IPL 2012 May 27, 2012

A bright first impression

Five players who made their IPL debuts this season, and left their mark
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Azhar Mahmood
Runs: 186 at 23.25
Wickets: 14 at 23.50
Economy-rate: 7.71

He was the only player to have represented Pakistan in the past and played in this IPL, his participation made possible by his British citizenship though that, too, didn't spare him from some initial visa delays. Azhar Mahmood's exploits with Surrey and Kent had won him a reputation as a very reliable asset in the shortest version and he didn't disappoint, his medium-pacers, spiced up with variations, delivering wickets consistently for Kings XI and a couple of handy cameos helping his side get over the line. Snapped up for US$200,000, Mahmood was well worth the sum.

Sunil Narine
Wickets: 24 at 11.95
Economy-rate: 5.20

"Oh shit, no way, man," was Sunil Narine's reaction when he heard he'd been bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for US$700,000. He's been his team's trump card: his high action, ability to turn it both ways, changes in pace and revealing very little with his fingers combined to confound the best this IPL. His spells were replete with close shaves, and frequent with rewards. His highlight was his battle against Sachin Tendulkar in Mumbai, ending with the batsman bowled while trying to cut, the ball turning wildly towards leg stump and clipping his pads to knock back off.

Brad Hogg
Wickets: 10 at 25.30
Economy-rate: 7.02

Brad Hogg was among the most excitable commentators in the IPL's previous season, standing out with his sudden peaks in decibel levels. But, despite being 41 - he was the oldest player in the IPL - he realised his best contribution to the game still lay on the field. His left-arm chinaman is a rare skill, backed up by plenty of experience and a crucial weapon in the wrong'un. His exploits in the BBL helped him win a US$180,000 signing with Rajasthan Royals, and he repaid them by picking wickets in seven of the nine games he played.

Parvinder Awana
Wickets: 17 at 21.88
Economy-rate: 7.91

When Parvinder Awana was left out of the India A squad for the tour of the West Indies, despite an impressive domestic season, he had said he'd grown accustomed to such rejections. At the end of Kings XI Punjab's IPL campaign, he found out he'd been brought into the squad as a replacement for the injured RP Singh and few would question his inclusion. He stood out among the Indian seamers, nipped the ball both ways, found swing when conditions were favourable and bowled often in the high 130s with excellent carry. He picked up wickets in a clutter, his economy rate though could do with more improvement.

Ben Hilfenhaus
Wickets: 12 at 17.33
Economy-rate: 6.93

Ben Hilfenhaus was picked up by Chennai Super Kings for US$100,000 before the 2011 season, one he missed due to injury. Bouncebackability was the key feature to his success this season. He was smashed for 14 off the last three balls of the match by Dwayne Smith, who snatched victory for Mumbai Indians. Hilfenhaus was distraught after the game but fought back superbly. He was accurate, swung the ball, his away-going deliveries troubled many batsmen and the rest of his season, for the most part, was marked by remarkable consistency. He picked at least a wicket in every game he played and remained his team's go-to bowler.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nadeem1976 on May 30, 2012, 16:33 GMT

    Outstanding performance by Narine. Ben Half was good too, other debutantes are boring.

  • Raj_pandian on May 30, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Steven smith represented kochi last yea's IPL.. so he cannot be included..

  • muski on May 30, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    IPL 6 if opened to Pak players will be a mouth watering one- atleast it will improve the standard of bowling. All said and done the quality of bowling was woeful with the odd couple of exections. Teams like RCB and Deccan need almost a complete overhaul of their bowling department Why are guys clamouring for Steve Smith. He won one game for MI and then was a no show man in the others. Thats flash in the pan like the one Kaif played many years ago for India. It will be interesting to see if Narine is sorted out by the batsmen quickly like it happened to Ajantha Mendis.Is there a duffer of the IPL award that is given to anyone- if so, it should certainly go to Saurabh Tiwary of RCB

  • dummy4fb on May 30, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    @MaroofK SHAKIB PLAYED LAST YEAR - 2011.

  • saqi.saki on May 30, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    A B devilliers inng against pune was the best inng of this ipl. let,s c what lesson sialkot does teach these teems in champions league.

  • Cric_Wiz on May 30, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    Should include steve smith in da list.

  • chordia_sagar on May 30, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    i wonder why Steven Smith is missing from this list?????

  • dummy4fb on May 30, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    shouldnt kevon coopers name be there on list? he was v good in three four games he played b4 injury .it was unfortunate that he cudnt play the whole tournament. and also steve smith, super fielder of IPL? yes of course I m unsure whether steve smith has played in any of editions b4 this coz his profile states the names of RCB and KTK on teams played for list. I dont understand y shakib fans always go overboard. He is one of the best allrounders but rest are not worst .noones in two minds about shakibs contributions to IPL 5 , infact if it hadnt been these super 7 , narine -gambhir-shaqib-kallis-D das -balaji and abdulla KKR wouldnt have had such a smooth journey towards title . But this articles specifically for debutants of 2012 when for shakib its 2011

  • waheed1233 on May 30, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    Where is STEVE SMITH? He was way better than at least two players mentioned here.

  • mngc1 on May 29, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Shakib fans want him on this debut list too?? I agree with Kevon Cooper who was a steal at $ 50,000 until his injury.

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