The Indian Premier League's main goal has always been to provide a platform for talent to meet opportunity and young players to shine on the biggest stages possible. While most make it big in international cricket through successful domestic and IPL performances, there have been a few players who have caught the eye of the franchise owners after successful international performances.
There have also been an unlucky set of players who have been snubbed most of the time due to the theory that they aren't suited for the shortest format of the game.
Also, few players despite having made crucial contributions continue to be overshadowed by more popular players who receive the admiration and support of fans keeping such players away from the spotlight.
These players continue to work hard for whatever team they play and give their all and let's take a look at the five names who can make it big in the IPL after being overshadowed in the past.
#5 Hanuma Vihari (Delhi Capitals)
Hanuma Vihari was one of India's finds of the year as the Andhra Pradesh batsman made it big in India's Test squad along with opener Mayank Agarwal. Vihari is someone who can excel in all formats of the game but has been constantly overshadowed by more flashy options whom teams tend to go for, leaving him without any bidder.
He played only two seasons in the IPL and was used poorly by the SRH side and played way out of his preferred position and this dented his stats.
Nevertheless, the Delhi Capitals backed him and bought him for ₹2.6 crore in the 2019 IPL auction and he's set to play a major role for the side this season. For a man who scored centuries in both the innings of the Irani Trophy, the amount seems to be fitting and he'll be watched by the Indian selectors keenly.
#4 Marcus Stoinis (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Some might be surprised by seeing Marcus Stoinis' name on this list but if we think about it, it doesn't seem all that wrong. Stoinis is one of the rare breed of international cricketers who have constantly been under-rated and overshadowed by others in the IPL. He will play for RCB this season and his recent performances and BBL stats have resulted in him falling under the spotlight but as far as the IPL is concerned, he continues to be an overshadowed stars.
After an excellent season for Punjab in 2016, the side persisted with him for 2017 and 2018 but used him as a No.6 batsman and sparingly as a bowler and as a result, he wasn't able to produce explosive performances like what he did in the BBL.
He's certain to garner more attention this season and excel in his new role under Virat Kohli who'll be sure to use him wisely, and might even allow him to open with Parthiv Patel.
#3 Mandeep Singh (Kings XI Punjab)
Mandeep Singh is one of those players who are naturally overshadowed by the presence of big names like Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle. It's one of the cons of playing for a team like RCB. The Punjab state skipper however has returned to his home as the RCB have traded him in for Marcus Stoinis ahead of this season and the under-rated batsman will hope that his fortunes change at least in this season.
Under the shadow of Kohli and de Villiers last season, Mandeep played a few crucial knocks which despite falling under the radar, helped RCB to post decent totals on the board. Mandeep was always doing the revival act and always held the innings together and took the innings till the 20th over in case their top order fell. He scored 252 runs last season at an average of close to 26 and a strike-rate of 135.
He's a very experienced campaigner with plenty of domestic experience and KXIP will surely need the stability he provides. He also did a decent job in the games he played for India and in 3 T20Is, he has scored 87 runs at an average of 43.5. He will hope to come out of the shadows and gets the recognition he deserves this season.
#2 Shahbaz Nadeem (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Shahbaz Nadeem is one of the most unlucky players when it comes to both IPL and the national team. Despite consistent performances, he has never stayed in the spotlight for long. The Jharkhand left-arm spinner has toiled for the team in the domestic circuit and is a very tight, economical bowler.
Nadeem plied his trade mostly for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL and barring the 2018 season where he played only a handful of games, he was always a consistent performer for Delhi.
Someone who choked the run-flow and regulated the bowling in middle overs, he possesses great experience and deserves a national cap and should've gotten it in the home series against the Windies. He's a key part of the India A side and played well in the series against the England Lions.
He was traded to the Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of this season and one will hope that he gets enough chances to play and make it big this season.
#1 Mohammed Shami (Kings XI Punjab)
This name might raise your eyebrows even further but think about it, when has Mohammed Shami been regarded as an IPL asset before? The answer is never. Despite his stellar showings for the country, Shami has been an unnoticed IPL cricketer and hasn't been given opportunities on a regular basis for him to be consistent.
His fitness issues and few genuine poor shows might have had some impact but a player of his class and caliber should surely have been backed more. With sides paying so much for Jaydev Unadkat, a team India mainstay like Shami being overshadowed doesn't sound so good. Nevertheless, the KXIP management led by Mike Hesson wanted him right from the start and outbid CSK to get Shami to their side.
Shami must be allowed to bowl his full 4-over quota unlike in previous seasons and he can certainly enhance his reputation as an IPL player apart from his international status.