Indian Premier League (IPL), over the years, has been a great platform for the young cricketers to showcase their talent at a big stage.
With Indian players distributed across eight distinct teams and the limitation of playing only four overseas players-a-side, franchises root for the young Indian cricketers.
Meanwhile, consistent performance in the cash-rich league can catapult you to the international stage as well.
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In previous editions, we have seen players like Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey and Ravichandran Ashwin. They burst in the international fold on the back of an excellent IPL outings.
The 11th edition also witnessed numerous young Indian cricketers making their mark. Their successful performance also serves as a welcome reminder that the future of Indian cricket is bright.
On that note, let us take a look at such five future stars:
Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Daredevils) – 245 runs, nine matches:
The 2018 Under-19 World Cup-winning skipper Prithvi Shaw had scored a century on his Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy debut respectively. But IPL was the opportunity for the 18-year-old to show his all-format ability.
As an opener, Shaw proved his ability in the shortest format as well. He provided Delhi Daredevils with some good starts after replacing Gautam Gambhir in the playing XI.
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In nine matches, the right-handed batsman registered 245 runs with a strike-rate of 153.12 including two fifties.
The youngster has already drawn comparisons with the great Sachin Tendulkar and an impressive IPL campaign hints that he’s on the right path.
Shubman Gill (Kolkata Knight Riders) – 203 matches, 11 matches:
Another member of the 2018 U-19 champion side, Shubman Gill struggled for opportunities, for the most part of the season.
Even though he played 13 matches, Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana’s presence in the middle-order forced the youngster to bat down the order on most occasions.
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However, sent in to bat No. four position in Rana’s absence against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at home, Gill cracked his maiden IPL fifty to lead KKR to a thumping victory.
Rana’s return from injury forced Gill down the order. But by making the most of the limited opportunities, Gill has emerged as one of the brightest teenage stars.
Rishabh Pant (Delhi Daredevils) — 684 runs, 14 matches:
Rishabh Pant is not a new name in Indian cricket, however, he stamped his authority in this edition of the league.
In his third season, the southpaw finally switched gears from being an explosive batsman to a match-winner.
In 14 matches, the Delhi cricketer smashed 684 runs with a strike-rate of 173.60 – to finish second in the leading run-getters list.
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Delhi, who began their campaign with one win from first six games, clinched four wins in the last eight thanks to Pant’s red-hot form. Still only 20, the wicketkeeper-batsman is the frontrunner to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the limited-overs side.
Shivam Mavi (Kolkata Knight Riders) – five wickets, nine matches
Numbers help you rate an individual’s performance but they don’t always reflect the true story. Mavi, who was bought for INR three crore in the auction, managed to pick only five wickets in nine matches.
However, he impressed one and all with his brisk pace and fearless attitude.
Only 19, Mavi consistently clocked in excess of 140 kph as he expressed himself fearlessly on the pitch.
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Skipper Dinesh Karthik’s decision to pick Mavi over other seasoned operators for their Qualifier two game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) was only a reminder of his growth story.
Mayank Markande (Mumbai Indians) — 15 wickets, 14 matches:
Mayank Markande had come to notice in the season opener against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) when he trapped Mahendra Singh Dhoni LBW with a brilliantly delivered googly.
Markande’s wickets tally also included Ambati Rayudu and Deepak Chahar.
Meanwhile, it was just a beginning of something big as the Bathinda-born went on to become the leading-wicket taker as well at one stage of the IPL 2018.
Plenty has changed in cricket but good quality wrist-spinners continue to have their say on the big stage particularly in IPL.
Markande played all of Mumbai Indians; 14 matches and finished with 15 wickets at 24.53.
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