Over the years, India has minted some of the greatest cricketers to grace a cricket pitch.
This situation obtains because India has invested heavily in its cricket’s infrastructure and players’ development, starting from an early age.
Consequently, they continue to churn out excellent players who can perform in all formats of the game.
Today, some of the young players featuring in this year’s IPL tournament and who one would do well to watch are the following:
1. Devdutt Padikkal
Karnataka’s young left-handed batsman Devdutt Pallikade is playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore this year. He looked promising in the three matches played for Challengers. He scored his maiden half-century on debut.
He was recognized by his consistent performances in T20 domestic cricket (Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy) as he scored 580 runs averaging 64 at a strike rate of 175.75.
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad –
Chennai Super Kings has selected Maharashtra’s batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad for IPL 2020. He was the second leading run-scorer in the T20 domestic tournament with 419 runs. He had to miss the first match of the tournament as he contracted the COVID-19 disease.
The Super Kings have tried to fit him in the middle-order. He hasn’t performed well in that position as it is too harsh for a young batsman to play in the middle order with the requisite a higher strike rate. Super Kings need to push him up the order to allow him to bat more freely.
3. Yashaswi Jaiswal
Young Yashaswi Jaiswal was seen scoring consistently with the bat (400 plus runs) in the Under 19 World Cup, 2019. He has been picked up by Rajasthan Royal this year. The Royals have always backed and encouraged young players to play with big international stars. So far, he has played only one match in the tournament but doubtless will get other chances as the tournament progresses.
4. Ishan Kishan-
Ishan Kishan has been in the reckoning for the past three years. He has been in and out of the Mumbai Indians playing 11 over the years. With limited opportunities in the playing 11, he never failed to deliver for his team. Recently, he scored 99 runs in 57 balls against Royal Challengers.
5. Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson has been an integral part of the Rajasthan Royals since 2014. He has the ability to hit effortless sixes out of the park. He has already shown some glimpses of what he can do, scoring 74 and 85 respectively in Sharjah’s two matches. Sanju’s only weakness is that he starts the tournament on a high but fails to score consistent runs.
6. Shubman Gill
Kolkata Knight Riders opening batsman Shubman Gill has started the tournament on a high with 70 runs of 62. The major asset of this batsman is that he is temperamentally strong. It will be a treat if Gill continues to showcase his talent.
7. Shivam Mavi
Shivam Mavi has made a recent comeback to the Knight Riders after his injury. In the first match, he looked in good nick. He picked up two crucial wickets of De Kock and Rohit in the first match against Mumbai Indians.
8. Navdeep Saini –
Young fast bowler Saini has been a part of the Indian national team since 2019. He is the go-to death bowler for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Recently, he gave away a mere seven runs in a super-over match where the likes of Pollard, Hardik, and Rohit were smashing the other bowlers. He has the ability to bowl yorkers and bouncers to push the batsman on the backfoot. The batsmen tend to get beaten by his pace.
All these youngsters will be in contention for the Indian Cricket team sooner or later. IPL will be the auditions for these young players to make the squad for ICC World T20, which will happen next year in India.
Despite IPL being one of the best T20 leagues globally, team India is yet to dominate the T20 format.
The Indian squad post-Dhoni’s retirement lacks a quality finisher to give the team the edge in T20.
Wicket-keeper batsmen like Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan will be strong contenders to fill the gap left by Dhoni.
India’s young players hold a lot of promise, and given their talent, they could put India in pole position for the number one spot in the T20 format in the near future.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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