The Indian Premier League provided an opportunity for many cricketers, both local and international, to test themselves against the best in the world and under pressure situations.
Obviously, not everyone succeeded. Out of those who did deliver, many are on a break at the moment. However for some, work continues. Here we look at the star performers of IPL 2018 who are playing competitive cricket at the moment.
The star Afghanistan spinner picked up 21 wickets in IPL 2018 and was the top bowler in the final stretch of the tournament. Rashid took 2-48 for World XI against the West Indies at Lord’s, in a charity match to help rebuild venues devastated by hurricanes in the Caribbean, and followed it up a couple of devastating performances in the first two T20s against Bangladesh in Dehradun.
Rashid picked up 3-13 in the first match in their new ‘home’ ground and followed it up with 4-12 in the second game to seal a series win.
The England batsman was struggling in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals. Then the management decided to open the innings with him and Buttler cracked five successive fifties. So impressive was his form that Buttler was picked as a batsman for the Pakistan Test series and put in scores of 14, 67 and 80*.
His innings of 80 clinched the second Test Test at Headingley after the hosts had fallen behind at Lord’s. More importantly, it was a shot in the arm for new selector Ed Smith’s whose decision to go with his gut feel paid off.
The Barbadian was brilliant with the ball for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL after recovering from a side strain. He took that form to the One-Day Cup in England as he registered 0-53 and 2-53 in two innings for Sussex. He also scored 33 and 19 in those games.
More importantly, news has emerged of Archer being fast tracked into the England set-up after proposed amendments to England cricket’s residency rules. Archer is at the peak of his game and England would give anything to have him in the team for the 2019 World Cup at home.
SHAKIB AL HASAN
When Shakib said he thought Afghanistan started favourites against Bangladesh, I thought he was playing a mind game. Didn't realise he meant it.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 3, 2018
The Bangladesh star was a crucial member of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team with the bat and ball. He picked up 14 wickets and scored 239 runs in IPL 2018 but wasn’t on top of his game against Afghanistan in the T20 series. Shakib took just one wicket from two games and failed to cross 15.
Maybe a demanding IPL with the bat and ball has taken a lot out of the Bangladesh icon.
Sandeep Lamichhane the Nepalese spinner playing for the World XI today was born nearly 4 years after Shahid Afridi made his debut for Pakistan #CricketRelief— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) May 31, 2018
The Nepalese leg-spinner finally got some gametime in the IPL for Delhi Daredevils and dazzled in three games, picking up five wickets. After the IPL got over, the teenager went to Lord’s to play for the World XI against the West Indies.
In that T20 match, Sandeep was the last bowling option tried by captain Shahid Afridi and he went for 12 runs in one over.
MUJEEB UR RAHMAN
The Afghanistan leg-spinner had been out of action after injuring his bowling hand in the IPL playing for Kings XI Punjab. He missed the crucial final stages of the tournament. However, Mujeeb returned to the team for the T20 series against Bangladesh looking to hit his strides ahead of the inaugural Test against India in Bengaluru on June 14.
Mujeeb picked up just the one wicket against Bangladesh in two the T20s so far but kept the scoring rate down – 0-15 and 1-20 from four overs each.
Tamim Iqbal’s 43 from 48 balls helped Bangladesh to a total of 134 for eight from their 20 overs with Afghanistan bowler Rashid taking four for 12 from his four overs.
Afghanistan, who lead the series 2-0 ahead of Thursday’s final game, chased the total down with seven balls to spare thanks to Samiullah Shenwari’s 49 from 41 balls. Mohammad Nabi was unbeaten on 31.
It appeared the ‘hosts’ would be in trouble after finding themselves 79-3 in the 14th over but Nabi hit three fours and two sixes in his 15-ball blitz.
But it was the 19-year-old Rashid, who stole the show as his triple strike in an over rattled Bangladesh. He was denied a hat-trick after Tamim Iqbal (43) and Mosaddek Hossain was out in consecutive balls.
Mujeeb was playing his first match after returning from a hand injury that kept him out of the final stages of the IPL where he had picked up 14 wickets for Kings XI Punjab, while Rashid was looking to continue his fine form which saw him snare 21 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Both leg-spinners were in top form against the Tigers as they bowled the ‘visitors’ out for 122 in 19 overs in their new ‘home’ ground of Dehradun.
Mujeeb dismissed opener Tamim Iqbal lbw off the first ball of the innings and finished with 1-20 while Rashid was nearly unplayable, picking up 3-13 from three overs.
I'd be surprised if @rashidkhan_19 doesn't take a 5-fer in his debut Test vs India. This despite the Indians playing him in the IPL.— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) May 31, 2018
The Indian team management will have a lot on their plate as they formulate a plan to tackle the spinners who will be the main threat when the two teams clash in Afghanistan’s inaugural Test in Bengaluru on June 14.
India will be without regular captain Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha. The Indians will be led by Ajinkya Rahane who is more comfortable against pace than spin, which means a big chunk of India’s batting will find the going tough.
Moreover, Rashid and Mujeeb dismissed India’s premier batsmen through classic Test dismissals during the IPL. Both spinners bowled Kohli through the gate while KL Rahul and MS Dhoni also lost their woodwork to clever bowling from Rashid. The three are some of the best players of spin so expect the pressure to intensify when they have the red ball in hand.