IPL 2019: Shivam Dube, Varun Chakravarthy and other lesser known players who can make it big

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Shivam Dube. Image: Instagram.

The Indian Premier League is a great platform for young Indian players to make an instant impression and maybe even jump the queue for national selection.

While there are many examples of unknown names becoming overnight millionaires, there are some – like Jasprit Bumrah – who have used the IPL spotlight to rise to the highest level.

This season as well, there will be some youngsters who will be keen to make an impression and remain in the minds of decision makers for after the World Cup. Here are five such players.

SHIVAM DUBE

The Mumbai all-rounder is said to be the real deal – a hard hitting lower order batsman and a capable fast medium bowler. On the eve of the IPL auction in December, Dube hit five sixes in one over for his team Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy clash against Baroda. He had done so in a Mumbai T20 League match as well.

Dube, 25, was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for 50 million rupees (Dh2.6m). If he manages to impress for RCB, it can quickly open the doors to national selection as he will be led by Virat Kohli in IPL, who is desperate to find a long term back-up for all-rounder Hardik Pandya in the senior Indian team.

VARUN CHAKRAVARTHY

The uncapped 27-year-old Tamil Nadu spinner was snapped up by Kings XI Punjab for a record 84m rupees (Dh4.4m). And his story is remarkable. He played until the age of 17 as a keeper. Then he became disenchanted, took up architecture and worked as a freelance architect. He then returned to the game after more than five years, became a seam-bowling all-rounder, got injured and finally settled on mystery spin.

According to the man himself, in order to survive as a spinner in T20 cricket, Chakravarthy has developed seven types of deliveries. Plus he can hit a few in the stands as well.

PRABHSIMRAN SINGH

The wicketkeeper batsman has played 10 competitive games in all. One of them was the U19 Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka in which he cracked 65 off 37 balls.

The 19-year-old from Punjab hit 298 off 301 balls in an U23 tournament last year. His cousin Anmolpreet Singh is a regular in first-class cricket. Prabhsimran idolises Adam Gilchrist and told the Times of India that he took up wicketkeping after watching Gilchrist keep and then open the innings for Australia. Picked up by Kings XI Punjab for 48m rupees (Dh2.5m).

PRAYAS RAY BURMAN

The leg-spinner is just 16. He was the top wicket taker for Bengal in the 2018/19 Vijay Hazare one-day tournament. However in T20 games, his record is limited with four wickets from as many games.

Royal Challengers Bangalore paid 15 million rupees (Dh800,000) for his services. He will partner senior leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and should get to learn a lot about the art of bowling leg-spin in the smaller Chinnaswamy Stadium.

YARRA PRITHVIRAJ

The 21-year-old Andhra Pradesh left-arm quick was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for two million rupees. The tall left armer can generate decent pace and can hurry batsmen with extra bounce. Has mainly played first-class cricket and joins a Knight Riders squad that already has a good bunch of young Indian quicks in Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Prasidh Krishna.

Nagarkoti hasn’t played competitive cricket for a year now and his place in the team can go to Prithviraj, whose left arm angle sets him apart.

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Chris Gayle will turn out for Kings XI Punjab.

The 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is almost upon us with the BCCI’s franchise T20 league set to get under way on March 23.

As always, the IPL has managed to attract the cream of international cricket with players of 10 different nationalities set to descend upon Indian soil.

Here, we have compiled a list of the top star from each of the 10 countries.

Australia – David Warner

The all-time leading overseas run-scorer returns to the competition after missing out on the 2018 edition due to the ball-tampering controversy.

The left-handed opener is a massive fan favourite at Sunrisers Hyderabad after leading the side to the 2016 title and will be key once again this season, especially with the departure of Shikhar Dhawan.

With the IPL serving as his preparation board for the 2019 World Cup, expect Warner to create a bang for the right reasons in the tournament.

India – Virat Kohli

The poster boy of the IPL and Indian cricket, Kohli will once again look to break Royal Challengers Bangalore’s title drought after umpteen years of heartbreak.

The Bangalore skipper is the second highest run-scorer in the competition behind only Suresh Raina and will be looking to become the first man to breach the 5,000-run mark when his side take on Chennai Super Kings on March 23.

Kohli will look to end RCB's title wait.

Kohli will look to end RCB’s title wait.

South Africa – AB de Villiers

He might have hung up his South Africa cricket boots, but AB de Villiers remains one of the biggest international draws in the competition.

His partnership with Kohli has been sensational at times for Royal Challengers Bangalore and why the franchise hasn’t been able to win a title yet despite their immense riches of talent remains one of the competition’s biggest mysteries.

Afghanistan – Rashid Khan

As many as three Afghanistan players will be on show in the IPL in what is a testament to the incredible rise of the side in international cricket. Of them, Rashid Khan is the biggest star with the leg-spinner no longer a stranger to the competition.

Ranked No1 with the ball in the T20 format, Rashid has done the business in every franchise league he has participated in across the globe.

Rashid Khan is the biggest name in Afghanistan cricket.

Rashid Khan is the biggest name in Afghanistan cricket.

Bangladesh – Shakib Al Hasan

The star all-rounder is the only Bangladesh player in the fray this year in the IPL and is expected to miss the early stages of the tournament due to an injury.

Shakib, however, has been a consisted performer over the years in the IPL and has the ability to change the game with both bat and ball.

West Indies – Chris Gayle

No other nationality apart from India is as heavily represented in the IPL than the West Indies with as many as 13 players from the Caribbean set to participate.

The biggest draw of them remains ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle, who comes into the competition on the back of a sensational ODI series against England where he amassed 424 runs in four matches and tonked a total of 39 sixes.

New Zealand – Kane Williamson

The Kiwis have a fairly strong contingent (11) as well in the IPL this year with skipper Kane Williamson the headline act once again.

His T20 prowess was once doubted, but Williamson changed that perception completely last year when he admirably led Sunrisers Hyderabad to the play-offs with some astute captaincy and excellent batting at the top.

Kane Williamson was excellent for Hyderabad in 2018.

Kane Williamson was excellent for Hyderabad in 2018.

England – Jos Buttler

World No1 ODI side England have nine players including Jofra Archer in the fray for the IPL this year with Sam Curran ending as the most expensive overseas purchase in the auction.

There is no shortage of star power in the England contingent, but Jos Buttler should be the man to watch after the brilliant form he has been in across all formats.

Buttler was sensational in the 2018 edition after being promoted to open the innings for Rajasthan Royals and he will be looking to take apart bowling attacks once again this year.

Nepal – Sandeep Lamichhane

That Nepal have representation in the IPL is a commendable and the country has their teenage sensation Sandeep Lamichhane to thank for that.

Now in his second year with Delhi Capitals, the leg-spinner will be looking to make a splash after impressing in the closing stages of the 2018 edition. Since then, Lamichhane has turned heads in all the major T20 franchise leagues around the world and he will be desperate to make his mark now in the IPL.

Lamichhane has put Nepal on the map.

Lamichhane has put Nepal on the map.

Sri Lanka – Lasith Malinga

There is surprisingly only one Sri Lankan in the IPL this year and it is a man who performed the role of a bowling mentor in the 2018 edition.

Lasith Malinga is the all-time leading wicket-taker in the competition (154) and is back as a player once again for the Mumbai Indians. His career seemed to be all but over last year but the veteran has come bouncing back and is now the skipper of the Sri Lanka ODI side.

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Dhoni has led CSK to three titles.

T20 cricket’s biggest annual competition is set to start from March 23 with the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The cash-rich league will see Indian and international cricket’s biggest stars descend on the subcontinent for a month-long festival of high-octane action.

Before the highly anticipated tournament begins, we have compiled a squad of the best-possible XI from the eight participating franchises.

Here, we look at which stars have made the cut.

Shikhar Dhawan – Delhi Capitals

There is immense competition for the openers’ slots but it is Dhawan who makes the cut for his remarkable consistency and longevity. The left-hander has established himself as one of the best openers in limited-overs cricket over the past three years with his India partnership with Rohit Sharma breaking new barriers with every passing series.

Dhawan’s record in the IPL is immense with the opener scoring over 4,000 runs at an average of 33.26 with the help of 32 half-centuries. This year, the batsman will make a return to his hometown franchise Delhi Capitals.

David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad

The Australian batsman is the highest overseas run-scorer in IPL history and that sees him beat off competition from West Indies stalwart Chris Gayle.

In 114 IPL matches, Warner has amassed 4,014 runs at an average of just over 40 and a strike-rate of above 142. The left-hander is much loved at Sunrisers Hyderabad, who he led to the 2016 IPL title. The 32-year-old will be desperate to put on a strong show after serving his one-year suspension from international and domestic cricket.

Leading overseas run-scorer in the tournament.

Leading overseas run-scorer in the tournament.

Virat Kohli – Royal Challengers Bangalore

Any IPL XI without Kohli is incomplete with the India skipper arguably the biggest crowd puller in the competition.

While Royal Challengers Bangalore’s wait for a maiden IPL title still continues, Kohli’s contributions over the years for the franchise have been nothing short of staggering. The second highest run-scorer in the history of the competition, the right-hander is nearing 5,000 runs.

Kohli has already registered four tons and 34 half-centuries in his 163 appearances so far in the tournament.

Kohli is the second highest run-scorer after Raina.

Kohli is the second highest run-scorer after Raina.

AB de Villiers – Royal Challengers Bangalore

Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mate de Villiers is an automatic pick in the dream XI. The South African ace might have called time on his international career but he remains one of the biggest draws in franchise T20 leagues with his 360 degree stroke-making abilities.

When it comes to overseas batsmen in the IPL, de Villiers is only behind Warner and Gayle with nearly 4,000 runs to his name at an average of over 40. The South African and Kohli will once again be key to Bangalore’s hunt for a maiden IPL title.

MS Dhoni (c and wk) – Chennai Super Kings

Having led Chennai Super Kings to three separate IPL titles, Dhoni is the automatic pick for the skipper and wicketkeeper in the dream XI. The India veteran has been a consistent performer for Chennai over the years with 4, 016 runs to his name at an average of just over 40.

Dhoni looked back at his very best in 2018 edition where he scored 455 runs and he will look to continue in the same fashion in 2019.

Suresh Raina – Chennai Super Kings

Dhoni’s Chennai team-mate Raina makes the cut for his finishing abilities down the order. The left-hander is the all-time leading run-scorer in IPL history with 4,985 runs to his name and has been an excellent servant for Chennai over the years.

Along with his batting abilities, Raina can always chip in with his handy part-time off-spin while he remains a gun fielder in the outfield.

Sunil Narine – Kolkata Knight Riders

For the all-rounder’s slot, it is West Indies’ Narine who beats off competition from his compatriots Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard.

With 112 IPL wickets in 98 matches, Narine is the seventh highest wicket-taker in the competition’s history with an exceptional economy-rate of just 6.54.

Over the past two editions, the mystery spinner has also developed into an excellent pinch-hitter up the order and it is for this reason the Kolkata Knight Riders man makes the cut.

Rashid Khan – Sunrisers Hyderabad

The inclusion of the No1 ranked T20I bowler in the world is no surprise. The Afghanistan leg-spinner has enjoyed a meteoric rise in international cricket and has become a permanent fixture in almost every T20 franchise league in the world.

The 20-year-old’s T20 record is unparalleled, picking up 237 wickets in 155 matches at an economy-rate of only 6.09. The Sunrisers Hyderabad star has also started to evolve into a fine all-rounder with some excellent batting displays for Afghanistan of late.

Leading T20I bowler in the world.

Leading T20I bowler in the world.

Amit Mishra – Sunrisers Hyderabad

The veteran leg-spinner might no longer be a part of India’s international set up but he has been one of the most consistent performers in the IPL. The 36-year-old has been the most prolific spinner in IPL history and is second on the list of all-time wicket-takers.

In 136 IPL matches, Mishra has picked up 146 wickets with a strike-rate of less than 20. He is the only man in IPL history to pick up three separate hat-tricks.

Lasith Malinga – Mumbai Indians

The Sri Lanka veteran would be one of the first names in any IPL XI. Malinga is the all-time leading wicket-taker in the competition with 154 dismissals in 110 games at an economy-rate of less than six runs an over.

The Mumbai Indians stalwart did not participate in the 2018 edition with his playing career seemingly on its last legs. However, the veteran has turned it around dramatically over the last year and will now be leading Sri Lanka in the 2019 World Cup.

Expect those toe-crushing yorkers to once again make an appearance.

Malinga is back in the IPL.

Malinga is back in the IPL.

Jasprit Bumrah – Mumbai Indians

Sharing the new ball duties with Malinga in the dream XI is his Mumbai team-mate Bumrah. It was the IPL through which Bumrah first emerged and the pacer has now established himself as one of the leading bowlers in all three formats of the international game.

There is no other fast-bowler as effective as Bumrah in limited-overs cricket with the India man deservedly ranked No1 in the ODI format. Be it the powerplay or the death overs, Bumrah revels in any situation and he will be key to Mumbai’s hopes of a record fourth title.

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