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IPL 2024: Uncapped Indians take centrestage


IPL 2024: Uncapped Indians take centrestage

Riyan Parag, Mayank Yadav, Abhishek Sharma, Ashutosh Sharma, Shashank Singh, Vaibhav Arora, Nitish Kumar Reddy

The ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen several eye-catching performances from young Indian uncapped players. They have not only made their presence felt, but also won matches on their own as the 2024 edition approaches the halfway stage.
TOI takes a look at some names who can go on to don the national team colours…
Riyan Parag (Rajasthan Royals)

This season has been the unravelling of the years of investment Rajasthan Royals have put in the Assam youngster.

Parag is giving tough competition to Virat Kohli for the Orange Cap. What has been striking is his hitting ability coupled with a new-found consistency. The Royals have given him a fixed spot (No.4) in the batting line-up and that has worked wonders for Parag. He is just behind Heinrich Klaasen in the list of top six-hitters in the tournament with 20 maximums. Out of Rajasthan’s six victories, Parag has fashioned three of them with telling contributions of 43, 84*, and 54* against LSG, DC and MI.

Mayank Yadav (Lucknow Super Giants)
The most enthralling story to come out of the IPL has been the emergence of Mayank Yadav. The Delhi speedster bowled thunderbolts in the three games he played for Lucknow, registering an average speed of more than 148 kmph. He regularly breached the 150 kmph mark and bowled the fastest ball of the tournament – a 156.7 kmph scud missile during LSG’s match against RCB. Apart from buzzing the speed gun, Yadav won back-to-back man of the match awards with three-wicket hauls against Punjab Kings and RCB. An abdominal strain which he suffered during the match against Gujarat has tempered the buzz around him as of now.
Abhishek Sharma (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
SRH’s mind-boggling hitting in the IPL so far has been fuelled a lot by Abhishek Sharma’s daredevilry at the top of the order. Abhishek’s strike-rate of 197.19 is among the best in the tournament and the youngster from Punjab forms a lethal opening combination with another southpaw Travis Head. The Sharma-Head duo has made sure SRH ends up with more than 70 runs after the Powerplay. He too has won two man of the match awards in the tournament which is the most so far.
Ashutosh Sharma (Punjab Kings)
If impact value of individual innings had to be calculated, then Sharma’s three knocks in the 30s would rank among the highest. Sharma has hit a 17-ball 31 (against Gujarat Titans), a 15-ball unbeaten 33 (against Sunrisers Hyderabad), and a 16-ball 31 (against Rajasthan Royals) so far. The Impact Player rule has come as a blessing in disguise for Sharma as no other batter has contributed so much for the team’s cause after coming on as a substitute.
Shashank Singh (Punjab Kings)
The middle-order batsman from Chhattisgarh was thrown into the limelight after fashioning a memorable win for Punjab against Gujarat Titans with an unbeaten 29-ball 61. The match looked dead and buried for Punjab, but Shashank, in the company of Ashutosh Sharma, chased down 200 with the final four overs yielding 50 runs. The knock was a perfect redemption moment for Shashank after being a case of “mistaken identity” at the auction.
Vaibhav Arora (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Arora has shown impeccable control while getting the ball to swing both ways at decent pace – somewhere around the 140 kmph mark. His 3/27 against Delhi Capitals in a winning cause got everyone to talk about him; then he held his own with a 2/28 performance against CSK in the next game. The Himachal pacer is in the Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Praveen Kumar mould with his forte being the ability to swing both ways on the most placid pitches.
Nitish Kumar Reddy (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
The pace bowling allrounder is a rare commodity in the cricketing world, and Reddy is one of the few going around in the country. His 37-ball 64 rescued SRH from a precarious position of 64/4 against Punjab Kings on a lively wicket in Mullanpur. His ability to clear the ground by comfortable margins against both pacers and spinners was the striking feature of his knock. He also showed a resolute defence when Arshdeep Singh and Kagiso Rabada’s balls were hooping around. Later, he also prized out the wicket of Jitesh Sharma with a slower bouncer while bowling.

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