IPL 2023: Non-traditional impact cricketers | Cricket News

This season saw a number of players from outside the usual cricketing powerhouses making an impact for their teams. The Afghans, naturally, rule this space.
TOI takes a look…
Josh Little (Ireland; GT): M: 8, Wkts: 6, Avg: 39.67, ER: 8.21, SR: 29, Best: 2/25
Little has given some big performances for the Titans, especially in the first half of the tournament. His death-overs bowling, accurate yorkers, and variation in pace has been praised from all quarters. He also managed to keep the legendary MS Dhoni quiet in the death overs during one match against CSK.
Noor Ahmad (Afghanistan; GT): M: 10, Wkts: 13, Avg. 22.15, ER: 7.96, SR: 16.69, Best: 3/37
The surprise package in the GT bowling line-up. A left-arm version of Rashid Khan. Just like Rashid, batters have struggled to pick his variations. Has been Hardik Pandya’s trump card. Even on days when Rashid Khan has gone for runs, Ahmad has managed to keep batters quiet.
Rashid Khan (Afghanistan; GT): M: 14, Wkts: 24, Avg. 18.25, ER: 7.82, SR: 14.00, Best: 4/30
The spin magician from Afghanistan never disappoints. This year he has not only kept batters on a tight leash but also picked wickets aplenty, something that was missing in the last couple of seasons. Throw him in at any stage of the match and he will make a difference.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Afghanistan; KKR): M: 11, Runs: 227, Avg: 20.64, SR: 133.53, Best: 81, 100s/50s: 0/2, Catches/Stumping: 10/0
Over the years, the diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman has excelled in all T20 leagues, be it the PSL, BPL, CPL or the SLPL. This was Gurbaz’ first tryst with the IPL and he gave a decent enough performance. His 39-ball 81 against the Titans was the highlight as he set the Eden Gardens alight with 5 fours and 7 sixes.
David Wiese (Namibia; KKR): M: 3, Runs: 21, Best: 12*, Avg: 21; SR: 190.91, 100s/50s: 0/0, Catches/Stumping: 3/0
The wily allrounder is a veteran of T20 leagues around the world. Although he didn’t have any breakthrough performance this season, a couple of maximums against RCB helped KKR win the game in Bengaluru. KKR could have used his all-round skills better.
Naveen-ul-Haq (Afghanistan; LSG): M: 7, Wkts: 7, Avg: 25.86, ER: 7.54, SR: 20.57; Best: 3/30
The young pacer will be best remembered for his on-field feud with Virat Kohli and the social media skirmish that followed. The 23-year-old, however, made himself an integral member of the LSG XI. His slower balls have been difficult to pick and he has one of the best economy rates to his credit.
Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe; PBKS): M: 7, Runs: 139, Avg: 27.80, SR: 141.84, Best: 57, 100s/50s: 0/1, Catches/Stumping: 5/0, Wkts: 3
Raza became the fourth Zimbabwean player to feature in the IPL after Ray Price, Tatenda Taibu and Brendan Taylor. Due to the restriction on the use of foreign players, he didn’t always fit in the XI but whenever he got a chance, gave match-winning performances. His 41-ball 57 helped PBKS win against LSG in Lucknow. He also helped Punjab win a game against CSK in a tense finish.
Fazalhaq Farooqui (Afghanistan; SRH): M: 4, Wkts: 4, Avg: 29.25, ER: 8.78, SR: 20, Best: 2/41
Got limited opportunities. Swung the new ball but couldn’t leave a greater impact on flat Indian decks. The highlight for him would be the wicket of Jos Buttler, who was bowled neck and crop with a delivery that swung back in to send the off-stump cart wheeling.


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