IPL's underdog millionaires
At the start of season 2 of the T20 extravaganza, CricketNDTV.com takes a look at top five underdogs who can surprise and surpass the seasoned players.
<p>The first edition of the Indian Premier League saw rookies transforming into rockstars. And there is no doubt why it would be any different this time.</p> <p>Opener Shaun Marsh had not even played for Australia when signed by Kings XI Punjab in the inaugural tournament in India last year, but returned as the leading scorer with 616 runs. Marsh, son of former Australian Test opener Geoff who was signed for 30,000 dollars -- a meagre sum compared to what many others got -- made his one-day debut just three weeks after the IPL.</p> <p>Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Yusuf Pathan also achieved fame after just one tournament to later become a vital part of India's one-day and Twenty20 squad. Pathan did not let his skipper Warne down with his hard-hitting and tidy off-spin. He was the seventh-highest scorer with 435 runs, including the tournament's fastest 50, off just 21 balls against Deccan Chargers.</p> <p>Fast bowlers Manpreet Singh Gony, Dhawal Kulkarni and many more like them share similar stories. </p> <p>This year not many greenhorns are likely to make debut. Nevertheless, at the advent of season 2 of the T20 extravaganza, <strong>CricketNDTV.com</strong> takes a look at top five underdogs who can surprise and surpass the seasoned players.</p>
<p>Mashrafe Mortaza was the biggest suprise of IPL 2 even before the tournament began. The Bangladesh pacer was promised by Punjab captain Yuvraj Singh that he will take him in his team in season 2. During the auction, Kolkata outbid Punjab to scoop him up for almost Rs 3 crore.</p> <p>The Bangladeshi came in limelight when effectively bowled India out of the 2007 World Cup. But that's not all about him; he can swing the bat too. Three Tests half-centuries and an ODI 50 means he's no mug with the bat. </p> <p>He is accurate, aggressive and quick, and on his day he can rip off the opposition single-handedly. In the absence of Pakistan's Umar Gul and Shoaib Akhtar, Mortaza has a golden opportunity to lead the Knight Riders ' pace-attack along with Indian pace sensation Ishant Sharma.</p>
<p>This Australian pacer is not an unknown face. Missing out on the first season, Tait was taken by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 1.8 crore as the defending champions lost their pace spearhead Sohail Tanvir.</p> <p>Though the slinger from Adelaide is out of action since February, his raw pace could prove to be the perfect replacement for the guile of Tanvir for the Royals. The defending champions will be banking on Tait to blow the opposition away in tandem with Munaf Patel. </p> <p>Tait, who once withdrew himself from the international cricket citing physical and mental exhaustion, has the potential to bowl at a speed of over 150 kph. He has picked 21 wickets in 11 t20 matches at an average of 13.80. While his pace and talent is comforting for the Royals, his consistency is questionable.</p>
<p>New Zealand opener Jesse Ryder's IPL price tag of about 74 lakh rupees is now being called daylight robbery. Ryder is in the form of his life, having scored 579 runs during India's tour to New Zealand.</p> <p>Royal Challengers owner Vijay Mallya adamant on stripping his team off the 'Test team' tag, bid for the Kiwi all-rounder alongside Kevin Pietersen with a hope that those runs continue to flow through the IPL.</p> <p>The bulky batsman has the potential to blast the opposition bowlers with his powerful lofty shots and change the course of the game in a few deliveries. In the 19 T20 domestic matches that he has played, he has made 383 runs at an average of 23.93 with the help of three fifties.</p> <p>However, it remains to be seen if Royal Challengers get ride from him to move up in the tournament standings.</p>
<p>It was real daredevilry by David Warner to become the first batsman to use a double-sided bat. He smashed 89 off 43 balls on his T20 debut, the second fastest 50 ever in T20. </p> <p>With a performance like that, Delhi did not even wait for an auction to pick up this New South Wales player and bought him for Rs 87.5 lakh.</p> <p>Only the second player to play for Australia before playing any first-class cricket, Warner soon made his way to the Australian ODI side.</p> <p>In domestic Twenty20, he has the devastating strike-rate of 148 and an average of 29. In T20 Internationals, Warner has an average of over 35 with a strike-rate of 155. </p> <p>He is also handy with the ball as he has the ability to bowl left-arm spin.</p>
<p>Also hailed as Jonty Rhodes' replacement, JP Duminy was taken Mumbai Indians for a whopping sum of Rs. 4.7 crore. </p> <p>But that amount compliments his utility as a player. Duminy is an exciting batsman with the ability to impact all three forms of the game. A strike-rate of over 130 in T20s makes him a destructive force. His knocks of 78 off 48 and unbeaten 69 runs against Australia gave a glimpse of what he is capable of doing to the opponents.</p> <p>The southpaw from Western Province averages over 31 in T20 Internationals while in Tests and One-dayers he averages 48.62 and 37.62 respectively. He can also roll his arms to bowl off-break deliveries and often gets rewarded with wickets.</p>