In every season, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has thrown up some new heroes, some of whom have carried on to become popular faces in the league while a few have fallen by the wayside after a highly impressive beginning. As another season has got underway, here’s a look back at some forgotten stars of earlier IPL seasons.
Swapnil Asnodkar: The little man opened the innings for Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural edition along with Graeme Smith, forming a formidable partnership with the South African. In nine games, he scored 311 runs at a strike rate of 133.47 with two half-centuries at an average of 34.55. Asnodkar had a big role to play in Rajasthan’s win in the inaugural edition, and was hailed as promising prospect. In the following seasons though he failed to replicate his success and since he has disappeared from the scene. He continues to play for Goa in domestic cricket, but is hardly in the news as he was during the IPL in 2008.
Kamran Khan: A pacy left-arm fast bowler, Khan impressed none other than Shane Warne during his debut stint for the Rajasthan Royals in 2009. He can bowl at speeds up to 140 km/hr. Although he played only five games in the 2009 season, he was highly effective, picking up six wickets at an average of just over 20 and an economy rate of 7. Khan’s strike rate in the season was also excellent 17.6, with best figures of 3/18. Since then, he has fallen off the radar. He played for Pune Warriors in 2011, but failed to make too much of an impact. Khan is still very young (22), and would be hopeful of making a striking comeback in near future.
Yusuf Abdulla: The left-armmedium was quite a sensation for Kings XI Punjab in the 2009 season. In nine matches, he grabbed 14 wickets at an excellent average of 17.21 and an unbelievable strike rate of 12 even though his economy rate was slightly higher at 8.60. Abdulla managed to claim four wickets twice in the season, with a best of 4/31. His slower balls and in-coming yorkers were rather difficult to deal with for most batsmen. Abdulla’s great performance earned him a contract with Kings XI for 2010 season as well, but he failed to repeat his heroics.
Manpreet Gony: Themediumpacebowler was key to Chennai Super Kings’ fortunes in the inaugural edition of the IPL, where they ended up as runners-up. With his well-directed medium pacers, he picked up 17 wickets and was Chennai’s leading wicket-taker that year. Gony’s wickets came at an average of 26 and a strike rate of 21. Even his economy rate was acceptable at 7.38. Gonymanaged best figures of 3/34 during the season. In subsequent years, he has played for Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab and was even chosen in the Indian ODI squad, but has not made any significant contribution.
Tirumalasetti Suman: Playing for Deccan Chargers in 2009, Suman managed 237 runs in 12 games at a strike rate of 125. In most matches, he came down the order and chipped in with quickfire cameos, making him a valuable member of the franchise. He went on play for Mumbai Indians, and this season is with Pune Warriors. It remains to be seen whether he can come back into prominence.
--By A Cricket Analyst