Rising and Shining: The young stars in IPL 2020

Devdutt Padikkal, Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Varun Chakravarthy, Ravi Bishnoi… impressive performances have come from a fresh bunch of young cricketers this IPL season

Devdutt Padikkal (Pic: Twitter/ @devdpd07)

The league stage of IPL 2020 has been a thrilling roller coaster like no other season. The fact that it took the very last match to show which four teams will make the playoffs, and that the teams on the third and eighth place on the table were separated by a mere 2 points, just gives an idea of how closely contested this 56-match league stage was. The teams gave it their all and there was no room for complacency at any stage.

After multiple heart-in-mouth encounters, there have been a few players who have left a mark with their impressive performances. Of course, KL Rahul and David Warner top the run scoring charts, while Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada lead the way in the bowling department. But all these stalwarts of the game are now regular faces on these lists, and have been performing regularly for years. But this year around, there was some new and young talent on the hunt for success as well.

The first name that pops up in mind is of course Devdutt Padikkal, the stylish left handed Karnataka opener who has scored more runs than Virat Kohli this season, and that should be enough explanation to show how good he is. The RCB opener has scored 472 runs in 14 matches at an average of 33.71. Being placed 4th on the list of highest run getters, the Royal Challengers Bangalore owe a huge thanks to this 20 year old, as he has been an important cog in their wheel and largely the reason why they have qualified for the playoffs.

Ishan Kishan has been impressive for the Mumbai Indians this season. Not a part of the initial playing XI, he was eventually called into the side to replace Saurabh Tiwary, and immediately attracted attention with a power packed 99 off 58 balls with 9 sixes against RCB. Kishan has over 1,000 runs in IPL cricket and has been the subject of significant publicity over the years and at 22 years of age, he’s only getting better, having scored 428 runs in 12 matches this season too.

Chennai Super Kings had an unsuccessful campaign this year, but the biggest positive, for both CSK and India, was the class of Ruturaj Gaikwad in the last three games for CSK. After being dismissed for ducks in his first two matches, the opener came back strong and smashed three back to back fifties. With the elegance and strokeplay that he has in his arsenal, one would think it’s not long before he gets a shot at an India jersey.

Sunrisers Hyderabad middle order batsman Priyam Garg hasn’t been too disappointing either. Even though 109 runs from 12 games isn’t the most outstanding return, Garg didn’t have too much time out in the middle either. But the youngster has shown his capability with a 26-ball 51 against CSK, for which he was given the man of the match award. Apart from his batting, he has also been busy on the field, regularly taking catches and stopping quick singles. The 19 year old has the potential to become something big.

In the bowling department, the most impressive and consistent has definitely been KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy. The Tamil Nadu leg spinner has been the only bowler in this IPL so far to have taken a five wicket haul, with returns of 5/20 against a strong Delhi Capitals batting lineup. He has also been included in the Indian national team’s T20I squad to face Australia later this year, and one would feel he has earned the chance.

Rahul Chahar, Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin have been largely successful too, with decent economy rates and significant number of wickets under the belts of all these three spinners, it seems as if the future looks bright for Indian spin bowling. The area where there hasn’t been too much spark as far as youngsters are concerned, is the pace bowling department. Kartik Tyagi of the Rajasthan Royals was taken to the cleaners in almost every match he played, and with just 9 wickets from 10 matches and an economy of 9.61, he hasn’t exactly blown away the rooftops with his performance. He though has decent pace and can alter his pace significantly well too, but the line and length on which the ball has to be delivered needs further perfection.

Kamlesh Nagarkoti of Kolkata Knight Riders has pretty much the same story to narrate, with a mere 5 wickets from 10 matches and an economy of 8.88, the 20 year old certainly has scope for improvement. Arshdeep Singh of Kings XI Punjab has been better, with 9 wickets from 8 games and an economy of 8.77, the 21 year old has shown promise and intent, and has the capability to make it big in the future.

Riyan Parag of the Rajasthan Royals had a decent outing too and is showing signs of a star in the making, but he needs to perform more often. Abdul Samad, the SRH all-rounder, didn’t really get too many chances to showcase the talent he possesses, but in the limited time out at the crease with both bat and ball, he made sure his name would echo in the ears of a few selectors for days to come. All in all, these young cricketers have turned quite a few heads their way and have shown that they are meant to play at the highest level, and what better place to show the world your skill and talent than the Indian Premier League.

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Divyaj Tomar

Divyaj Tomar

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High school student in Bangalore. Cricket, tennis, films fan. Can’t help notice typos. Interested in areas of sustainable progress and rural sports development.