The 2017-18 Ranji Trophy, which was the 84th season of the premier tournament, recently came to an end. Ahead of this year's tournament, Vidarbha weren't among the list of favorites either. However, an incredible performance saw them lift their maiden Ranji Trophy, much like Gujarat did last year. From being a below-average team last season to finishing champions this season, it's been a miraculous transformation.
Every season sees new, previously unheard of players coming into the limelight and this year has been no different. With the Indian Premier League auctions looming large, scouts from all the franchises would have been keen observers of the Ranji Trophy.
Here are some players who packed a punch in the prestigious Ranji Trophy and are likely to make waves at the 2018 IPL auction.
#5 Anmolpreet Singh
Anmolpreet Singh is definitely one for the future. It took just five matches in the Ranji Trophy for the young man from Punjab to prove his mettle. He scored an incredible 753 runs at a ridiculous average of 125.50, including two massive 250+ scores.
The teenager was awarded the MA Chidambaram Trophy in 2015 for being the best Under-19 cricketer, by the BCCI. In 2016, he was picked for the U-19 World Cup and was given a chance to feature in the starting eleven for the first time in the quarter-finals where he hit a quick 42-ball 41. He shone in the semi-finals where his 72 runs earned him the Man of the Match award.
Anmolpreet finally got his chance in the Ranji Trophy in 2017 where he impressed with a half-century on debut against Himachal Pradesh. However, in order to accommodate Yuvraj Singh, Anmolpreet was mercilessly axed from the squad. He was asked to play in the U-23 CK Nayudu Trophy instead.
Anmolpreet didn't let this demotion tick him off though, and scored an incredible 202 against the U-23 Himachal Pradesh team. His sparkling knock saw him deservedly being recalled to the Ranji Trophy side, where he announced his return with a century against Goa. This was just the beginning though, as he then went on to hit two brilliant 250+ knocks. His knock against Chattisgarh was one to remember as he racked up 267 runs in a mere 262 balls. His other mammoth innings came against Services where he stayed not out at 252. Punjab skipper Harbhajan Singh admitted later that had he not declared, Anmolpreet looked set to go on to make the elusive triple century.
His stellar performance in the Ranji Trophy saw him earn a call-up to the Board President's XI to face Sri Lanka in a warm-up match. Though he didn't get a chance to bat, Anmolpreet will be pleased to know that his exploits with the bat aren't going unnoticed.
Aside from his staggering numbers, the IPL scouts will be impressed with the brisk rate at which he scores his runs. His ability to bowl right-arm off-breaks helps his case too. All in all, Anmolpreet would be a valuable addition to any team.