Hidden Gems: The Top 8 Underdog Players at IPL 2020
20Sep
Cricket Predictions IPL 2021

Hidden Gems: The Top 8 Underdog Players at IPL 2020

Everybody loves a good underdog story, and sports is home to some of the best such tales. Whether it’s Bangladesh shocker against Pakistan at the 1999 World Cup, Ireland’s incredible feat against England in the 2011 edition, India’s unbelievable triumph in 1983, or IPL’s very own Rajasthan Royals taking home the inaugural IPL crown, every cricket fan remembers an underdog match they’ve been thrilled by. But we’re going to look a layer deeper and look at some individual performances. Stuff like Sunil Joshi’s 5 for 6 against South Africa in ‘99, Gillespie and McGrath’s 114-run stand against New Zealand in 2004, or Carlos Brathwaite’s quad sixes in 2016. We believe that there will be plenty of such stories at this year’s IPL 2020, and we made a list of the players that we think will be involved in them.


Chennai Super Kings - Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore

Role: Bowler

Batting: Left-hand bat

Bowling: Slow left-arm orthodox


Batting stats

Bowling Stats

Matches: 22

Matches: 22

Innings: 4

Innings: 22

Runs: 6

Balls Bowled: 461

Average: 22

Average: 16.76

Strike Rate: 66.66

Strike Rate: 18.4

100s: 0/50s: 0

Economy Rate: 5.45

4s: 412/6s: 0

Wickets: 22

Best: 2*

Best: 4/6


The prolific prodigy, Chennai’s home-grown spin maestro Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore takes the top spot for the Super Kings. Although he had tough competition in the form of Monu Kumar and KM Asif, Kishore takes precedence on account of his ridiculously low economy rate. Although barely starting out, he has already made a mark with his brilliant bowling. With CSK barely unable to retain their crown last year, they will be looking to Kishore to help regain it. Already showing plenty of promise, he should mature into a star bowler by his own right with age and experience - starting this season. At only Rs. 20 lakh, he is a golden bargain.

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Delhi Capitals - Sandeep Lamichhane

Role: Bowler

Batting: Right-hand bat

Bowling: Legbreak googly


Batting stats

Bowling Stats

Matches: 88

Matches: 88

Innings: 28

Innings: 87

Runs: 63

Balls Bowled: 1897

Average: 4.83

Average: 18.15

Strike Rate: 70

Strike Rate: 16.2

100s: 0/50s: 0

Economy Rate: 6.71

4s: 412/6s: 0

Wickets: 117

Best: 10*

Best: 4/10


The young talent from Nepal has already been making waves in the IPL for a while. Instrumental to Delhi’s relatively successful 2019, Lamichhane has also made his mark in a number of domestic leagues all over the world, including CPL, BBL, BPL, and PSL. The most skilled and successful Nepali cricketer by a country mile, he has been growing steadily and has become a force to be reckoned with. At the upper limit of being denoted an underdog, Lamichhane looks like he will become quite the superstar in the coming years - watch out Rashid Khan! And to think, Delhi acquired his services for a measly Rs. 20 lakh.

Kings XI Punjab - Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Role: Bowler

Batting: Right-hand bat

Bowling: Right-arm offbreak


Batting stats

Bowling Stats

Matches: 122

Matches: 122

Innings: 34

Innings: 122

Runs: 139

Balls Bowled: 2766

Average: 9.92

Average: 23.24

Strike Rate: 97.88

Strike Rate: 21.10

100s: 0/50s: 0

Economy Rate: 6.60

4s: 412/6s: 4

Wickets: 131

Best: 27

Best: 4/12


The third young spinner on our list, Mujeeb Ur Rahman is a prodigal offspin sensation from Afghanistan. At only 19 years of age, he already has 122 T20s under his belt, with the game taking him to all corners of the world. With a slew of good performances - most recently at the CPL, Mujeeb Ur Rahman is now ready to face the biggest domestic stage. Anyone thinking that 4 crores was a bit much for the youngster clearly hasn’t seen him play. We strongly believe that he’ll change their minds at this IPL.

Kolkata Knight Riders - Nitish Rana

Role: All-rounder

Batting: Left-hand bat

Bowling: Right-arm offbreak


Batting stats

Bowling Stats

Matches: 96

Matches: 122

Innings: 86

Innings: 39

Runs: 2110

Balls Bowled: 455

Average: 27.4

Average: 20.38

Strike Rate: 135.43

Strike Rate: 17.5

100s: 0/50s: 14

Economy Rate: 6.98

4s: 412/6s: 119

Wickets: 26

Best: 97

Best: 4/127


Chiefly a batsman who dabbles in bowling rather than a full-on allrounder, Nitish Rana has carved a niche for himself in the KKR side. He is considerably potent in both disciplines, and has good statistical support for such a claim. Providing a solid middle-order option as well as bowling variation, Nitish Rana is an asset to have for any side. The only caveat is that for someone his age, he lacks experience. In time, hopefully, he will be a fully realized all-rounder. At Rs. 3.4 crore, his price is pretty befitting of his abilities.

Mumbai Indians - Mohsin Khan


Role: Bowler

Batting: Left-hand bat

Bowling: Left-arm medium-fast


Batting stats

Bowling Stats

Matches: 20

Matches: 20

Innings: 9

Innings: 20

Runs: 50

Balls Bowled: 408

Average: 8.33

Average: 18.3

Strike Rate: 131.57

Strike Rate: 15.6

100s: 0/50s: 0

Economy Rate: 7

4s: 412/6s: 2

Wickets: 26

Best: 19

Best: 3/135


India had never been very well-known for its fast bowling, and genuine pace has never been their forte. But since the inception of IPL and other T20 leagues as well as the advent of the modern game, variation and trickery became the norm. With the likes of Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar becoming the crux of the Indian attack, the likes of Mohsin Khan seem to be next in line. A good average, fantastic economy and world-class strike rate make this Indian youngster our pick for Mumbai’s underdog, who cost them just Rs. 20 lakh.

Rajasthan Royals - Shreyas Gopal


Role: All-rounder

Batting: Right-hand bat

Bowling: Legbreak


Batting stats

Bowling Stats

Matches: 61

Matches: 61

Innings: 24

Innings: 58

Runs: 266

Balls Bowled: 1097

Average: 14.77

Average: 16.78

Strike Rate: 120.36

Strike Rate: 14

100s: 0/50s: 0

Economy Rate: 7.15

4s: 412/6s: 5

Wickets: 78

Best: 39

Best: 5/11


One of our oldest entries at 27 years of age, Shreyas has been around for a while. Very much a bowling all-rounder, he can hit the ball well from time to time, but won’t be getting any MOTM awards for his batting any time soon. On the other hand, with an amazing strike rate of 14 and an average of 16.78, he makes for one hell of a good bowler. A right-handed leggie is a good addition to any team, and Shreyas Gopal is a great right-handed leggie who cost Rajasthan Royals just Rs. 20 lakh.

Royal Challengers Bangalore - Devdutt Padikkal


Role: Batsman

Batting: Left-hand bat

Bowling: Right-arm offbreak


Batting stats

Bowling Stats

Matches: 12

Matches: 12

Innings: 12

Innings: N/A

Runs: 580

Balls Bowled: N/A

Average: 64.44

Average: N/A

Strike Rate: 175.75

Strike Rate: N/A

100s: 0/50s: 5

Economy Rate: N/A

4s: 412/6s: 33

Wickets: N/A

Best: 122

Best: N/A


The hottest young batsman in Indian cricket right now, this breakout star from last year rocks a massive 64.44 average, and great things are expected from him. Not only has he scored a whopping 580 runs from his first 12 T20 games, but he has done so at a brutal strike rate, massacring any and all bowlers in his way. At only 20 years of age, it’s justifiably hoped that he has great offerings on the way, and we don’t think he’ll disappoint. The Kerala wonderkid was a steal for RCB at Rs. 20 lakh.

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Sunrisers Hyderabad - Abhishek Sharma


Role: All-rounder

Batting: Left-hand bat

Bowling: Slow left-arm orthodox


Batting stats

Bowling Stats

Matches: 15

Matches: 15

Innings: 15

Innings: 5

Runs: 286

Balls Bowled: 66

Average: 26

Average: 15

Strike Rate: 151.32

Strike Rate: 13.2

100s: 0/50s: 2

Economy Rate: 6.18

4s: 412/6s: 13

Wickets: 5

Best: 72

Best: 2/10


An up-and-coming all-round talent, Abhishek Sharma has a decent talent for both sides of the game. As a batsman, he has a killer strike rate and plenty of potential, while as a bowler, he is a part-timer with statistics most regulars would give anything for. A product of the India Under-19 team, Abhishek joined SRH in 2019 for Rs. 55 lakh and will be staying with them for the foreseeable future. Given his already rising stature, if he continues on his current path that is going to be quite some future. 


Wrapping up

So there you have it. Once again, this isn’t some definitive list of underdogs, nor is it absolute truth, but just our opinion on which not-so-celebrated players will be big at this year’s tournament. Hopefully for these youngsters, they will all shine and make this iteration one of the most competitive and entertaining in IPL history!

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