IPL 2012 April 2, 2012

Five overseas signings to watch

ESPNcricinfo picks out five overseas players who are on their way up in the international game and likely to make quite an impact in their debut IPL seasons
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Richard Levi
The South Africa opening batsman was among several players who went unsold at the auction in Bangalore. He was not an unknown at the time - he toured India with Cape Cobras in last year's Champions League T20. He soon found himself in South Africa's Twenty20 plans, touring New Zealand earlier this year. One knock was enough for the franchises to take notice. At Seddon Park, Hamilton - by no means the biggest ground in the world - Levi smashed a record century off just 45 balls with 13 sixes, the most ever for a Twenty20 innings. Several hits went many rows back, showing that he had the power to clear bigger grounds as well. Sahara Pune Warriors were reportedly interested in him, but he was ultimately picked up by Mumbai Indians as a replacement for Andrew Symonds, who pulled out. Levi hopes to open with Sachin Tendulkar and use this Indian experience to master subcontinent conditions.

Sunil Narine
The Trinidad and Tobago spinner is not a new face to Indian audiences. He emerged from last year's Champions League as one of the players to watch in the future. His stock ball is the offspinner, but he has developed the mystery delivery called the knuckle ball, a variation delivered with a loose wrist and a corkscrew twist of two fingers that makes it grip, turn away from the right hander, and bounce alarmingly. At the Champions League, he confounded Chennai Super Kings on his way to figures of 3 for 8 - a haul that including the wickets of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. He's now a regular in West Indies' limited-overs squads and is in the reckoning for the Tests against Australia as well. If picked, Narine could show up for Kolkata Knight Riders only by the end of the month. His base price was US$50,000, but the franchise was willing to fork out US$700,000 to get him.

Marchant de Lange
This soft-spoken South Africa right-arm fast bowler is anything but shy with the ball. It's all raw pace and bounce, as he's capable of bowling consistently at 150kph and above. Kolkata Knight Riders bought him at the auction at his base price of $50,000. A new entrant to international cricket, de Lange showed the touring Australians what he's capable of, nipping out five wickets in a tour game. Some Australia players told Kolkata: "This guy is bowling fireballs". He took seven in an innings on Test debut, making him the most successful Test debutant of 2011. He also showed his temperament in a close Twenty20 against New Zealand in Auckland. With six to defend off the last over, captain AB de Villiers tossed the ball to the inexperienced de Lange. He conceded just three runs and took two wickets in South Africa's heist. Will he be a last-over specialist for Kolkata too?

Doug Bracewell
This right-arm fast bowler was one of New Zealand's finds of the season. The nephew of former national coach John Bracewell, Doug Bracewell took a five-for on Test debut in Zimbabwe, but his match haul of 9 for 60 in a winning cause in Hobart is a performance he will never forget. It took a rookie to break New Zealand's Test jinx against Australia. Delhi Daredevils bought him for his base price of $50,000. He has pace, hits the deck hard and is a capable lower-order batsman. He took nine wickets in eight games for Central Districts in the Twenty20 HRV Cup in New Zealand.

Andre Russell
Delhi Daredevils bought the West Indies allrounder for $450,000 - nine times his base price. Though still a relative newcomer to international cricket, his all-round abilities in limited-overs cricket caught the attention of team owners in Bangladesh and India. Like Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, Russell is capable of massive hits - he has a Twenty20 strike-rate of 148.58. He demonstrated that during West Indies' one-day series in India last year - not a bad stage to audition for the IPL. His highest ODI score of 92 also came against India. He bowls at good pace - though not as quick as de Lange - and has variations in his yorkers and slower balls. His athletic fielding was also impressive in the recently-concluded one-day series against Australia. Delhi should have his services all through the tournament, unless he's picked for West Indies' home Tests.

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 4, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    wanted to pak players 2 in tournament missing afridi n ajmal.........

  • nickydude on April 4, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    This cud be the possibly the end of Sunil Narine. Wont take much time for anyun to sort him out in this format. Remember, Ajantha Mendis, his days turned, once he was taken apart in IPL.

  • jonesy2 on April 4, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    what a joke of a piece this is

  • on April 4, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    narine & russell will do very well in IPL5

  • on April 4, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    tamim iqbal will play a vital role for pune

  • on April 4, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    Tamim Iqbal will show his best performance for sure....

  • Erebus26 on April 4, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    All overrated with the exception of Sunil Narine. Bracewell and De Lange look better in the longer form of the game - they don't look great in T20.

  • Syd_F on April 4, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    I don't think any of the five overseas players mentioned here will be starters. Levi might be the closest. Among the local players my bet for IPL newcomer surprise will be SHAMI AHMED. Anyone who followed indian domestic cricket would agree.

  • on April 3, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    did not expect cricinfo to drop to such a level - they have given a preview for only 8 of the 9 teams , forgetting Punjab ! Punjab will be the surprise tournament this IPL

  • on April 3, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    Chandimal is the best upcoming player i think???????

  • on April 4, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    wanted to pak players 2 in tournament missing afridi n ajmal.........

  • nickydude on April 4, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    This cud be the possibly the end of Sunil Narine. Wont take much time for anyun to sort him out in this format. Remember, Ajantha Mendis, his days turned, once he was taken apart in IPL.

  • jonesy2 on April 4, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    what a joke of a piece this is

  • on April 4, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    narine & russell will do very well in IPL5

  • on April 4, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    tamim iqbal will play a vital role for pune

  • on April 4, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    Tamim Iqbal will show his best performance for sure....

  • Erebus26 on April 4, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    All overrated with the exception of Sunil Narine. Bracewell and De Lange look better in the longer form of the game - they don't look great in T20.

  • Syd_F on April 4, 2012, 2:09 GMT

    I don't think any of the five overseas players mentioned here will be starters. Levi might be the closest. Among the local players my bet for IPL newcomer surprise will be SHAMI AHMED. Anyone who followed indian domestic cricket would agree.

  • on April 3, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    did not expect cricinfo to drop to such a level - they have given a preview for only 8 of the 9 teams , forgetting Punjab ! Punjab will be the surprise tournament this IPL

  • on April 3, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    Chandimal is the best upcoming player i think???????

  • on April 3, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    feel so disheartened that pakistani players arnet part of the IPL, would have brought some great cricket, bcci should try and keep politics aside im quite sure a lot of Pak players could have made it to this list

  • Bruisers on April 3, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    @Pravin Marathe - You also forgot MANDEEP SINGH..

  • on April 3, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Levi will get some games for sure.. The choice is between Gibbs and him.. Narine MUST get it as Eden is slow track and KKR usually used slow bowlers mostly.. A spin attack of Narine, Shakib and Iqbal will be lovely to have..Will Russel get much game? With Mahela and Warner sure slots and KP in middle order, the extra slot might go to Roelof as DD has good amount of local bowlers in Umesh, Varun and Irfan.. Too many fast bowlers might defuse the variety in attack.. However, Russel is good enough to merit place as big hitter alone.. Might be, until Warner comes? I don't see much games for Marchant and Bracewell though..

  • on April 3, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Let's See How KKR Used Their Foreign Playersssssss????????????

  • on April 3, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    agree with all on that levi will get game time. will be tough though here in nz our fields are small compared to overseas, so will be interesting to see as they did pay way to much for him i feel. fantastic that we have a few up and coming west indian players making it to the ipl, bit more refreshing than the over rated gayle. i cant believe bracewell was picked, im sure someone like david hussey would be one of the more dangerous overseas signings to watch. merchant should get game time. if you bowl 120-130 its no good. but if your a slow bowler or express then you will be picked for t20 as teamms and supports have an afixiation on speed, like with the wild thing, just pace. people love it. but really to include bracewell.....what a joke.

  • on April 3, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Pravin Marathe- I think ur forgetting Azhar Mahmood.He cannot be ignored in playing 11 for sure..He played well for Dhaka this season in BPL and he will the key for Punjab...He is an all rounder....

  • Sano27 on April 3, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    well i dont think De Lange & Bracewell are that much interesting overseas signings in IPL....its hard for both of them to find a place in the playing 11.....

  • on April 3, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    My Punjab 11 is 1.Gilly 2.Marsh 3.Paul Valthaty 4.David Hussy 5.Abhshek Nayar 6.R.Satish 7.Bipul Sharma 8.Chawala 9 Ryan Harris 10. Praveen Kumar 11.Harmeet Singh

  • satish619chandar on April 3, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    Levi will get some games for sure.. The choice is between Gibbs and him.. Narine MUST get it as Eden is slow track and KKR usually used slow bowlers mostly.. A spin attack of Narine, Shakib and Iqbal will be lovely to have..Will Russel get much game? With Mahela and Warner sure slots and KP in middle order, the extra slot might go to Roelof as DD has good amount of local bowlers in Umesh, Varun and Irfan.. Too many fast bowlers might defuse the variety in attack.. However, Russel is good enough to merit place as big hitter alone.. Might be, until Warner comes? I don't see much games for Marchant and Bracewell though..

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  • satish619chandar on April 3, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    Levi will get some games for sure.. The choice is between Gibbs and him.. Narine MUST get it as Eden is slow track and KKR usually used slow bowlers mostly.. A spin attack of Narine, Shakib and Iqbal will be lovely to have..Will Russel get much game? With Mahela and Warner sure slots and KP in middle order, the extra slot might go to Roelof as DD has good amount of local bowlers in Umesh, Varun and Irfan.. Too many fast bowlers might defuse the variety in attack.. However, Russel is good enough to merit place as big hitter alone.. Might be, until Warner comes? I don't see much games for Marchant and Bracewell though..

  • on April 3, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    My Punjab 11 is 1.Gilly 2.Marsh 3.Paul Valthaty 4.David Hussy 5.Abhshek Nayar 6.R.Satish 7.Bipul Sharma 8.Chawala 9 Ryan Harris 10. Praveen Kumar 11.Harmeet Singh

  • Sano27 on April 3, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    well i dont think De Lange & Bracewell are that much interesting overseas signings in IPL....its hard for both of them to find a place in the playing 11.....

  • on April 3, 2012, 13:49 GMT

    Pravin Marathe- I think ur forgetting Azhar Mahmood.He cannot be ignored in playing 11 for sure..He played well for Dhaka this season in BPL and he will the key for Punjab...He is an all rounder....

  • on April 3, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    agree with all on that levi will get game time. will be tough though here in nz our fields are small compared to overseas, so will be interesting to see as they did pay way to much for him i feel. fantastic that we have a few up and coming west indian players making it to the ipl, bit more refreshing than the over rated gayle. i cant believe bracewell was picked, im sure someone like david hussey would be one of the more dangerous overseas signings to watch. merchant should get game time. if you bowl 120-130 its no good. but if your a slow bowler or express then you will be picked for t20 as teamms and supports have an afixiation on speed, like with the wild thing, just pace. people love it. but really to include bracewell.....what a joke.

  • on April 3, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    Let's See How KKR Used Their Foreign Playersssssss????????????

  • on April 3, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    Levi will get some games for sure.. The choice is between Gibbs and him.. Narine MUST get it as Eden is slow track and KKR usually used slow bowlers mostly.. A spin attack of Narine, Shakib and Iqbal will be lovely to have..Will Russel get much game? With Mahela and Warner sure slots and KP in middle order, the extra slot might go to Roelof as DD has good amount of local bowlers in Umesh, Varun and Irfan.. Too many fast bowlers might defuse the variety in attack.. However, Russel is good enough to merit place as big hitter alone.. Might be, until Warner comes? I don't see much games for Marchant and Bracewell though..

  • Bruisers on April 3, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    @Pravin Marathe - You also forgot MANDEEP SINGH..

  • on April 3, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    feel so disheartened that pakistani players arnet part of the IPL, would have brought some great cricket, bcci should try and keep politics aside im quite sure a lot of Pak players could have made it to this list

  • on April 3, 2012, 17:05 GMT

    Chandimal is the best upcoming player i think???????