Upcoming Cricket Stars: A look at domestic talents picked up in IPL 2014 Auctions
Young, talented, energetic and seeking to get noticed as a cricketer? Then IPL is the platform for you. According to former Indian bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad, “The IPL is a fantastic opportunity for young cricketers. Name and fame is assured, but that should not affect the bigger dream of playing for the country.”
Unlike the auctions in the previous years, the move to add uncapped players in the 2014 Auction pool has led to the fans getting to know a number of unheard domestic players. These players come from different parts of the country with one goal in mind – to play international matches. And there seems to be no greater a platform than IPL to start off with. Let us have a look at what may have prompted the teams to rope in these talents.
Sushant Hemant Marathe is a wicketkeeper-batsman who plays from Mumbai. As his T20 batting strike rate of 147.44 indicates, he is an aggressive player. Marathe grabbed the eyeballs when he ended the 2009-10 Vijay Hazare Trophy as the leading run-scorer. He has also captained the Mumbai U-22 team, leading them to victory in the 2007-08 C.K Nayadu Trophy. He had been a part of the now defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala before he was picked up by the Mumbai Indians.
The 20-year-old Karnataka boy Shreyas Gopal is a leg break bowler, who can chip in with useful runs. He studied in the famous Jain University. Every bowler dreams of taking a hat-trick. His dream came true when he scalped 3 wickets off 3 balls against Rest of India (ROI) to win the Irani Trophy 2014 for his team. He was the highest scorer in the South Zone U-15 tournament organised by the BCCI in 2006-07. He can provide the necessary balance to the team on slow, low tracks.
Apoorv Wankhede is a 22-year-old right-handed batsman who was the 2nd highest run getter for Vidarbha in the CK Nayadu U22 tournament scoring 466 runs. For all his fans, he is a gym addict.
A left-arm medium pace bowler, Pawan Suyal is a small town boy like most other Indian players. He immediately made it to the news by picking up 22 wickets in 6 matches in his second season of first-class cricket with Delhi. He was roped in by Mumbai Indians in 2012 but is yet to play an IPL match. So, if picked, can he make a mark for his franchise this time around?
Chennai Super Kings
Vijay Shankar scored a stunning 63 in his debut match for Tamil Nadu. A hardworking middle-order batsman, he is trying to prove his abilities at the highest level. The 23-year-old topped the run-scoring charts consistently in the 1st division matches for 3 seasons. Shankar looks up to Rahul Dravid for inspiration. He picked up 2 wickets in his debut T20 match against Andhra in the year 2013. IPL will be a great cricket platform for him to showcase his all-round cricketing skills.
How many bowlers are lucky enough to get 6 wickets in their debut match? Well, the 22-year-old Ronit More was. He is a right-arm medium pace bowler from Belgaum. He has represented Karnataka at various levels of junior cricket and was a part of the prestigious Australian Sports Institute. The experience of bowling in the Australian conditions has certainly had an impact in his bowling style. He took 15 wickets in seven matches in the 2012 Vijay Hazare one-day tournament. As a result of the good performances, he was chosen by the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2012, but he did not get a chance to proof his case despite RCB possessing a woeful bowling unit. Taking note of his importance, CSK have grabbed him. His lovers believe that this timid, silent and hardworking boy will achieve great fame in the future.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Sayan Mondal is a right-arm medium pace bowler who hails from Bengal. This 24-year-old, who has represented his state in List A, first-class and T20 matches, has impressive statistics to back his selection; he has picked up 21 wickets in 13 T20 matches at an economy rate of 6.08 and a staggering average of 13.42.
It is the sheer passion and love for the game that drives these young players to do so well. They are being supported by lots of people. According to me, domestic players tend to be more hard working as they have a responsibility towards building a future for themselves. This is their chance from becoming unknown to known. Let us wait and find out if all of this talent and support can be put to good use in the 7th edition of the IPL.