A new decade of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is almost upon us and it's gotten the whole cricketing community excited. The IPL has been one of the most prestigious cricketing leagues of the last decade, attracting huge fan following from all over the world.
The cash-rich league has stayed true to the shortest format's billing of a being 'a batsman's game'. It has seen several outstanding knocks from the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, and many others.
However, many of these players are in their 30s and might not be around for the whole of the next decade. Moreover, as age starts catching up, even the best players might struggle for consistency.
Even though the masterful Indian batsmen that we see displaying their skills may not be at their best in the coming years, there's a new crop of homegrown talent waiting to take over the mantle from them.
Here's a list of 3 Indian batsmen who could dominate the next decade of the IPL:
#3 Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant has been one of the most talked-about Indian players in the last few years. The young wicketkeeper-batsman is seen by many as an able replacement for MS Dhoni.
Pant showed glimpses of his talent with Test hundreds in England and Australia but a string of failures has seen him get dropped from the playing XI.
The IPL, though, is a different ball-game. The southpaw from Delhi is extremely comfortable in the shortest format of the game, relishing the freedom he gets to express himself. This has been evident in the last two seasons of the IPL wherein Pant has amassed 488 and 684 runs respectively (having a strike rate above 160 on both occasions).
The 22-year-old will be looking to prove his critics wrong in the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league. The swashbuckling youngster has been Delhi Capitals' go-to man at the fag end of the innings and the franchise will hope that he can continue with his good IPL form for the better part of this decade.
#2 Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer has been one player who has improved considerably in the past one year. The Mumbaikar has worked extremely hard on his game and the time spent with the likes of Rahul Dravid (India A) and Ricky Ponting (Delhi Capitals) has seen him grow into a mature cricketer.
Iyer has also relished leading the Capitals and that has shown in his performances. The middle-order batsman has been a consistent contributor in the last two seasons of the IPL, scoring over 400 runs in both editions.
Just 25 right now, the right-handed batsman should be available for the better part of this decade. He has already established himself as a dependable batsman and a capable leader and will surely be amongst the ones dominating the IPL in the years to come.
#1 KL Rahul
One player who is on the top of his game going into this decade is KL Rahul. Having already established himself as one of the best T20 players in the world, Rahul has also been spectacular in the other formats lately.
The Karnataka batsman is in an extremely positive mental space, which was evident during the tour of New Zealand. Coming to the IPL, Rahul has flourished in the cash-rich league over the years, with run tallies of 593 and 659 in the last two editions respectively.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has also been appointed as the captain of Kings XI Punjab for this year's edition and the added responsibility should help the mental side of his game.
Rahul will be turning 28 in a month's time, meaning that his best years are ahead of him. He is expected to play in the IPL for at least another five or six years and if he persists with the kind of performances that he's been putting in lately, he has all the skills needed to be the best IPL batsman in the coming decade.