BENGALURU: While every team in the Indian Premier League is studded with international stars, usually the uncapped players are the ones who lend balance to the side and eventually determine the success or debacle of a team in the long run. The New Indian looks at the three best innings played by the uncapped players in the IPL 2022:
1) Rajat Patidar’s 112* off 54 balls against Lucknow Super Giants: Not many people had heard of Patidar before the IPL 2022 but he pitchforked himself to national conscience by smashing a turbocharged ton for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the do-or-die Eliminator against Lucknow.
The 28-year-old came to the crease at no.3 after Bangalore lost their captain Faf du Plessis in the first over. He started off with a cracking back-foot punch off Dushmantha Chameera for a boundary and later unfurled a slew of pulls, hooks and punches. His back-foot strokeplay especially grabbed the attention as he pulled and hooked the pacers with effortless ease.
He galloped to fifty in just 28 balls and later imposed himself on the leg-spinner in the 16th over by clobbering him for three sixes in an over. Patidar reached his hundred in the 18th over by whipping out an imperious pull off left-arm pacer Mohsin Khan and became only the fourth uncapped cricketer to thump a ton in the IPL. He is also only the fifth player in the history of the IPL to score a hundred in the Playoffs.
His blistering hundred propelled Bangalore to 207-4 in 20 overs and they went to win the match by 14 runs. Patidar once again came good in the Qualifier 2 and clouted 58 against Rajasthan Royals but his team slumped to defeat.
Dinesh Karthik hailed his scintillating ton as the best innings in the history of the IPL by an uncapped player.
ALSO READ: IPL 2022: Dynamites & Duds Of Season
2) Abhishek Sharma’s 75 off 50 balls against Chennai Super Kings: Sunrisers Hyderabad came into this match after losing their first two matches and badly needed a win to shore up their chances to qualify for the Playoffs.
Before this match, Abhishek’s highest score in the IPL was an unbeaten 46 which had come almost four years ago when he debuted for then Delhi Daredevils. He had also flattered to deceive in the first two matches of the season and there were murmurs that he should be axed from the playing XI. By all accounts, it was an extremely crucial match for the left-hander.
Chennai batted first and 154-7 in 20 overs. The target of 155 wasn’t a doddle on the sluggish pitch where the ball was not coming onto the bat. Even his opening partner, a much-experienced Kane Williamson was finding it hard to time the ball. Abhishek too was a tad shaky in the beginning and miscued a couple of pulls.
But once he was set, he began to take on the bowlers as he tonked mystery spinner Maheesh Theekshana for a boundary and then slog-swept him for a gigantic six. His other two sixes came off Chris Jordan and left-arm pacer Mukesh Choudhary as he whacked them straight down the ground.
Williamson fell after a 32-ball 40 in the 12th over but Sharma kicked on and took his team to the doorsteps of victory. Hyderabad needed just 10 runs when he was dismissed for 75 by Dwayne Bravo and strolled to an eight-wicket win.
3) Rahul Tewatia’s 43 off 25 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore: While talking about Rahul Tewatia, one always thinks of him in terms of impact rather than just the number of runs he scores. Batting at no.5 or 6, Tewatia has won a string of matches for his teams from critical situations in the last three years especially when they were chasing.
No team can afford to be blase till Tewatia is at the crease during a chase. In IPL 2022, Tewatia further cemented his reputation as a masterful chaser as he successfully finished a number of matches for his team Gujarat Titans.
In the encounter against Bangalore, Gujarat were tottering at 95-5 in 13 overs in a 171-run chase. At that stage, Gujarat needed 76 runs in 7 overs and it seemed like an uphill task.
But Tewatia, after surviving a close lbw call on the second ball, turned the match around and hammered an unbeaten 43 off just 25 balls. He began by flicking the right-arm pacer Mohd. Siraj for a boundary and later smoked Josh Hazlewood for a huge six over fine-leg in the 18th over. On the next ball, he cracked a smashing cover drive and eased the pressure.
Gujarat needed just seven runs in the last over and Tewatia finished the match by lofting Hazlewood over cover for a boundary.
Earlier in the tournament, Tewatia had bludgeoned two sixes off the last two balls against Punjab Kings to seal a thrilling win for Gujarat. His finishing touches in a number of matches were instrumental in Gujarat eventually lifting the IPL trophy.