The IPL has proved to be a stepping stone for a whole lot of cricketers who have broken into their national team after a successful stint at the glamorous tournament.
A lot of Indian cricketers such as Ambati Rayadu, Pragyan Ojha, and Ravichandran Ashwin broke into the Indian side after achieving immense success for their IPL sides.Similarly, a lot of foreigners too have either rejuvenated their careers and broken into their national side after playing an important role in their side’s success in the IPL.
Extra Cover: 5 IPL greats who have failed to perform in T20Is
One of the main reasons for the immense success of the IPL is because of the number of high-quality foreigners taking part.
In this article, we form a team out of the best foreigners over the past 9 years.
Arguably the most explosive batsman in the world, Christopher Henry Gayle has been decimating every opposition bowler since the beginning of time.
It was not all rosy for him in the first couple of seasons though as he did not manage to generate too many sparks while playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders, but ever since he joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011, his fortunes changed, much to the delight of the RCB fans.
He has broken numerous records with the bat and has the best strike rate in the IPL so far. He also holds the record for the most sixes hit by a batsman in the IPL – a record which does not seem likely to be broken anytime soon.
The vice-captain of the Australian cricket team is not having a great time with the bat against India in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Test series. However, we can expect a totally different avatar from the 30-year-old once the IPL begins.
Currently the captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Warner led the side to its first ever trophy last year and his performances with the bat were one of the main reasons for SRH’s success.
Before being signed up by the Hyderabad franchise, Warner showcased his skills for the Delhi Daredevils and proved to be just as deadly.
He will look to put his recent slump of form behind him when the IPL kicks off on April 5th.
Arguably one of the most underrated batsmen to have ever played in the IPL, Shaun Marsh has been carrying the Kings XI Punjab’s batting line-up on his shoulders since the beginning.
He is one of the few batsmen who averages above 40 in the tournament and has constantly proved to be the most solid and consistent batsman in the inconsistent Kings XI side.
Just like Warner, Marsh too has not had a great run of form in the ongoing Test series and will be looking to put that behind him once the IPL begins. With a host of new players in their side and a new captain, Marsh would be hoping to lift the IPL trophy for the first time in his career.
AB De Villiers
The very name of AB De Villiers brings about a smile on every Royal Challengers Bangalore fan’s face. Ever since he joined the franchise back in 2011, he has become one of the best players in the IPL and a massive fan favourite as well.
The way he has been able to decimate opposition bowlers with ease has been a sight to behold for RCB fans
He has almost every single shot in the book, thus giving him the nickname of Mr. 360. He played an integral role in RCB’s road to the final last year and would be hoping to go one step higher this time around and get his hands on the trophy.
This enigmatic all-rounder was an integral part of the Rajasthan Royals squad for 8 years from 2008-2015 and was one of the most effective all-rounders in the tournament.
It was the 2008 edition of the IPL which led to the revival of Watson’s career which had been hampered by injuries till then. In the very first season, he scored 472 runs at an average of 47.20 and picked up 17 wickets as well and by doing so received the Man of the Tournament award.
He joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore last season and while he was not too effective with the bat, he was one of the most effective bowlers for RCB with 20 wickets to his name.
Kieron Pollard’s ability as a hard-hitting all-rounder came to light after his success with West Indian side Trinidad and Tobago in the Champions League T20 back in 2009.
His success at the tournament led to him being picked up by the Mumbai Indians in 2010 and he has proved to be one of the most effective all-rounders for them over the years.
He has finished many matches for Mumbai and has proved to be an effective bowler as well. He has also taken a few spectacular catches over the years and has been involved in a lot of banter on the field with opposition cricketers.
This 35-year-old veteran played an integral role in the success of the Chennai Super Kings from 2008-13. He made an impact with the bat and the ball in his very first season in 2008 with 240 runs and 17 wickets to his name.
He continued to perform well for CSK over the next few years as well playing the role of a finisher and an impact bowler. No one will ever forget his match-winning knock against RCB in 2012 when he smashed Virat Kohli for 28 runs in the penultimate over of the game to take his side to victory.
He has not played too many matches over the past two years and has sort of gone of the radar but will be looking to turn his fortunes around when he takes the field for the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise this year.
A hard-hitting batsman and an extremely effective bowler, especially at the death, DJ Bravo is one of the most sought after cricketers in the world when it comes to T20 cricket.
He began his IPL career playing for the Mumbai Indians and was an integral part of their squad for the first three years after which he was bought by the Chennai Super Kings.
He proved to be one of the most effective bowlers for them and even picked up the Purple Cap in 2013 after picking up 32 wickets.
Just like Pollard, Sunil Narine too came into the IPL after proving his worth with Trinidad and Tobago in 2011. Having been picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2012, he achieved success in his very first season as he picked up 24 wickets at a phenomenal economy rate of 5.47. By doing so, he received the Man of the Tournament award as well.
He has terrorised batsmen over the years with the immense amount of spin he has been able to generate. Unfortunately, his bowling action came under scrutiny in 2015 and was even suspended for a while and was forced to change his bowling action.
Since then, he has not achieved as much success as before. However, he will be looking to turn his fortunes around this year with the Kolkata Knight Riders
Despite playing only 7 matches and picking up three wickets over the past two seasons, Dale Steyn continues to be one of the leading all-time wicket-takers in the IPL.
He was a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit for the first three seasons and he played a big role in their success in the IPL and Champions Trophy. He continued to prove to be extremely successful for the Deccan Chargers before being picked up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Unfortunately, injuries have hampered his career over the past two years which is why he has not been at his deadly best.
He was picked up by the Gujarat Lions last year and would be hoping to rejuvenate his career.
Arguably the greatest T20 bowler ever, Lasith Malinga sits pretty at the top of the all-time leading wicket-takers list in the IPL. He also holds the record for the most bowled dismissals in Twenty20 cricket.
He missed the inaugural season due to injury but was at his devastating best when he was picked up by the Mumbai Indians in 2009. With 28 wickets in 2010, he was awarded the Purple Cap and played an important role in Mumbai’s IPL winning years of 2013 and 2015.
His success rate has decreased over the past two years but he still continues to prove his class for Mumbai and would be hoping to the do same this year as well.