The Indian Premier League (IPL) has to be the best thing that could have happened to young and upcoming cricketers in the country. It has given them a platform to rub shoulders with the best cricketers in the world at a very early stage in their careers.
If you go back 15 years or so, the dream of facing the likes of Jasprit Bumrah or Jofra Archer, or bowling to Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma, would have been possible only if you had got an India cap. But, thanks to the IPL, the young crop of cricketers are living the dream.
IPL 2020 has followed the trend of producing some young and exciting talent in the country. We will look at the five best uncapped Indian players who punched above their weight for their respective teams.
#5. Rahul Tewatia (Rajasthan Royals)
IPL franchises are happy if their senior players win two or three games on their own. Tewatia is an uncapped player who won Rajasthan Royals two matches pretty much on his own with the bat, from a seemingly lost situation.
Rahul Tewatia’s 53 against Kings XI Punjab has to be the best moment of this year’s IPL. The left-hander was struggling to put bat on ball and had scored only 8 runs off the first 19 balls he faced. At that stage, it looked like he was losing the game for his side.
But what followed in the next few overs was incredible. Tewatia took on the West Indian fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell to the cleaners by smashing five sixes in that over to win the game for Royals. There was even a cliche among fans and experts, “Turn it around like Tewatia.”
He followed it up with another match-winning knock (45 not out) against Sunrisers Hyderabad, as if to suggest that the earlier knock was not a fluke. The best part of this knock was how he took on one of the greatest T20 bowlers, Rashid Khan, when most other batsmen struggled throughout the tournament.
The interesting thing to note is Rahul Tewatia was considered a leg spinner who can bat in the lower middle order. Royals would hope that Tewatia would carry on his form in IPL 2021, which is only a few months away.