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

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | May 30, 2012, 16:33 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY Raj_pandian on | May 30, 2012, 13:28 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY on | May 30, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    @MaroofK SHAKIB PLAYED LAST YEAR - 2011.

  • POSTED BY 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.

  • POSTED BY Cric_Wiz on | May 30, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    Should include steve smith in da list.

  • POSTED BY SagarChordia on | May 30, 2012, 5:40 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY waheed1233 on | May 30, 2012, 4:51 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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.

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | May 30, 2012, 16:33 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY Raj_pandian on | May 30, 2012, 13:28 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY on | May 30, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    @MaroofK SHAKIB PLAYED LAST YEAR - 2011.

  • POSTED BY 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.

  • POSTED BY Cric_Wiz on | May 30, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    Should include steve smith in da list.

  • POSTED BY SagarChordia on | May 30, 2012, 5:40 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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

  • POSTED BY waheed1233 on | May 30, 2012, 4:51 GMT

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

  • POSTED BY 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.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | May 29, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    Yyyaaawwwnnn....................

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    @maroofk,shakib played last year's ipl also and his 11 wickets from just 7 matches with a good strike rate & economy rate helped kkr to go upto the play-offs.Question towards KKR management-Is not he being underused?!

  • POSTED BY wiseshah on | May 29, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    shakib is not debutant but his performance is awsome, 7 match , 12 wkt and none of match wicketless and 2 man of the match.he batted at 8 or 9 most of time, so didnt get much opportunity.

    indian players performance is ordinary, except rahane, shikhar dhawan and gambhir. mostly show was stolen by west indian

  • POSTED BY rsgarcia on | May 29, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    Must protest the exclusion of Kevon Cooper from this list. Though I understand he sat out after injury, given the strength of his performances before that, surely he rates an honourable mention? RR was hardly the same team without him. Dwayne Smith looked an interesting prospect too. I must say, without the West Indians, this IPL would have been far less exciting. That makes me no end proud.

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    oh and 1 more thing....

    Brag Hogg is no where near as good as Dave Mohomeed (of T&T) ... the only other left arm chinaman googly bowler of international repute ....

    the IPL should buy Dave, he would be pretty cheap .. Poor Dave has even been booted out of the T&T team by Sunil Narine ..... He did not play for T&T in the Caribbean 20/20 ... He would be an awesome buy in the next IPL .... (his telephone calls and crocodile roll celebrations , as though this was football and he scored a goal are sure to bring in fans)

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 29, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    I am surprised Negi is not on the list. Hilenhaus did very well, but him and Azhar Mahmood can hardly be considered rookies.....

    But Hogg is the most impressive fro me.. he should consider coaching next..

    after complaining in the commentary box about all the wrong things the bowlers are doing, he has put his money where his mouth is and showed them how it is done....

    Next, I would hire him to mentor my spinners ... he OBVIOUSLY knows what he is talking about .....

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Arsenal fan are we? Bouncebackability indeed.

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    STEVE SMITH ?

  • POSTED BY MaroofK on | May 29, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Although not a " Shakib fanatic " ..but shouldnt his name be mentioned on this list??? 7 matches - 12 wickets . amongst top five bowling avg / strike rate and 2 Man of the Match awards!! Unless he is not a debutant!! Enlighten me some one please...

  • POSTED BY Jishnu.v.v on | May 29, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Hilfenhaus was superb and so too were others... If Pakistan players are allowed in IPL, Saeed Ajmal would be a major trump card!!!

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  • POSTED BY Jishnu.v.v on | May 29, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Hilfenhaus was superb and so too were others... If Pakistan players are allowed in IPL, Saeed Ajmal would be a major trump card!!!

  • POSTED BY MaroofK on | May 29, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    Although not a " Shakib fanatic " ..but shouldnt his name be mentioned on this list??? 7 matches - 12 wickets . amongst top five bowling avg / strike rate and 2 Man of the Match awards!! Unless he is not a debutant!! Enlighten me some one please...

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    STEVE SMITH ?

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    Arsenal fan are we? Bouncebackability indeed.

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 29, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    I am surprised Negi is not on the list. Hilenhaus did very well, but him and Azhar Mahmood can hardly be considered rookies.....

    But Hogg is the most impressive fro me.. he should consider coaching next..

    after complaining in the commentary box about all the wrong things the bowlers are doing, he has put his money where his mouth is and showed them how it is done....

    Next, I would hire him to mentor my spinners ... he OBVIOUSLY knows what he is talking about .....

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 29, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    oh and 1 more thing....

    Brag Hogg is no where near as good as Dave Mohomeed (of T&T) ... the only other left arm chinaman googly bowler of international repute ....

    the IPL should buy Dave, he would be pretty cheap .. Poor Dave has even been booted out of the T&T team by Sunil Narine ..... He did not play for T&T in the Caribbean 20/20 ... He would be an awesome buy in the next IPL .... (his telephone calls and crocodile roll celebrations , as though this was football and he scored a goal are sure to bring in fans)

  • POSTED BY rsgarcia on | May 29, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    Must protest the exclusion of Kevon Cooper from this list. Though I understand he sat out after injury, given the strength of his performances before that, surely he rates an honourable mention? RR was hardly the same team without him. Dwayne Smith looked an interesting prospect too. I must say, without the West Indians, this IPL would have been far less exciting. That makes me no end proud.

  • POSTED BY wiseshah on | May 29, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    shakib is not debutant but his performance is awsome, 7 match , 12 wkt and none of match wicketless and 2 man of the match.he batted at 8 or 9 most of time, so didnt get much opportunity.

    indian players performance is ordinary, except rahane, shikhar dhawan and gambhir. mostly show was stolen by west indian

  • POSTED BY on | May 29, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    @maroofk,shakib played last year's ipl also and his 11 wickets from just 7 matches with a good strike rate & economy rate helped kkr to go upto the play-offs.Question towards KKR management-Is not he being underused?!

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | May 29, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    Yyyaaawwwnnn....................