The tenth edition of the Indian Premier League started on April 5 and is still in its early stages but already, there have been quite a few things that have not gone according to how the mavens may have predicted at the beginning. Here are a few surprises that have popped up this season.
1. Nitish Rana:
The IPL is always a stage where relatively unknown players become get the chance to gain followers across the country and even outside it. The cash-rich league has often acted as a catalyst for the careers of players like David Warner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Aswhin, Shaun Marsh and so on. Although we may be jumping the guns here but it is fair to say that Nitish Rana is turning into one of the finds of the season for the Mumbai Indians. His first innings went under the radar due to Mumbai’s loss to Rising Pune Supergiant.
But his 50 against KKR helped Mumbai win the match out of nowhere. He followed that up with a 45 that helped Mumbai beat defending champions Sunrsisers Hyderabad and has played quite a few match winning innings since. It is interesting to note that he had scored just 400 runs in the preceding Ranji season and was dropped from the Delhi side for the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan is giving immediate dividends to the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mohammad Nabi has not been far behind. Imran Tahir has got eight wickets while Yuzvendra Chahal has got seven. In a tournament where the big splashes were made on fast bowlers like Ben Stokes and Pat Cummins, the spinners have pushed through and come to the fore and stand on level terms with their counter parts.
3. Delhi Daredevils:
Delhi Daredevils are the perpetual under performers of the IPL. They were a founding member and since the first season, they have progressed beyond the group stage only thrice in 10 years. They finished third to the bottom last season and never looked to be in contention for the play offs. But this year, they seem to be coming to their own. They have won two of their four matches and looked within a shout of winning even the ones that they lost. The bowling line up of Pat Cummins, Zaheer Khan, Chris Morris, Mohammad Shami and Amit Mishra is one that could defend even the toughest of totals. Provided with a good support system in the batting department, Delhi Daredevils could emerge as one of the contenders this season.
4. Royal Challengers Bangalore:
While Delhi Daredevils have surprised us with their spirited performances, Royal Challengers Bangalore are on this list for an entirely different reason. They possess the best batting line up in the league and still they have been one of the worst performers this season. Wednesday’s win against Gujarat Lions is what one expects from RCB but that was the first time we saw the likes of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli firing on all cylinders. With that, they have managed to make upward movement in the points table.
5. Basil Thampi
He may have flown under the radar a little bit since his shoes were handed back to him by David Warner but Thampi is showing good promise already. He was the man who ended Chris Gayle’s onslaught on Wednesday by trapping him with a yorker. The delivery is something he has managed to nail on a consistent basis. If he also gets the stats to accompany his performances, India may have a bright prospect for themselves.