It's three weeks into the IPL and we have seen lots of young talent utilising this big platform to showcase their performances and taken the cricketing world by storm. No one knew them till this IPL started and now they have become a household name and become heroes overnight.
Let’s start with Tewatia of RR, when he came into bat people started cursing him as he took so many balls to get going but one over of Cottrell he hit him for 5 sixes and won the game for RR. It needed courage and skill to do that and the youngster did it and became a star overnight. Sanju Samson first two innings were tremendous, the way he was hitting sixes was a treat to watch but this kid has some talent. He just has to be more consistent and it is not far away that he will be seen soon in the Indian colours.
Ryan Parag gritty knock which made RR win against Sunrisers Hyderabad, this kid has a lot of skill at his disposal but has to be selective when and how to use it. Coming on to SRH the most promising youngster from their side is Priyam Garg. What I liked most about this kid is he is not afraid to take on any senior bowlers, he is confident and has a strong head on his shoulder.
Another promising all-rounder is Abhishek Sharma, a good striker of the ball and a decent left-arm spinner who is tall and has a good high arm action. The other one who impressed the most from SRH is T.Natarajan, who is not afraid to experiment and bowl well in death overs. He has good variations and excellent yorkers.
RCB has found an excellent opener Devdutt Padikkal, who is a tall and good striker of the ball, he made a big impression on his debut game with a well-deserved half-century and been consistently scoring for them. He was brilliant on the field as well and an asset to the RCB side. Washington Sunder has been brilliant with the ball and has been the most economical bowler for them. Navdeep Saini has improved a lot and looks lethal with his pace and learning fast to bowl well in the death overs.
KKR has some fantastic young talent who are doing well, start with Shubman Gill, he looks a class act. He has a variety of shots and plays with a delicate touch, Looks very classy when he is on a song, treat to watch him. Then they have 2 young fast bowlers Mavi and Nagarkoti, both have a good pace and improving every game and both are excellent fielders.
Another fast bowler who impressed was Prasidh Krishna who bowled well in the 19th over against Punjab and snatched victory from defeat. Then they have this mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy who is economical at the same time can take wickets at the right time. Bowling alongside Narain he is developing into a match-winner.
KXIP- Mayank Agarwal was considered to be a Test opener and in this IPL he has shown that he is as good a player in this format as he is in the longer version. He has given them terrific starts in almost every game and had the distinction of getting a hundred in T20 as well. I am sure the Indian think tank will surely think of him in T20 format as well. Arshdeep Singh looks very skinny but bowls a very intelligent line, it’s difficult to hit him. Very promising left-arm medium pacer. Ravi Bishnoi again a promising leg spinner and is not afraid of getting hit and always goes for the wicket. These leg spinners are the game-changers.
MI-gave opportunity to 2 youngsters Ishan Kishan and Rahul Chahar, they both have performed so well that they could not be left out from the playing eleven. In fact, Ishan missed a well-deserved century against RCB and was out on 99. Rahul has been bowling very economical and taking wickets as well.
DC has a good all-around team and looks solid in all departments. They have a good mixture of seniors and juniors who have been doing well for them for the last couple of years. DC and MI look to be in the top 4 and sure to qualify, I will not be surprised if they both play the finals this year.
CSK is the only team that has got more seniors in their team and their average age is 31 years. They are badly missing Suresh Raina and rely heavily on their openers Watson and Faff Duplesi. It’s surprising to see them in the 2nd bottom of the table which is unusual for a team which is led by M S Dhoni. They have lost some games which they shouldn’t have, that shows the lack of consistency in their batting.
This IPL is going to be the “IPL for the young talent” who has been given the opportunity and some of them have grabbed it with both hands.
Since the T20 world cup is hosted in India next year many players would be knocking on the door of the Indian team to stake a claim, hence this IPL is very important for them. Hope these juniors keep on performing consistently and hope to see them on the national team sooner than later.
(The writer is the Indian cricketer, and the head coach of Zimbabwe