IPL 2018: 5 Surprising Performers

In every season of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) we get to witness some surprise performers – players who weren’t expected to do that great and on whom there was hardly any focus. IPL 2018 has also seen plenty of surprise performers. Let’s take a look at five players who have set the stage alight this year.

Ambati Rayudu (Chennai Super Kings)

IPL 2018 has been a revival of sorts for Ambati Rayudu. The Hyderabadi batsman has been a talented player but never really got enough opportunities to excel. Representing the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the first time, Rayudu has been promoted in the role of an opener where his performance has left everyone surprised. In 12 matches so far, he has scored 535 runs – his highest ever aggregate in one IPL season – at a strike rate of 152.85 with one hundred and 2 fifties. Rayudu has looked in terrific touch from the beginning and has been striking the ball cleanly. His scintillating performance at the top has solidified the CSK batting and has been one of the reasons for their success this season.

Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians)

This talented 19-year-old batsman has been quietly making the runs in IPL 2018 while other, more fancied youngsters, like Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw are getting all the limelight. Playing for the Mumbai Indians this year, Kishan has shown glimpses of his brilliance on many occasions – his stunning, match-winning 21-ball 62 against Kolkata Knight Riders being the perfect case in point. The left-handed Kishan has generally been used at the top of the order and has already accumulated 270 runs in 13 matches at a sparkling strike-rate of 157.89. Kishan has given balance to the Mumbai Indians this year and has certainly been one of their prime performers.

Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Kings XI Punjab)

At just 17 years of age, Afghanistan’s Mujeeb Ur Rahman is one of the youngest to have played the IPL. And yet, in his maiden IPL he has been the surprise package for Kings XI Punjab. He might not have got as much accolades as Rashid Khan - the other leg-spinner from his country playing in the IPL - but Mujeeb has been Punjab’s star performer. He has already snared 14 wickets in the season and has gone at an astounding economy rate of 6.99. Whenever the opposition has been going hell for leather, it has been Mujeeb who has restricted the run flow. He has shown tremendous skills, variety and maturity at such a young age and will be one to watch out for.

Siddarth Kaul (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

While Siddarth Kaul performed well for Sunrisers Hyderabad last year as well, he has been outstanding in IPL 2018 for them. With 15 wickets in 13 matches at an economy rate of 8.11, Kaul has played a huge hand in Hyderabad’s success this year in defending small totals. He has bowled tight channels, mixed his deliveries well and made it hard for the batsman to hit him. His yorkers, slower ones and bouncers have also been effective and have been the reasons why he has been so exceptional in the death overs. Siddarth Kaul has bowled his heart out this IPL season and deserves more accolades.

Suryakumar Yadav (Mumbai Indians)

One of the biggest surprise performers this year has been Suryakumar Yadav. Playing for his home state, Mumbai Indians, for the first time, Surya has found his true calling in IPL 2018 after struggling to make a name for so many years with Kolkata Knight Riders. Much like Ambati Rayudu for CSK, Surya was given a new role of an opener this season with Mumbai and he excelled in it. In 13 matches so far, the stylish right-hander has scored 500 runs with four fifties at a strike-rate of 131.57. In six seasons before this, Surya had not even crossed the 200-run mark. This shows how much he is relishing his new role.


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