Knocking on (national) eleven's door
Breakout season - 2008; 616 runs from 11 matches at 68.44
Shaun Marsh finished as the top-scorer in the inaugural edition of the IPL with 616 runs, a culmination of 12 prolific months starting from mid-2007, during which he averaged 60.27 in first-class cricket with one hundred and five fifties. He was immediately picked for Australia's next international assignment immediately after the IPL, where he put up a Man-of-the-Match winning performance on ODI debut.
Breakout season - 2008; 435 runs and 8 wickets from 11 matches
Yusuf had only played one international match - the 2007 World T20 final - before the 2008 IPL. His standout performances for Rajasthan Royals, including a crucial 56 in the final, apart from smashing the season's fastest fifty off 21 balls against Deccan Chargers, put him in contention for a place in the Indian side. He was picked less than a month after the IPL, and had a fairly consistent run in the limited-overs sides until March 2012.
Breakout seasons - 2010-11; 33 wickets from 28 matches at 20.64
Ashwin barely played for Chennai Super Kings during the 2009 season, and got a consistent string of starts only from 2010. He quickly nailed down a place in the side, with his tight bowling spells, to go with his knack of picking wickets with the new ball. In partnership with Muttiah Muralitharan, he proved one of their most important contributors en route to their first IPL title. This was followed by an even better 2011 season, where he led the Super Kings attack in Murali's absence, delivering their second IPL title. Ashwin's spell in the 2011 final, where he tamed the Royal Challengers Bangalore top order with Gayle and AB De Villiers, remains one of his best T20 bowling performances to date.
Breakout season - 2013; 15 wickets from 16 matches at 26.73
Morris had played only two T20 internationals before debuting for Chennai Super Kings in 2013, a season in which he excelled with the ball. His exploits earned him a South Africa call-up for the Champions Trophy in England. Since then, Morris has become a regular across formats for his national sides, earning a reputation as one of the fiercest hitters in the world. He now plays for Delhi Daredevils as an allrounder who is dangerous with both bat and ball.
Breakout seasons - 2015-16; 44 wickets from 28 matches at 18.55
While he has been around in the IPL for quite a while, having made his debut for Mumbai Indians in 2013, his performances over the last two seasons have catapulted him to greater heights in international cricket. In an IPL side known for its all-star batting order, Chahal has emerged a consistent performer with the ball, one who his captain Virat Kohli often turns to. Chahal's match-winning efforts have earned him regular places on India's ODI and T20 squads over the past 8 months.
Breakout season - 2012; 24 wickets from 15 matches at 13.50
Narine was a relatively unknown quantity outside the West Indies, when he was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2012 auction. His impact was instant, as he befuddled batsmen with his many variations and was named the Player of the Tournament in his debut season. Since then, he has excelled across both limited-overs for the West Indies, and become a T20 globetrotter, plying his trade for franchises across every other league going around. After 9 seasons, Narine is also the IPL's most economical bowler, going at 6.17 after 66 games in the competition.
Breakout season - 2014; 17 wickets from 17 matches at 23.82
Axar Patel's performance in his debut season for Kings XI Punjab was a catalyst for an ODI debut against Bangladesh in June 2014, just two seasons after his domestic debut. He then went on to tour Australia later that year as cover for injured Ravindra Jadeja. Though his performances have not been enough to cement a regular place in the India line-up, he remains a key member of his IPL side, as a bowling all-rounder who can score quick runs lower down the order.
Breakout seasons - 2013-14; 43 wickets in 31 matches at 18.09
Mohit Sharma had a stellar first-class season for Haryana before being picked up by Chennai Super Kings for IPL 2013. His excellent first season, where he conceded just 6.43 runs per over through 15 games, after which he made it to the India ODI squad for their tour to Zimbabwe. He followed it up with an excellent second IPL season, in which he brought in more variations to his bowling, picking up 23 wickets from 16 games. For nearly two years since his debut, he was a regular on India's limited-overs sides, playing 26 ODIs and 8 T20Is to date.
Breakout season - 2015; 112 runs from 9 matches at a strike rate of 181
The Baroda allrounder was fast-tracked into India's T20 squad for their tour of Australia, after impressing in IPL 2015, where he played for Mumbai Indians. While his statistics do not paint the full picture, he played critical knocks on Mumbai's course to their second IPL title, including an 8-ball 21 against Chennai Super Kings in a tough chase and a 31-ball 61 against Kolkata Knight Riders. He has gone on to represent India in the Asia Cup and world T20 before making his ODI debut in October 2016.
Du Plessis was a Kolpak player for Lancashire in the County circuit for a long time before he got to the IPL. By the time the 2012 season began, he had played little more than a dozen ODIs for South Africa, and had not broken through in the other formats. His batting at the top of the Chennai Super Kings order, along with his exceptional fielding abilities, set him on course for superstardom in international cricket, where he has now captained his national side across all formats, and continues to lead them in Tests and T20s.