IPL 2019: 3 Caribbean veterans to watch out for

Afsal Kozhiveetil Habeebullah

Sunil Narine

The 12th edition of IPL will begin on March 23. The first match will be played between the defending champions Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

IPL is undoubtedly the biggest T20 league in the world. Coming to the shortest format of the game, arguably Caribbean players are high in demand than any other players. West Indies have already won two T20 World Cup titles -- 2012 and 2016. This year we have a bunch of IPL debutants from the West Indies which includes Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Nicholas Pooran and Oshane Thomas. The big name who went unsold in the auction is Jason Holder. In the past editions, Caribbean players have already bagged 2 Orange Caps, 2 Purple Caps and 4 Most Valuable Player titles. 

On that note, we will look at 3 Caribbean veterans to watch out for in this edition of IPL. The players are shortlisted, based on their performances which resulted in a winning cause.

#3 Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings)

Bravo won the Purple Cap in 2013 and 2015

35-year-old Bravo is a cricketer from Trinidad. He is an aggressive batsman in the lower middle order and a medium-pace bowler. He is known for his death bowling and his ability to bowl at various lengths. He is a street smart cricketer with both the bat and the ball. 

Bravo retired from Test cricket in 2015 and he announced the retirement from international cricket in 2018. But he is still active in various T20 leagues across the globe. In the recently-concluded Big Bash league, he had an average outing with just 15 wickets from 14 matches and scored 142 runs with the bat.

In IPL, he has been a part of Chennai Super Kings from 2011 onwards, except that in 2016 he represented Gujarat Lions. Bravo won the Purple Cap in 2013 and 2015. In IPL, he has picked up 136 wickets from 122 matches and has scored 1379 runs at an average of 23.77. 

He is expected to bat at No:7 for CSK and to bowl in the middle and death overs.

#2 Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Russell has a strike rate of 177.29 in the IPL with the bat

30-year-old Andre Russell is a cricketer from Jamaica. He was a member of the Windies squads who won the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016. In 2016, he scored the fastest century in the Caribbean Premier League from 40 balls. Over the years, he has won major T20 titles like CPL, IPL, BBL, BPL and PSL with his franchises. He is known for his destructive batting capabilities.

In IPL, he has played for Delhi Daredevils (2012-2013) and Kolkata Knight Riders (2014-present). Russell won the Most Valuable Player title in 2015. In last year’s IPL, he scored his highest IPL score of 88* from 36 balls. In IPL, he has picked up 44 wickets from 50 matches and scored 890 runs at a strike rate of 177.29, averaging 26.96.

He is expected to bat at No:6 for KKR and to bowl in the middle overs.

#1 Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Narine has picked up 112 IPL wickets

30-year-old Sunil Narine is a spinner of Indian descent from Trinidad & Tobago. He played his last international match in 2016 but is still active in T20 leagues. He is arguably the most difficult bowler to face in the T20 format. He is known for the variety of deliveries he can bowl which includes carrom balls, skidders and knuckleballs.

In IPL, he has played for Kolkata Knight Riders (2012-present). He won the Most Valuable Player title in 2012 and 2018. He has picked up 112 wickets from 98 IPL matches and has scored 628 runs. In 2017 IPL, KKR made a master move by opening the batting with him, which saw him taking some quick runs. He also holds the record for the fastest joint 50 of IPL in 15 balls.

He is expected to open the batting with Robin Uthappa when Chris Lynn is not playing. Otherwise, he will bat at No:8.