Sandeep, Sundar: 10 Lesser-Known Players to Watch For in IPL 2018
Here are 10 lesser-known players to look out for in IPL 2018.
The tagline of the Indian Premier League reads ‘where talent meets opportunity’. It’s entirely appropriate as many players have showcased their talent and go on to make successful international careers.
The IPL is not only about the likes of Virat Kohli or MS Dhoni, it’s more about the players, who are looking to make their mark and boost their chances of drawing attention towards them.
Here’s a look at 10 lesser-known players in IPL 2018.
1. Manish Pandey
In May 2009, a 19-year-old Manish Pandey rose to fame when he became the first Indian to score a century in the IPL. He scored 114 runs off 73 balls for the Royal Challengers Bangalore against Deccan Chargers.
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Pandey may have been in and out of the Indian side in the recent past, but he has maintained a good form in the last two seasons of the IPL. While playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the last season, Pandey scored 396 runs in 14 matches.
The Uttaranchal cricketer is moving into this IPL in great form. He has scored 255 runs in 8 T20Is at an average of 85.00 this year.
2. Sandeep Sharma
Sandeep Sharma has been an integral bowler for the Kings XI Punjab in the last four seasons, but now he will be playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The 24-year-old finished as the fifth highest wicket-taker in IPL 2014, picking up 18 wickets in 11 matches.
Sharma, who has played 56 matches in his IPL career, picked up 71 wickets at an incredible average of 22.35.
3. Washington Sundar
Off-spinner Washington Sundar is moving into this year’s IPL in top form. The 18-year-old finished as the player of the series in the recently concluded Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series. He took 8 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 14.25.
The Tamil Nadu bowler shone for the Rising Pune Supergiant in the last IPL season. Sundar picked up 8 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 23.12.
4. Shreyas Iyer
Delhi Daredevils’ Shreyas Iyer bagged the IPL Emerging Player of the Year award in 2015. He scored 439 runs in 14 matches. After a disappointing IPL 2016, Iyer chipped in with 338 runs in 12 matches in IPL 2017.
The 23-year-old broke into the Indian team last year. He notched scores of 88 and 65 in his first ODI series against Sri Lanka.
5. D'Arcy Short
Hobart Hurricanes’ D’Arcy Short recorded the highest-ever Big Bash League score in the 2017/18 season. He scored 122 runs off 69 balls against Brisbane Heat.
Rajasthan Royals’ Short has been a sensational opening batsman in the T20 format, since his debut in 2016. The 27-year-old has scored 966 runs in 25 T20 matches in his career.
6. Shardul Thakur
The 26-year-old Shardul Thakur is one of India’s upcoming fast bowlers. The Maharashtra bowler, who played for Rising Pune Supergiant in the last season, took 12 wickets in 13 matches.
Thakur, also broke into the Indian team last year on the back of excellent performances in the domestic circuit. The fast bowler was the joint highest wicket-taker in the 2014-15 Ranji Trophy season. He picked up 48 wickets at an average of 20.81.
Chennai Super Kings’ Thakur excelled in the sixth ODI against South Africa, finishing with figures of 4/52.
7. Rishabh Pant
Retained by Delhi Daredevils, Rishabh Pant is one of the most talented wicketkeeper-batsmen in India at the moment. Pant played a blistering knock of 97 runs from 43 balls to help Delhi scale down Gujarat Lions’ huge target of 209 runs in last year’s IPL. Delhi wrapped up the match with 2.3 overs to spare.
Rishabh Pant has shown his prowess, but hasn’t been able to consistently perform. In this IPL, he could take confidence from the fact that he was retained and fire away a much better performance.
8. Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal is coming off a dream domestic season with Karnataka. The 27-year-old recorded the most runs in a domestic season (India) – 2,232 runs. He scored 1,160 runs at an average of 105.45.
However, Agarwal hasn’t enjoyed much success in the IPL. He has scored 814 runs in 53 matches. After a brilliant domestic season, Agarwal may find his mojo in the IPL as well.
9. Andrew Tye
All-rounder Andrew Tye started IPL 2017 with a bang, when he became the first bowler to take a hat-trick on IPL debut. While playing for the Gujarat Lions, Tye picked up figures of 5/17 against Rising Pune Supergiant.
Tye took 12 wickets in 6 IPL matches before being ruled out of IPL 2017 due to a shoulder injury.
The Australian, who has joined the Kings XI Punjab, will be surely looking to make amends this year.
10. Axar Patel
Axar Patel is a handy spinning all-rounder to have in any team, especially in Indian conditions. The 24-year-old has had a decent time at the IPL so far, scoring 606 runs and picking up 58 wickets in 59 matches.
The Kings XI Punjab have retained a quiet performer, who scored 227 runs and took 15 wickets in 14 matches last season. He will surely have a big role to play in this year’s IPL as well.
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