The ongoing IPL has provided an opportunity for many youngsters to showcase their skills and possibly jump the queue for bigger assignments.
The IPL is ultimately all about giving young Indian cricketers a platform to express themselves and also learn from the greatest players and cricketing minds in the world. And it is just what India’s Under-19 World Cup winning team needed.
The Prithvi Shaw-led Indian side dominated the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand earlier in the year with stellar performances from Shaw himself, top-order batsman Shubman Gill and fast bowlers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi.
The tournament was seen a true test of what the teenagers are made of. However, as we reach the final stages of IPL 2018, only Shaw has had a meaningful campaign.
It started on a horrible note for express quick and Kolkata Knight Riders player Nagarkoti as he was ruled out of the 11th edition of the IPL due to a foot injury.
Next up, top-order batsman Gill – playing for KKR – finally got going this season after a couple of failures. He hit a fifty against Chennai Super Kings before picking up a mystery injury that kept him out of the match against Mumbai that his team lost by 102 runs.
There was no update from @KKRiders on Shivam Mavi’s injury status despite repeated inquiries from us journalists yesterday. He was seen bowling at the nets but the lack of clarity hit one and all. The promising U-19 pacer is dropped today leaving us a bit bewildered. #KKRvMI— Debayan Mukherjee (@Deb_spojourno) May 9, 2018
Completing the grim picture is the finger injury to Mavi that sidelined him for two matches. The Knight Riders fast bowler was supposed to be fit for the previous game against Mumbai but was not selected. He has bowled admirably without any great results, picking up just three wickets from seven games.
Shaw is the only U19 star who has made an impact this season. Batting at the top of the order for Delhi Daredevils, Shaw has scored 214 runs from six games and has played some audacious strokes against world-class bowlers to show that he is destined for greater things.
However, for Shaw’s U19 colleagues, it has been a far from ideal IPL.
Batting first after winning the toss at the Sawai Maningh stadium in Jaipur, Chennai put up 176-4 in their twenty overs. In reply, the hosts looked down and out at one point before they fashioned victory in extraordinary fashion to deny MS Dhoni‘s men.
Here, we look at the key talking points from Rajasthan’s thrilling win.
RAINA’S THIRD FIFTY OF THE SEASON LEADS CSK CHARGE
Despite losing opener Ambati Rayudu early, Suresh Raina and Shane Watson combined beautifully to put the Royals bowlers under pressure in the powerplay. The latter was the primary aggressor as he played some delightful shots all around the park.
The left-hander overtook Virat Kohli to reinstate himself as the top run-scorer in IPL history as he brought up his third half-century off the season. Raina smashed four boundaries and one six to bring up his fifty off 32 balls as Chennai Super Kings raced away to 90 runs in the first 10 overs.
His entertaining innings of 52 (35) was brought to an end by Ish Sodhi but by then Raina had laid the perfect platform for the visitors in a pitch which was slowing down drastically.
ISH SODHI HELPS ROYALS PULL THINGS BACK AT THE DEATH
At one point when Raina was going great guns, Chennai looked like they were on their way to a 200-run plus total. However, Royals’ bowlers, especially Ish Sodhi, pulled things back nicely towards the second part of the innings as the surface started to slow down.
The New Zealand leg-spinner followed up his excellent performance in the win over Kings XI Punjab with another impressive showing on Friday. Sodhi removed the well-set Raina after the left-hander miscued a sweep to a googly.
His highly economical figures (1-28) helped the hosts restrict the flow of runs in the death overs as Chennai only managed to score 64 run in the final eight overs despite having plenty of wickets in hand.
BUTTLER MAKES IT FOUR IN A ROW
A move to the top of the batting wonder has done wonders to Jos Buttler’s confidence with the Englishman going on to strike three explosive half-centuries on the bounce coming into Friday’s clash.
He started with three consecutive boundaries off compatriot David Willey on his way to a fourth straight half-century in the tournament.
The Royals opener struggled against spin in the last game against but made sure to get on top of them on Friday from the get go. He hit Harbhajan Singh for two massive sixes while playing some inventive reverse sweeps against Ravindra Jadeja as he raced away to a 25-ball half-century.
Most consecutive 50+ scores in IPL:— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) May 11, 2018
5 - Virender Sehwag
4 - JOS BUTTLER*
4 - Virat Kohli #RRvCSK
GOWTHAM’S LATE CAMEO GOES IN VAIN AS ROYALS RUN OUT OF GAS
After a middle-order stumble from the Royals, the equation came down to 28 runs required off 12 balls for the hosts. That is when Krishnappa Gowtham repeated his heroics against Mumbai Indians by smashing Willey for two big sixes in the penultimate over.
He was dismissed by the Englishman off the final ball of the 19th over as the total came down to 12 runs off six balls. Buttler took strike for the final over bowled by Bravo but only two runs came off the first three deliveries as pressure grew on the hosts.
Then, Buttler connected from the middle to deposit Bravo over mid-on for a big six before an overthrown allowed him to pick the two winning runs off the penultimate ball.
The Royals opener remained unbeaten on 95 (60) as Royals stole a last-gasp win.
What an innings by Jos the Boss Buttler, K Gowtham is best finisher in this IPL so far— Yash Maheshwari (@Royalmaheshwari) May 11, 2018
Rajasthan Royals host Chennai Super Kings at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Friday in what is a must-win IPL clash for Ajinkya Rahane’s men. With eight points from 11 games, the Royals currently lie in sixth position in the league table, two points behind fourth-placed Mumbai Indians with a game in hand.
With the battle for the last playoff spot expected to go down to the wire, the Royals cannot afford to slip in the race and they will look to carry the momentum from their 15-run win over Kings XI Punjab into Friday. The side will be wearing specially made pink jerseys for the clash instead of their usual blue as they seek to raise awareness about cancer.
On the other hand, Chennai Super Kings are in second position with 14 points from their 10 games. MS Dhoni’s men will be looking to secure victory to take a giant step towards assuring themselves of a playoff spot. They will likely have Deepak Chahar back in the line-up with the pacer returning from a hamstring injury.
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