Indian T20 League players who left Mumbai and flourished
Four-time Indian T20 League champions Mumbai have had some of the biggest names in cricket in their roster. From Sachin Tendulkar to Rohit Sharma, the list is illustrious and long. At the same time, however, there are also those who needed to get away from Mumbai to truly maximise their potential.
Here, we take a look at five such players:
Doubtlessly one of the best wrist-spinners in the business today, Yuzvendra Chahal got his Indian T20 League start with Mumbai back in 2011, with 'start' being the operative term as he just made a single appearance on the field for them, that too two long years later, in 2013. However, a switch to Bangalore in 2014 brought with it with a change in fortunes, and wickets came fast and easy to Chahal. That year alone, he bagged 12 scalps from 14 matches at an economy rate of 7.01, and since 2014, he has gone on to take an incredible 109 wickets and counting.
It's easy to forget, given that Dwayne Bravo is today regarded as one of the best all-rounders of T20 cricket, that he was let go by Mumbai after joining them for the first three seasons following the Indian T20 League's inaugural year. However, once Chennai picked him up, Bravo has lived up to his surname, under the guidance of captain extraordinaire MS Dhoni, who honed his bowling variations to make him one of the most fearsome death overs bowlers. Aside from his wizardry with the ball, he has shone with the bat on more than one occasion too.
After beginning his Indian T20 League stint with Delhi in the league's inaugural year, Shikhar Dhawan bounced to Mumbai the next year in a trade with Ashish Nehra. Two average seasons later, the now-defunct Deccan team was where the keys to his potential were finally unlocked, as he went on to rack up 400 runs that season alone, and topped it with 569 runs the following year. He then went on to continue that level of success with Hyderabad. However, despite six successful seasons with Hyderabad, Dhawan found his way back to the team with whom he started it all - Delhi, where he continues to infuse his quality to the top order.
Denying a passionate cricketer the chance to play not only drives him to contemplate leaving the team but that pent-up desire gushes out with even greater fury when he does get the opportunity. That's what happened to Kuldeep Yadav. Not getting a chance to play during his stint with Mumbai in 2012, the Kanpur native seized the opportunity the first time he was let out on the pitch for Kolkata in 2016, taking six wickets in three matches and going on to put on a dominant performance over the next two seasons that saw him bag 29 scalps.
That harmony has remained intact as Kuldeep still plies his trade for Kolkata to this day and does it very well indeed.
Jos Buttler is now regarded as one of the most deadly men to wield a bat during a T20 game and especially one to watch when the stakes are high. However, the wicketkeeper-batsman was a shadow of his current form back when he was with Mumbai from 2016-17, barely putting together one half-century in those two entire seasons.
However, a move to his present-day squad Rajasthan in 2018 brought out his true potential. After a sluggish start, and once he was moved up the batting order, Buttler left nothing on the table. He whacked out five fifties that year and hauled 548 runs - his best Indian T20 League season till date.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe