The Indian Premier League (IPL) is not just about the super-stars of the game as Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, etc.
It’s also about young players taking advantage of the opportunity and showing their talents on the largest platform of all.
And every year we observed a multitude of young people doing just that. And at the end of each season the IPL honours them with the ‘Emerging Player’ award.
We watched a number of young people shining against big giants on the largest platform before IPL 2021 was suspended due to Covid.
With the IPL due to begin in September in the UAE it would be interesting to see if Avesh Khan likes Chetan Sakariya or not.
Emerging Players Contenders
Lalit Yadav (Delhi Capitals)
Lalit Yadav chipped in with bat and ball whatever the chances he got to be suspended before IPL 2021 because of Covid.
When he produced a mature knock of 22* to help Delhi Capitals push the Mumbai Indians’ 137 targets, he delivered a match-winning session against the Kolkata Knigh Riders, recording 2/13 figures in three overview sizes including Eoin Morgan’s vital scalp.
In five games, Yadav scored 54 runs in addition to taking 3 wickets at 10 p.m. It would be intriguing to see whether he could take his form in the UAE.
Ravi Bishnoi (Punjab Kings)
For reasons best known to the team managers, Ravi Bishnoi lost his first four games of Kings in their IPL 2021 campaign; he picked up from where he left the UAE in his rookie season in 2020 when he came back.
Bishnoi grabbed 4 wickets in four matches, averaging 24.75 and an economy rate of 6.18, with the best 2/17 (4) stats coming against Virat Kohli’s RCB.
During his first season in the UAE last year, Bishnoi was fantastic. In 14 games, he claimed 12 wickets and therefore one can expect the leg-spinner to put another star show up later this year with significant experience.
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Chennai Super Kings)
Ruturaj Gaikwad started his IPL career the worst way last year. The promising initial batsman missed the first few games because of Covid and it turned out to be a nightmare when he returned. Before he came back in the lineup at the end of the season, Gaikwad had dropped for a few games.
The elegant batsman was able to make up for himself as he hammered off the season for three high-quality half hundreds.
Gaikwad had a similarly bad start this year because, on his first three outings, he scored scores of 5,5, 10. However, CSK continued to support the 24-year-old and paid off when Gaikwad showed his precocious potential again over the subsequent games.
The right-hand batsman supported it in score 64(42), 33(25), 75 (44), and with his success in the UAE at the back of the 2020 season, Gaikwad is to imitate his returns last year and, perhaps, to capture the ‘Emerging Player of the Season prize.
Chetan Sakariya (Rajasthan Royals)
So far, in 2021, Chetan Sakariya had a roller coaster. Crucial lows have followed unparalleled highs.
In January, Sakariya lost his suicidal brother. The left arm bowler entered into a life-changing IPL contract with Rajasthan Royals worth Rs 1.2 crore three weeks later.
Then came the 2021 season when the youthful left-arm seamer turned his head with his precocious abilities, the nerve of steel, while in various match conditions, including death and outstanding fielding, delivering for his team.
Sakariya collected a total of 7 wickets in an average of 31.71, including MS Dhoni, KL Rahul and Suresh Raina, in as many games.
In his debut game against PBSK Chetan registered his best numbers, as he gave only 31 runs to his three wickets in a 200+ game, in four overs. He then backed it up with another CSK three-wicket haul.
Shortly after the suspension of the IPL, Chetan lost his dad to Covid. With the second IPL 2021 leg being shifted to the UAE, the left seamer hopes to duplicate his first leg achievements and possibly receive the ‘Emerging Player’ award.
Avesh Khan (Delhi Capitals)
Avesh Khan is a fantastic example of how to make the most of the opportunity when it comes.
Khan was bloodied into play 11 with Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje not available for the opening few games of the recent postponed season, while the Madhya Pradesh seammer made the most of his chances in sharing one hard performance after another.
The finest thing about Avesh Khan’s first-ever performance in the IPL was that he enjoyed what role the capitals played. Whether it was the middle over or death, Khan flourished in almost every game with his many variations.
In 8 games, Avesh Khan grabbed 14 wickets, the second most, on average 16.50 and 7.60 wickets including Virat Kohli, Dhoni’s wickets.
Without a previous blip, Avesh Khan should receive the newly awarded Emerging Players at the end of the season.