The beauty of the Indian Premier League lies in the platform that it gives to players of all age. On the one hand you have youngsters in the past like Shreyas Iyer and even Virat Kohli, who have used this platform to showcase their talent and even find a spot in Team India.
At the same time you also have experienced players who are at times believed to be past their prime, but then have used this same platform to make it back to their national teams.
Australia batsman Shane Watson, who announced his retirement from the game just two days ago, had used the IPL platform in 2008 to get back to the national team.
He had been dropped just monthes before IPL 2008, where he was playing for Rajasthan Royals, and his stellar performance in the tournament, by which he led his team to the maiden IPL title, got him back into the national team.
Here’s looking back at the five oldest and youngest players to play in IPL 2020 and how they fared:
1. Imran Tahir - Chennai Super Kings spinner Imrah Tahir was the oldest player to be a part of IPL 2020. The 41-year-old played only 3 games for his side, and was brought into the team only after CSK had been eliminated. He bowled 11 overs in his three matches, and got just a solitary wicket. But it was a big one. He got the other 41-year-old in the tournament, Chris Gayle, trapped LBW just when the mighty Jamaican was looking to go big in a must-win match for KXIP that they eventually lost.
2. Chris Gayle - The mighty West Indian sat out for KXIP’s first 6 matches, of which they lost 5. It was only when they were in a dire situation that KXIP brought him in, and they won the next 5 games in a row. Gayle played an important role in his side's resurgence as he scored 288 runs at 41.14, with the help of three half-centuries, including a 99 against Rajasthan Royals.
3. Shane Watson - The 39-year-old CSK opener was not at his best in most parts of the tournament, and that reflected in the results for his team as well. The Australian hit 299 runs in 11 matches, with 2 fifties and a best score of 83 not out, but consistency is where he lacked for the first time in the IPL.
4. MS Dhoni - The 39-year-old CSK skipper had a forgettable year. It was the first time under him that the CSK did not make it to the IPL play-offs. Such is the level always expected from the three-time champions, that CSK’s form this year surprised everyone. The skipper himself was not in the best form with the bat, and failed to score a fifty in an IPL season for the first time. MS Dhoni scored only 200 runs in 14 matches that he played.
5. Dale Steyn - The 37-year-old South African pacer is well past his prime and that was visible in the short spell that he gave in IPL 2020. He played in only 3 matches for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and got a solitary wicket in the 12 ovrs that he bowled.
The Young Guns:
1. Yashaswi Jaiswal - The 18-year-old Rajasthan Royals batsman’s IPL stint was a highly anticipated one. A lot had been said before he got to the UAE, and therefore there is no doubt that there must have been pressure on the young Jaiswal. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to deliver in the short opportunity that he got. He played the first 3 games for RR and opened the innings, but was not able to give them the start that was expected. After that, he never got another opportunity, and could only score 40 runs in the 3 matches.
2. Riyan Parag - The other 18-year-old Rajasthan Royals batsman got relatively more opportunity as compared to Jaiswal, and besides a lone match against SRH where he held his never and got his team to victory along with Rahul Tewatia, Parag was not able to do much else. His ‘Bihu dance’ celebration post that game certainly went viral, and he also taught it to Jofra Archer, who did a step in another match after taking a wicket. But he only scored86 runs in 12 innings and was not able to showcase his talent.
3. Abdul Samad The 18-year-old SRH batsman made his IPL debut when he got to play a match against the Delhi Capitals on September 29. He was only the 3rd cricketer from J&K to make his IPL debut and there was some fanfare around that, but the batsman was not able to showcase his talent and scored only 78 runs in the 10 group stage matches that he played.
4. Ravi Bishnoi - The 20-year-old leg spinner was one of the key bowlers for Kings XI Punjab in the middle overs, and skipper KL Rahul often turned to him to get the wickets. At most time, Bishnoi responded and he was an impactful player for his team and got 12 wickets in the 14 matches that he played.
5. Prithvi Shaw - The 20-year-old has had a contrasting season for the Delhi Capitals. He started off extremely well and scored 2 fifties in the first 5 matches. But after that, his form took a hit. His next couple of scores were in single digit and the batsman later also dropped his place in the team to an experienced Ajinkya Rahane. Shaw managed to score only 228 runs in the 12 matches that he has played.