IPL 2020: Adopted sons of IPL — Five foreigners who made India their home
From Brendon McCullum's blistering century in the first match of the IPL to AB de Villiers' '360' knocks, the T20 tournament has witnessed some exceptional performances. Some of these players, through their consistent performances for a particular franchise, went on to become heroes in the cities they represented.
From the start of the summer season in mid-April, the only boundary that matter in the cricketing world is that of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The T20 event, which is telecasted in over 8 languages with a viewership of 462 million across TV and digital spectrum, is set to have a delayed start due to the coronavirus scare. The starting date was pushed from March 29 to April 15, while there are talks that the matches might be played behind closed doors.
The IPL's wide appeal has largely been down to a strong foreign contingent who have lit up their respective franchises with some electrifying performances. From Brendon McCullum's blistering century in the first match of the IPL to AB de Villiers' '360' knocks, the T20 tournament has witnessed some exceptional performances. Some of these players, through their consistent performances for a particular franchise, went on to become heroes in the cities they represented.
We take a look at five key international players who won the Indians and became local heroes.
1. Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings)
If there’s one thing the West Indies All-rounder can do better than those slow deliveries at the death, it is the nonchalant dance performance that follows. The 36-year-old started off his career with Mumbai Indians for three seasons, stringing up decent performances scoring 457 runs with the bat and taking 27 wickets. The Ambanis-owned franchise perhaps made a huge blunder when they decided to not retain him. Bravo joined Indians' arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings in 2011, playing an important role for the men in yellow in their run-up to the finals in the following season. Despite CSK losing to MI in the following season, Bravo clinched the purple cap, prising out 32 wickets -- a record which still remains intact. His camaraderie with skipper M.S.Dhoni has always been a treat to watch and will be a key component for Chennai in the upcoming season. He has certainly become a local fan favourite with his "kuthu" style celebrations and
2. Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders)
This Trinidadian all-rounder is the polar opposite of Bravo in certain ways. The quiet, laid-back mystery off-spinner made a highly successful debut in 2012 IPL with Kolkata Knight Riders, ending the season with 24 wickets, just one short off the purple cap winner Morne Morkel. He repeated the magic in two consecutive seasons, managing to get 20+ wickets. Soon enough, batsmen decoded the mystery behind Narine, which ensured a troubled time for Narine. However, when his bowling lost its sheen, the 31-year-old silenced his critics with the bat. His opening explosive partnership with Chris Lynn catapulted KKR to the first position for Most runs in Powerplay.
3. AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
'Mr.360' needs little introduction when we are talking about a carnage. ABD has been a part of the tournament since its inception, finding little success in his first with Delhi Daredevils but hasn’t looked back once he joined the ranks of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli at RCB. He has secured five 100+ and two 200+ partnerships with the skipper, setting a world record.
He is among the top 10 players leading the all-time chart for most runs (4395) at a batting average of 39.95. In 2016, ABD managed to score 687 runs behind arguably the most successful batsmen of modern times Virat Kohli and David Warner.
4. David Warner (SunRisers Hyderabad)
This prolific Aussie is considered a threat in every season of the IPL and can give a tight competition to Chennai star Suresh Raina when it comes to consistency. He has scored 500+ runs in every single edition from 2014 except 2018 where he was banned from international cricket, placing him at 4th position in the all-time top scorers’ chart with 4706 runs. He has the best batting average in the whole tournament with 43.17. SunRisers Hyderabad, who were led by Warner in the 2016 season (which they won), have re-appointed him as the captain for the upcoming season, with the manager confirming his attendance amidst the corona pandemic. Expect the diminutive left-hander to bring fireworks!
5. Lasith Malinga (Mumbai Indians)
If anybody can make the left-handers fall, it is the slinging deliveries from Lasith Malinga. The right-arm-fast-bowler leads the all-time wicket-taking chart with 170 wickets, with the second-best bowling average of 19.80. The Sri Lankan took up the role of bowling mentor in the 11th edition of IPL before returning to take 16 wickets in 2019. Mumbai Indians, much like their rivals Chennai Super Kings, do not insist on chopping and changing, and usually maintain a core set of players every season. Keiron Pollard, another three-dimensional West Indian like Bravo and Narine, is another mainstay in the Mumbai team. Both the foreign players have become local legends with Malinga's slinging action very popular in local 'gully' cricket.