Heading into it’s eleventh edition, the Indian premier league has seen a lot of ups and downs, as India’s annual cricket carnival has quickly become the biggest domestic league in world cricket.
Not only Indian players, but several foreign stars have also kick started their careers through the IPL. The likes of Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, David Miller and Faf du Plessis starred in the IPL, which ultimately gave them an opportunity on the international scene.
While it is easy to remember the best players in IPL history, there are many players that have gone under the radar over the last ten years.
Here we look at five of the most underrated players over the last ten years.
Faf du Plessis
The South African was a solid performer for Chennai Super Kings, as Faf quickly established himself as a crucial cog in the CSK outfit.
After a few successful years with Chennai, Faf moved to Rising Pune Super Giants, as he earned himself a huge contract with the Pune franchise.
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Anchoring the innings through the middle overs, Faf has an average of 30.11 in 46 innings in the IPL, with eight fifties. He would be a shrewd buy at Rs 1.5 crores in the upcoming auction.
Uthappa’s time in the IPL has been one of ups and downs over the last decade. He achieved varying degrees of success with Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants, before being picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders.
Uthappa truly shone wearing the purple and gold of KKR, reaching his zenith during KKR’s 2016 triumph. The stylish right hander formed an outstanding partnership with Gambhir at the top, as Robin finished as the tournament’s top scorer.
At 32 years of age, Uthappa may still bag a big IPL contract, although his base price of Rs 2 crore may become a slight issue.
The elegant right hander will be a sought after player in this year’s auction, as Rahane provides exceptional batting skills in addition to leadership qualities.
With an average of 33.59 at a strike rate of 120.59, Rahane’s record in the IPL has gone under the radar. The Mumbai batsman had a great time with Rajasthan Royals, before moving to the Rising Pune Super Giants.
Although Rahane did not get retained by the Royals, the right hander will not be short of suitors in the auction.
Once the next big hope for Indian cricket, Chawla has not had the career that many expected him to have. On his day, the leg-spinner can be a handful to anyone, but unfortunately for Chawla, those days have been few and far in between.
With 126 wickets, Chawal is the fourth highest wicket taker in IPL history, with an economy of 7.63 and an average of 25.88.
Just like Uthappa, Chawla had a great time with KKR, as he played a crucial role in their 2016 triumph. Chawla memorably hit the winning runs for KKR, as they beat KXIP in the final. No doubt, he will be one to watch out for the auction.
Now retired, Ashish Nehra was a criminally under appreciated player in his time. An ultimate professional, Nehra had a fantastic IPL career over the years.
Nehra took 105 wickets in 87 innings, at an economy of 7.83 and a very good average of 23.42. Nehra ji was an unsung hero in Hyderabad’s unlikely triumph in 2016, as he picked up wickets at crucial intervals for his side.
Having just retired a couple of months back, Ashish Nehra will go down as one of the greatest servants of Indian cricket, with his longevity and perseverance acting as an inspiration to youngsters all over the country.