6 Youngsters Who May Have Impressed Indian Selectors This IPL
A 17-year-old who took his team on the cusp of victory, an uncapped player who hat-tricked RCB’s star batsmen, and an all-rounder who finished as his team’s highest wicket-taker — there were the stars of the 2019 Indian Premier League, and then there were these young and new Indian cricketers who starred in this year’s IPL.
Local players who rose from supporting roles to lead their teams to victories, making selectors sit up and take notice, and forcing franchises to think twice before leaving them out from a playing eleven. So who are these young stars? Here’s a look.
1. Prithvi Shaw
Can’t talk about young talent in the country, and NOT speak about Prithvi Shaw. This IPL was, however, not all smooth-sailing for the 19-year-old. After getting 99 in his third innings of the season, Shaw suffered a series of failures with the bat – 0, 11, 14, 4 — were just some of his scores.
The team wasn’t happy, he later admitted, and neither was he. But both didn’t give up, and he came back strong with a 38-ball 56 in the crucial Eliminator against Sunrisers to help set up Delhi Capitals’ chase, that they went on to complete.
That fourth IPL fifty of his career, brought Shaw on level with his U-19 teammate Shubman Gill, at the top of the list of most fifty-plus scores by teenagers in IPL history. Which takes us to our second young cricketer who has impressed this season.
2. Shubman Gill
In his first five innings, Gill’s batting suffered lower down the order. Batting at 6 and 7 was obviously not working for the 19-year-old. But as soon he was promoted to the opener's slot, Shubman smashed a 39-ball 65 – the highest scorer for KKR in that match against Delhi Capitals. He went on to score 76 and an unbeaten 65* – finishing the season with 296 runs in 13 innings, and an Emerging Player of the Season award.
3. Riyan Parag
And now for the boy, yes boy, because he’s just 17! Riyan Parag. The young all-rounder made his way into Rajasthan Royals’ playing eleven almost halfway into their season, but in just his second game, scored an impressive 29-ball 43 that helped his team beat Mumbai Indians. He scored another 47 against KKR before getting to the 50-run mark in their final match of the season against Delhi, making him the youngest to score an IPL half-century. Also, a leg-break bowler, the Assam cricketer picked up 2 wickets in the league.
4. Shreyas Gopal
Another all-rounder who starred for the Royals in their otherwise not-so-pink season was Shreyas Gopal. The uncapped 25-year-old, who played six matches for Mumbai Indians between 2014 and 2016, was bagged by Rajasthan in the 2018 auction. And though he couldn’t do much last year, Shreyas was shining bright this season. He was third in the list of players with most wickets after the league stage – picking up 20 scalps in 14 matches. And these 20 wickets were not just any other cricketers but among the best in the business. He dismissed Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Manish Pandey twice each and even picked up a hat-trick against RCB – which included AB de Villiers, Virat and Marcus Stoinis.
5. Rahul Chahar
And with that the fifth player – the younger Chahar among the two brothers playing in the IPL – not Deepak, but Rahul Chahar. This 19-year-old made his way into Mumbai Indians’ playing eleven in place of a non-performing Mayank Markande and hence had to do something special to retain his spot in the side. And special he did. The leg-spinner picked up 13 wickets in 13 matches that included two 3-wickets hauls. But what’s more is that out of the 282 balls he bowled, 125 were dots. That’s a dot-ball percentage of 44.3 for the IPL Gamechanger of the season.
6. Khaleel Ahmed
Last but not definitely not the least, IPL 2019’s most animated wicket celebrator, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s livewire – Khaleel Ahmed. After missing their first six games due to injury, Khaleel announced his arrival with a 3 for 30 against Delhi Capitals. In the next eight games, he went wicketless just once. And despite not playing in all their matches, finished as Sunrisers highest wicket-taker and fifth overall with 19 scalps.
Who among the young guns impressed you the most this IPL? Tell us in the comments section below.