Indian Premier League has always been a competition that has given a platform to so many Indian players to shine on a big stage. With IPL 2021 right around the corner, we take a look at five Indian players to watch out for.
Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals)
Delhi Capitals appointed Risabh Pant as their new captain after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out for the entire tournament due to serious injury. Pant was the vice-captain last season when DC finished as runners-up after losing to Mumbai Indians in the finals.
The decision to appoint Pant as captain could turn out to be a masterstroke. Pant is still 23 and this will be his first spell as captain in IPL. He has enjoyed the best cricket of his career in the last four months. He is in a good run of form after match-winning performances against Australia and England. Rick Ponting’s guidance and his personal form could make Pant really a superstar during IPL 2021.
T Natarajan (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
From almost being a coolie to a million-dollar baby in the IPL, Natarajan’s journey as a cricketer is worth the read. The 29-year old represents Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL. In the 22 matches played for the franchise, he has picked up 18 wickets with an economy of 8.2. Natarajan had a very good season with SRH in IPL 2020, picking up 16 wickets on their journey to the playoffs.
Natarajan is a very important part of David Warner’s side who will be challenging for the title this season. The left-arm pacer has the ability to consistently bowl pin-point yorkers. A strong IPL campaign will effectively book Natarajan’s place in the Indian team for the T-20 World Cup.
Devdutt Padikkal (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Devdutt Padikkal grabbed the headlines last season when he was the highest run-scorer in IPL 2020 for RCB with 473 runs in 15 matches. The youngster outshined the likes of Kohli and AB de Villiers.
Padikkal also had a very good domestic season during the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 he scored a whopping 737 runs in only seven innings at an average of 147.4 and strike rate of 95.96, including four consecutive centuries. Captain Virat Kohli will be hoping for another good season from the young batsman from Karnataka this IPL.
Shubman Gill (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Shubman Gill is definitely the player to watch out for in KKR. The 21-year-old was the highest run-scorer for the team in the last edition of IPL. He scored 440 runs with a strike rate of 117.96.
Gill can do much better with the strike rate considering the wide array of strokes he has in his book. After enjoying productive winter with India in Australia, Gill will be looking to kick on in IPL this season.
The 22-year-old batsman made a terrific debut for the Indian team in Australia. In the memorable victory at Gabba, he scored crucial 91 runs. He has got what it takes and performs on a big stage but he will be looking to become more consistent in IPL 2021.
Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians)
Ishan Kishan has used the IPL platform brilliantly to break into the Indian T-20 team. He impressed everyone with his lower-order hitting for the Gujarat Lions in 2017. In the 2018 IPL auctions, Mumbai Indians won the bidding war for his services.
The youngster enjoyed a terrific IPL 2019 with Mumbai. He scored 516 runs in just 14 matches with an average of 57.33 runs. He heavily contributed to Mumbai’s second consecutive title win. Skipper Rohit Sharma will be counting on the youngster to perform the same as last season. With a place in the Indian team up for grab, Kishan will be hoping to have another good IPL campaign.