- June 2, 2023
One of the most popular T20 cricket leagues, IPL 2023 has been hitting the headlines with some spectacular performances and nail-biting finishes. Over the years, IPL has been known for giving a platform to youngsters to showcase their talent. But, apart from youngsters, IPL has also been a tournament for some senior out-of-the-team players to stage a comeback. The same has been the case this season as well where we have seen some match-winning performances from the experienced players who have either retired from their national duty or are nowhere in contention for the national side in the shortest format.
Here is a list of the top five experienced players who have impressed with their performances in the season so far:
1. Ajinkya Rahane
Rahane has been well-known for his batting heroics but in the longest format. However, over the last year or so, the middle-order batsman from Mumbai has been out of the test squad as well. IPL 2023 has been no less than a comeback stage for Rahane and how brilliant has been. Rhane has played five innings for the Chennai Super Kings franchise in the tournament and scored two half-centuries already. The most interesting fact about Rahane’s batting in this IPL season has been the strike rate which is almost 200, the highest among all the batters this season. Ajinkya Rahane got a chance for the team in yellow against Mumbai Indians because of Moeen Ali’s injury but now, he has established himself as a crucial pivot in CSK’s middle order and has been instrumental in taking CSK to the top of the points table. In his five innings, Rahane has scored 209 runs averaging 52 and with a strike rate of 199.
2. Wriddhiman Saha
Veteran wicketkeeper from Bengal, Saha has donned the gloves quite many times for his national side but in the longest format. His opening cameos for the defending champions, Gujarat Titans have been a revelation in itself and a vital part of their title victory last year. The story has been similar this season too with Saha giving quick starts at the top. His innings of 47 against the Luckow Supergiants were very significant in a low-scoring thriller. Another understated aspect of the game, Saha’s glovework has arguably been the best in the tournament so far.
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3. Piyush Chawla
Piyush Chawla has taken so many wickets since the inception of the IPL fifteen years ago. However, no one gave him a chance at doing the same in the ongoing season where he is representing Mumbai Indians. The leggie has been the best bowler for Mumbai Indians in this season with 11 wickets from the seven games and he has also been the most economical bowler for his team going at just over 7 runs an over. In an otherwise dismal season for the Mumbai Indians, Piyush Chawla has been one silver lining for them and is giving tough competition to the young bowlers in the tournament.
4. Mohit Sharma
The comeback story of Mohit Sharma is nothing short of inspiration. The highest wicket-taker of IPL 2014, Mohit Sharma was once a crucial part of CSK’s bowling setup. After switching franchises, the pacer couldn’t replicate the performance and soon, went out of the spotlight. He was a net bowler for the Gujarat Titans at IPL 2022. However, this season has been a comeback of sorts for Mohit. In the four games he has played so far for the Gujarat Titans, Sharma bowled mostly in the middle and death overs with a mind-boggling economy of 6.15. He was also the player of the match against Lucknow Supergiants for defending 12 runs in the last over. Even at the age of 34, Mohit Sharma has bowled quickly and his variations have been deceptive.
5. Sandeep Sharma
Sandeep Sharma is one of the experienced players in the domestic circuit who has done well in IPL over the years. Known for his swing bowling early on in the powerplay, Sandeep came in as a replacement for Prasidh Krishna in Rajasthan Royals. Sandeep has given good starts to the Royals bowling attack in the powerplay teasing the batsmen with his swinging deliveries and hard lengths. The bowler from Punjab has also been used at the death and quite effectively where he just nailed the Yorkers. In the game against Chennai Super Kings, Sandeep bowled three back-to-back yorkers against Dhoni and Jadeja to take his team home.