24.05.2019 Author: C.NAMASIVAYAMFor an overseas cricketer, getting an opportunity to play in the Indian Premier League is a fascinating experience both on and off the field. More so, for players who are not used to play in front of a packed stadium on the background of deafening noise. This is the kind of experience an overseas player would relish while playing in India and look forward to adding to his profile.
In the 12th edition of Indian Premier League, a total of 15 overseas players have made their debut. Both RR and KXIP topped the list with 3 players each while MI and DC had 2 overseas debutants each.
The regulations of the IPL permit a maximum of 4 overseas players in the playing XI. Hence, an overseas player doesn’t normally get a long run when devoid of impressive performances. As a result, some of these players might not have got enough uninterrupted opportunities even after performing consistently in the limited opportunities that they got.
Hence while analyzing the comparative performances of such players, due weightage has to be given to their performances visa-a-vis the opportunities. For instance, an overseas player might not have topped the run scorers list or the wicket-takers list but still would have contributed to his team’s success whenever given a chance. The analysis should be in tune with the above relevant fact.
In this article, let us have a look at the 4 best debutants of the season.
Mitchell Santner (CSK)Innings – 2, Runs - 32, SR – 139, Overs – 14, Wickets – 4, Economy – 6.71
Mitchell Santner’s debut in IPL was deferred by one year due to his injury last year. After an ordinary debut against RR in which he conceded 26 runs in 2 overs, Santner got his act together in the return match against the same opponent.
Against RR at Jaipur, Santner first bowled 4 economic overs for 25 runs with the wicket of Sanju Samson to boot. Then when his turn came with the bat, he finished off the match in style with a last-ball six when CSK needed 3 runs for a win.
The Kiwi all-rounder made a telling contribution to CSK’s winning streak with the bat in only his second IPL match. In the final analysis, the last ball six by Santner helped CSK to hold onto the top two positions at the end of the league stage.
In the match against MI at Chepauk, Santner finished with wonderful bowling figures of 4-0-13-2. In that match, he was the second top scorer for CSK. The presence of Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir denied adequate opportunities for Santner but he came good in the 4 matches that he played for CSK this season.
Oshane Thomas (RR)Overs – 10, Wickets – 5, Economy – 7.90 Oshane Thomas got his opportunity to make his debut in IPL only in the 43rd match of the season. He could not break into the team with the presence of other star overseas players like Steve Smith, Jofra Archer, and Ben Stokes.
In his first match against KKR, Thomas made his presence felt with the crucial wicket of Andre Russell. He was too hot to handle with his pace and accuracy.
In the next match against SRH, the West Indies fast bowler managed to dislodge the in-form David Warner. In the rain-affected 6 over match against RCB, Thomas bowled the last over and took 2 wickets conceding only 6 runs.
In this year’s IPL, Oshane Thomas claimed 5 wickets in the 10 overs that he bowled at a terrific strike rate of 12. But unfortunately, he got his opportunity only after Jofra Archer left the team. A few more opportunities in place of a misfiring Ashton Turner could have changed RR’s fortune. Oshane Thomas is the unsung hero of this year’s IPL.
3. Sam Curran (KXIP)Innings – 8, Runs -95, SR – 173, Overs – 33, Wickets – 10, Economy – 9.79
Before the start of the IPL season, a lot was expected of Punjab’s biggest buy Sam Curran. Though he could not match the over expectations, he could still influence the results of a few games in which he played.
Curran got Steve Smith as his maiden IPL wicket. In the same match, he also accounted for Sanju Samson but went for 52 runs. His best performance as a bowler came in his second IPL match against DC when he took 4 for 11 including a hat trick. This was the famous match in which DC lost their last 7 wickets for 8 runs.
Sam Curran was instrumental in DC’s collapse with a hat-trick. Before that, Curran opened the batting and scored 20 off 10 balls. In the match against KKR, Curran scored his maiden IPL half-century which came off 24 balls at a strike rate of 229.
Curran finished his IPL campaign on a happy note with the wickets of Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, and Suresh Raina.
S#1 Jonny Bairstow (SRH)Innings - 10, Runs – 445, SR – 157
Jonny Bairstow is the No 1 overseas debutant of the season. In the company of David Warner, Bairstow forged the most successful opening pair of the tournament. In the 10 matches these two opened the batting for SRH, they had partnerships of 118,110,185,64,33,7,72,62,131 & 5.
Bairstow scored his maiden IPL hundred in his third match against RCB. This was the match in which both the SRH openers went on to score hundreds. After a couple of 40s, Bairstow reserved his best against CSK on a tricky wicket at Hyderabad.
When CSK reached a par score of 132 on a slow wicket, they thought they were in with a chance if they could go past the SRH openers. But unfortunately for CSK both the SRH openers were in red-hot form as had been the trend right through the season. Bairstow remained not out on 61.
By scoring consistently all through the series, Bairstow has proved to the world that he could handle spin on sub-continental wickets efficiently. In this IPL, he has broken the myth that he is susceptible to spin.
Thus, Bairstow is the best overseas debutant of the tournament.