Top 5 steals of IPL 2022
In cricket, like in every other sport, money does not always guarantee success. All ten teams of the Indian Premier League get an equal purse to build their squad, and it is inevitable that every team goes gung-ho and breaks their bank for a particular player they desperately want.
However, as this competition has shown time and again, the big guns might fail to deliver at times, while those who were bought for paltry sums and were considered as ‘also rans’ could emerge as showstoppers. In IPL 2022 as well, we have had such instances where players bought for cheap have turned out to be one of their team’s most crucial players.
Let us check out the top five steals of IPL 2022:
#1 David Miller
After going unsold initially, David Miller was picked up by Gujarat Titans in the accelerated round for only INR 3 crores. The champions of IPL 2022 made quite a few shrewd signings this season, but in terms of investment and performance ratio, Miller has arguably given them the best returns.
He was the sixth-highest run-scorer of the competition, having accumulated 481 runs in 16 matches art an incredible average of 68.71 and a strike rate of 142.72. The veteran South African batter smashed a couple of half-centuries this season, but more importantly, Gujarat relied on him every time they experienced a top-order collapse, and Miller repaid the trust more often than not.
#2 Rajat Patidar
Despite setting a base price of INR 20 lakhs for himself, Rajat Patidar failed to find a bidder and instead started planning for his wedding. However, life took a U-turn for him when Luvnith Sisodia was ruled out of the season because of an injury, and Royal Challengers Bangalore wanted to sign the lad from Indore as a replacement.
It was too big an opportunity for Patidar to turn down, but not only did he get into Bangalore’s 2022 squad, but now, it also seems he will be seen in red and black for the upcoming few seasons as well. He scored 333 runs in only the eight matches that he played, at an extraordinary average of 55.50 and an incredible strike rate of 152.75. Patidar’s best knock came in the eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants, where he smashed an unbeaten 112 to become the first uncapped player to score a century in the IPL playoffs.
#3 Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav was once a popular figure in the IPL, but he spent the majority of the last few seasons on the sidelines, with his former team Kolkata Knight Riders preferring Varun Chakravarthy in his place. This subsequently reduced interest in the left-arm wrist-spinner, but Delhi Capitals were shrewd enough to sign him for INR 2 crores.
It turned out to be a fantastic deal, as Kuldeep proved why the Knights made a mistake by wasting his talent. He scalped 21 wickets and was among the only five bowlers who surpassed the 20-wickets mark. Besides that, he also maintained an impressive average of 19.95 and a fairly decent economy rate of 8.43 runs per over.
#4 Aiden Markram
Aiden Markram does not particularly have the look of a T20 specialist, which is why he did not find many bidders in the IPL 2022 auction. A bid of INR 2.60 crores was enough for Sunrisers Hyderabad to sign the South African all-rounder, and amid a plethora of poor deals, it will be safe to say that the Orange Army got an absolute bargain with Markram.
He scored 381 runs in 12 matches, maintaining a healthy average of 47.62 and a strike rate of 139.05. Markram scored three half-centuries this season, and besides that, he also rolled his arm over whenever his team wanted him to.
#5 Mukesh Choudhary
Their ninth-place finish will tell us that Chennai Super Kings had a nightmare of a season, which they certainly did. However, when the big guns fail to live up to the expectations, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team relied on a few youngsters who delivered, the most notable among them being Mukesh Choudhary.
Signed for his base price of INR 20 lakhs, Choudhary picked up 16 wickets in 13 matches, which made him the second-most successful CSK bowler this season. Despite his ‘economy rate’ being on the higher side, his average of 26.50 and strike rate of 17 make up for other shortcomings.