The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) is now hurtling towards its conclusion with the play-off clashes on in full flow.
The T20 franchise competition has developed a reputation of producing future stars for India over the course of its existence and the 2019 edition is proving to be no different.
Here, we take a look at five Indian youngsters who have caught the eye with their displays in the ongoing IPL 2019 campaign.
NAVDEEP SAINI – ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Despite what was another disappointing campaign for Virat Kohli and his Royal Challengers Bangalore side, young Navdeep Saini managed to carve a name for himself.
The young Karnal-born pacer had an excellent domestic season for Delhi last year in the Ranji Trophy and he has now carried over that form into his maiden IPL stint with RCB. In 13 matches for Bangalore, Saini picked up 11 wickets but it was the pace at which he bowled at that grabbed eyeballs.
Despite playing most of his matches on a flat batting track at Bengaluru, Saini still managed to maintain a more than decent economy-rate of 8.27. It is only a matter of time before Saini makes his India bow and his maiden IPL campaign will have only bolstered those chances.
KHALEEL AHMED – SUNRISERS HYDERABAD
The left-armed pacer made just one appearance for SRH in 2018 despite going on to have a breakthrough year for India in international cricket.
However, the disappointment of missing out on India’s 2019 World Cup squad seems to have spurred the youngster to even greater heights with his 2019 IPL campaign turning out to a fine one.
Having had to bide his time on the bench early on in the season, Khaleel has now established himself as SRH’s greatest pace threat with 17 wickets in just eight appearances.
The 21-year-old has been picking up wickets left, right and centre in the powerplay as well as the death overs. A strike-rate of just over 11 and an economy-rate of only 8.21 adds further gloss to Khaleel’s excellent numbers and he will be desperate to add to his tally in the play-offs for Hyderabad.
SHUBMAN GILL – KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
For young Shubman Gill, it was the second IPL campaign after he burst on to the big stage with his displays for India in the ICC U19 World Cup last year.
The right-handed batsman had an indifferent start to his 2019 IPL campaign with Kolkata Knight Riders but soon found his groove after being promoted up the batting order.
In 14 matches for KKR this year, Gill scored 286 runs at a healthy batting average of nearly 33 while registering three half-centuries as well. While his India U19 team-mate Prithvi Shaw has already created waves in senior international cricket, Gill has had to bide his time on the sidelines.
On the evidence of his 2019 IPL showings, a maiden India call up cannot be too far off.
RIYAN PARAG – RAJASTHAN ROYALS
Amidst an IPL campaign to forget for Rajasthan Royals, there was a silver lining in the form of Riyan Parag’s emergence.
The Assam-born teenager showed plenty of gumption and fight in his displays for the franchise in a record-breaking debut IPL campaign.
The 17-year-old became the youngest half-centurion in IPL history when he scored 50 against Delhi Capitals and his 47-run knock against KKR was instrumental in keeping Rajasthan’s faint play-off hopes alive.
Parag also picked up two wickets with his part-time off spin and was a lively figure on the field for Rajasthan. The teenager could definitely be a promising limited-overs talent for India in the future if moulded the right way and it will be interesting to see how he develops from this point on.
RAHUL CHAHAR – MUMBAI INDIANS
While Saini, Gill and Parag have shown plenty of promise, it has been Mumbai Indians’ leg-spinner Rahul Chahar who has been the undisputed young find of the tournament.
The 19-year-old Rajasthan-born leggie displaced last year’s Mumbai favourite Mayank Markande from the playing XI with some exceptional displays where he showed great maturity for a teenager.
Chahar has so far picked up 12 wickets in his as many matches with his latest display being a match-winning 2-14 against Chennai Super Kings in the first Qualifier. Along with his wickets, the leg-spinner has also been extremely hard to score runs off with his economy-rate hovering around 6.80 mark.
He has everything in his armoury including a lethal googly and top-spinner but it is the confidence with which Chahar has approached his debut IPL campaign that has won him many admirers.
Know more about Sport360 Application