There is a reason why the Indian Premier League (IPL) is called the “King of all tournaments”. Simply, because even in its 13th year, it is entertaining the cricketing fraternity with its share of twists and turns. And the ongoing season is another example of its growing stature in world cricket. At the halfway mark, the IPL 2020 has already shown its different shades and has given the required dose of entertainment that the fans have been craving for in these hard times.
As usual, the tournament has seen several cricketers put up awe-inspiring performances. While some of them have been by recognized names like AB De Villiers, Shikhar Dhawan, and Jasprit Bumrah, there have also been some unknown names that have been hogging the limelight. Before the start of the tournament, these players were not even sure of a place in the playing XI.
But now, they have emerged as the potential match-winners of their respective sides. Besides, they have also surprised the cricketing circle with their meteoric rise.
Here is the list of 5 cricketers who have been surprise packages of IPL 2020 :
1) Devdutt Padikkal
After years of wait and agony, the Royal Challengers Bangalore fans can afford a smile in IPL 2020. Not because their team is in the top half of the points table, but it is because of the team’s promising outlook in this season. Especially the franchise has finally got a quality support cast for the heroes of their side, Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers. And notably, one of them is a 20-year-old kid.
He doesn’t need any introduction, as Devdutt Padikkal has been a find of this year’s IPL. The skillset and temperament showcased by the youngster is nothing short of a spectacle. He has stood toe to toe with some stalwarts of the side. And if things go right, he might well be the next skipper of the team.
As far as his performances are concerned, Padikkal has been the rock of Bangalore’s top-order. He has consistently provided the team with good starts. In fact, in 6 out of his 9 outings, he has successfully crossed the 30-run mark. It also means that he has tackled the new ball and scored briskly in powerplay overs, which has been a concern for the team from the last two seasons.
Moreover, his presence has allowed the duo of Kohli and De Villiers to bat at their normal position. And the team can breathe easy as they will not be losing their key players in the first six overs. In all, Padikkal has put an end to the batting woes of Bangalore. And he has been a package which has taken many by surprise in IPL 2020.
2) Anrich Nortje
For Delhi Capitals, the IPL 2020 is the year of renaissance. The team led by Shreyas Iyer has been playing cricket at the highest level. And by the looks of it, the team might put an end to their title drought in this season. It can be said just on the basis of their fearsome pace attack. In particular, their two South African imports, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have been putting on a fast-bowling masterclass in the tournament.
If the former is leading the wickets-column, then the latter is sending shivers through the spine of opposition batsmen with his sheer pace. Nortje has just created history by clocking 156 kph on the speed gun in his outing against Rajasthan Royals. Effectively Nortje has been demonstrating that there is no alternative for genuine pace bowling.
His pace coupled with his control has been one of the reasons for Delhi’s success. He has been their messiah in powerplay overs and as well in death overs. Apart from that, he has also been a wicket-taking option as he bagged 12 wickets till now. In all, his contributions have been as valuable as Rabada for the Capitals.
The other thing which has been quite impressive about him is that he doesn’t get perturbed when the opposition attacks him. It is clear from his Man of the Match performance against Rajasthan. After conceding 16 runs off the first 5 balls of his spell, Nortje’s figures read 2/33 at the end of 4 overs. Hence it will not be wrong to say that he has been the element of surprise in Delhi’s bowling unit.
3) Rahul Tewatia
The Rajasthan Royals have won 3 games in IPL 2020, and in all of those games one name stands out. Yes, it is the league’s latest sensation, Rahul Tewatia, whom I am referring to. Playing under the shade of some of the biggest match-winners of the modern-day game like Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, Tewatia is the new name that the RR fans cheer for, a dream come true for every cricketer.
His pyrotechnics is the only thing that has kept the Royals afloat in this season. He has stood up for the Pink team in the most trying circumstances. Whether it is his batting or bowling, Tewatia has done everything in his might to help the team win games. And that’s why now the all-rounder has become a household name in the country.
At first, he picked up a three-wicket haul in the team’s tournament opener against Chennai Super Kings. Then in the following game against Kings XI Punjab when he was trusted with the bat, he played an IPL knock for the ages. He struck a half-century when the team needed it the most. If people considered that as a fluke, then he did it again in the team’s encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad as he guided Rajasthan in a tense run-chase.
In simple terms, Tewatia has been the ultimate game-changer. Especially his record-breaking stuff of 5 sixes in an over against KXIP is one of the highlights of this season. Moreover, he has made a name for himself in this league. And his aura is growing with each passing game. So there is no doubt that he has been the biggest surprise package of IPL 2020.
4) Thangarasu Natarajan
The Sunrisers Hyderabad has always been home to some most exciting fast-bowling commodities. And it is no different in IPL 2020, as they have carved out another gem in the form of Thangarasu Natarajan. The cricketer from Tamil Nadu has grabbed the attention of quite a few people with his bowling prowess. Even some yesteryear stars of the game have heaped praises on him.
Natarajan has been a quality addition to the Hyderabad set-up. After starting as the partner in crime with Bhuvneshwar Kumar now he is the team’s frontline pacer in his absence. He may not have filled in his boots completely, but he has done his part with utmost honesty. He is one of the few positives that the franchise has enjoyed in this mediocre season.
Talking about his skill set, what makes the left-arm pacer really special is his ability to deliver in crunch situations. In the game against Delhi Capitals, he put on a show with his death-bowling skills. He tied down some of the best T20 strikers with his pinpoint yorkers. He didn’t stop there as he started executing them consistently.
And that’s why now he has become one of the most dependable death bowlers in IPL 2020. Such has been his impact that David Warner uses his spell wisely. In all, Natarajan has stunned the IPL community with his sudden rise as one of the Hyderabad’s bowling spearheads. Before the start of the tournament, nobody expected that even in their dreams.
5) Varun Chakravarthy
It’s been a kind of hit and miss season for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Though the team has won some games, they have not played to their potential. Even some of their star players have also let down the team with their average outings. And the only upside has been the performances of their uncapped Indian players. One of them is Varun Chakravarthy, who has been a good prospect for the Purple and Gold team.
After his disastrous debut in 2019, where he conceded 25 runs in his first IPL over, Chakravarthy came to IPL 2020 with a point to prove. And he has done it in some style, as he has been Kolkata’s best spinner in this season. With six wickets and an economy rate of 7.21, this time he has shown that he also belongs to a big stage like IPL.
He has provided them the required control in the middle-overs. And in a couple of games, his tight spells also helped the team in winning close games. In particular, in the team’s encounter against Chennai Super Kings, Varun bowled a brilliant spell of 1/28. In that game, he choked the opposition with his crafty bowling and also accounted for the big wicket of MS Dhoni.
More importantly, he has stood up for the team when two of their premier spinners, Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav, are going through a rough patch. And he has consistently done the best of his capabilities. In simple terms, Chakravarthy has made the most of his opportunities and has surprised a lot of people with his success.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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