The Indian Premier League (IPL) is known for providing youngsters with a platform to showcase their talents on the world stage. And just like every year in the IPL, many young Indian talented cricketers have burst onto the scene this season as well.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra posted a video on his YouTube channel, naming his top five young Indian cricketers in the IPL 2021. His criteria for the was those players who are uncapped or have played five or fewer matches for India.
You can watch Chopra's video below:
The Orange Cap winner of the IPL 2021, Ruturaj Gaikwad, was Chopra's first pick on the list. Amassing 635 runs at an impressive average of 45.3, the CSK opener was sensational throughout the season.
Commending Gaikwad's temperament in his batting, Chopra opined that the youngster's ability to read the situation of the game separates him from the rest. Here's what the former cricketer had to say about the CSK opener:
"Ruturaj has been absolutely sensational and for multiple reasons. The first thing that stood out for me was his temperament. His reaction while under pressure has been solid. He has batted with maturity throughout the season. What separates him from the rest is that he knows when to use his big hitting. A man for all reasons and a man for all seasons. He is CSK's present, and will be India's future."
Gaikwad was also the only batter to score a century in the UAE leg of the IPL this season. Being just 24-year old, the CSK batting sensation has the potential to become a mainstay in the Indian team.
The RCB's breakthrough star this IPL season, Harshal Patel, was Chopra's second choice. The Gujarat-born medium-pacer endured a season to remember for ages. Patel equaled DJ Bravo's record of getting the most wickets in an IPL season with 32 wickets to his name and also grabbed the Purple Cap in the tournament.
Former cricketer Aakash Chopra acknowledged that Harshal was effective wherever he played. Ahead of the second half of the IPL, Chopra was dubious about the 30-year old. But Patel's performances in the UAE proved Chopra wrong.
Here's what Chopra had to say about the impressive 'Purple Patel' -
"He is not a spring chicken. And over the years, he never added feathers to his talent. But this season he has been phenomenal. First in Chennai, on slow surfaces he used his slower deliveries and bowled perfect yorkers. He moved to Dubai and then to Sharjah, he's been exceptional everywhere. Personally I doubted him ahead of the second half, but he made all of his critics quiet."
With 32 wickets to his name in 15 matches, Harshal won the Purple Cap in the competition.
The next name on Chopra's list was the DC pacer, Avesh Khan. The Indore-born pacer kept Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav out of the starting XI with his impressive performances throughout the IPL season.
In his video, Chopra opined that, like Harshal, Avesh bowled difficult overs for his franchise. The 44-year old lauded the DC pacer and mentioned:
"He's tall, bowls fast, has a high-arm action, and gets purchase from the surface. Just like Harshal, you can play him on every type of surface. When there was moisture on the pitch in Mumbai, he was creating havoc with his deliveries. He has bowled in difficult situations for DC. I liked the way he bowled."
Picking up as many as 24 wickets in 16 matches, Avesh Khan was one of the most important bowlers in the DC lineup.
"He's so accurate that he rarely bowls a bad ball" - Aakash Chopra on Ravi Bishnoi's IPL performances
Punjab Kings' leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi was the fourth name that Chopra mentioned on his list. The 21-year old leggie was unfortunate not to have played many matches for his side this season. However, in his nine matches, Bishnoi took 12 wickets with a world-class economy of just 6.3 in the IPL 2021.
The former Indian cricketer elucidated that Bishnoi's accuracy set him apart from the rest of the leggies in the IPL. He said:
"I absolutely didn't understand why PBKS didn't play him more games. Even in his second season in the IPL, it hasn't been easy for the batters to read him. Be it a turning track, batting track, fast track, against Virat, de Villiers, or Rohit, he doesn't care. You don't get a leg spinner who has this much accuracy. His bowling resembles the likes of Rashid Khan. He's so accurate that he rarely bowls a bad ball."
Chopra opined that Bishnoi's bowling style resembles that of Rashid Khan's bowling.
KKR batting sensation Venkatesh Iyer was Chopra's last and final pick of the lot. Iyer gracefully adapted Brendon McCullum's idea of fearless batting. He amassed 370 runs at a superb average of 41 runs per innings in just ten matches in the UAE leg of the IPL.
While mentioning Iyer's ability to counter-attack against the quicks, Chopra commended the 26-year old's maturity on slow surfaces. He said:
"He came as a revelation of all sorts for the franchise. He isn't bothered against quick bowling. The way he has played his shots, especially on-the-rise shots, was magnificent. Initially, I thought that he would struggle against swing bowling, but the way he has batted was exceptional. He also showed maturity while playing in Sharjah. All in all he was superb."
KKR coach Brendon McCullum even said that Iyer was the catalyst for his team's turnaround in the second leg of the IPL. A courageous batter who can be handy with his medium-pace bowling as well, Iyer can be an all-rounder that India has longed for over the years.