Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most awaited tournament for cricket fanatics in India. It has given budding young cricketers in the country and around the world a much-needed platform to play at the highest level. IPL 2021 is going to be no different.
Along with learning from the best players around the world, IPL has also become a pathway for young players to get an opportunity with the national team. Players such as Pandya brothers, Jasprit Bumrah and Washington Sundar have been tremendously helped by IPL to make their mark in international players. Apart from Indian players, few overseas young players have also enjoyed success in career due to IPL. Ahead of IPL 2021, we look at the top five young players to watch out for.
Riyan Parag 18yrs (Rajasthan Royals)
Riyan Parag is one of the highly-rated young Indian players in domestic cricket. He was also called up for India during Under-19 Asia Cup in 2017. He made his first-class debut for Assam in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy. Parag currently holds the record of youngest player to score a half-century in IPL. The youngster has been part of the RR setup in the last two years. ALthough he is yet to have a breakthrough season with RR, there have been glimpses of his hitting power in few crucial innings.
Parag should be looking to kick on for Rajasthan this season by coming up with more innings like the one he played against Sunrisers Hyderabad last season. He has also been under-utilized with his bowling in IPL. Considering the glimpses of his all-around ability shown in the last two seasons, Parag is now ready to become a crucial player for RR.
Yashasvi Jaiswal (19) (Rajasthan Royals)
Yashasvi Jaiswal has been considered as one of the elegant batsmen in domestic cricket. He scored almost 400 runs during India’s Under 19 World Cup 2020 campaign. Jaiswal is also the youngest Indian batsman to score a List A double ton, achieving this feat at the age of 17.
Jaiswal had a tough IPL 2020 campaign as he failed to capitalise on chances given to open innings for Rajasthan Royals. He did play the second fiddle role to Prithvi Shaw during Mumbai’s victory in the Vijay Hazare trophy. However, there were a couple of good solid innings for Jaiswal during this tournament. He is not going to be the first-choice option at RR this season, but after getting one year of IPL experience, Jaiswal will be much better prepared to deliver this season when called upon.
Ravi Bishnoi (20) (Punjab Kings)
Ravi Bishnoi ended the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup with 17 wickets. He was the highest wicket-taker in the tournament. His wrist spin is a very potent wicket-taking option in limited-overs cricket.
Bishnoi enjoyed a good debut IPL campaign with Punjab Kings last year as he finished with 12 wickets. He was often KL Rahul’s go-to bowler to break partnerships in middle overs. With the crucial experience of IPL cricket under his belt, Bishnoi will be hoping to improve his wicket tally in IPL 2021.
Devdutt Padikkal (20) (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Devdutt Padikkal was the biggest positive for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2020. He represented Karnataka in under-16 and under-19 age categories. In 2017, he was selected by Bellary Tuskers in the Karnataka Premier League. He made his first-class debut for Karnataka in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy on 28 November 2018.
Padikkal won the Emerging Player Award in his debut IPL campaign by outscoring the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in RCB. He ended the season with 473 runs in 15 matches for RCB. After scoring 737 runs in seven innings of Vijay Hazare Trophy, Padikkal is coming into IPL 2021 in rich vein of form. He will be eyeing at least 500 runs for RCB this season.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (20) (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
After Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman is considered as Afghanistan’s most effective spinner in T-20 cricket. Across various T-20 leagues in the world, Rahman has delivered emphatic performances. He shone for Punjab Kings in one season but endured a below-par campaign in 2020.
The Afghanistan bowler was picked up by Sunrisers Hyderabad during IPL 2021 auction. Even though he will not be the first-choice player at SRH. However, his previous experiences on Indian pitches will make him a potent bowling option to have in the squad.