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5 career-redefining IPL seasons for overseas players

A captain's backing in the IPL can propel an international career into stardom
A captain's backing in the IPL can propel an international career into stardom
Yash Chaturvedi

We all know several Indian cricketers who became household names following a wonderful season in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Ravindra Jadeja (Rajasthan Royals, 2008) and Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians, 2016) are some names among many that achieved great international success after a strong showing in the league.

However, the league was not set up purely for the benefit of Indian players - several foreign players too have tasted immense success. While teams have often retained proven international performers given the cap on foreign players in a team, some players have used the IPL as a launchpad for recognition by national selectors.

Here, we look at some foreign players who either got noticed by the selectors shortly after a breakthrough season, or were able to stake their claim for selection in T20 Internationals as well as the other formats.


#5 Andrew Tye (IPL 2018)

One season after his magnificent debut, Tye emerged as the highest wicket-taker
One season after his magnificent debut, Tye emerged as the highest wicket-taker

In an attempt to resuscitate a spiralling campaign, Andrew Tye was called up as a replacement player for the Gujarat Lions in 2017.

In a league where most franchises rely on overseas pacers for their express pace, Tye unleashed his yorkers and knuckle-ball on the unsuspecting Indian audience to grab a hat-trick, and five wickets in total, against Rising Pune Supergiant. It would be his second of three hat-tricks in 2017.

The franchises took note, and there ensued a bidding war for Tye's services in the 2018 mega-auction, with Punjab becoming his new home. Although the Kings XI were unable to string consistent performances together, Tye shone - 24 wickets in all, walking away with the Purple Cap for the season.

The Australian selectors were not to be left far behind, as they awarded Tye a central contract for the 2018-2019 season. He emerged as the highest wicket-taker in T20Is in the year 2018. Tye was recently part of the touring squad for Australia's tour to England, and will ply his trade for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020.

Check the IPL 2020 orange cap list here.


#4 Shaun Marsh (IPL 2008)

Despite not playing many T20Is, Shaun Marsh became the first name on the KXIP team sheet.
Despite not playing many T20Is, Shaun Marsh became the first name on the KXIP team sheet.

The inaugural IPL was a chance for one and all to impress, as in 2008, it was one of the few tournaments of its size. It drew crowds to stadiums, and also brought in foreign players keen to make a mark in a lucrative league. One of them was young Shaun Marsh, the Western Australian with an appetite for runs.

Opening the batting for the Kings XI, Marsh went on to amass the most number of runs that year - 616 in total, including a blistering century in the final league game. While the Kings's run ended in the semifinals (back when there were no IPL playoffs!), Marsh was able to cement himself as the pivotal piece in KXIP's top-order batting.

The young southpaw was handed a T20I debut in June of the same year, and made promising debuts both in the T20 and the ODI format. Till date, Marsh remains relevant in the Australian board's considerations. He scored memorable centuries in the home Ashes series in 2017/18 and was trusted when the infamous ball-tampering scandal engulfed some of the team's top cricketers.


#3 James Faulkner (IPL 2013)

James Faulkner's 2013 IPL led to him becoming a limited-overs regular for Australia
James Faulkner's 2013 IPL led to him becoming a limited-overs regular for Australia

James Faulkner's IPL career had a quiet start, as he made his debut for the Pune Warriors in 2011 before playing a couple of games for Punjab in 2012. In 2013, however, Rajasthan Royals put their money down on the Tasmanian seam-bowling all-rounder, hoping for a boost in the bowling as well as some lower-order hitting.

Faulkner made a significant impact with the faith of the team management. He scalped 28 wickets that season, bamboozling batsmen with variations at the death and chipping in with runs too. 2013 happened to be one of the better seasons for the franchise, as they finished 3rd and also made the Champions League T20 final. Faulkner's finest performance in the season was an economical 5-wicket haul against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Although Faulkner had already made nascent international strides, the 2013 IPL reinforced the Australian team management's faith in him. His crowning moment came in the ODI series versus India - not only did he humiliate Ishant Sharma with 30 runs off an over to help Australia win a match, but he also scored his maiden ODI hundred while chasing a colossal 384 in Bangalore.

Faulkner also holds the distinction of being Man of the Match in a World Cup final - in the 2015 final, he scalped three crucial New Zealand wickets to tie them down to a paltry total.


#2 Dwayne Bravo (IPL 2012)

Bravo's season with Chennai in 2012 was a major reason for his T20 stocks skyrocketing
Bravo's season with Chennai in 2012 was a major reason for his T20 stocks skyrocketing

The "Champion" himself, DJ Bravo needs no introduction, having cemented himself as a T20 great and a fan favourite. Although he had spent three initial seasons with the Mumbai Indians, Bravo became inextricably linked with the yellow jersey after his phenomenal season in IPL 2012. The Chennai Super Kings retained the player after their win in 2011, despite him barely featuring for the franchise that year.

Bravo repaid the faith, as he tallied 371 runs - still the highest he has scored in a season for the franchise - and picked up 15 wickets. As a result of his heroics, CSK marched to their third straight finals. While a clinical Kolkata Knight Riders chase dented their hopes of a three-peat, it did not diminish the value Bravo held for the franchise.

In the same year, Bravo played a crucial role in winning his team the 2012 T20 World Cup. His IPL exploits made him a hot buy in leagues all around the world, and soon, he become the backbone of the West Indies team in the shorter formats before even becoming the captain.

Even now, he remains available for selection after having come out of T20 international retirement, and hopes for a T20 World Cup swansong in 2021.


#1 Jos Buttler (IPL 2018)

Jos Buttler became an England all-format regular shortly after his 2018 IPL heroics
Jos Buttler became an England all-format regular shortly after his 2018 IPL heroics

Jos Buttler the limited-overs cricketer scarcely needs an introduction. Stuart Broad recently went on to call him England's best-ever after a T20I run-chase versus Australia.

His finest moment in England colours - breaking the stumps to ensure New Zealand did not overhaul England's Super Over total in the 2019 ICC World Cup final - may have come without his IPL masterclass in 2018. However, unlike all the other mentions in this list that were limited-overs recalls, Buttler was in store for something different.

After equalling the record for the most consecutive IPL fifties, and racking up 548 runs with Rajasthan Royals in 2018, Buttler had sent a signal to the selectors back home. Ed Smith, new chief selector, wasted no time in recalling him to the Test team, hoping for some similarly attacking cricket.

Buttler impressed at home against Pakistan, before scoring a century in a losing cause against India at Trent Bridge. Taking the gloves from Jonny Bairstow, the wicket-keeper has now carved out a spot for himself, and rose to the occasion recently in a thrilling Test against Pakistan to win the match when the top order gave way.

So while Buttler may have had a strong England career regardless, his consistent IPL performances not only made him a global T20 star, but also brought him an unlikely berth in all three forms of the game - something he will be grateful for.

Edited by Sai Krishna

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