The Rising Pune Supergiant(s) had a mixed couple of IPL seasons. They were one of the two filler teams along with Gujarat Lions who filled the void left by CSK and RR. The fortunes of RPS fluctuated wildly in the two seasons. In 2016 playing under MS Dhoni, the team finished 7th in the standing. The next year under, Steve Smith, RPS finished runners-up in the league. But a lot of players benefitted from playing for them during their existence in the league. 5 players in IPL whose careers took off after playing for RPS.
StumpsandBails looks at 5 such players for whom the RPS team was a stepping stone:
#5 Shardul Thakur
5 players in IPL whose careers took off after playing for RPS. Shardul Thakur is a household Indian name nowadays. But things weren’t as rosy for him as it is now. He was trying hard to get an opportunity and RPS proved to be an ideal team for him. Thakur used RPS as a dress rehearsal team to stake a claim in the CSK squad. He did quite well in the opportunities that were provided for him. Thakur hasn’t looked back since then making his India debut across formats.
#4 Lockie Ferguson
Lockie Ferguson bought to RPS sheer pace a quality that they lacked so dearly. He was absolutely brilliant in a game against RCB where his figures read 7-2 in 4 overs. Ferguson announced himself to the world with his thunderbolts. He dazzled in the 2020 edition for KKR with quality bowling. Ferguson was one of the standout bowlers in the ODI World Cup 2019. It all started with a 3 match association for the now-defunct franchise.
#3 Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar made heads turn in 2018 when he was handed over the new ball ahead of Thakur and KM Asif. But Chahar has repaid the faith stunningly since then. He only has RPS to thank since it was this franchise that helped him catch MS Dhoni’s attention. Chahar had picked just 1 wicket across 2 seasons in 5 games yet Dhoni saw potential in him. Chahar is now one of India’s leading new-ball operators in limited-overs cricket.
#2 Rahul Tripathi
The effervescent Rahul Tripathi made an instant impression playing for RPS in 2017. He scored 391 runs in 14 games at an average of 27.92. But it was his strike rate (146.44) that stood out quite clearly. Tripathi’s golden run helped RPS qualify for the finals. He has since then gone on to play for RR and KKR. Tripathi has played with a lot more freedom playing for KKR. The stint with RPS has surely done him a world of good.
#1 Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar was an absolute revelation for RPS in 2017. He was a powerplay sensation that year. Sundar picked up 8 wickets in 11 games but conceded just 6.16 runs per over. He has been a regular part of India’s T20I squad since then. Sundar even won the ‘Man of the Series award in the Nidahas Trophy, 2018.
RCB picked Sundar in 2018 even though he had a disappointing 2018 but he bounced back strongly in seasons thereafter. Sundar’s overall IPL economy rate is an impressive 6.93. He announced himself at the Test level too with his dazzling exploits against Australia and England. If not for RPS, Sundar would have been in the wilderness.