Just like playing international cricket for the country is every budding cricketer’s dream, getting an opportunity to ply trade for an IPL franchise also tops the priority list for many of them.
Some of these star-performers at the IPL were part of the tournament even before they rose to fame and given the cut-throat competition for places, had to warm benches for the franchise then. These franchises will now be ruing their luck having parted ways with the players, who are doing a fantastic job for some other team and destroying their nemesis. Here we look at 8 such players, who played for different teams but we won’t be aware:
1. Karn Sharma – RCB
This Uttar Pradesh-born leg-spinner represented the Chennai Super Kings at the recently held IPL. In 68 games, Karn has picked 59 wickets at an average of 27.29 and an acceptable economy rate of 7.91.
The breakthrough season for the tweaker came in the year 2013 when he represented Sunrisers Hyderabad. Karn galloped 11 wickets from 13 games at an excellent economy rate of 6.60. But many might not be aware that Karn was part of the RCB set-up at IPL 2009 as a domestic uncapped player.
With eminent players like Kumble, Van Der Merwe around, it was obvious that Karn will find it difficult to break through the ranks. Since then, life has changed drastically for the leggie as he earned a contract of 3.75 Crore in 2014 for SRH.
2. Axar Patel – MI
The Gujarat-born bowling all-rounder was one of the vital cogs in the DC lineup, who made the final of IPL 2020. Apart from his bowling, he was mighty impressive with the bat, striking some lusty blows when it was needed.
Axar has scalped 80 wickets from 97 games at an average of 30.7 and economy rate of 7.3. He has also scored 913 runs at a strike rate of 127.69 with 44 being his highest score. His all-round abilities make him a mouthwatering prospect atleast in the game’s shortest format.
Mumbai Indians, who signed the southpaw outside of the auction in 2013 would feel touch disappointed in not being able to use his full potential. That was the year when the ‘men from the Bollywood city’ won their first IPL triumph. The experienced spin duo of Harbhajan and Ojha did a wonderful job throughout the course of the tournament and kept him out of contention.
3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar – RCB
The swing sensation from Uttar Pradesh has been a show-stopper at the IPL since his debut in the cash-rich league. In 121 encounters, Bhuvi has got the better of 136 batsmen at an average of 23.92 and economy rate of 7.24. He has also a five-for to his name with best bowling figures of 5-19.
It is a rare known fact that Bhuvi was also a part of the RCB squad way back in the year 2009. He, unfortunately, couldn’t get a single game to his name given the presence of star Indian and international bowlers.
4. George Bailey – CSK
Predominantly a late bloomer, Bailey has quickly achieved his strides playing in the IPL and for Australia. In the 40 IPL games that he has played, Bailey has scored 663 runs at a strike rate of 121.88 and average of 24.56.
His performances as the skipper for KXIP franchise hogged the limelight at IPL 2014 where he helped the franchise in making their first final. Throughout the season, he was tactically astute and made the right changes for the benefit of the team.
It is a lesser-known fact about Bailey that he was also part of the Chennai unit in 2009. He did manage to play 4 games for the franchise at an underwhelming average of 15.75 and a low strike rate.
5. Sanju Samson – KKR
This hard-working cricketer from Kerala is the best young talent you will find going around the country. Samson has accumulated 2584 runs from 107 games at an average of 27.78 and strike rate of 133.75. He has 2 centuries to his name with his highest score being 102.
It is these phenomenal numbers that helped Samson in earning a national call-up in the limited-overs side to tour Australia. Unfortunately, he couldn’t leave a pronounced impact with the bat as he got out after scoring those pretty 20s.
Many are aware of his successful stint with the Royals but the fact that he was part of the KKR set-up in 2012 is relatively unknown. He couldn’t get a game for the Knight Riders, but the batsman was slowly and steadily climbing up the ladder and knocking the doors for an international appearance.
6. Steven Smith – RCB
With direct comparisons being made to Sir Don Bradman, Smith has come a long way as a cricketer and an incredible batsman of our generation. His twin centuries against India in the recently concluded ODI series down under has raised his stature by notches.
In 95 IPL games, Smith has plundered 2333 runs at an average of 35.35 and strike rate of 129.25. The recent season of IPL, unfortunately, did not pan out the way Smith would have wanted as the runs refrained to shower off the bat and the Royals bowed out of the playoffs race.
Smith started his IPL career for RCB in the 2010 season. However, he spent the entire season on the bench given the presence of other overseas greats, who had already made name for themselves playing for their respective countries.