Defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) will be eager to start their IPL 2023 campaign after a cracker start to their IPL journey last year.
The Hardik Pandya-led side emerged as champions of IPL 2022 after a thumping seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals in the final. A young and talented squad put up an excellent show to turn the tide and secure victory on numerous occasions.
The Titans retained their core players ahead of the mini-auction for IPL 2023. They made seven purchases during the auction last month to finalize their 25-member squad for the title defending season.
New Zealand white-ball captain Kane Williamson (bought for INR 2 crore) was the highlighted pick by the franchise after the player was released from Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Shubman Gill (483 runs at a strike of 132.32) and Rashid Khan (19 wickets at an average of 22.15), the two players signed by the Titans in the initial draft along with Hardik Pandya, stepped up with promising performances as the young players of the squad last season.
Let's take a look at three youngsters from the current GT squad who could have a promising season this coming year.
3 GT youngsters who can have a breakout season in IPL 2023
#1 Joshua Little
The Ireland pacer attracted the cricket world's attention at the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia with his dexterous movement with the ball. Little snared 11 wickets in seven matches at an economy of 7 and became the second bowler from his country to bag a hat-trick in the T20 World Cup.
The left-arm paceman accounted for the dismissals of Kane Williamson, James Neesham and Mitchell Santner during the 19th over of the New Zealand innings.
Little picked 39 wickets in 26 T20I matches in 2022, the second most by a bowler since Tanzania's Yalinde Nkanya. The 23-year-old was named in the ICC Men's T20I team of 2022.
Little was bought for INR 4.40 crore by GT in the IPL 2023 auction. However, this won't be the first stint for the Irish player in the IPL league as he worked with CSK as their net bowler last year.
#2 Sai Sudarshan
The Tamil Nadu player already got his breakthrough for the Titans last season. He played five matches and scored 145 runs at an average of 36.25 and a strike rate of 127.19.
The most significant contribution that came off his bat was 65 runs in 50 balls against Punjab Kings, albeit it was scored in a losing cause.
The left-handed batter was the third highest run-scorer in the 2022-23 Vijay Hazare Trophy - 610 runs at 76.25. He was involved in a record-breaking highest partnership of 416 runs in List A cricket along with Narayan Jagadeesan during Tamil Nadu's match against Arunachal Pradesh.
Sudharshan could bolster his case if given the chance to play more matches this year. He could also be a prospect to open the GT innings alongside Shubman Gill.
#3 Shivam Mavi
The 24-year-old made his international debut for India at the start of the year during the T20I series against Sri Lanka. He starred in his first T20 International match at Wankhede with figures of 4 for 22 from four overs.
Mavi defended 13 runs in the final over in what was a nerve-wracking moment for the pacer when the equation dropped to five runs from three balls.
He snared 14 wickets in the Vijay Hazare Trophy at an average of 17.64, while claiming 10 wickets in Syed Mushtaq Ali at an economy rate of 6.64.
After he shot to prominence in the 2018 U19 World Cup under Prithvi Shaw, Mavi played 32 matches for KKR from 2018 to 2022, picking 30 wickets in four seasons. He was sold to GT for INR 6 crores in the mini-auction.
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