The next edition of the Indian Premier League is more than four months away but the auction for it will be held pretty soon on December 19. The excitement for the auction is building rapidly with the tournament becoming the most awaited one in the cricketing calendar.
From 2008 when the IPL began to now, the tournament and T20 cricket have evolved and developed so much. Even though India was initially reluctant to accept the innovation of T20 cricket, India’s unexpected T20 World Cup win along with a few other factors meant that the first season of the IPL was held just a year after.
Since then, the franchise tournament has grown stupendously and is one of the most-watched and followed leagues when all sports are taken into account. While the BCCI had started to become a wealthy board before the IPL itself, the IPL took the organization and the country to newer heights. The IPL teams become major brands and players became world-known personalities.
While all this covers the economic and business aspects of the IPL, one cannot forget its contribution to the Indian senior team. The tournament has helped create stories of rags to riches with relatively unknown players bagging massive contracts who have then gone to make a big name for themselves. Not just that, the IPL has become so important that the Indian selectors sometimes value performances in the event more than even the other tournaments in the Indian domestic cricket calendar like the Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Consistent performances in one or two seasons in the IPL have ensured that talented cricketers have caught the eye of the national selectors quickly. Uncapped players have either got their first chance to play international cricket due their performances in the IPL while players who were dropped also got an opportunity to make their comeback through the franchise tournament. Let us look at some players who used the IPL as the perfect platform for higher honours.
India's premier Test match spinner R Ashwin is one of the best finds in the history of the Indian Premier League. It is an intriguing situation that a product of the IPL is the one of the best Test spinners in the world but at the same time he can’t get a chance in the limited overs set-up anymore. Although, Ashwin had a steadily built up a good reputation in first-class cricket through his outstanding performances for Tamil Nadu, it was the IPL which gave the necessary spotlight for him.
With a bag of tricks including the carrom ball, leg-break, arm ball which swung viciously, Ashwin quickly found success in the T20 league. His efforts were key to Chennai Super Kings lifting the IPL title in 2010. In that season, the off-spinner picked up 13 wickets at an economy rate of 6.10. The Indian selectors duly recognized those performances and rewarded R Ashwin with a spot in the Indian team.
While things aren’t the same with the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav's presence not helping Ashwin get a spot for limited overs matches, one can’t deny the fact that Ashwin was fast-tracked to stardom due to the IPL.
He is now regarded as one of the greatest spinners to have played for India. In fact, Ashwin’s Test record speaks for itself with 362 scalps in 70 matches.
In the IPL, after leading the Kings XI Punjab over the last two seasons. Ashwin will turn out for the Delhi Capitals next year. Ashwin could turn out to be a fantastic addition since he enjoyed a very good 2019 IPL season.
One of the more recent beneficiaries of the Indian Premier League has to be Hardik Pandya. Pandya's story can even be termed as a rags to riches one. Someone who had lived his life by depending upon Maggi due to his family's tough family condition is now a global star and this success story can be attributed to the IPL.
Although Pandya had been doing decently in domestic cricket, a big break was missing and who would thunk that his opportunity would come via the IPL. Mumbai Indians, franchise known for backing young players trusted Pandya and he more than repaid it with his stellar performances. The fact that India were trying so hard to find a pace-bowling all-rounder did help Pandya's cause but he also backed it up with good performances, especially with the bat. While he has pretty raw with his medium pace bowling in his debut IPL in 2015, Pandya caught the attention of many people with his ability to smash the spinners out of the park. His 61-run knock against Kolkata Knight Riders was the highlight of the season. Further, Pandya also helped Mumbai win a thriller against CSK by hitting 3 sixes in the penultimate over of the match.
Due to these performances, Pandya was fast-tracked to the senior team with his debut coming during the tour of Australia in 2015. After that, Pandya kept on improving and has now become a much better bowler. His all-round performance have meant that he is one of the most important players for both Mumbai Indians and also the Indian team.
One half of India's Test spin combo, Ravindra Jadeja has become a pretty popular cricketer due to his all-round skillset. The left-arm spinner first burst onto the limelight as part of the India U-19 team as they won the World Cup in 2008.
However, it was the IPL which moulded Jadeja into the star that he is now. Sweetly nicknamed as the 'Rockstar' by legendary spinner and erstwhile Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warner, Jadeja impressed one and all with his accurate spin bowling, world-class fielding and energy on the field.
Just a teenager at that point, Jadeja didn’t return eye-catching statistics with him bowling just 13 balls in the victorious 2008 IPL campaign for Rajasthan Royals. However, the Saurashtra all-rounder had shown enough promise with the bat by scoring some useful runs lower down the order.
His time at the Rajasthan Royals ended with mixed returns as he was banned for the 2010 edition of the IPL. At the same time, Jadeja was criticized for his poor performances for the national team with the 2009 World T20 tourney being the most targeted one.
No one could have predicted that period was going to turn around Jadeja’s career in the most remarkable manner. While he did miss the 2011 World Cup, some impressive performances for Chennai Super Kings and also for Saurashtra in domestic cricket brought Jadeja back in the reckoning at the international level. In 14 innings in the 2012 IPL season, Jadeja took 12 wickets and this also included a five wicket haul.
Eventually, Jadeja was handed a Test cap in the home series against England and he has never looked back since. Since then, the southpaw has become a terrific Test match bowler and even went onto become the No.1 Test bowler in the world. He was also one of the main reasons for India winning the 2013 Champions Trophy in England.
The 30-year-old is still a valued cricketer for both India and Chennai Super Kings due to his continued improvement with both bat and ball.
Yet another former Rajasthan Royals player, yet another spin-bowling all-rounder, Yusuf Pathan made himself with his big hitting ability.
While ardent Indian cricket fans would remember Yusuf Pathan being pat of the victorious 2007 T20 World Cup campaign, some might have very little memory about the Baroda all-rounder as he only played the final and also got out quickly after a couple of decent shots.
One wonders whether Yusuf Pathan could have made it to the international arena so quickly if not for the IPL. In the very first season, Yusuf Pathan excelled with both bat and ball by scoring 435 runs at a belligerent strike rate of 179.01 while also taking 8 wickets with his off-spin bowling.
After enduring a disappointing campaign in the next edition,Yusuf was back to his destructive best in the 2010 season as he struck the then-fastest century in the IPL off just 37 balls. These performances helped him earn a consistent place in the Indian team for a good period of time which also included the famous 2011 World Cup victory.
However, ever since that, the senior Pathan brother’s fortunes have dipped with stints with the Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad not yielding consistent performances.
One of the more recent additions to the big list of Indian players who got selected for the national team due to the IPL, Yuzvendra Chahal is a wily leg-spinner who has had a massive role to play in India’s success in limited overs cricket over the last 2-3 three years.
Even though he was first part of the Mumbai Indians, lack of opportunities meant that Chahal never had a chance to prove himself. However, his fortunes turned completely when he joined Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2014 as skipper Virat Kohli has always been a big fan of his skillset.
Playing mostly at a high-scoring Chinnaswamy Stadium has helped Chahal ace any situation as there can’t be bigger challenge for any bowler when compared to bowling at RCB’s home ground. 12, 23, 21, 14, 12, 18 – These are the number of wickets Chahal has picked up in each season after joining RCB in 2014. Such consistency was always going to be hard to be ignored and Chahal got his due reward as when he made his international debut in 2016 itself.
However, it was only after the 2017 Champions Trophy that he became a regular member of the limited-overs set-up. The wiry Haryana leg-spinner will be a key cog for both Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and for India during the T20 World Cup in Australia next year. Now, you can also win big at the prediction game. Log on to 10CRIC and claim a bonus of INR 10,000.