The 13 seasons of IPL has seen many cricketers rewriting record books, turning a new leaf in their careers, getting selected in the national team after IPL success, and even turning into a flop. But there have been a few cricketers who have been proven match-winners in IPL but they are rarely credited for it, and given their due.
They have helped their team win matches, and even title, but they have not been rated in the same frame as other star cricketers. So, Cricwizz takes a look at the unsung heroes of IPL across the 13 seasons.
Do you know Amit Mishra has taken three hat-tricks in IPL – the most by any player? Also, he claimed all his hat tricks for three different teams. It implies he was never retained in a particular team for long and kept jumping from one franchise to another, and that never allowed him to settle.
And despite his achievements in IPL, he is never considered in the same frame as other successful spinners such as Rashid Khan, Harbhajan Singh, or R Ashwin. Whenever he bowls in IPL, he plays for his place in the XI and is easily replaced despite his proven records. For the record, he has taken 160 wickets in 150 IPL matches across 13 seasons.
Vijay, who was always considered a Test player, has two tons to his credit in IPL. And one of the tons came in a winning campaign for CSK in 2010. Also, Vijay scored the title-winning 95 in the 2011 final against RCB that helped CSK win its second straight title.
But despite that, Vijay was never hailed as a superstar in IPL, and always fought for his place in the XI in whichever team he played for. And with age, he has lost his bite now. He had a forgettable IPL season last time for CSK, and he was released and didn't make it to the final auction list.
Saha was the only century-maker in IPL final until Shane Watson cracked one in IPL 2018 final. But despite his talent, skills, and ability to score at a quick pace at the top, Saha has been fighting for a place in the XI and trying to match up with younger and exciting keeper-batsman in Rishabh Pant of DC and Jos Buttler of Rajasthan Royals.
His ton (115 not out) in the 2014 IPL final for Kings XI Punjab came in a losing cause, but even otherwise, his contribution to the team he plays for has always been relegated to the background.
The Australian all-rounder is one of the 2 bowlers to have taken a five-wicket haul twice in IPL along with Jaydev Unadkat. But Faulkner has been conveniently forgotten and his success with the ball in IPL is nothing but a record in the books that he shares with Unadkat. Bowler Faulkner is not considered in the same breath as Lasith Malinga or Trent Boult or even in the all-rounder's category that has the likes of Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya. That's sad for a bowler that once terrorized batsmen with his pace in IPL while big-hitting came naturally to him. Faulkner last played IPL in 2017 for Gujarat Lions.
Cover image courtesy: BCCI