Over the years, a host of international and Indian stars have taken the IPL by storm in their debut seasons. This season too, there will be no shortage of the most exciting of talents in the cricketing world undertaking their IPL baptism.
Here, we look at 10 such players worth keeping an eye on.
SANDEEP LAMICHHANE (DELHI DAREDEVILS)
The teenager is the first Nepalese cricketer to win an IPL contract and will be raring to make an impact for the Delhi Daredevils. The 17-year-old leg-spin prodigy has played a big hand in Nepal’s meteoric rise in the past two years, culminating with the attainment of a maiden ODI status for the landlocked nation.
MUJEEB ZADRAN (KINGS XI PUNJAB)
There is a reason Kings XI Punjab have splashed the big bucks on the Afghanistan spinner who has only recently turned 17. Having impressed in the ICC World Cup 2019 qualifiers, Zardan can bowl it all, be it off-spin, leg-spin or the googlies. Played a big part in Afghanistan’s march to the semi-final of the ICC U19 World Cup, too.
EVIN LEWIS (MUMBAI INDIANS)
The West Indies batsman has developed quite a reputation in T20 cricket already since making his international debut in 2016. The left-hander has cracked two T20I tons in only 14 matches and will line up for the Mumbai Indians for his IPL bow. As explosive a batsman as they come, Lewis comes into the tournament in fine knick.
D’ARCY SHORT (RAJASTHAN ROYALS)
The Aussie opener’s rapid rise in the past few months has been astonishing. He smashed the record for the most runs in a single Big Bash League (BBL) season by a country mile after scoring 572 runs for the Hobart Hurricanes. Has since made his T20 debut for Australia and blended in seamlessly.
HEINRICH KLAASEN (RAJASTHAN ROYALS)
The South African wicket-keeper batsman was an unheard of quantity before India toured the country recently. There, he toyed with India’s spinners, especially Yuzvendra Chahal, as he showed his T20 credentials with some exhilarating and and sometimes outrageous shot-making. That Royals decided to replace a batsman of Steve Smith’s pedigree with him shows the kind of impact Klaasen has already created.
MARK WOOD (CHENNAI SUPER KINGS)
The England pacer does not have a wealth of T20 cricket experience but his pedigree cannot be doubted. The Englishman’s raw pace makes him a dangerous customer on any track. Can comfortably clock 140kph on a regular basis and will be vital addition to MS Dhoni and his men.
JOFRA ARCHER (RAJASTHAN ROYALS)
Archer is another West Indies-born cricketer who has made rapid strides in T20 cricket of late. A huge hit in the recent BBL for Hobart Hurricanes, the all-rounder is one of the most sought after talents going around in T20 cricket currently. He is electric on the field and his skiddy fast-bowling has been a nightmare for BBL batsmen.
SHUBMAN GILL (KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS)
The teenager was picked up by the Kolkata franchise while he was lighting it up at the ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. Gill finished as the player of the series, scoring a brilliant ton against Pakistan in the semi-final as India were crowned champions. He registered a first-class hundred in only his second Ranji Trophy match for Punjab last year.
KAMLESH NAGARKOTI (KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS)
Another Indian youngster who impressed in the U19 World Cup win, Kamlesh Nagarkoti has raw pace in abundance. He has fans back in India relishing the prospect of his senior debut already after clocking regularly in excess of 140kph in the World Cup where he picked up nine wickets. The 18-year-old had become the first Rajasthan player to claim a List A hat-trick last year.
PRITHVI SHAW (DELHI DAREDEVILS)
The skipper of India U19s at the World Cup, Shaw has been creating waves since he was 14 when he scored a mammoth 546 runs in a minor-cricket match in Mumbai. He has made an equally astonishing start to his senior career, scoring a ton for Mumbai on his Ranji debut before breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record to become the youngest century-maker (17) on his Duleep Trophy debut.
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