Indian Premier League 2020 is approaching its business end and like the previous 12 IPL seasons, the present edition too has unearthed a plethora of young Indian cricketers who have caught the eye and promised to make it big sooner or later.
Here we take a look at the top five youngsters who can make headlines in the next edition of IPL:
The 20-year-old Royals Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player has so far scored 472 runs, including five half-centuries, in 14 innings. These runs have come at an impressive strike rate of over 125, including 51 fours and 8 sixes.
In the process, the 20-year-old became the only player in IPL history to score three fifties in his first four games. Moreover, Padikkal created history by becoming the fastest Indian to complete 1000 T20 runs thus breaking the previous record of legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
Also, in his last game which was against DC, Padikkal smashed his fifth fifty of IPL 2020 to become the batsman with most fifty or fifty-plus scores in a debut season become the batsman with most fifty or fifty-plus scores in a debut season.
“He (Padikkal) has really handled the pressure in IPL well. It is watched world-wide, its fan base and product is huge and he’s caught everyone’s eye. There’s a long career ahead. One thing is for sure that if he focuses on the process, he works on his fitness, he will go a long way,” former India fast bowler Venkatesh Prasad told a leading daily.
Leg-spinner Bishnoi, who ended as the highest wicket-taker in the Under-19 World Cup this year with 17 scalps, had a dream IPL debut season. The 20-year-old spinner picked up 12 wickets in 14 innings for Kings XI Punjab and was, without a doubt, one of their shining stars.
Bishnoi’s victims included the likes of David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Rishabh Pant, Aaron Finch, Eoin Morgan — batsmen who are considered to be well-equipped to tackle spin bowling with ease. Having a bowling style similar to that of Punjab’s head coach and ace leg-spinner Anil Kumble, Bishnoi kept the batsmen in check, using flippers, top-spinners, and googlies to good effect.
One of the very few positives for Chennai Super Kings — who had their worst IPL season — was Ruturaj Gaikwad. The 23-year-old right-handed batsman played six innings and scored 204 runs at an average of 51. His runs, including three brilliant half-centuries, helped the three-time champions regain some lost pride and end the tournament on a high.
“He’s one of the most talented players around. What makes it difficult is he’s not somebody who speaks a lot. So, sometimes it becomes difficult for the management to gauge a player. Once he started going in the innings, you could see that he was hitting the ball the way he wants,” said MS Dhoni.
Shubman Gill has been the only consistent performer for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020. Playing as a regular opener for the team, the 21-year-old has scored 440 runs in 14 games at an average of 33.84. He also has three fifties to his name in IPL 13 so far. Owing to his good form with the willow, Gill was picked for India’s ODI and Test squads for the upcoming tour of Australia.
Another shining light for Kings XI Punjab was medium-pacer Arshdeep Singh. Although he picked nine wickets in eight matches, the six feet-three inches tall bowler showed great promise as he picked the prized wickets of Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, and Andre Russell among others.
While he might have remained under the shadow of Mohammed Shami and Chris Jordan, but the 21-year-old made his presence felt in the match against SRH when he bagged three wickets at crucial stage to help KXIP defend a mere 127-run target. With the performance, Arshdeep showed that he definitely possesses the talent to perform in crucial matches.