The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) gets underway in Chennai from the 9th of April. Over the years a number of uncapped young talented individuals, yet to play an international, have used the most coveted league in the world as a platform to showcase their prowess and pedigree. This year promises to be no different. We look at 10 uncapped players who may potentially make a high impact in the tournament.
1. Krishnappa Gowtham (Chennai Super Kings)
32-year old bowling all-rounder from Bengaluru, Karnataka, Krishnappa Gowtham has a reputation for hitting the long ball in T20 cricket and has a strike rate of 159.24 in the format. The off spinner had a good 2018 season in the IPL bagging 11 wickets at an economy rate of 7.8 while also striking at almost 200.
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad (Chennai Super Kings)
The batting of Ruturaj Gaikwad was one of the positives and perhaps the only silverlining for CSK in their worst IPL campaign in history in 2020. Gaikwad scored 3 attractive fifties at the top of the order in just six matches for the franchise in the second half of the season in the UAE. The 24 year old from Maharashtra has a stellar record in T20 cricket with an average of 33.55 and strike rate of 130.69.
3. Marco Jensen (Mumbai Indians)
Marco Jensen is a 20-year old South African left-arm fast bowler who has had a fine start to his first-class career bagging 54 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 22.96 and strike rate of 42.5. The biggest strength for Jensen is his height - at six feet 8 inches he is one of the tallest cricketers around. He can also consistently crank it up above 140 kms per hour.
4. Arjun Tendulkar (Mumbai Indians)
Arjun has a massive surname to live up to and is one of the most highly anticipated players in IPL 2021. He is a left-handed batsman and a left-arm medium fast bowler who played two matches for Mumbai in the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Arjun had raised his stakes by hammering a 31-ball 77 and then returning with 3-41 for MIG Cricket Club in the 73rd Police Invitation Shield tournament in February. He made his Under-19 debut for India in the Youth Test Series against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2018.
5. Shahrukh Khan (Punjab Kings)
Tamil Nadu’s middle order power hitter Shahrukh Khan was picked up by Punjab Kings for Rs 5.25 crore on the back of an impressive Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. Shahrukh, who rose through the ranks in Tamil Nadu circuit and in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, has played 31 T20s for 293 runs at a strike rate of 131.39. He is also a useful leg spinner.
6. Anukul Roy (Mumbai Indians)
Slow left-arm orthodox bowler, Anukul Roy made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians in 2019 but has not got many opportunities to show his prowess with the ball. He rose to fame after returning as the joint-highest wicket-taker in the Under-19 World Cup in 2018 with 14 wickets in 6 matches at a strike rate of 14.1 and economy rate of 3.84 - playing a pivotal role with the ball in India’s historic triumph in New Zealand.
7. Devdutt Padikkal (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Devdutt Padikkal was in exceptional touch during the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy amassing 737 runs in just 7 innings at an average of 147.4 and strike rate of 95.96 including a record four hundreds on the trot. He was also in tremendous form in the previous edition of the IPL in the UAE outscoring both AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli to end as the highest run-getter for RCB in the season. Another fine season for the RCB and Padikkal could be in that World T20 squad for India come October.
8. Abdul Samad (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Jammu and Kashmir born, Abdul Samad is a talented 19-year old who has a strike rate of almost 147 in all T20 cricket. Samad played a few cameos for SRH last year and had a strike rate of approximately 171 in the UAE. He has a reputation of being a big hitter who can clear the boundary at will.
9. Rahul Tewatia (Rajasthan Royals)
The maverick leg break all-rounder was in the T20 squad against England but did not get a game. Rahul Tewatia was the best all-rounder in the initial half of IPL 2020 and played a stellar role with the bat and ball in the early success of the Royals in the competition. He smashed a match-winning 53 off just 31 deliveries (including 7 sixes) in a 224-run chase against the Kings XI. Tewatia gave a Player of the Match Performance against SRH in Dubai when he combined with Riyan Parag and took the Royals to an improbable win chasing more than 10 an over in the last 8 overs. Overall, he aggregated 255 runs in 11 innings at an average of 42.5 and strike rate of 139.34. He was also the joint second-highest wicket-taker for the Royals with 10 wickets at a very impressive economy rate of just 7.08.
10. Ravi Bishnoi (Punjab Kings)
Ravi Bishnoi was impressive in IPL 2020 and bagged 12 wickets in 14 matches for Punjab Kings in the UAE. The standout feature of his bowling though was his economy rate of just 7.37. The 20-year old leg break and googly bowler from Jodhpur in Rajasthan has an economy rate of just 6.75 in all T20 cricket. Bishnoi picked three wickets against RCB in Dubai including the big one of Aaron Finch with a peach of a delivery.