IPL is known as a platform where talent meets opportunity and when a talent is given an opportunity, it excels. This is what we’ve seen in every season and this season was no different. Although there’s a famous saying in cricket that don’t judge a player from his/her first season only and ideally one should wait for their second seasons to pass the correct judgements but sometimes you can’t ignore the ” spark ” in some of the players. In this article, we take a look at 10 players who have shown enough spark to say that they could feature in Indian team soon or they deserve to play for the national team.
SKY, as they fondly call him showed everyone this season that he has finally reached a point from where, overlooking him for team selections would be very difficult. Not just his 480 runs this season but the way he scored those runs speaks volumes of his abilities. He was equally good against pace and spin, even better against spinners and the way he handled his composure when Kohli tried to provoke him to play a bad shot also talked about his temperament.
When he first came to Mumbai Indians, the management thought of him as a reckless kid who needs a lot of mentoring to grow and produce excellent results and in his third season, he led the Mumbai Indians batting chart. With 516 runs at an average of 57, he showed his true abilities. Also, he is a wicket keeper and Indian team is searching for a wicket keeper batsman after Dhoni’s retirement.
Fans could’ve got to see more of this youngster had CSK captain and management seen the spark in him much earlier but he came good even though he came late. Ruturaj Gaikwad from Pune, finally lived upto his hype when he was given a chance to open for CSK. He scored a hattrick of 50s and in a way that would please every viewer. He was classy, elegant and aesthetically very pleasing. He scored 204 runs in 6 matches with 3 half centuries and was one of the very few things CSK gained from IPL 2020.
Another sparkling youngster who lived upto the pre season hype and grabbed everyone’s eyeballs this season was Karnataka and RCB batsman Devdutt Padikkal who carried his extraordinary domestic performance to IPL as well and won the emerging player of the season award in his first ever season. The youngster scored 473 runs and was the highest run scorer for RCB which had batsmen like Kohli and AB de Villiers and that shows a lot of the abilities he possesses. Watch out for this gem in upcoming few domestic and IPL seasons.
Moving on from the batsmen to the bowlers, Tamilnadu and SRH bowler Thangarasu Natarajan is one of the players from this list who has been selected for Indian team already, although not as the first choice. The injury to Varun Chakravarthy paved the way for his inclusion but he rightfully earned it with his performance this season. Natarajan picked up 16 wickets for SRH and he was the leader of their pace attack in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He dismissed the batsmen like Kohli, Dhoni and AB de Villiers and SRH dream run to the playoffs was largely due to his brilliance with the ball as well.
KXIP couldn’t qualify for the playoffs but one of the positives they found in this season was the left arm pacer Arshdeep Singh who picked up 9 wickets in 8 matches which included some of the big fishes. He also bowled cleverly at the death which shows he has got a terrific temperament for a 21 years old youngster and with proper grooming and opportunities, we could see him reaching next levels too.
Ravi Bishnoi, another exciting Indian talent which impressed one & all. Although he’s still very raw and needs some grooming but the way he lived upto his hype after U19 WC showed he’s a talent to watch out for. Bishnoi picked up 12 wickets in 14 games at an economy just over 7.5 and it meant a great deal to see a 20 years old making sure other teams had to revise their strategies to tackle him. One such example was RCB sending Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube before AB de Villiers to handle him, a move which backfired and cost them the game.
The answer to how much Varun Chakravarthy deserves to play for India lies in the fact that he originally got picked in Indian squad for Australia tour but injury ruined his chances of making a debut. T Nararajan was later announced as his replacement but it’s just a matter of Chakravarthy regaining his fitness. The right arm mystery spinner picked up 17 wickets for KKR this season at an average of 21 and he finally lived upto the hype created around him in the earlier seasons.
Out of so many youngsters featuring in this list, Rahul Tewatia was the one with no pre season talk around him. Not many were expecting much from him but the RR management had seen some signs in the nets which is why they sent him to take on KXIP spinners in a game. He failed miserably against those spinners and just when it looked like everything was over, he pulled off a miracle. Nobody can forget his 5 sixes in an over to Sheldon Cottrell. That wasn’t the only inning he played. He was consistent throughout the season which is why he featured in many experts’ Team of the season along with our team too.