IPL 2017: Five promising new faces in this year’s tournament
A look at the new faces who fetched good prices in the auction and can now dominate IPL 2017.ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 03, 2017 21:35 IST
The Indian Premier League is a great opportunity for players all around the world to showcase their talent in front of a global audience. This year’s auctions saw some new faces who fetched good price from the franchises and here’s a look at the five newbies who can make it big in IPL 2017 -
Ben Stokes (Rising Pune Supergiant)
It was predicated that there would be a bidding war for the England international but no one thought he would end up as the highest paid overseas player ever in the IPL. In the end, it was Supergiant who came up trumps, paying a staggering Rs14.5 crore to get the England all-rounder onboard. That’s a substantial amount paid by a team who don’t know what’s their future beyond the upcoming season.
Tipped to become the ‘Next Big Thing’ in England as well as world cricket, the Durham all-rounder is a proven performer across formats and will surely give an edge -- both in batting as well as bowling to the Pune squad which at times last season lacked that killer punch to knock their opponents down.
Nathu Singh (Gujarat Lions)
Snapped up by Mumbai Indians in the 2016 auction for a whopping Rs2.3 crore, his dream was shattered when a shoulder injury ruled him out for the entire season. This edition, he was picked by Gujarat Lions for a much depreciated value of Rs80 lakh.
While he hasn’t set the stage on fire this season with his only significant contribution coming during a six-wicket burst in the opening game against India Green in Duleep Trophy, Gujarat will hope that the raw pace he showed during his breakthrough season couple of years back is still intact and will shore up their bowling line-up in this IPL.
Rashid Khan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Even the Afghan bowler was taken aback when he heard that he was bought in the auctions by Sunrisers for an astronomical figure of Rs 4 crore.
Wrist spinners have always been in demand in IPL and over the past seasons we have seen some unknown names going for big money. No wonder many teams were trying to get Rashid on their roster.
The leg-spinner first caught the eye during last year’s World T20 in India and that was enough for teams to go for him. While he doesn’t turn it square, Rashid is quick through the air and his stump-to-stump line helps him keep the batsmen on a tight leash, which is always appreciated in cricket’s shortest format.
T Natarajan (Kings XI Punjab)
All eyes will be on the Tamil Nadu left-arm pacer who was bought for a hefty sum of Rs3.2 crore by the Mohali-based team.
Natarajan caught everyone’s attention while playing for Dindigul Dragons in the Tamil Nadu Premier League and built a quick reputation of being a death-overs specialist.
IPL will be a much bigger stage than a local league and success against international players will be a tougher task. So it remains to be seen if Natarajan can rise up to the challenge of performing on the big stage against top stars. If he manages to do that, he would surely be considered as an India prospect.
Asela Gunaratne (Mumbai Indians)
A late bloomer, his back-to-back half-centuries helped Sri Lanka clinch the T20 series against Australia Down Under. And the knocks could not have come at a better time for the 31-year-old.
The second of his two half-centuries, a 46-ball 84 in the second match, came just a couple of days before the IPL auctions. Having fellow Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene in the Mumbai camp also helped the right-handed batsmen as the two-time champions shelled just Rs 30 lakh to hire his services.
If Mumbai manage to fit him into their playing XI, they can be rest assured that they have a strong finisher in their ranks.