Sportstar Aces Awards: Team of the Year nominees

Explore the performance of our nominees -- Vidarbha, Bengaluru FC and Chennai Super Kings

Clockwise (from left): Team Vidarbha, Bengaluru FC and Chennai Super Kings   -  PTI, Biswaranjan Rout and Vivek Bendre


Not only did Vidarbha have in-form personnel in Faiz Fazal, Sanjay Ramaswamy and Rajneesh Gurbani, among others, it had a coach that gave it the steel to create history.

Through the expert shepherding act of former Mumbai coach Chandrakant Pandit, Vidarbha clinched its first Ranji Trophy title in early 2018.

There were other contenders for the title, especially eight-time champion Karnataka. In the semifinals, though, Vidarbha stole victory against Karnataka.

Its five-run win was scripted largely by Gurbani, who claimed 12 wickets, and the team went on to thrash Delhi in the final.


Vidarbha players with the Ranji trophy after winning the final against Delhi by 9 wickets, in Indore on January 1, 2018.   -  PTI


Vidarbha in 2018

  • In 2017-18 season, Vidarbha won four out of six matches in the group stage and managed a couple of draws. It had topped the Group D table with 31 points.
  • After the Ranji Trophy triumph, it won the Irani Cup in 2018.
  • In this edition of the Ranji Trophy, Vidarbha topped the Elite Group A-B league with 29 points (it had a better net run rate of +0.270 as compared to Saurashtra's -0.220). Of eight group matches, it clinched 3 outright victories and managed draws in five outings. It remained undefeated in the league stage.



Its loss to Chennaiyin FC in the ISL 2017-18 final seems like a tiny glitch in a fantastic year for Bengaluru FC.

BFC made a seamless shift from I-League to ISL, amassing 40 points and finishing table-topper at the end of the league stage in its very first season.

Under Albert Roca, BFC finished the season on a high as it won the Super Cup defeating East Bengal in the final.

After Roca's departure, assistant manager Carlos Cuadrat took over and BFC started the new season from right where it left off. It has been the only unbeaten team after 11 matches this ISL season and goes into the break at the top of the table.


Bengaluru FC celebrates its Hero Super Cup final triumph over East Bengal at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on April 20, 2018.   -  Biswaranjan Rout


Bengaluru FC in 2018

  • Scored 40 points and finished table-topper in maiden season at ISL 2017-18
  • Finished runner-up in the ISL final to Chennaiyin FC
  • Won the Super Cup defeating East Bengal in the final
  • Has stayed unbeaten in 11 matches of ISL this season, heading into the mid-season break as table-topper with eight wins, three draws and and a total of 27 points



The Indian Premier League side, returning to the fold after a two-year hiatus, dominated the league from start to finish, collecting another title, its third.

Captain M. S. Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson dazzled with the bat.

Despite losing the home advantage – the home games moved away from Chennai due to political troubles – the team triumphed.

Dhoni’s return to form – 455 runs from 16 matches at 75.83 – was especially sweet as the club’s icon was at his marauding best.


Chennai Super Kings players pose with the IPL Trophy, after beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 27, 2018.   -  Vivek Bendre


Chennai Super Kings in 2018

  • CSK defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in the final to lift the IPL trophy for the third time, joining Mumbai Indians as the most successful IPL team in history
  • It registered nine wins and five losses to share the top spot with Hyderabad at the end of the league with 18 points
  • Ambati Rayudu scored 602 runs, Shane Watson collected 555 runs to be the top five of highest run-gettings
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