Follow Us:

IPL 2017: Zaheer Khan and other warhorses to watch out for

Let’s have a look over veterans, who would grace the biggest T20 carnival this year.

Akash Khanna | New Delhi |

The game of cricket always entices people irrespective of their age and pulls them together for a few lighthearted moments. Indian Premier League (IPL) is one such bonanza that promises the best of entertainment for two months of summers.

The tenth edition of the IPL is now a week away and fans expect to have a gala time, watching the highly-competitive matches with their family and friends.

Before its beginning, let’s have a look over veterans, who would grace the biggest T20 carnival this year.

Zaheer Khan – Delhi Daredevils

Defying the age factor, 38-year-old skipper Zaheer Khan appeared in great shape in the 2016 edition of the IPL. Leading the pace attack, which was well-supported by speedsters Mohammed Shami and Chris Morris, Zaheer drafted a daunting line-up for death overs, a strategy that gave Delhi an edge over other sides.

Having played 89 IPL matches, the left-handed pacer has claimed 92 wickets with best figures of 4/17, which he claimed last year.

Before Delhi, Zaheer has played for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in his nine-year span of his IPL career.

Brendon McCullum – Gujarat Lions

Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who retired from the international cricket in February 2016, still carries a lot of stills under his sleeve.

Being one of the support pillars in the newly formed Gujarat Lions in the IPL 2016, McCullum scored elegant 354 runs from 16 matches at a remarkable strike rate of 135.11.

While playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Lions in nine seasons of IPL, the 35-year-old top-order batsman has smashed 2434 runs from 92 matches with two centuries and 11 fifties.

Harbhajan Singh – Mumbai Indians

Although Harbhajan Singh still seeks a return to the national side, the 36-year-old off-spinner has maintained an imperative position in the IPL side Mumbai Indians.

The Turbanator is one of the rare players who have been associated with a single side for all nine seasons. It’s hard to imagine the Mumbai blues without Harbhajan featuring in it.

Having played 125 IPL matches, Harbhajan has claimed 119 wickets at a bowling average of 26.21. His IPL-best spell of 5/18 came against Chennai Super Kings in 2011.

Mitchell Johnson – Mumbai Indians

Mitchell Johnson is a left-handed cricketer who rewrote the history books of the IPL. Having debuted in the IPL with Mumbai Indians in 2013, the 35-year-old warhorse has returned to the MI clan this year after playing three exciting seasons with Kings XI Punjab.

With KXIP, Johnson took 28 wickets from 26 matches, however, it was it his 2013 season with the MI that gave him recognition after claiming 24 wickets at a bowling average of 19.12.

Chris Gayle – Royal Challengers Bangalore

The 37-year-old West Indies hitter Chris Gayle is truly the biggest entertainer of the millennium, especially when it comes to the shortest format of the game. It’s his sky scrapping sixes and devastating batting that gave IPL its true recognition.

So far so unbelievable, Gayle has smashed mammoth 3426 runs from 92 matches of eight seasons of the IPL. His IPL strike rate of 153.28 outclasses even his strike rate at international cricket.

Also known as the ‘Six Machine’, Gayle has scored 251 sixes in the IPL history with an overriding season of 2015, where he hit record 38 sixes. 
Shane Watson – Royal Challengers Bangalore

The 35-year-old bowling all-rounder Shane Watson has a special relation with the Indian soil. Remember his heart touching quote when he retired from the international cricket in March 2016, “One morning I woke up in Dharamsala to the beautiful view and I don't know what it was exactly but I knew now was the right time.”

Related enough to the culturally-rich country, Watson has been a fortune cricketer in the IPL as well. Watson has played all the nine seasons, formerly with Rajasthan Royals who lifted the trophy in the inaugural edition and currently with RCB who ended three seasons as runner-ups.

He has scored 2551 runs with two centuries and claimed 81 wickets from 92 IPL matches.

Ashish Nehra – Sunrisers Hyderabad

Ashish Nehra has come up fast and furious in the recent past defying his age. The 37-year-old Delhi-born fast bowler brings classical virtues of a left-hander on crease as he has got an impeccable combination of pace and accuracy.

The 2016 season of IPL saw Nehra led the pace attack, well-supported by Mustafizur Rahman, to propel Sunrisers to the title.

In 82 IPL matches, Nehra has taken 98 wickets at an economy of 7.74 runs per over.