4 young players who can use the IPL as a launchpad to cement their place in the Indian team
The Indian Premier League has been a prodigious boon for the abundance of cricketers in our nation. It serves not only as a significant extra source of income, but also as an audition for a prestigious shot at representing the nation.
Before the league began, it was a tedious task for a player to get recognized. The advent of the IPL has made it much easier for a player to come to the fore. A good performance across the tournament is bound to attract attention from not only the entire cricket-crazy nation, but also from the Indian selectors and scouts.
The league's restriction on the number of overseas players in a team has allowed teams to maintain a local flavor. This gives ample Indian youngsters a shot in leaving a mark on the cricketing world. Youngsters get the priceless opportunity to learn from elite veterans of the game, who feature as mentors or coaches for the IPL franchises.
Also, uncapped players get to learn from the world's best in training camps. Imagine getting to bowl to both Virat and AB in the Royal Challengers Bangalore nets! All these factors come together to contribute to the overall development of a player and increase his confidence drastically.
Take a look at the influence of the Indian Premier League on India's limited overs team over the years. Captain Kohli has been smashing balls and records both out of the park, and is on his way to etching his name as one of the sport's finest. After leading the under-19 team to a World Cup victory, Kohli announced himself in the IPL.
He played for RCB from the inaugural season and his stellar efforts with the bat bought him to the limelight in due time. Rohit Sharma, who recently became the only batsman to hit three double centuries in the 50-over format, is a product of the IPL too, having been recognized after his spectacular outing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2009 season.
'Sir' Ravindra Jadeja made his mark in the inaugural season when he helped underdogs Rajasthan Royals to the title with his all-round performances. Some of India's other familiar faces including Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane all became prominent and fast tracked their way in to the blue jersey owing to their showing in the league.
In recent years, the Indian selectors have been kind enough to give a large bunch of youngsters the opportunity to represent their nation. Uncapped players who put in consistent performances in the domestic circuits, including the IPL, were given an chance to showcase their talent at the international level. Take the example of Manpreet Gony. Remember him?
Gony became a household name following his exploits in the inaugural season of the league back in 2008. His all-round performance helped his side, the Chennai Super Kings, finish as runners-up. Gony even got to play two one-day internationals for India in 2008, with his performance in the IPL being the sole reason. However, he never represented the country again, and is now a forgotten page in the voluminous history of Indian cricket.
Just like Gony, many other players have been capped at the international level and have then lost their place in the squad. With the surfeit of talent available, a few poor performances see them lose their spot rather easily. Though getting an opportunity to play in the Indian colours might have become simpler, the prospect of cementing one's position in the squad has become harder.
Let's take a look at some Indian youngsters who have been given a few chances to play for the Indian cricket team, and will be looking to perform exceptionally in the 2018 IPL so as to cement their position in the squad.