One of its major objectives of the Indian Premier League during its inception was to provide a platform for the youngsters to prove themselves against international stars in front of huge crowds under pressure situations. Going into the thirteenth season, the objective has been fulfilled to a large extent. Many Indian stars like R Ashwin, R Jadeja, J Bumrah, U Yadav, H Pandya, etc have been fast-tracked into the Indian side on the basis of their IPL performances.
As we get ready for the beginning of the thirteenth season post the Covid-19 break, a lot of youngsters will be waiting for their chances and are looking make the most of the opportunities they get. Here we look at one uncapped player to look out for from each of the eight teams, who can create a difference:
Royal Challengers Bangalore – Devdutt Padikkal
The find of the 2019-20 domestic season, Devdutt Padikkal topped most batting charts in the limited overs formats. Having bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2019, the 19-year old opener did not get the chance to feature in the playing XI last year. A relatively untested batsman then, Padikkal has been in great form off late and it will be hard to ignore him for a place in the playing XI in the upcoming season.
Having impressed one and all, Devdutt will be looking to most of his purple patch if given opportunities for the Kohli-led side.
Rajasthan Royals – Riyan Parag
Riyan Parag, a teenage all-rounder from Assam, bagged an IPL contract for the Rajasthan Royals in 2019. The 18-year old Parag who was also a part of India’s successful campaign in the 2018 U-19 World Cup, has played 7 games in the IPL so far. The all-rounder has shown immense potential as well as the temperament to excel at this level. Parag scored a match-winning fifty and almost finished a chase, which was an evidence of his excellent composure.
With more experience on his side, Parag will play the role of a designated finisher for the Royals in the upcoming season. With the ball, Riyan gives his skipper the option of an additional wrist spin option.
Chennai Super Kings – Ruturaj Gaikwad
Bought by Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 auctions, Ruturaj Gaikwad is a technically as well as temperamentally strong opener. Gaikwad is yet to debut in IPL despite being in the CSK side for two years. However, having proven himself for the India A setup, it would not be a surprise if CSK give him a go at the top to accommodate an extra overseas all-rounder or bowler.
His technique is good enough to provide his side steady starts and not lose his wicket in the powerplays, something CSK focuses on. Having spent two quality years in the CSK, 2020 might be the season when he finally gets a chance to play for one of the most successful IPL teams.
Kings XI Punjab – Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi, the teenage sensation from Rajasthan, will be one of the youngsters to look out for this season, after setting the stage on fire in the recently concluded U-19 World Cup in South Africa. One of the best bowlers in the U-19 World Cup, Bishnoi was bought by KXIP for the 2020 season. His wicket-taking ability makes him a trump card for KXIP in the middle overs, especially after they traded Ashwin with Delhi Capitals.
Skillful with the ball with his accuracy as well as variations, Bishnoi is a more than handy batsman too. Not yet tested enough with the bat at a higher level, Bishnoi has the potential to be a decent lower order batsman too. Moreover, he is a livewire on the field with his athletic fielding. The complete package that he is along with his aggressive bowling, makes Bishnoi a very important cog in the wheel for KXIP for the upcoming season.
Sunrisers Hyderabad – Abhishek Sharma
Abhishek Sharma, a part of the India squad which lifted the World Cup in 2018, was traded in by Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of the 2019 auctions from Delhi Capitals. The 17-year all-rounder caught everyone’s attention with a 19-ball-46in 2018 for Delhi, but did not get any opportunities for SRH in 2019.
The left-arm spinner and an aggressive middle-order batsman from Punjab will be a very potent choice for the finishing role for SRH, given the fact that SRH do not have a designated Indian finisher in the squad. Having him in the XI will also give them an additional spin bowling option, who brings in the variety being a left-arm orthodox spinner.
Mumbai Indians – Suryakumar Yadav
A proven customer in the domestic circuit as well as in the IPL, Suryakumar Yadav has been knocking the doors of the selectors for quite a long time. The Mumbai-based batsman, who has previously represented Kolkata Knight Riders as well, is one of the best T20 players in the domestic circuit right now. Suryakumar has been one of the most consistent performers for Mumbai Indians in the last two years, having scored 400-plus runs in consecutive seasons.
With the ability to improvise along with his power game and proper technique makes him someone who can bat anywhere in the top seven. His experience plus the skill set he possesses makes him the batting mainstay for Mumbai.
Kolkata Knight Riders – Nitish Rana
Nitish Rana, bought by KKR in 2018 after representing MI in 2017, is a perfect T20 middle-order batsman, having the game required to tackle the spinners in middle overs and also the temperament needed to play long innings and finish games. Rana has been exceptional for KKR so far, having scored 300-plus runs in both the seasons. Being a part-time spinner, Rana has the knack of breaking crucial partnerships as well.
With KKR without Chris Lynn there will be increased responsibility on the experienced shoulders of Nitish Rana. Having proved his potential before, Rana will be be expected to go one step ahead and be a consistent match-winner for his side.
Delhi Capitals – Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel is not someone new to the IPL, having started his IPL career in 2012. The Haryana all-rounder Harshal Patel has so far played 41 games in the league, but is yet to make a long-lasting impact. However, Harshal has a great opportunity in the upcoming edition to announce himself.
Having improved a lot with the bat in the past year or so as evident from the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Harshal will play a crucial role in the Delhi setup. Adding to his bowling which might come handy on the two-paced pitches in UAE, Harshal will have a role to play with the bat as well, especially as a finisher.