Cricket is a sport that has evolved massively in recent years, with fans embracing the shorter formats of the game. The IPL has been a feature of the cricketing calendar, and is now in its ninth year. The competition gives teams, that are built up as a franchise to purchase players through an auction, with some of the world’s best among those bought by teams.
The IPL offers a platform for young players too, with several Indian wonderkids making their mark on the tournament in previous years. This list features four Indians, with some of the players included only achieving a slot in a franchise’s team after being unsold at auction.
- Rishabh Pant, Delhi Daredevils (India)
This 19-year old wicketkeeper batsman has thrived in this year’s competition, racking up 366 runs in 14 matches. That comes out at an average of 26.14, which is an improvement on the figure he achieved in 2016 (24.75).
He has already made his debut with India in the shortest format of the game, and already looks like he could make it at the very top of the game in the future. He is remarkably quick, even for a wicketkeeper and that has helped him take 11 dismissals in the 2017 tournament, (eight catches and three stumpings).
- Rahul Tripathi, Rising Pune Supergiants (India)
The rise of Tripathi is remarkable. This has been his debut season in the IPL, which is surprising considering he is 26. The right-handed batsman was somewhat of a gamble from the Pune owners, and it has seriously paid off.
Pune fans asked for more local players, and Tripathi has been the answer to that. Playing for the Supergiants has been a childhood dream of his, and he has performed admirably in this year’s competition. He amassed 391 runs in 13 matches, which ranks him ninth overall (27.92avg).
- Hardik Pandya , Mumbai Indians (India)
Hardik Pandya has been somewhat of an unsung hero for the Mumbai Indians in 2017. Both he and his brother, Krunal have performed admirably throughout the tournament, adding stability to the Mumbai middle order.
The right-handed all-rounder has amassed 250 runs in 17 matches, (35.71avg), giving him one of the highest averages in the entire competition. He has picked up six wickets, albeit at a poor economy rate of 8.19 an over. The Pandya brothers were a feature of the title-winning Mumbai Indians team.
- Rashid Khan, Sunrisers Hyderabad (Afghanistan)
This 18-year old talent has proven to be a star of the 2017 IPL, with his leg-spin bowling being a feature of the Sunrisers’ bowling attack. His journey from tennis ball cricket to the Afghan national team is particularly special, and this season of IPL has proven to be a stellar opportunity for him to show off his talent.
In what has been his debut season in the IPL, he has taken 17 wickets at an average of 21.05 per dismissal. He has a healthy economy rate of only 6.62 per over, and will be hoping to push himself over the 20 wicket-mark during the Sunrisers’ eliminator against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
- Axar Patel, Kings XI Punjab (India)
Now in his fourth season of IPL, Patel has gone from strength to strength with the Kings XI. He has continued to bat lower down the order, as he did in 2016 but has vastly improved on his run total from last year’s tournament. He has scored 227 runs in 14 matches, and has a strike-rate of 140.12, which is very good for a lower-order batsman.
He has proven to be equally as good with the ball, and has taken a total of 15 wickets in 2017. His efforts in previous years have earnt him a call-up to the Indian national setup, and he certainly has impressed on the international stage. The shorter format suits Patel’s playstyle, and he is likely to fetch a large-fee in the 2018 auction.