IPL 2022: Itinerant cricketers Karthik, de Kock, Miller, Saha relishing new challenges at new teams
In the ongoing season of IPL 2022, there are many experienced campaigners, who are representing new teams, but in a very short span of time, they have become match winners for them
It's never easy for a cricketer to join a new team and start performing straightway especially in a high-pressure and competitive tournament like IPL but there are exceptional players like Dinesh Karthik, Quinton de Kock, Mitchell Marsh and others, who have adjusted to the new environment quite nicely and have become a vital cog in the success of their respective franchises.
Three big superstars of Indian cricket -- Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore), MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings) and Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians) are players who have been synonymous with their respective IPL teams and they have also made immensense contribution in the growth and popularity of the leagues.
However, there are many players who have not been able to find permanent homes for themselves in the cash-rich league. Usually, they have moved from one team to another after a season or two due to various reasons like poor form, injury or because of not fitting in the scheme of things.
Most often, these cricketers have found it difficult to adjust to the new management, culture, environment and different playing conditions. But like every other thing, there are few exceptions here as well. In the ongoing season of IPL 2022, there are many experienced campaigners, who are representing new teams, but in a very short span of time, they have become match winners for them.
A look at the brief journey of these players at the IPL:
The 36-year old Karthik, is a veteran campaigner in the IPL and has been involved in all the editions of the league since the inaugural 2008 season.
The wicket-keeper batter has represented six teams over the course of his IPL career. He started off with Delhi Daredevils in 2008 before moving to Kings XI Punjab in 2011. He spent the following two seasons with Mumbai Indians before going back to Delhi in 2014. RCB bagged him in 2015 and he played for Gujarat Lions in 2016 and 2017 before spending four seasons with KKR.
Ahead of the 2022 edition of the league, Karthik was released by KKR and was bought by RCB for Rs 5.5 crore in the mega Auction. This will be Karthik's second stint with RCB after the 2015 season and it seems, he was saving his best for IPL 2022. When the wicket-keeper was playing for RCB in 2015, it was a completely different set-up and Karthik too has upgraded his batting style since then.
The veteran, who has IPL career tally of 4320 runs in 225 matches, is doing a finisher's job for the RCB and scored 274 runs in 12 matches with an superb strike-rate of 200.00, this season. Cricket fans are highly impressed by Karthik's heroics with the bat and want him to be a part of the Indian team for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. If RCB manage to reach the playoffs and eventually want to win the title, they would certainly 'DK' at his best in the upcoming matches of the IPL 2022.
Quinton de Kock
De Kock, one of the most exciting wicketkeeper-batters in world cricket, started his IPL journey with Sunrisers Hyderabad and then played for Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the next few seasons. However, his best in IPL came with the Mumbai Indians, where the Proteas cricketer played quickfire knocks at the top and also did a solid job behind the wickets, helping MI win back to back titles in 2019 and 2020.
Despite his impactful contributions, five champions MI, didn't retain de Kock and even didn't buy him in the auction. Mumbai's loss became Lucknow Super Giants' gain after the new franchise bought the left-hander for Rs 6.75 crore in the IPL 2022 mega auction.
In the ongoing season, de Kock has scored 355 runs in 12 matches and given LSG solid starts along with skipper KL Rahul. His explosive hitting is making things easier for Rahul partners and putting pressure on the opposition.
After playing for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) over a number of years, Miller was bought by Rajasthan Royals ahead of IPL 2020. Despite playing just one game in the IPL 2020, the franchise retained him for the IPL 2021 and he had an average season with the bat.
Known for his ability to single-handedly change the course of the match by hitting huge sixes, Miller was far from his best in the last couple of IPL seasons. But, new franchise Gujarat Titans, who bought him for Rs 3 cr in the mega auction, seem to bring the best out of the Proteas batter.
Gujarat has become the first team to qualify for the playoffs and Miller certainly played a vital role in that. The left-hander has scored 332 in 12 matches and finished matches for GT at most occasions under tremendous pressure. The Hardik Pandya led side would certainly want Miller to maintain his brilliant form in the play-off matches.
Marsh, who is known for his hard-hitting skills and pace bowling prowess, has played for multiple franchises -- Deccan Chargers, Rising Pune Supergiants, Pune Warriors (all three defunct now) and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the previous editions of IPL. However, the Australian has never played for the full season either because of his injuries or bad-form. So, in a way, Indian fans haven't seen Marsh at his best consistently in the IPL.
The star all-rounder was bought by Delhi Capitals for 6.50 cr in the mega auction and once again he missed half of matches in the IPL 2022 for the franchise due to hip flexor injury and Covid-19. But in his limited number of outings (6 matches), Marsh has scored 188 runs with an strike rate of 134.28 and picked 4 wickets for the DC.
On Wednesday, nearly six months after that surreal innings in the 2021 T20 World Cup final in Dubai, Marsh played a match-winning knock of 89 runs for Delhi against Rajasthan Royals. The Rishab Pant led side have two more league matches to play and inform Marsh could play a pivotal role in their campaign.
Athletic wicketkeeper and a more than handy contributor with the bat, Saha has displayed his skills for Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings, Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad in earlier editions of IPL. His glovework is second to none and the veteran has tried to make the most of his opportunities with the bat as well while turning up for his respective franchises.
He has been used as an opener in the past by the franchises and Saha has notched up some breezy half centuries in the process, scoring 2324 runs in 140 IPL matches.
A new challenge awaited Saha in Gujarat Titans and so far he has passed the test with flying colours. In the ongoing season, Saha has scored 214 runs in 7 matches, which includes two fifties while batting at the top-order.
Kolkata Knight Riders signed Aaron Finch as a replacement for England batter Alex Hales for the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League. The Australian batter, who has played 92 IPL games and has 2091 runs, joined KKR at the price of Rs 1.5 crore.
When it comes to IPL, Finch is no stranger having played for eight other franchises -- Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, Pune Warriors India, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Lions, Punjab Kings, and Royal Challengers Bangalore -- since his IPL debut in 2010. KKR is Finch's ninth IPL franchise and despite his vast experience, the attacking batter has never been consistent with his performances and has most often disappointed the cricket fans and experts.
In the ongoing IPL 2022 as well, Finch has scored just 86 runs in five matches and was dropped for the KKR's last game against Mumbai Indians.