Most of them are already stars or promising talents of their national sides, prompting IPL franchises to invest good money in them. A look at the top 10 IPL debutantes who can be expected to shine in the fifth edition.
Michael Clarke: After shunning IPL for long to concentrate on his international career, Australia captain Michael Clarke finally relented and signed for Pune Warriors for an undisclosed fee. Although Clarke will debut for his IPL side only in the latter half of the season due to Australia's Test series against the West Indies, he can be expected to make an immediate impact when he does.
Richard Levi: The South Africa batsman, who has been reportedly signed for $400,000 by the Mumbai Indians, became a T20 sensation with just one knock. In February 2012, he hit 13 sixes against New Zealand to create a record of scoring maximum sixes in a T20 International innings in Hamilton. He also holds the record for scoring the fastest hundred in a T20 International innings, off 45 balls.
Mitchell Johnson: Australia's pace spearhead not too long ago, Mitchell Johnson has fallen out of favour due to poor form. Now Johnson, who opted out of IPL in the past to focus on playing for Australia, hopes to use the same tournament to make a comeback into the national side. Mumbai bought Johnson for $3,00,000, a decent buy considering he can also bat.
Brad Hogg: The Australian made a comeback for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash tournament. He took 12 wickets at an average of 13.5, better than any other spinner in the competition. On 23 January 2012, at the age of almost 41, Hogg earned a recall to the Australian Twenty20 squad on the back of his form with the Scorchers. IPL recruits took notice and Rajasthan Royals bought him for $180,000.
Darren Bravo: His batting style has drawn comparisons with none other than Brian Lara. And like Lara, he too has the potential to soon become the best batsman of his side. Although Test cricket is his forte, Bravo can succeed in the IPL as well, given his attacking style of play. He was bought by Deccan Chargers for his base price of $100,000.
Andre Russell: A fast bowling all-rounder, Andre Russell was bought for $450,000 by the Delhi Daredevils who already have plenty of pacers in their team. However, it is his more than handy batting down the lower order that gives him the edge over his fast bowling team-mates.
Sunil Narine: Bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping $700,000 in the February auction, having had a base price of just $50,000, the West Indian spinner's price surprised many. However, several franchises, including the Mumbai Indians, have expressed their disappointment at having failed to sign Narine. He was an outstanding success in the in the Champions League 2011, taking ten wickets at an average of 10.50 and an economy rate of 4.37.
Azhar Mahmood: Although he now holds a British passport, Azhar Mahmood will add Pakistani flavour to the IPL. The all-rounder can score briskly and can be equally handy with the ball. He was sold to Kings XI Punjab for $200,000, double his base price.
Dinesh Chandimal: At only 22 years of age, Dinesh Chandimal is remarkably mature and knows how to pace his innings. He is currently Sri Lanka's most promising young batsman. In 2010, he became the youngest Sri Lankan to score an ODI century when he made 111 against India in a tri-series in Zimbabwe. He was bought for only $50,000 by the Rajasthan Royals.
Marchant de Lange: The young South Africa pacer returned with figures of 8/126 on Test debut, including 7/81 in the Sri Lankan first innings. The figures are the best for any bowler in Test cricket in 2011. While pace sensation and de Lange's compatriot Vernon Philander was overlooked in the auction, de Lange was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders at his base price of $50,000. KKR also have Brett Lee and James Pattinson in their ranks.
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