The 2020 Indian Premier League would have got underway on March 29 if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. The 13th edition of the franchise-based league has been deferred until April 15 but it's highly unlikely that the tournament will be held this year. The total number of COVID-19 cases in India have gone past the thousand mark and with the 21-day national lockdown that started in India from March 25, the fate of the IPL doesn't look great.
However, it's next to impossible to not talk about the IPL during the summer. The tournament has a long history of producing quality talents and is arguably the best thing that has happened to Indian cricket. The IPL has served as a perfect platform for many players to showcase their talent, ultimately helping them to graduate to the international level. Here, we look at the top-five Indian players who emerged from the IPL and have now achieved the same level of success in international cricket.
The "Rockstar" allrounder from Saurashtra is a true product of the IPL. Jadeja made his IPL debut for Rajasthan Royals under the leadership of Shane Warne and impressed everyone in the inaugural edition of the tournament. He didn't bowl much in the competition but played a couple of match-winning cameos and helped Rajasthan become the inaugural champions. He scored 29 off 23 on his IPL debut before slamming an unbeaten 25-ball 36 in his very next match. Post-IPL, Jadeja kept on performing for his state side Saurashtra and went on to make his international debut in February 2009. Jadeja struggled for the first two-three years but got immense backing from his captain MS Dhoni. The left-arm spinner was criticised and made fun of, but Jadeja kept working hard and has now become a valuable member of the Indian side in all three formats and already taken close to 450 wickets, apart from scoring 4338 runs in international cricket.
The offspinner from Tamil Nadu made his first-class debut in 2006 but he actually came into the public's reckoning through the IPL. He was picked by his home franchise - Chennai Super Kings - in 2009 but only got to play two matches. In the following season in 2010, the mystery spinners were making waves around the globe and Ashwin was one of those who had quite a few variations up his sleeve. He picked up 13 wickets in 12 encounters in the third edition of the tournament and operated at an economy rate of just over 6. The Indian selectors wasted no time and straightaway added him into the ODI and T20I side. He was part of India's World Cup-winning side in 2011 as well as the team that won the 2013 Champions Trophy. However, he was dropped from the limited-overs set-up after the emergence of wrist-spinners but Ashwin is still India's premier spinner in Test cricket, a format in which he is closing in on 400 wickets.
India had to wait for years to find their "next Kapil Dev" and their prayers finally got answered when Pandya burst onto the scene. Make no mistake, Pandya is no Kapil, but the flamboyant allrounder from Gujarat changed the dynamics of the Indian team after he made his international debut in 2016. Coming from a humble background, life wasn't too easy for Pandya but it all changed once he was acquired by Mumbai Indians for the 2015 IPL. His unbeaten 31-ball 61 against Kolkata Knight Riders was enough to force everyone to sit up and take notice, and there was no looking back for the confident young man. A fast-bowling allrounder, India didn't have many options in that department and Pandya was handed over his maiden international cap in January 2016. He struggled heavily in the 2016 IPL but since then has improved a lot as a cricketer. He provides Mumbai and India that much-needed balance, and in his absence, they do struggle to put up the right combination.
Known more for his unorthodox action than his bowling skills in his early days, Bumrah is arguably IPL's biggest gift to Indian cricket. Mumbai have won all of their four titles after Bumrah made his IPL debut in 2013. He only played 17 games in his first three seasons but dismissed the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Gautam Gambhir. Under the guidance of Lasith Malinga, Bumrah honed his skills and became an expert in bowling yorkers and slower deliveries. After being Malinga's understudy for three years, Bumrah finally flourished in the 2016 IPL, picking up 15 wickets in 14 games. By then, Bumrah had already made his limited-over debut, courtesy his performances in the 2015-16 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy. India finally found a bowler who can bowl those pin-point yorkers in the death overs and is now as important as Kohli to Indian cricket. Bumrah has also proven his worth in Test cricket and now people talk more about his skills than his action.
The legspinner from Haryana made his first-class debut in 2009 at the age of 19. While he still hasn't made a name for himself in red-ball cricket, Chahal has played a key role in India's success in limited-overs cricket after the 2017 Champions Trophy. He was signed by Mumbai Indians in 2011 but didn't get to play a single match. He played only one match in the next two years despite doing well for the franchise in the 2011 Champions League. He shifted his base to Bangalore in 2014 and that's where he made a name for himself. On a batting-friendly surface at the Chinnaswamy, Chahal emerged as Bangalore's most consistent bowler and became Kohli's go-to man in crunch situations. He picked up 44 wickets in the next two seasons and then made his India debut on the tour of Zimbabwe in June 2016. Chahal kept doing well in IPL and domestic tournaments and after Ashwin and Jadeja were dropped from India's limited-overs set-up, Chahal broke into the national side and has become India's premier spinner in white-ball cricket.