow, but once a destructive Shane Watson took off, he absolutely tore SRH to shreds, amassing an unassailable 117* to take CSK to their third IPL title.

Mumbai Indians – 2017

MI are known to get on a roll once they start winning. In 2017, they started with a loss but then went on to win six games in a row. As a result, they finished top of the table but then lost the first Qualifier to Steve Smith's Rising Pune Supergiant. 

They were all over KKR in Qualifier 2, bundling them out for a meagre 107. With six wickets and 5.3 overs left, they demolished Gambhir's side. 

In the final, they put forth a substandard batting performance, scoring just 129. However, Rohit Sharma proved his class as a captain by marshalling his troops well, putting constant pressure on the opposition and winning the game on the last ball. 

Lasith Malinga was the hero last night, but back then it was Mitchell Johnson who bowled the final over.

Sunrisers Hyderabad - 2016

SRH beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final to claim their first-ever IPL trophy. They were rather inconsistent at the back end of the group stages, which pushed them down the table to third place. 

They then went on to beat KKR in the eliminator, Gujarat Lions in the second Qualifier and RCB in the final - thereby making it six wins out of six. 

David Warner led from the front, mustering a staggering 848 runs. He scored a fabulous 69 in the final as well, as SRH ended with 208/7. Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli both scored half-centuries but neither could take their team over the finishing line.

Mumbai Indians - 2015 

In IPL 2015, the Ambani-owned team looked certain to finish at the bottom as they began with four losses. However, they endured one of the most eye-catching turnarounds in the IPL, winning seven out of their final eight fixtures. 

MI then went on to beat CSK in the first Qualifier and the final, just like they did this time around. Batting first on both occasions against CSK in the knockouts, Sharma's side won by convincing 25- and 41-run margins.

Kolkata Knight Riders - 2014 

KKR were blowing hot and cold during the first half of IPL 7. They won just two of their first seven games, and Gautam Gambhir cut a frustrated figure throughout due to their death bowling and middle order woes. 

However, the charismatic leader masterminded an unreal comeback as KKR won every single game in the second half of the season. They finished second behind Kings XI, who were looking unstoppable all season. 

KKR's momentum took them all the way. In the final against the same opposition, they were chasing a monumental 200 runs. And KKR lost their most in-form player - Robin Uthappa - very early on. However, a swashbuckling innings of 94 from Manish Pandey took the team to their second IPL trophy.

Mumbai Indians - 2013

MI, then recognised as the most star-studded unit due to the presence of Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar, started on a poor note. Two hefty defeats at the midway stage to RR and DD saw Ponting step down as skipper. However, that didn't affect the team's morale as they stitched a winning run in the final few games. They lost to CSK in the first Qualifier by 48 runs but an all-round display from Harbhajan Singh (3/23, two catches, 6*) led MI to the final. 

In the final, MI struggled while batting first on a scrappy Eden Gardens track. Kieron Pollard proved his game-changing abilities by registering a 32-ball 60. In reply, CSK managed only 125.

Kolkata Knight Riders – 2012 

Ahead of the season, KKR changed their logo and motto, hoping for a change in fortunes. Not to mention, they replaced the under-fire Dav Whatmore with Trevor Bayliss. However, the team failed to produce the cricket that they were capable of, losing three out of their first five games. Post that, the Knight Riders went on to win six on the trot. 

In the semi-final against Delhi, an all-round batting performance followed by first-rate spells from Sunil Narine and Jacques Kallis took the side to the final. 

Gautam Gambhir and co. locked horns with CSK, who were in pursuit of a hat-trick of trophies. Chennai raced to a huge total, but a match-winning knock of 89 from Manvinder Bisla handed KKR their first IPL crown.

Chennai Super Kings – 2011

Prior to the 2011 edition, the mega-auction took place, and CSK had just $4.5 million available to spend due to their retention policy. Stephen Fleming managed to beef up the squad with the team's own core players, some of them including Mike Hussey, S Badrinath and Ravichandran Ashwin. 

This season, they proved to be more lethal, bagging nine wins and a draw from their 14 games. 

In the final against RCB, a mammoth 133-run opening partnership between Hussey and Vijay took them to 205. In reply, RCB managed only 147, meaning that Chennai became the first team to retain their IPL title. 

They also achieved the feat of being unbeaten in their home games.

Chennai Super Kings – 2010 

CSK started with two wins out of three but went on to lose the next four matches. They did make a comeback, winning the subsequent three. Due to other results going their way, Dhoni's side cemented another semi-final spot. 

They scored a below par 142 in the semi-final against Deccan Chargers, but a heroic spell from Doug Bollinger powered the Men in Yellow to the final. Against favourites MI, they won by 22 runs to secure their maiden title.

Deccan Chargers – 2009

Deccan Chargers’ 2009 journey was nothing less than a fairy tale. Even with the presence of Chaminda Vaas, Shahid Afridi, Adam Gilchrist and Andrew Symonds, the Chargers finished the first season with the wooden spoon. 

That led to a change in management and Gilchrist being elevated to captain. This paid huge dividends. 
The Hyderabad franchise finished fourth with just 14 points. In the semi-final against an upbeat Delhi side, Adam Gilchrist’s 85 off just 35 balls steered the team to the finals, where they defended a tight total to beat RCB by just six runs. 

Rajasthan Royals – 2008

The Rajasthan Royals, then dubbed the weakest team on paper, outsmarted and outclassed rivals with power rosters to lift the inaugural IPL title. 

Shane Warne smartly marshalled resources, bagging 11 wins in the group stages, before taking on mighty CSK in the final. His Australian teammate Shane Watson made an impact with the bat and the ball, clinching the player of the tournament award with his 17 wickets and 427 runs. 

In a pulsating final match chasing 164, Warne and Sohail Tanvir with bats in hand took the team home on the final delivery. It was a harbinger of many thrilling finals to come in the years ahead.