IPL 2020: 3 young guns from RCB to watch out for
- As IPL 2020 nears, here’s a look at three young cricketers from RCB who could make an impression.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have been one of the most disappointing sides in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over the years. Despite having been led by Indian captain Virat Kohli for the last few years, and the presence of a bonafide superstar like AB de Villiers, they have constantly fallen short of champion stuff.
RCB have made it to the IPL final thrice -- in 2009, 2011 and 2016. However, they have faltered at the last hurdle on each occasion. Their showings in the last three editions have been nothing short of disastrous. RCB finished last in 2017 and 2019 and sixth in 2018. While Kohli and De Villiers have continued to shine, the others have failed to live up to expectations.
Every year, the IPL provides opportunities for youngsters to make a name for themselves. Here’s a look at three young guns from RCB to watch out for.
#1 Josh Philippe
Wicket-keeper batsman Josh Philippe was the Man of the Match as Sydney Sixers stunned favourites Melbourne Stars in the final of the Big Bash League. Opening the batting, he hammered 52 off 29 balls with four fours and three sixes to steal the title for his side in a rain-affected contest.
Also see – IPL 2020 time table
Philippe had an excellent BBL season with 487 runs in 16 games at a strike rate of 129.87 with five fifties. He won as many as three Player of the Match awards. His match-winning ability and big-hitting talent is something RCB are desperately searching for in a batting line-up that has been heavily reliant on Kohli and De Villiers.
#2 Devdutt Padikkal
The 19-year-old batting talent from Karnataka, Devdutt Padikkal is seen as something of a teen prodigy. After topping the charts in the Karnataka Premier League last year with 310 runs in eight games for Bellary Tuskers, he made a memorable List A debut scoring 609 runs in 11 matches with two hundreds and five fifties in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Padikkal was the leading runscorer in the 2019-20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well amassing 580 runs in 12 matches. Continuing his brilliant run, Padikkal notched up 649 runs in 10 games in the Ranji Trophy. The youngster’s ability to score consistently, and at a swift pace - he has a T20 strike rate of 175.75 - makes him a player to watch out for in this edition.
#3 Washington Sundar
Still only 20, off-spinner Washington Sundar has already played 23 T20Is for India, and has 19 wickets to his name at an average of 27.73 and a strike rate of 24.0. His lack of wicket-taking ability in recent games has come under the scanner, but an impressive performance in the IPL can clear his path for a berth in the World T20 squad.
Sundar made an impressive IPL debut, turning out for Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017. He claimed eight wickets in 11 matches at an economy rate of 6.16 as RPS made it to the final. Considering the recent criticism he has been subjected to, Sundar will have a point to prove.
Published 09 Mar 2020, 12:13 IST