With IPL round the corner and teams rejigged, India prepares itself for the ball-whacking, stump-shattering and gravity-defying champions to lock horns on the ground. We, at 22Yards, took a pause to dig deep in and look beyond the “T20 brand” cricketers to come up with those players who are often underrated or underappreciated in the tournament.
I Shaun Marsh |Kings XI Punjab|
The Kings XI legend is perhaps the most underrated players in the ten years of IPL. The leading run scorer of the inaugural IPL has compiled 2477 runs at an average of shade under 40 including 20 half centuries and a century. The elder of the Marsh brothers however warmed the benches the last few years owing to Maxwell and Miller and their big bag of tricks. The 34 year-old however did not attract any bids at the 2018 auction.
II Amit Mishra |Delhi Daredevils| Sunrisers Hyderabad| Deccan Chargers|
The veteran spinner has played 126 IPL games and picked up 134 wickets at an economy of 7.4 which also includes a five wicket haul. The leg spinner is also the leading Indian wicket taker and is second on the all time wicket takers list in IPL. He also has 3 hatricks in the tournament which is also the most. However, he’s most popular for his bizarre batting which fetched him 10 ducks in the IPL and peculiar run outs. Amit Mishra who lost his India place to Yuzhuvendra Chahal fetched 4 Crores at the auction by Delhi Daredevils.
III Ambati Rayudu |Mumbai Indians| Chennai Super Kings|
The Hyderabad skipper has been MI’s insurance policy for a very long time. Backed by 2416 runs scoring 14 half centuries, Rayudu has been a solid middle order batsman and can also double up as a keeper should he be required to don the gloves. Rayudu’s whirlwind knock off of 30 off just 10 balls in 2014 helped Mumbai qualify for the playoffs by a breath’s margin. Rayudu saw himself out of action when Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya assumed middle order roles. CSK snapped him up for 2.2 Crores but he may not get a game in the tightly packed lineup.
IV Piyush Chawla Kings XI Punjab | Kolkata Knight Riders|
The leggie from UP is yet another capable player who is hardly noticed in the IPL. 126 wickets at an economy of 7.63 puts Piyush Chawla at the 4th spot in the leading wicket takers of IPL. Piyush Chawla was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for 4.2 Crores using their RTM card depriving CSK from snapping him. The former county Cricketer is also handy with the willow and scored the crucial winning runs for KKR in the final of 2014.
V JP Duminy Mumbai Indians| Sunrisers Hyderabad| Delhi Daredevils
Not many are aware of the fact that JP Duminy is the leading run scorer in the T20 format for South Africa, scoring ahead of ABD, Faf and Amla. The Capetown champ has made 1993 runs at an average of 39.86 which includes 14 half centuries. To add to that, he has scalped 23 wickets at an economy of 7.25 making him a very valuable asset to his IPL side. He briefly captained the Delhi Daredevils side, though with little success. He has also featured for 4 different IPL franchises in his IPL career. JP Duminy however, is rather silent about his business and consequently does not attract a lot of attention. JP Duminy has been snapped up for 1 crore by Mumbai Indians, a side he had been associated with earlier.
A quick note and it is evident that players often go underrated or unnoticed because of being a part of franchises with limited fan exposure such as Delhi or owing to the fact that the team is studded with high flying players such as Mumbai. One thing that can be ascertained is that these players don’t carry the “showmanship” that the Bollywood accustomed crowds are used to witnessing and hence, are in the shadows despite strong performances and heavy numbers in their favour. As the T20 juggernaut rolls on, one can only wonder if genuine skills will go under-appreciated in cricket’s grandest circus.
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