Tewatia, Mohsin, DK to Rinku: 10 Underrated Makers and Breakers of IPL 2022
They may not hit the headline always but these players have been key in their teams' campaigns this IPL 2022.
There are the Jos Buttlers, KL Rahuls, David Warners, and Kagiso Rabadas of the world who find themselves at the top of the run-scoring or wicket-taking charts time and again in the IPL, and the ongoing edition is no exception.
Then there are those who might not be in the limelight that often but keep doing their job diligently, without fail.
Most of the players mentioned in the following list of the Top 10 underrated performers of IPL 2022 might not find a place in the top run-scoring or wicket-taking lists but are integral parts of their franchise. They might be seen in action for only a short duration but their performances are invaluable to the team's cause and make the difference between a narrow defeat and a victory.
Gujarat Titans have won as many as five matches in the last over this season and the man who has contributed most handsomely in these heists is Rahul Tewatia. His unbeaten knocks of 40 against Sunrisers Hyderabad and 43 against Royal Challengers Bangalore stand out. His calmness in the situations has been striking.
When Tewatia smashed Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in an over in IPL 2020, he was termed a mere flash in the pan. However, the consistency with which the all-rounder has finished games for Gujarat this season has made him a star.
Tewatia started off his journey as a spinner but with Yuzvendra Chahal, Amit Mishra, and Jayant Yadav already in the Haryana set-up, he had to work on his batting, which has now become his primary suit, as he has hardly bowled in this edition of the IPL.
Arshdeep Singh has an economy rate of under eight in IPL 2022, which is among the best in the competition. Interestingly, his economy rate at the death (7.25) is even better.
Arshdeep might not have taken a truckload of wickets, but along with Kagiso Rabada, he is the pillar of the Punjab Kings bowling attack. The way he has kept some seriously talented strikers like Ambati Rayudu, Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, and Shimron Hetmyer quiet has been a real masterclass in death bowling.
Arshdeep has increased his peak pace from 130 kph to a little over 135 kph which has made his variations even more effective. His sequencing of deliveries at the death has kept the batters honest at all times.
Many believe that along with Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan should have been part of the Indian squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup. There are still hopes of him sneaking into the squad for the upcoming World Cup in Australia.
However, as things stand, Avesh is not even the best bowler in LSG's ranks, with Mohsin Khan taking the cake. Mohsin is constantly taking the new ball ahead of Avesh and has consistently produced better numbers than his Lucknow Super Giants accomplice.
One of the contenders for the Emerging Player of the Season award, the 23-year-old from Uttar Pradesh has remarkable figures of 1/18, 1/6, 4/16, 3/24 and 1/27 from his last five matches.
Destiny has its own way of revealing itself. Ask Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Rajat Patidar, who wasn't even part of the RCB squad at the beginning of this season. He replaced the injured Luvnith Sisodia and has now made the No 3 spot his own.
With Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis up at the top and Glen Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik to follow in the middle order, Bangalore had been looking for talented Indian players to lengthen their batting line-up. They found the perfect match in Patidar.
Coming off good form in domestic cricket, Patidar has notched up a couple of useful scores of 48 vs Sunrisers Hyderabad and 52 vs Gujarat Titans.
MS Dhoni employed Tushar Deshpande and Mukesh Choudhary to fill the void created by the injury to CSK's most expensive player at the mega auctions, Deepak Chahar.
While Deshpande could not repay MSD's faith in the first few outings, Mukesh Choudhary gradually began to improve and is becoming more and more reliable with every passing match.
Choudhary does not have the experience or the pedigree of Deepak Chahar as yet but he is doing an impressive job in the powerplay. The 25-year-old left-arm quick from Rajasthan is currently the second-highest wicket-taker for Chennai behind Dwayne Bravo, with 13 scalps from 10 outings at an average of 25.53 and has best figures of 4/46.
It was not without good reason that Virender Sehwag backed Punjab Kings wicket-keeper Jitesh Sharma as his choice for the next T20 World Cup, even ahead of Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, and Wriddhiman Saha. The fearlessness of the 28-year-old at the crease and the calmness behind the stumps is rare among uncapped Indian players.
The batsman has a terrific record in T20 cricket with a strike rate of 144 across 63 T20s. Although 38* is the highest he has got this season, his knocks of 32 against Delhi capitals, 30* against Mumbai Indians, 23 against Gujarat Titans, and 26 against Chennai Super Kings have all been crucial, particularly because of the clip at which they have come.
It was strange for a batsman with such a tremendous record across formats in domestic cricket to not get a consistent run for any IPL franchise.
Rinku Singh has got five matches for KKR this season and has shown his class with an average of 43 and a strike rate 134. With Kolkata struggling for Indian middle order options, Singh grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has had a real impact on KKR's campaign.
One can only hope that KKR's revolving door policy does not take away the place of Singh, who has one of the most heart-warming breakthrough stories in Indian cricket in recent times.
Saving the finisher for the last, Dinesh Karthik has faced just 137 balls in IPL 2022. That's it. That is all he's got to make an impact, and what an impact he has had with 274 runs at 68.5 and a mind-boggling strike rate of 200.
Given that he comes out to bat with only a handful of deliveries remaining, the level of consistency, skill, and preparation it must require is staggering.
Banging on the Team India door with his sensational power-hitting, Dinesh Karthik has won RCB multiple matches single-handedly.
Sample this for returns in IPL 2022: 32*(14), 14*(7), 44*(23), 7*(2), 34(14), 66*(34), 13*(8), 0(3), 6(4), 2(3), 26*(17), and 30*(8).
It wasn't totally unjustified then, as DK fans had a field day on social media after his most recent splash against SRH: "Only question regarding DK and T20 World Cup should be window or aisle seat?"
You can say the same about how many others on this list?
Shimron Hetmyer might have scored less than half the runs of teammate and Orange cap holder Jos Buttler this season with 291 runs from 11 matches, but he has had an almost equivalent contribution in winning matches for Rajasthan Royals consistently.
The finisher who became a father recently, has a strike rate of 166.28 which is pure gold given the situation of the match when these runs have come. The West Indian has really grown into the finisher's role from his days at Delhi Capitals and not only has the power but the smarts to take his team over the line.
All the chat is centred around KL Rahul and Gautam Gambhir for making Lucknow Super Giants a success in their maiden IPL season, but what about LSG's foot soldiers?
The likes of Dushmantha Chameera have gone about their business in an understated manner but have delivered some killer blows.
Over his 10 outings, Chameera has claimed 9 wickets at 32.77. What stands out is his economy rate of 7.97, given that he bowls both in the powerplay and at the death.
It only helps that the Sri Lankan has Mohsin Khan, Avesh Khan, and Jason Holder for company which makes for arguably the deadliest pace battery in IPL 2022.
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