New Zealand cricketers couldn’t grab much attention during the recent auctions for IPL 2018 as only 7 players picked up by most franchises out of 24.
The biggest shock was when the Number 1 T20 bowler in the world (according to ICC Rankings) remained unsold at the end of Bengaluru auction which remained for two days. From the point of batting, it was snub for Martin Guptill who made a buzz but, as a whole, the Kiwi batsmen fared a lot better than their bowlers.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise in hindsight as players from New Zealand, having Brendon McCullum, who couldn’t deliver much in the IPL on the regular basis. Actually, the former skipper in New Zealand is the only player who represented the squad in Top 50 batsmen in the history of IPL.
The hard-hitting duo of Colin de Grandhomme and Colin Munro expected to cement a presence in IPL 2018. Here are the top 5 legendary New Zealand batsmen who have managed to rule the IPL since the very beginning in 2008.
- Ross Taylor (Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors, Delhi Daredevils)
The New Zealand star has had a great journey in the IPL while playing for different teams over the seven years, including 2014 edition when he represented Delhi Daredevils and played for the last time in premier T20 competition in India.
For the first three IPL seasons, Ross Taylor played for Royal Challengers in the first three seasons when the 2009 season was the most prolific when he hit 280 runs off 11 matches at a strike rate of 134.61 and average of 31.11.
His unbeaten 81 runs off only 33 balls were also included in it, which gave a huge impossible victory to RCB over KKR. His ability to be one of the best finishers earned him a lot of fans at RCB. But he was no longer able to deliver it. Before being bought by Delhi in 2012, he left RCB in 2011 and moved to Rajasthan Royals. Then Pune Warriors bought him in 2013 and he was back to Delhi next year.
- Brendon McCullum (Kochi Tuskers, Kolkata Knight Riders, Gujarat Lions, and Chennai Super Kings)
One of the legendary T20 ambassadors, Brendon McCullum has ruled the IPL since its very first game with his amusing knock of 158 runs in only 73 balls while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders against RCB. He has retired around 3 years ago from international cricket but he still remains one of the most anticipated players in T20 games. It goes without saying that he has got the highest bid at 2018 IPL auction among the Kiwis considering his match-winning skills and IPL record.
The former skipper in New Zealand cricket is raring and fit to go for another IPL – a journey in which he has played for the likes of Chennai Super Kings, Kochi Tuskers, Gujarat Lions, and Royal Challengers Bangalore along with Kolkata Knight Riders where he played in the first three IPL seasons.
In 2015 season, he scored 436 runs from 14 games at a strike rate of over 155, along with a century. It was the best campaign for him. In 2014 season, he managed to score 405 runs and over 300 runs in IPL season three times, along with the last two campaigns.
- Jesse Ryder (Pune Warriors, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils)
The New Zealand baddie, Jesse Ryder played from 2009 to 2013 in IPL, but he missed 2010 season with a groin injury. In his debut season, he scored just 56 off 5 matches and played for Pune Warriors for two seasons since 2011. Eventually, his performances improved as he was among the better players in a side which was hard to make an impact during short IPL tenure. The fitness and disciplinary issues also came on his way and so was in the IPL as he couldn’t get any takers since 2013 when he played for Delhi.
- Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
With only 15 games in three IPL seasons, Kane Williamson couldn’t get a constant opportunity in his journey but it could change in the next season as he has become Sunrisers Hyderabad’s skipper after the omission of David Warner due to a ball-tampering scandal. Williamson has been with the team since his 2015 debut and he played for a while in 2016 campaign hitting 124 from 6 games.
He had a far bigger role in 2017 to play when he hit 289 runs off 7 matches with 89 as the highest score in his initial game of the season which led his side beat Delhi by 15 runs. In all three formats, he remained one of the best and 2018 could be the year New Zealand finally makes a prolonged impact in IPL.
- Corey Anderson (Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians)
Corey Anderson is the very talented all-rounder but he couldn’t do much due to injuries. He started his journey in IPL in 2014 with Mumbai Indians and played only two seasons for the team before Delhi Daredevils bought him in 2017.
At the IPL auctions, he couldn’t find any buyer but he will play for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the next season as he has been named as a replacement for Nathan Courter-Nile who is injured. When he scored 95 unbeaten runs off 44 balls to lead his side to qualify for playoffs with good run rate, it was his most epic performance in batting against Rajasthan Royals when he debuted in IPL.
He started his bright IPL debut in 2015 season and scored 2 half-centuries within four matches before he suffered finger injury for the rest of the matches. The Kiwi couldn’t repeat his heroic performances in 2017 with Delhi Daredevils and scored only 142 off 11 matches.
After his late call-up in IPL, RCB has offered lifetime following to Anderson and it will be exciting how he plays his role in a team which loves huge-hitting players.