It’s that IPL time of the year again!
The Indian Premier League is celebrating a successful decade. Over last 10 years, the IPL has given so much to enrich the game of cricket. Lots of young talented players were unearthed from the tournament. Here is the list of youngsters to watch out for from each team this season.
1. Avesh Khan (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
People haven’t heard his name much except for one thing: in October 2015, the first match of India Under-19s when their preparation began for the Under-19 World Cup. India was bowled out for paltry 158 against Bangladesh. Avesh returned with magical figures of 6-3-4-4 to win that match for India.
From there Avesh has only got better as a bowler. He won the Man of the Match award against Namibia and ended as the 3rd highest wicket taker in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup. Having made his Ranji Trophy debut at the age of 18, Avesh is all set to make a bigger impact in this IPL. As RCB is lacking consistent, quality Indian fast bowler, Avesh is one to look out for this season.
2. Nitish Rana (Mumbai Indians)
Mumbai Indians are known to scout talented young players. It’s no exaggeration to say that players like Hardik Pandya and Jaspreet Bumrah, who are now part of the Indian team, were discovered by Mumbai Indians. Similarly, Nitish Rana - a southpaw from - Delhi is getting lots of backing from the Mumbai Indians this season.
Nitish struck 299 runs and 21 sixes - the most by any batsman in the tournament - in Delhi's run to the semi-final of the 2015-16 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Mumbai Indians promoted him to No.4 and No.3 this season and it is working out spectacularly as he is their leading run scorer. After Pandya and Bumrah, Nitish Rana is the find of this season for Mumbai Indians.
3. Armaan Jaffer (Kings XI Punjab)
Armaan Jaffer – nephew of Wasim Jaffer – is trying to come out of the shadow of his uncle’s legacy. Armaan, part of the India Under-19 team that reached the final of the World Cup in 2016, will be taking field for Kings XI Punjab this season. He broke into news when he amassed 498 in the Harris Shield tournament in Mumbai. He made ample runs at junior level. It seems that now he is looking to repeat his heroics at highest level as well. He started the season by scoring 69 against New Zealanders. In the practice match that Kings XI played, Armaan scored magnificent 76. With Murali Vijay ruled out, Armaan is a real option for KXIP to consider.
4. Ricky Bhui (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
There are hardly any Indian batsmen who can play switch hit perfectly. 20 year old Ricky Bhui from Andhra Pradesh is one of them. Ricky first came into the limelight in the 2014 Under-19 World Cup. He scored 30+ runs in each of his first 9 innings for India Under-19s in 2013. His tremendous form continued as he was again picked up in Indian team for 2016 Under-19 World Cup. On his List A debut he scored a sparkling 79 ball 103* innings when he was just 18. He was part of champion Sunrisers Hyderabad squad last year. This season he will definitely look to make a contribution with bat as the Sunrisers defend their title.
5. Ankit Bawane (Delhi Daredevils)
The Daredevils were in all sort of trouble before the start of IPL. They had already lost 2 big players- de Kock and Duminy. They turned back to Zaheer Khan, who has been away from cricket for a while now. Delhi Daredevils heavily invested in young players. In 2015 it was Shreyas Iyer. Last year it was Rishab Pant. Likewise, they have Ankit Bawane to look forward to in this season.
Ankit, a prolific attacking batsman, made his Ranji trophy debut at the age of 15 for Maharashtra. In this Ranji season, Bawane is leading run getter for Maharashtra with 687 runs which included a marathon inning of 258 runs against Delhi. Ankit has had a long wait to get to the IPL playing XI. This is a huge chance for Ankit to display his potential. He is in sublime form and will definitely look to end a season on high with eye catching performances in IPL.
6. Ishan Kishan (Gujarat Lions)
Ishan led India to the final in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup. This youngster from Jharkhand followed the legacy of MS Dhoni for his state. Ishan scored a hundred and five fifties is his maiden Ranji Trophy season. He topped that up with 273 – the highest individual score for Jharkhand. He also scored couple of quick fire centuries to display his attacking batting skills. Ishan fits perfectly in the power packed Gujarat Lions batting line up. With Bravo recovering, Gujarat Lions will be looking to this youngster to step in and explode.
7. Rahul Chahar (Rising Pune Supergiant)
The newest to the addition of these rookies is Rahul Chahar, 17 year old leggie from Rajasthan. This season he made Ranji Trophy debut, played a key role for India Under-19s against England Under-19s and made it to the India Under-23 squad for Asia Emerging players tournament held in Dhaka in March 2017. Rahul made his debut against Kings XI Punjab with figures of 1-32, which is good enough given the fact that he bowled against Miller and Maxwell.
Rahul has landed in perfect place where he has got company of Imran Tahir and Adam Zampa to bowl with. In the absence of Ravi Ashwin from the squad, it will be interesting to see if Chahar can fill the gap and turn the fortunes of Rising Pune Supergiant.
8. Ishank Jaggi (Kolkata Knight Riders)
The oldest amongst these rookies is still a live-wire and a young gun on field. Ishank is another talented batsman from Jharkhand who is part of Kolkata Knight Riders squad. Jaggi elbowed his way into the IPL player auction two days before the event, with a 30-ball 56 that inspired East Zone to the Inter-Zonal T20 title. Ishank scored 3 fifties in all 4 matches that East Zone won in the tournament. This was the most productive Ranji Season for Ishank as he ended up with 890 runs at an average of 59.33. For his clinical performances, he was selected in the India A team for Deodhar trophy. “Better Late Than Never” is the adage that suits Ishank’s cricketing form currently.
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