Indian Premier League has not just been a dramatic showdown but it comprises all the ingredients for what would be a recipe for a future epic. Spanning from world-class knocks to telling performances from unexpected players, the league has played host to the entertainment of the highest level.
To make matters more intriguing, the preamble to this extravagant showdown begins at least a couple of months back when the auction kicks in. The auction plays host to the bidding against the players at which they are bought to deliver for their franchise. Sounds more like a barter system from the Stone Age, but its fascinating statue brings in all the cricketing fans of the world together in united gasps of exasperations, joined shrieks of joy, and most importantly love for the sport.
However, this auction doesn’t really relay a lucid image of what can be a possible offing in the making as there have been instances where cricketers were bought for staggering amounts only for them to falter at the highest level. Also, there were rare occasions where legends of the game were spurned only for them to stage a dramatic turnaround in future editions of the fray. We will look at four such cricketers who went on to make a comeback in IPL after going unsold in previous auctions.
Shakib Al Hasan – 2009, 2010
Arguably touted as one of the most sublime cricketers to have ever played for Bangladesh, Shakib went unsold in the initial years of IPL. Though he wasn’t a much heard of the moniker in those days, yet three years of international cricket itself can act as a significant validation for any cricketer.
Despite being in the pods in 2009 and 10, the authorities weren’t really interested in this young lad and let it slip. However, it was in 2011, Kolkata Knight Riders realized the importance of Shakib and roped him in. The rest they say is history as the Bangladeshi cricketer went on to play for seven glittering seasons for Kolkata before finally switching allegiance to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
His international T-20 career brags about figures of 1567 runs and 92 wickets which catapulted him to the status of the best Bangladeshi cricketer in the shortest format of the game. Though the aforementioned feats were not matched in the Indian Premier League, his achievements of 59 wickets from 63 matches and his crucial knocks in the middle of the innings still makes him one of the most feared cricketers in IPL.
Chris Gayle – 2011
Though Gayle has gone unsold in the latest edition of IPL, his first phase of being unsold in the same competition was in 2011. After pedestal performances from the West Indian monster in the first two seasons of the IPL, no buyer was interested to splurge on this hard-hitting southpaw.
However, fortune had a substantial role to play which saw Dirk Nannes taken out of the equation due to an injury and RCB quickly showed top class acumen to hire the services of Gayle. This decision of their reaped handsome rewards as the West Indian Colossus hammered every single bowler in that edition in all corners of the park.
His career-best score of an unbeaten 175 against Pune Warriors attested to the agony that he can inflict on his opponents. After he was done with Bangalore, Punjab brought on the big man and his song continued as he seemed more invincible than ever.
Andre Russell – 2011
Imagine Russell walking into an auction now and every single franchise would fight tooth and nail to earn the services of the big-hitting athlete. However, his stint wasn’t always this glamorous as he went unsold in the auction of 2011.
Despite Delhi roping Russell in 2012, he didn’t get much game time and only had to be sated by being a bench warmer. It was in 2014 that KKR brought on the big man to the scene and man he did come out in style!
With 1342 runs at a staggering average of 35.32 that comes with a strike rate of 188.75, Russell has shown it to the world that why he is one of the greatest performers in the shortest format of the game.
Aaron Finch – 2013
Despite being one of the most dominant openers in Australian cricketing history, his initial days in IPL weren’t that promising. After three below-par seasons, Finch failed to draw any suitor in the 2013 auction. However, he still managed to get into the now extinct Pune Warriors India squad of the same season after Clarke was sidelined due to injury.
That was his watershed moment in IPL as the Australian hard-hitter went on to craft several match-defining knocks that propelled him to the ace of openers, ranking just beneath the likes of Warner, Watson, Rohit, and Gayle.
With 1737 runs from 88 games, Aaron Finch bats at a strike rate of 130.69 which has bear witness to 176 boundaries and 67 over boundaries.