Every IPL edition, we witness some young Indian players who perform great throughout the season when given the chance of playing in what could be called the most prestigious cricket league in the world. Some players are one match sensation while others are the full season wonders. Chipping crucial wickets, scoring runs fast and displaying extraordinary fielding are some of the skills these players possess.
A good IPL season is the best launching pad any player would require, and true to the narrative each season, IPL in 2018 unfurled some amazing talents. Which 5 batsmen impressed the most?
One word. Class. Absolute class; perhaps that defines big-striking Rishabh Pant in the just-concluded IPL. The belligerent left-hander amassed a wealth of runs at 684 in 14 matches at a healthy average of 52.61 which included 5 fifties and an unbeaten 128* off 63 balls.
This year, it is the highest individual score by an Indian in the IPL. With his exceptional batting skills, a lot is expected from this young sensation, and he’s not stopping anytime soon. All he neads, perhaps, is the selector’s faith and his future captain’s backing.
At a time where batsmen are continually piling on the runs, bowlers are arising too. It’s an interesting time to be in the sport. The year 2018 has so far been very decent for the Punjab Leg-spinner Mayank Markande, who made his List-A and Twenty20 debut for Punjab and had a good run getting him a place in the Mumbai Indians squad in the auctions. He also attended the trials of Mumbai Indians and impressed the management with his accuracy and variations. Mayank started off as a medium pacer and later switched to leg spin after his coach advised him as he had a good back of the hand slower ball. This decision has been so far perfect for him; he got a contract with Mumbai Indians, and he even represented his side in all the matches in his first season.
Where IPL performances stand, Markande claimed 15 wickets in 14 matches, and among his wickets were the key dismissals of Dhoni, a picture-perfect sight. The road ahead shouldn’t be a challenging one for the gifted spinner.
Undoubtedly, Prithvi Shaw is a young Mumbai sensation who has been given the title ‘Next Sachin.’ He is a well-known name since 2013 when he scored 546 runs in a single innings in Harris Shield elite division match. In the 2016-17 Ranji season, he was given a chance, and he scored a 100 on his debut, he was given another place in the playing 11 in the Duleep Trophy (2017) where he scored another 100 on his debut match. And it’s not hard to see why there’s so much expectation from the batsman who possesses a penchant for scoring on the front foot. Apart from Shaw, Sachin Tendulkar is the only player to score centuries in Ranji and Duleep Trophy debuts.
Shaw also led India 2018 in the ICC U19 World Cup, where he scored 261 at an average of 65. A gritty batsman, it’s not hard to note why Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians battled it out for him starting from the base price of only 20 lakhs. He was eventually bought at a price of 1.2 crores. How soon can he make it into the bleed-blue fold?
He’s been here, he’s been scoring runs and still awaiting a place in the Indian colours?
One keenly awaits what Sanju Samson might look like being part of a true-blue passionate Indian unit in the limited overs colours?
Sanju Samson has been a part of IPL for the past five years. He debuted in 2013 when he was just 18.
It could be said, he was a part of Rajasthan Royals in 2012 due to his excellent performances in First-Class cricket and U19 World Cup at the age of 17 but never got a chance to play that season.
Due to his stellar performances in his first IPL, he was praised by Rahul Dravid and he was also retained the next year. He also represented India in the U19 world cup where he was the highest run-getter for India. Samson made his national side debut way back in 2015 in a Twenty20 game against Zimbabwe, he has never be called up after that though. He would definitely offer his promising talent if selected in the Indian cricket team ahead.
Apart from Pant, Iyer was the only batsman in Delhi Daredevils set up who got going this season. He scored 411 runs at an average of 38, which included 4 crucial half-centuries. Not a bad start for an IPL newbie?
Iyer also replaced Gambhir as captain of his side after 6 matches. Iyer is currently a regular part of the Indian cricket team; he has played 6 ODIs and 6 T20s for India. He scored 809 runs at 50.56 in his maiden Ranji season, and the next season he scored over 1300 runs and finished as the highest run-getter that season.
A talented batsman and someone who can score quickly, Iyer has performed quite well in the national side, with 2 fifties in 6 games at an average of over 40. Due to his aggressive style of play, he is often compared with Sehwag. In his first IPL season, Iyer scored 439 runs and won the emerging player award. He should soon make it to the national set-up.