5 Uncapped Indians Who Have Made A Mark In IPL8
In a season filled with international stars, there are a few uncapped Indians who are making a mark. Click for more.
1. Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Daredevils)
Following a successful debut season in the Ranji trophy for Mumbai, the 20-year-old batsman continues to be the one stand-out batsman in an otherwise disappointing Delhi Daredevils line-up.
His highest score of 83 came against the Mumbai Indians when stalwarts like Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga were shown the boundary line with ease.
With his coach Pravin Amre also helping out in the Delhi Daredevils outfit, big-stage nerves were done away with at the start of the season.
Now with three half-centuries in the tournament so far, the onus will fall on the young Daredevils opener, if the IPL’s wooden spooners are to finish better than the last place they ended at in the previous two seasons.
2. Yuzvendra Chahal (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
A 24-year old leg-spinner from Haryana, Chahal is playing his fifth season in the IPL but it already is his most successful one. Not much used by the Mumbai Indians in his first 3 seasons, the former Indian juniors chess player saw a change in fortunes after being picked up in the 2014 auction by RCB for Rs 10 lakh.
His best figures of 3/40 came this year against the Chennai Super Kings in Chepauk. Even though his team lost the game, Chahal had made enough of an impact picking the wickets of Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli clearly is impressed with him, even zeroing in on him as the “bowler to watch out for”. He said, “Yuzvendra Chahal according to me has a lot of confidence in his abilities. He is full of self belief and is ready to bowl to any field I give him. He was also our best bowler during the last season.”
3. Sarfaraz Khan (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Known primarily for breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s school record in 2009 when he scored 439 runs off 421 in an inter-school match as a 12-year old. Young Sarfaraz Khan started his IPL career creating yet another record.
But there was more to the 17-year old than just being the youngest player ever to make his IPL debut.
While his debut didn’t result in too many runs, an unbeaten 45 off 21 against an in-form Rajasthan attack drew a few comparisons between him and the great Javed Miandad.
With not many batting opportunities coming his way since, the big-hitting youngster however has his eyes set on playing the U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh next year. A target that’s being helped along with a few tips from his idol.
“AB De Villiers is my favourite player. AB always gives me all the tips. When I am nervous he comes over and talks to me. It feels good when such a big player comes and speaks to me,” Sarfaraz told the media.
4. Sandeep Sharma (Kings XI Punjab)
A right-arm medium pacer from Punjab, Sandeep impressed in the 2014 season, finishing as the top wicket-taker for Kings XI Punjab. A stress fracture on his back however forced him out of action after the tournament, even making him miss out on India A’s tour of Australia.
The 21-year old though has bounced back beautifully. His best figures this year of 4/25 came against KKR in Pune last month and he’s currently Punjab’s second-highest wicket taker this season.
Needless to say he’s impressed skipper George Bailey who said “he’s just picked up some pace, that’s pleasing to watch. The beauty of what he does is that he swings the ball late and creates opportunities (even) on batting wickets.”
Pace stalwart Mitchell Johnson too had a few words of praise for the Patiala native. “It’s great to work with him as he keeps getting better and better. He got some good pace going. What I like about Sandeep is that, he is an easy guy to work with. He listens to what I am saying as I find it important for a youngster to be able to listen to what a senior guy is saying,” he said.
5. Hardik Pandya (Mumbai Indians)
A 21-year-old all-rounder from Baroda, Hardik Pandya stood out in his man-of-the-match winning performance for Mumbai Indians against Chennai Super Kings on the 8th of May.
He first started with three catches in the Chennai innings and then followed it up with a match-winning batting performance. Needing 30 off the last two overs, Pandya held his nerve to blast Pawan Negi for three sixes in the 19th over for an 8-ball 21. His contribution helping Mumbai Indians hand CSK their first loss at the Chepauk Stadium since 2013.
Mumbai coach Ricky Ponting watched from the sidelines as another star emerged, promising more from him. “I have actually got quite close to him since I started in this job. That kid is fearless and has lots of very good skills. We haven’t seen his bowling much yet but it is particularly good,” he said.
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