IPL 2018: Harbhajan Singh and other underrated performers of the season

Ajit Vijaykumar 07:16 06/05/2018
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Harbhajan has been reliable for CSK. Image: BCCI.

The 11th edition of the IPL has had more than its fair share of drama with close matches, 200-plus totals and incredible performances coming in one after the other.

Big names like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and Rashid Khan have done what they are expected to do – keep the fans on the edge of their seats with their performances.

However, there are some other players who have proven to be of great value to their teams even though they haven’t always hogged the limelight.

Here we take a look at five such underrated performers of IPL 2018.

HARBHAJAN SINGH

The Chennai Super Kings off-spinner has shown that there is space for regular finger spinners to flourish in the T20 format. While wrist spinners dominate the wicket takers’ list, Harbhajan sneaks in with six wickets from eight matches. More importantly, his 24.5 overs have gone at 7.16 runs an over, which is excellent given this edition of the IPL has already seen 10 scores in excess of 200.

SUNIL NARINE

After his action was reported once again earlier in the year, Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Narine must have been under immense pressure coming into the IPL. Forced to stick to his most basic deliveries, Narine has relied on tight lines and change in pace to take 10 wickets from nine matches at a healthy economy of 7.45. And let’s not forget his 193 runs at the top of the order at a strike rate of 170.

KRUNAL PANDYA

Hardik Pandya is already an established performer not only in the IPL but the international stage as well. However, his brother and Mumbai Indians team-mate Krunal hasn’t done too badly either. In this edition of the IPL, Krunal has picked up eight wickets from nine matches at an economy of 7.16 while scoring 167 runs from seven outings at a strike rate of 150. Worth every penny.

SURYAKUMAR YADAV

Suryakumar has made up for the failures of Rohit and Lewis. Image: BCCI.

Suryakumar has made up for the failures of Rohit and Lewis. Image: BCCI.

The Mumbai Indians player is one of the more talented batsmen in the domestic circuit but has failed to capture the imagination of fans. Maybe that will change this season after scoring 340 runs from nine innings. With the likes of Rohit Sharma and Evin Lewis struggling, Yadav’s consistency has been the saving grace in what has been a terrible campaign for the defending champions so far.

SANDEEP SHARMA

One of the slowest frontline seam bowlers in the competition but one of the smartest, Sandeep has been brilliant for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Banking exclusively on swing, Sandeep has picked up six wickets from five matches at an economy of 5.3 – a return ODI bowlers would be proud of. The 24-year-old is proof you don’t have to be express quick to be effective in T20s.

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