Good news for Ishant Sharma fans as the Indian speedster has been picked up by franchise Kings XI Punjab for the tenth edition of Indian Premier League. The Delhi-born pacer went unsold in the February Player Auction which raised quite a few eyebrows in the cricketing circles. Ishant’s whopping base price of Rs 2 crore was seemed to be the reason behind his left-out.
The 28-year old is an integral part of Team India’s test squad and has wealth of experience against his name on the international circuit. Ishant had an impressive Test season in 2016-17, he played an instrumental role with the ball in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar series. On the flat Indian decks, the 77 Test veteran bowled his heart out and troubled almost every Aussie batsman.
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After an average outing in IPL 2016, Ishant was released by new entrants Rising Pune Supergiant this year. He played four matches for RPS in season 9, managed to pick up only 3 wickets at a poor economy rate of 9.86. In the last three seasons of IPL, the lanky pacer has found it difficult to adjust the shorter version of the game.
Ishant has played only 11 matches in IPL since 2014, in which he has notched up mere seven scalps at an economy of over 10 an over. These figures certainly didn’t help Sharma’s cause when it comes to T20 cricket where he has continuously struggled to establish his dominance. However, looking at Kings XI Punjab squad, it can be understood that Ishant’s inclusion in KXIP is likely to add a bit of experience in their bowling attack.
Irfan Pathan – a better fit in the format?
Unlucky to be ignored again, all-rounder Irfan Pathan has once again missed on a place in one of the franchises in the 2017 season of IPL. Irfan Pathan impressed everybody in the domestic circuit with his performances in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (T20 tournament) where he picked up five wickets in four games at an average of 17.6 and an economy rate of 6.28.
With the bat as well, the ‘Baroda Express’ seems to have an extra edge over the others. He is more than a handy customer in the lower down the order and has scored 1900+ runs in T20 cricket at a strike-rate of 125. At a base price of Rs 50 lakhs, Irfan could have been a better choice for the wooden spooners Kings XI Punjab.