For many Indian veteran cricketers, IPL 2023 was being seen as their last dance in the tournament. These players had not been in good form, and were included in the squads as just backup players.
But as many big guns failed to live up to the expectations, few veteran players, who haven’t played much cricket in the last few years, produced some great performances.
Here are 3 such players:
The right-arm medium pacer was forgotten by many due to his sporadic appearances in the last few seasons. Sharma, who used to bowl with quick speed and could throw impressive yorkers, was considered to be a spent-horse.
In 2020 and 2021, he played only 4 games for Delhi and went unsold at the 2022 auctions. In 2023, Delhi Capitals took him at his base price of Rs 50 lakh.
And this season, Sharma shocked everyone by his bowling spells. The 35-year-old pacer has been very economical in the 7 games he has played this season with an economy of 7.33. Sharma has taken 8 wickets and had impressive spells of (27/2) against Punjab Kings and 2/19 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
While many considered this as the last season for Sharma, he has proved this time that he still has a lot of fire in his belly.
The allrounder from Aligarh didn’t play much in the last three seasons and 2023 was being seen as his last in IPL. But Piyush Chawla turned out to be the biggest asset for Mumbai Indians (MI) this season as he clinched 19 wickets in 12 matches at an economy of 7.60.
Chawla turned the fortunes of MI at a time when their bowling lineup had received a deadly blow when Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out of the tournament. Moreover, Jofra Archer’s poor form added to the worry of the team.
Chawla’s leg-spin turned many matches in the favour of MI this year, and he showed that he can play for next few seasons.
Before the start of IPL 2023, Ajinkya Rahane was considered to be fit only for Tests and ODIs. A player who builds his innings gradually. But his performance right from the first match for CSK this year was something special.
Rahane has been batting at an excellent strike-rate of over 150, something which nobody expected from him. And in 10 matches for CSK so far, Rahane has scored 282 averaging 35.25 at a strike-rate of 169.88.
He was bought by CSK at his base price of Rs 50 lakh in the third round of the auctions after he went unsold in the initial two rounds. 2023 was being considered as Rahane’s last show in IPL, but with his performance this year, it seems he will be with CSK for few more years.