IPL 2018 : Stars in twilight – Veterans to watch out for this year

IPL 2018 has already started and some older players are already making their marks.

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Indian Premier League defines fast paced, hard hitting action between bat and ball. IPL T20 is almost synonymous to the youth and their fast paced life compared to the old ways of patience and tenacity. But the IPL 2018 will see a whole lot of players who are on the wrong side of 35.

With the IPL having started from Saturday, here we list the names of such players:

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Mitchell Johnson (KKR):

The 36-year old Ashes Superstar will be donning the Purple and Gold of Kolkata Knight Riders this summer. The Super-fast Aussie has already played for Mumbai Indians in two different spells and also for King’s XI Punjab as well. The hero of last year’s final will be vital in leading his new team’s bowling attack at the iconic Eden Gardens.

Brendon McCullum (RCB):

When you talk about IPL, the one name that will always be there is Brendon McCullum. The man kickstarted the IPL by scoring a glorious 158* off just 75 deliveries in the first ever IPL match. Now 10 years wiser and also older (sadly!), Brendon is still a part of the mega event. Ironically he will be playing for the team against whom he had scored his maiden IPL ton – the Royal Challengers Bangalore. As always was the case for his previous teams KKR, KTK (now defunct), CSK and GL (now defunct), Baz will be leading the charge for his new team at his lucky stadium in the Garden city.

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Yusuf Pathan (SRH):

Much like McCullum, another ex Knight Yusuf Pathan has always been at the centre of attraction in the IPL. The big hitting Indian T20 specialist will be ending his 7-year stay at Kolkata to move onto 2-times champions Hyderabad**. The 35-year old will be willing to prove that he has still got his old hitting prowess.

Gautam Gambhir (DD):
Gautam Gambhir is one of the most successful captains in IPL history and is one of the 3 captains to have won 2 trophies as a captain. After 7 long seasons at the City of Joy, the unsung hero of the 2011 World Cup final, has returned to his home town side of Delhi Daredevils. The 36-year old started his IPL career at the capital and will once again be leading the Double D’s this season.

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Amit Mishra (DD):
Much like his new skipper, the experienced leg spinner is back to the team where he started his IPL career after 7 long years. T20 is always kind to the leg-spinners and Mishra has been one of the bests in the business when it comes to IPL. Not only is he the 2nd in all time list of wicket takers with 134 scalps, he is till date the only player to take 3 hat-tricks in IPL. The crowd at the capital will once again look forward to seeing the 35-year old grace the Daredevils’ bowling attack this summer.

Ben Laughlin (RR):
The Victorian fast bowler may not be as well known as the others in the list, but is no inferior a talent when it comes to the shortest format of the game. The real life carpenter, who juggles between his two professions, will be appearing in his 3rd IPL, having previously played for CSK and SRH in 2013 and 2017 respectively. The 35-year old Aussie is likely to spearhead the Rajasthan Royals’ bowling attack alongside the likes of Ben Stokes and Jaydev Unadkat.

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Chris Gayle (KXIP):

Much like Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle is one other character who has been the heart and soul of IPL. The Ex-Knight and Ex-Royal Challenger has the following IPL records to his name: Highest individual score – 175* off just 66 deliveries, most overall sixes – 265, most sixes in an innings – 17 and fastest IPL century – 30 balls. It is no secret that the 38-year old muscular Jamaican will once again be one to watch out for this summer when he turns up for King’s XI Punjab.

Yuvraj Singh (KXIP):

T20 cricket without 6’s is incomplete and the first name any Indian fan remembers associated with 6 is Yuvraj Singh. After being away for 7 years at Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad, the “Punjab da Puttar” returns to his hometown team of King’s XI Punjab and will be under the burden of huge amounts of expectation. All Indian cricket fans will be willing to see the 36 year old deliver once again for his fans.

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Shane Watson (CSK):

Shane Watson is arguably the best all rounder the world has seen in the new millennium. The Aussie became a superstar in the very first IPL season when he won the Man of the Tournament award helping Rajasthan Royals to triumph in the inaugural season. At 36, he may not be as agile as he was 10 years back, but surely on any given day Watto has the ability to destroy any bowling attack and floor any batting line up. He will be key figure for the returning two time champions Chennai Super Kings.

MS Dhoni (CSK):

Indian cricket will always have a place for MS Dhoni. The only player to lead his team to a triple International crown, MS Dhoni has been the CSK skipper since inception (before the franchisee was suspended). Now that he is back at the helm of his beloved Chennai team, the 36 year old former Indian captain will once again be the most crucial part of the Chennai franchisee. In spite of aging a lot, Mahi is still the best finisher of the game and has the ability to make any bowler look like an infant.

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Harbhajan Singh (CSK):

The Turbanator may have retired from international cricket, but he is still very much at the centre of things in the IPL. After 10 long years at the Financial Capital and winning 3 IPL trophies for Mumbai Indians, a 37-year old Harbhajan Singh will be donning the Yellow of Chennai Super Kings under the leadership of MS Dhoni.

Imran Tahir (CSK):

The senior most amongst the whole lot of veterans is 39 year old Imran Tahir. The Pakistan born South African leg spinner is known for his superb celebrations after taking a wicket. The former Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiant bowler will be another of the long list of veteran players in the CSK team.

 

** The defunct Deccan Chargers were succeeded by Sunrisers Hyderabad with the same set of players and other technical staffs. Deccan Chargers were the champions in 2009 before the Sunrisers won in 2016.

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