IPL 2019: 5 Unexpected players who impressed in the league stage
These players lit up the IPL through their consistent performances.
Updated - May 9, 2019 11:25 am
After a month and a half of exciting games with nerve-wracking finishes and topsy-turvy league table standings, the group stage of the 2019 edition of the IPL has come to an end. With Delhi Capitals defeating the Sunrisers Hyderabad, only three teams are left fighting for the glory now. The three shall put their skills to the test and battle it out amongst themselves in the latter half of the week to determine the winner of the tournament’s twelfth edition.
As always, the IPL has lived up to its expectations in terms of individual performances by the players. The IPL is a confluence of talent and opportunity – where the best cricketing talents from around the globe get the opportunity to showcase their skills on the same stage. Be it powerhouses like Andre Russell or Hardik Pandya, consistent run-getters like David Warner, or pragmatic wicket-takers like Imran Tahir or Kagiso Rabada, there is a delectable array of talent to choose from.
But all these are the usual suspects, the crowd favourites going into the tournament who were expected to make an impact for their team. But the IPL also opens the door for some brilliant performances from unexpected players – be it youngsters getting their first brush with such a grand stage, or veterans renewing themselves in T20 cricket, these unexpected performers make viewers sit up, take notice and appreciate their craft.
Here we bring you five least expected players who impressed everyone
1. Shreyas Gopal (Rajasthan Royals)
Shreyas Gopal’s IPL journey started with the Mumbai Indians back in 2014, but he hardly got any game time for them. He started playing for the Royals last season and had a decent outing picking up 11 wickets from as many games. He had gained repute as a dependable bowler, but few expected him to set the stage on fire as he has done this season.
The 25-year-old leggie has taken a whopping 20 wickets in 14 games- a proof of his consistency, at an economy of just 7.22, and sits third on the purple cap standings. Not bad at all by the Karnataka bowler, who often looked like the only threat in the Rajasthan bowling lineup.
He was prolific all season even with his lower-order batting, and top it all off was his hat-trick vs the RCB at his home ground, the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.