IPL 2022: 3 players who surprised the fans in Week 1 of the competition

IPL 2022 began last Saturday in Mumbai with a clash between defending champions Chennai Super Kings and last season’s runners-up Kolkata Knight Riders. KKR thrashed CSK to get off to a winning start.After the match, fans witnessed seven more games over the next six days, where most of them were thrillers. Debutante Gujarat Titans and Lucknow SuperGiants picked up their first-ever wins in IPL history.

Surprisingly, the Chennai Super Kings failed to win either of their first two matches. While CSK have disappointed their fans with their performances in IPL 2022, the following three players have surprisingly exceeded expectations and wowed the cricket universe with their phenomenal performances in the tournament so far.

Umesh Yadaav

When IPL 2022 started, not many fans would have expected Umesh Yadav to be the number one wicket-taker in the tournament’s first week. The Kolkata Knight Riders pacer has exceeded expectations this season and scalped eight wickets in just three matches.In the previous two IPL seasons, Yadav played only two matches, where he proved to be expensive. After warming the benches at Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals for the majority of IPL 2020 and 2021, Yadav received a place in the Kolkata Knight Riders playing XI for their first match in the new season.The Indian pacer started off on a dream note as he returned with figures of 2/20 to win the Man of the Match award against Chennai Super Kings. He picked up two more wickets against Royal Challengers Bangalore and followed it up with another Man of the Match award-winning performance against Punjab Kings with a four-wicket haul.

Bhanuka Rajapaksa

Bhanuka Rajapaksa made his IPL debut for the Punjab Kings this year. Since Jonny Bairstow was unavailable for the first few matches, PBKS assigned wicket-keeping duties to Rajapaksa.

The 30-year-old from Colombo grabbed the opportunity with both hands by scoring 74 runs at a strike rate of 238.70. He is the leading run-scorer for the Punjab Kings this season. It will be interesting to see how PBKS manage their playing XI when Bairstow is available to play.

Lalit Yadav

Lalit Yadav made his IPL debut last year for the Delhi Capitals. He played seven matches for the franchise, where he scored 68 runs in five innings at a strike rate of 93.15.

DC’s team management backed the youngster and gave him a place in the playing XI for their IPL 2022 opener against the Mumbai Indians. Yadav did not disappoint the team management this time as he played a fantastic knock of 48 runs under pressure.Yadav batted at a strike rate of 126.32 and stitched up a 75-run seventh-wicket partnership with Axar Patel to help DC pull off a four-wicket win. It will be interesting to see if the rising star can continue in the same vein this week.