IPL: One cricketer from each franchise that might never play for any other team

Mohit Kalra

Ngidi came into limelight on India's tour of South Africa earlier this year

The Indian Premier League is a tournament with a mix of all the cricketers from around the globe. Each of the franchises attempts to pick the best combination of players, whether a bowler or a batsman, an opener or a wicket-keeper, a spinner or a seamer, an Indian or a foreigner, an uncapped or a marquee player.

The idea is to build a strong team for the present and invest in the youngsters for the future. It might pay off well or backfire sometimes. The IPL team selection allows the franchises to retain some of their previous players during the mega auctions, around which they build a fresh new team.

These are the players that might get retained each time a situation occurs and might not be seen wearing other colors.

#8 Lungi Ngidi - Chennai Super Kings

The three-time champions, Chennai Super Kings, have struggled to find a genuine overseas fast bowler who can provide the fruitful results for them. They have largely depended on Dwayne Bravo to rise up in crunch moments, having won the purple cap twice in the process.

Over the years, they've received the support from Albie Morkel, Doug Bollinger, Ben Hilfenhaus, and Chris Morris who have done quite well for the yellows. But with Bravo already past his prime, CSK were in desperate search of a foreign quick before they stumbled upon the young blood of Lungi Ngidi.

The South African fast bowler seemed to have provided the long-term solution to CSK's fast bowling vows, by performing exceedingly well in the last season. The 22-year-old was introduced late in the season but his outing was remarkable enough, where he picked 11 wickets from 7 games at an economy rate of only 6.

His steaming & ferocious spell against Kings XI Punjab, where he dismantled the opposition batting lineup with figures of 4-1-10-4, shouted out loud that he is not an ordinary pick and his presence in CSK will be long.

#7 Rishabh Pant - Delhi Capitals

Pant was retained by DC ahead of the 2018 mega auctions

Delhi Capitals is blessed to have a young, talented and explosive local boy who can keep wickets in the form of Rishabh Pant. He has played three IPL seasons so far and with each passing year, he has only climbed up.

The 21-year-old has scored 1248 runs from 38 IPL matches with a devastating strike rate of 162+. With more than decent outings as a youngster in 2016 and 2017, Pant has shown responsibility in the last edition and turned into the most bankable batsman for Delhi-based franchise.

The WK-batsman slammed 684 runs in 2018 striking at 173, and that includes an unbeaten 128 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, thereby finishing as the second highest run-scorer in the season, only behind the orange cap winner Kane Williamson.

Having realized about the rarity of his talent, DC won't give up on this man for years to come.

#6 KL Rahul - Kings XI Punjab

KL Rahul also keeps wickets for KXIP

The squash buckling Indian opener might have been going through a rough patch in recent past, but we all know about the class that he possesses. Kings XI Punjab realized the same just in time when they roped him in for INR 11 crores in the IPL auctions 2018.

KL Rahul justified his price tag and went on to score 659 runs in the season at a strike rate of 158, including 6 fifties & a high score of 95*. The 26-year-old took the IPL fraternity by storm and entered the record books by smashing the fastest ever fifty in the IPL history.

Knowing that the Karnataka-born is an extraordinary and 'one of his kind' talent at the moment in world cricket, the Punjab-based franchise has pounced on the opportunity to grab his services and might stay with him forever.

#5 Kuldeep Yadav - Kolkata Knight Riders

Kuldeep is currently ranked 3rd in ODI and T20I bowler rankings

Since the exit of Ravichandran Ashwin & Ravindra Jadeja from Indian limited overs side in 2017, Kuldeep Yadav, along with his spinning partner, Yuzvendra Chahal has turned out to be the spearhead of India's spin attack.

The left-arm chinaman has risen to the occasion since then and has observed a transformation as a bowler. The opposition batsmen have struggled to pick his variations, thereby gaining an upper hand in most of the battles, even on foreign soil.

He hasn't quite shone in the cash-rich league yet, but there is absolutely no doubt that the 24-year-old has the ability to enter the league of skillful T20 bowlers like Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan, Imran Tahir, and Samuel Badree.

With the soaring success of wrist spinners over the past few years, Kolkata Knight Riders might never look to trade their Indian spin resource.

#4 Jasprit Bumrah - Mumbai Indians

Bumrah is currently the top-ranked ODI bowler

Indian bowlers and death overs have always had a repulsive relationship in cricket history before the youngster hailing from Gujarat came into existence. Jasprit Bumrah, who started off as an uncapped Mumbai Indians bowler, gained the spotlight by his unconventional bowling action.

As the seasons passed by, he developed white-ball skills like yorker, slower ball, surprise bouncer and a dipper under the guidance of his senior team-mate cum mentor, who himself is renowned for his unusual action, Lasith Malinga.

The kid, who was known for his weird bowling maneuver, turned out to be India's go-to bowler at the international level. The 25-year-old is hailed as one of the best death overs specialists in world cricket at present.

With the cricketing brain and skills that Bumrah possesses, it will be quite surprising to see if Mumbai let him go ever in the future.

#3 Jos Buttler - Rajasthan Royals

Buttler was a part of MI before joining RR in 2018

Jos Buttler is currently one of the best wicket-keeper batsmen in limited overs cricket, especially in the shortest format of the game. He came to the rescue for Rajasthan Royals during their struggle in the first half the 2018 IPL edition and steered them through the playoffs almost single-handedly.

The English cricketer has performed at crux while chasing at numerous occasions for his country and that was evident with RR too, as soon as he moved at the top of the order. The 28-year-old scored 548 runs at a strike rate of 155, smashing his career best of 95* in the journey.

The cricketer who has the ability to bat at any position as per the demand, the capability to go 360 degrees, is an athletic wicket-keeper, and a potential captain should never be released by Rajasthan Royals at any cost.

#2 Virat Kohli - Royal Challengers Bangalore

Kohli was retained for INR 17 crores ahead of the last season

The only cricketer in the IPL to play for the same franchise since the inaugural season is none other than Virat Kohli. The current Indian captain is a genius when it comes to T20 cricket as he dominates the opposition with minimal effort.

Not being a muscular power hitter that the IPL demands, the lap of luxury that the 30-year-old has achieved over the years with his class makes him extraordinary. He is the only batsman to slam 4 IPL hundreds in one season and is currently in a tussle with Suresh Raina to become the leading run-scorer in the extravagant league.

Kohli also holds the record for scoring the most number of runs in a season, smashing 973 from 16 matches back in 2016. Royal Challengers Bangalore are blessed to have a freak of a player and can't afford to trade him ever.

#1 Rashid Khan - Sunrisers Hyderabad

Rashid Khan made his IPL debut in 2017

In the age of flat pitches, heavy bats, and shorter boundaries, the bowlers that have emerged to stand out against the batsmen are wrist spinners and Sunrisers Hyderabad got hold of one of the best in world cricket right now, that is Rashid Arman Khan.

The Afghan leggie has only played a couple of seasons, already emerging as the backbone of his team's bowling attack. The 20-year-old is not easily picked by the batsmen, thereby handing him the leverage of not only plucking wickets but also keep the runs in check.

Not only the bowling skills but Rashid Khan has also developed as a lower order slogger of late, following the footsteps of his idol, Shahid Afridi. The value that he provides to the SRH camp is significant and we might never see him playing for some other franchise anytime soon.