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How the youngsters fared in the Indian Premier League’s theatre of dreams

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Devdutt earned all the praises after his scintillating season

IPL

How the youngsters fared in the Indian Premier League’s theatre of dreams

Well, Indian Premier League is that tournament which has always provided the best of young talents in the country a platform where they can leave a long-lasting impression on the viewers. This year was no different, as they continued to impress one and all while some really underperformed.

Blockbusters 

Devdutt Padikkal (14 matches, 472 runs @average of 33.71 and strike-rate of 126)

The RCB star just insanely kept knocking at the door of the management with his performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy but could he have lived upto the potential in the IPL? Yes, hell yes, in a tournament that has seen the best of stars failing to score runs at the top of the order, the youngster made the right noises, with his wristy batting that drew comparisons with Yuvraj Singh. 472 runs in 14 group games, at an average of 33.71 and a strike-rate of 126.54 is just numbers, his value to the franchise was far more, with credible performances game after game. 

Ravi Bishnoi (14 matches, 12 wickets @ average of 31.33 and economy rate of 7.37)

KXIP might have gone down in the qualification race but even in that, they have given us the opportunity to witness the blissful bowling from both Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh. The leg-spinner has a plethora of variations but nothing more powerful than his googly, which really has left batsmen bamboozled, the 12 wickets pretty much a testament to him, at an average of 31.33 and an economy rate of 7.37. In short, a future Indian prospect if he starts bowling his stock delivery more. 

Arshdeep Singh (8 matches, 9 wickets @ average of 24.22 and economy rate of 8.77)

India have tried and tested several left-arm pacers since Zaheer Khan called it a quit, none quite lived up to the potential. But this young 20-year-old surely is a talent that must be groomed in the immediate future, for he has a crazy control over his bowling. Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey and Andre Russell surely would give their word for his bowling, a real talented pacer, who is raw at the same time has great control over himself. 

Ruturaj Gaikwad (6 matches, 204 runs @ average of 51 and strike-rate of 120.71)

Another expected name on the list alongside Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad really left it late to get on this list, with COVID-19 affecting him in the early stages of the competition. However, since he was trusted more at the top of the order by CSK’s hierarchy, he lived, outlived expectations and left the doubters stone-cold with his classical drives, that was nothing more than a mere cricketing class for the viewers and 204 runs is just a mere shadow. 

Hits 

Kartik Tyagi (10 matches, 9 wickets @ average of 40.77 and economy rate of 9.61)

A lot of people were really glad when Rajasthan unleashed the youngsters in the most pressure of situations under the leadership of Jofra Archer. Kartik Tyagi, one of India’s gems from the last U-19 World Cup showcased why he is rated this highly - a pumped-up attitude, a strong-military action and a real enthusiasm towards the game. He is raw, which was seen during the tournament but a rare talent in such a country, with his aggression. Still needs work before becoming a blockbuster but surely one to look forward to. 

Shivam Mavi (8 matches, 9 wickets @ average of 23.55 and economy rate of 8.15)

Back in 2018, Shivam Mavi, a young Indian prospect just picked up 5 wickets while conceding 270 runs, leaving him heartbroken. But once the trust of the franchise was there, the right-arm seamer showcased why he was retained, with nine wickets and a proper exhibition of seam-bowling, promoting him to be one of the names that the Indian management is keeping an eye on. What was more impressive, his calm and composed attitude to prized wickets, where even the best would be celebrating. 

Mahipal Lomror (3 matches, 59 runs @ average of 19.66 and strike-rate of 109.25)

The more you search about him, the more you learn how blessed of a talent he is, Mahipal Lomror is RR’s home-grown talent, with an eye for runs and wickets. This season, however, he has only got three opportunities for the franchise but even in these three appearances, he has proved that he doesn’t just rely on lucky breaks. A classy 47 against RCB’s bowling attack only elevated his batting to another level but he didn’t get quite the break that was expected. 

Abdul Samad (10 matches, 78 runs - @ average of 19.5 and strike-rate of 159.18)

Easily, one of the most hyped-up talents on the list, Abdul Samad set the stage sizzling with his performance in the Ranji Trophy, where bowlers looked and felt like bowling machines. A long grip and an equally long six, Samad showcased his talent against the best of bowlers this year, so much so he already has a six against his name standing up against Jasprit Bumrah. 78 runs and a wicket with the ball, Samad has just kick-started his engine but it has taken him a while in the tournament. 

Mixed reviews

Priyam Garg (12 matches, 109 runs - @ average of 15.57 and strike-rate of 128.23)

India’s U-19 captain and a batsman who faced Bhuvneshwar Kumar when he was just 14, Priyam Garg was expected largely to be on the bench for the Sunrisers, in the presence of several superstars. His best innings, of course, the one against CSK where he left the bowlers star-gazing with his brilliant fifty. However, since then he has been underwhelming for the franchise before getting the boot. A talent definitely to look out for, it is just a matter of patience and time at the moment before he can put up consistent shows. 

Kamlesh Nagarkoti (14 matches, 12 wickets - @ average of 31.33 and economy rate of 7.37)

At times, he looks like a talent possessed to make it huge on the biggest of stages, Kamlesh Nagarkoti has rather had a mixed-bag season for the Knight Riders. Alongside Mavi, the franchise expected the pacer to come good this season in the absence of a premier Indian bowler and has picked up five wickets for them this season. However, in between those wickets, there were plenty of runs - 231 to be precise which were conceded at an economy rate of 8.88. Be it bowling, batting or fielding, the right-hander has turned up ‘inconsistent’ and made it his artwork. 

Abishek Sharma (11 matches, 5 wickets - @ average of 46.20 and economy rate of 8.88)

For Abhishek Sharma, the tides changed really quickly, from being hailed as the next Yuvraj Singh both with the bat and the ball to becoming just another player in the Sunrisers camp. He was used, underused at max in the early stages before it became too late for him to make a significant impact. And when being brought upon to bowling or batting, the left-hander has left a lot to be improved, be it his shot-selection or his accuracy with the ball. Sunrisers would have gravely benefitted from his bowling but were made to look for other options, thanks to his inaccuracy.

Flops 

Simran Singh (2 matches, 15 runs - @ average of 7.50 and strike-rate of 100)

It is really hard to call a talent ‘flop’ in such a tournament, where the pressure rate was been high and the results are needed on the go but either way, Prabhsimran Singh had a chance, a real big one to seal his spot in the Punjab middle-order. When he let that go, there was no looking back really, especially after his knock against KKR in what was a must-win game for the franchise to turn their season around. He could have been very well the hero but fate had it the other way. 

Yashasvi Jaiswal (3 matches, 40 runs - average of 13.3 and strike-rate of 90.90)

The countless stories, the number of YouTube videos and a plethora of batting performances later, Yashasvi Jaiswal made it big in the IPL stage when RR outbid KXIP and KKR to avail his services for Rs 2.4 crores. His talent was well-known but the opportunities were always going to be limited, especially given that he hadn’t played T20 cricket before, barring the Mumbai league. 40 runs from three outings, an average of 13 and a strike-rate of 90.90 showed that he struggled to keep pace with the glitzy tournament. 

Riyan Parag (12 matches, 86 runs - average of 12.28 and strike-rate of 111.68)

A dance or two later, Riyan Parag emerged as one of the biggest positives from the Royals camp after their poor stretch of games in the middle alongside Rahul Tewatia. While Tewatia proved that it was not a one-game affair, the right-handed Parag struggled in the tournament, with just 86 runs to his name in 12 matches. An extremely downward shift from him, especially after what he showcased in the country last year for the Royals. 

Yet to arrive

Akash Singh (RR), Ishan Porel (KXIP), Sai Kishore (CSK), Virat Singh (SRH), Anuj Rawat (RR), M Siddarth (KKR)

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