By: Chinmay Vaidya, Aashay Chavan and Paarth Joshi
Paul Valthaty had a short IPL career. He first entered the competition in 2009, but failed to make an impact. In 2011, Valthaty exploded for 463 runs and was considered one of the great discoveries from the tournament. Unfortunately, he never made the same impact again. Valthaty finished his IPL career with 505 runs over four seasons.
The Valthaty Award goes to a player who unexpectedly broke out in the IPL season given his previous career numbers. It is not a judgement of the player's future in the league. These players could continue to produce monster numbers, but the evidence would suggest 2018 was closer to a fluke.
Chinmay Vaidya: Suryakumar Yadav
After managing 612 runs over his first five IPL seasons, Yadav burst onto the scene with 512 runs in the 2018 competition. He was a force at the top of the order for Mumbai and added four half-centuries to his name. He gets my nod for the first Valthaty award.
Aashay Chavan: Ambati Rayudu
Rayudu is not a newcomer and has produced a good amount of runs early in his IPL career, but 2018 was a new level for him. Rayudu scored 602 runs after putting in just 91 runs in the 2017 tournament and let Chennai back to the top of the IPL.
Paarth Joshi: Kane Williamson
For now, Williamson gets my vote. He's likely going to continue to produce numbers similar to his 2018 campaign, but his massive jump from 2017 to 2018 is hard to ignore. He was the leading run scorer by a wide margin and it'll be interesting to see if he can repeat that feat in future seasons.