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Curran, Yuvraj, Thomas.

2019 Indian Premier League: Five players to watch

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Show-stopping. Exciting. Dramatic. Breathtaking.

That’s exactly what the Indian Premier League (IPL) is and every year, the best in the world show us exactly why.

A staggering RS 106 crore (£11.4m) was shelled out by franchises for 60 new players in the 2019 IPL auction.

As usual, not many superstars hit the open market as all teams had the first option to retain their best players.

That said, each season a plethora of hidden gems are unearthed as a wave of young talent looks to kick start their careers.

The proof is there - international stars like Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal & Rishabh Pant among others used the IPL as a launchpad for success.

We take a look at five players who could take the competition by storm this season...

Oshane Thomas: Rajasthan Royals

When you can regularly bowl at speeds in excess of 90 mph, people will start taking note.

And that's exactly what young West Indies international Oshane Thomas can do.

The 21-year-old’s stock skyrocketed during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) back in August, where he finished as the second-highest wicket-taker with 18 wickets in 10 matches at a strike rate of 12.6.

After being picked up by the Royals for RS 1.1 crore, the Jamaican-born speedster joins a mean bowling attack alongside Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat & Ish Sodhi.

Rajasthan made it to the preliminary round of the playoffs last season before being knocked out by the Knight Riders.

If Thomas can replicate his CPL form in the IPL, it could help the Double Rs win their first title since the inaugural IPL season.

Yuvraj Singh: Mumbai Indians

When it’s all said and done, Yuvraj Singh will go down as one of the greatest T20 players ever.

It was a surprise to many then, that the Kings XI Punjab did not retain his services for the 12th edition of the IPL.

The 37-year-old only amassed 65 runs in eight matches for Punjab in 2018.

Portraits - 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards - Monaco

After going unsold for the first round of bids, eventually serial IPL winners Mumbai Indians came in for the big hitter at a base price of RS 1 crore.

Yuvi, the only player to hit six sixes in an over in a T20 international, turned back the clock to show form of old in the DY Patil T20 Cup recently, where he smashed 80 runs off just 57 deliveries.

The Mumbai Indians' middle order struggled in 2018 and Yuvraj seems like the missing piece of the puzzle for another title winning campaign for the three-time champions.

Axar Patel - Delhi Capitals

As one of the very few genuine Indian all rounders, Axar Patel was always going to be in high demand after being released by the Kings XI.

The off-spinner was purchased for RS 5 crore, which makes him one of the more valuable players for Delhi.

With a bowling economy of 7.52 and a batting strike rate of 126.56, the India international will play a huge role in whether or not Delhi can improve on their last place finish from last season.

Jonny Bairstow: Sunrisers Hyderabad

2018 is a year that Jonny Bairstow will remember for a long time and for good reason. He became an integral part of England’s success through all three formats as the premier wicket-keeper and key run-scorer.

For the first half of 2018, no England player came close to Bairstow... but then he broke his finger in the third Test match against India in August.

West Indies v England 2nd Test - Day Two

His form seemed to fall off a cliff and England found a couple of more than ideal replacements in Jos Buttler and Ben Foakes.

That didn’t stop the Sunrisers Hyderabad splashing out RS 2.2 crore for Bairstow's services.

If the Yorkshire-born keeper can replicate his form of early 2018, the Sunrisers could well have won the prize for biggest bargain of the IPL.

Sam Curran: Kings XI Punjab

At the start of 2018, not many would have envisaged the meteoric rise of Sam Curran.

The 20-year-old all rounder made an instant impact on the international stage and has since become a crucial part of England’s current set up.

There’s a lot of hype for the Surrey youngster and for good reason.

Curran eventually ended up with the Kings XI, who paid a mammoth RS 8 crore (£800,000); making him the most expensive Englishman this season.

The England international can pretty much do it all. Whether it’s swinging the ball around corners with his skiddy left-arm action or smashing gigantic sixes out the ground - Curran is the full package.

As Curran is likely to not be considered for England’s ODI squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, it means he’ll be available for the duration of the tournament – whereas other England players involved, like Bairstow and Moeen Ali, must depart by April 25.

Topics:
England cricket
West Indies cricket
India cricket
Cricket
Yuvraj Singh
Kings XI Punjab
Sam Curran
Virat Kohli
Jonny Bairstow

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