The Indian Premier League has completed a decade long journey, having its own share of ups and downs. Nonetheless, the cash-rich league has provided the platform for unheralded players, be it Indian or overseas to showcase their talent.
In the past editions, IPL has brought forward real Indian talents who were lost in the grind of domestic cricket. A stage like IPL gave these youngsters instant recognition and few of them even managing to break into the national squad. Names of players like Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel come to mind.
The season 10 of IPL was also no different with few of the rookie Indian players making the right buzz, forcing people to take notice and talk of their talent. Let’s have a look at five Indian youngsters who made a big impact in IPL 2017 with their performances.
Rishabh Pant (Delhi Daredevils)
There was never a doubt in Rishabh Pant’s class as a player but in this IPL he showed his strong character. Despite a personal bereavement, Pant joined his team, Delhi Daredevils after performing the last rites of his father. It is never easy for anyone after such a irreparable loss to come out and perform, but Pant did. He ended the 2017 season with 366 runs from 14 matches at an average of 26.14, which included two fifties. In 2016, Delhi had bought Pant for Rs 1.9 crore and retained him ahead of the players’ auction this year in February.
The talent of Pant really came to the fore in the ICC U-19 World Cup, where the left-handed batsman slammed a record-breaking 24-ball 78 in a league match and also a century. Then carried the top form of his to the 2016-17 season and in the Ranji Trophy, playing for Delhi scored a triple century and then followed it up with a 48-ball hundred. In IPL 2017, Pant was impressive with the bat and also when behind the stumps.
Nitish Rana (Mumbai Indians)
The attacking left-handed batsman from Delhi has been a revelation for Mumbai Indians this season. Nitish Rana played a key role in Mumbai’s successful journey to their third IPL title. In 2016, he got to play only four matches for Mumbai and scored a half-century. But the turnaround came in this edition, when his franchise gave him the confidence and a longer rope. This year, from 13 matches he scored 333 runs at an average of 30.27, which included three fifties. Rana played couple of match-winning knocks for Mumbai this season, apart from being the highest run-getter in the Ranji Trophy this year. Also Read: Ben Stokes, David Warner lead the pack of best performers in IPL-10
In the later half of the tournament, Rana as a perfect team man had to make way for the senior batsman Ambati Rayudu, who was making a comeback from an injury. But in those few matches, Rana definitely proved that as a batsman he can bat with maturity and could turn the match on its head when needed.
Rahul Tripathi (Rising Pune Supergiant)
Sachin Tendulkar likened Rahul Tripathi’s cover drive to his former team-mate Virender Sehwag. Indeed a great compliment for the young man, playing in his debut IPL season. Before the IPL, Tripathi had made a name for himself in the Maharashtra cricketing circuit as a big-hitting batsman.
However, it took some time for Tripathi to settle down in a star-studded dressing room of the Rising Pune Supergiant, comprising of Steve Smith, MS Dhoni and Ben Stokes to name a few. There was a time when he used to stand for hours outside Dhoni’s residence in Ranchi to catch a glimpse of the star captain, but again it took him some time to realise that he is now rubbing shoulders with his idol.
At the auction, Pune bought him at his base price of Rs 10 lakh and he proved his worth more than that by scoring 391 runs from 14 matches at an average of 27.92. Tripathi slammed two fifties and his highest score being 93 in IPL 2017.
Basil Thampi (Gujarat Lions)
Gujarat Lions may have had a bad second year in IPL, but pacer Basil Thampi made the right noise this season. In his debut IPL season this year, Thampi impressed everyone with his pace and returned with 11 wickets in his kitty off 12 matches and a best figure of 3 for 29. Thampi was also awarded the Best Emerging Player of IPL 2017 by pipping other talented contenders.
The 23-year-old was bought by Gujarat for Rs 85 lakh from a base price of Rs 10 lakh. Playing for Kerala in the inter-state domestic T20s, Thampi claimed eight wickets at an economy of 6.22. Also Check: From Chris Gayle to Ravindra Jadeja: The big flops of IPL 2017
Mohammed Siraj (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Mohammed Siraj was bagged by Sunrisers Hyderabad by paying Rs 2.6 crore, 10 times more than his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
Like Basil Thampi, Tendulkar was too impressed the bowling of the 22-year-old seamer. It took only one good season of Ranji Trophy to turn the fortune in Siraj’s favour. Siraj with 41 scalps ended the Ranji season as the second-highest wicket-taker and played a key role in taking Hyderabad to the knock-out stage for the first time in five seasons. In a hard-fought quarterfinal against Mumbai, Siraj finished with a nine-wicket haul. Then he made a smooth transition into the T20s and did well in the inter-state competition.
Siraj, for his consistent show was drafted in the Rest of India squad for the Irani Trophy. Coming back to his IPL season, he played only six matches and returned with 10 scalps, with his best bowling figures being 4 for 32.