Like every season of the IPL since its inception, the ongoing fifteenth edition of the cash-rich league has also thrown up some young exciting names, who have shown their spark with dream debuts for their respective franchises.
This year IPL has become a ten-team affair, which means that now there are more opportunities for youngsters to showcase their talent and the likes of Ayush Badoni, Abhinav Manohar, Tilak Verma, Vaibhav Arora, Jitesh Sharma and Akash Deep have already shown the glimpses of what they are capable of.
Though only 12 matches have been played till now in the ongoing season, these players have become valuable assets for their franchise and it seems that they will be given a long rope for sure. These youngsters have lit up the league with their impactful performance, proving that IPL indeed is a platform where “talent meets opportunity”.
With 12 matches of IPL 2022 done and dusted, IANS take a look at the list of youngsters who have impressed in the league so far.
Ayush Badoni (LSG)
The 22-year-old Badoni is representing Lucknow Super Giants and played his first IPL game in a clash with Gujarat Titans. On his debut match, the batter fired an unbelievable 41-ball 54 and shocked the cricket fraternity.
The youngster, who was bought by LSG at his base price of Rs 20 lakh, again showed nerves of steel in a massive run-chase against Chennai Super Kings, handing his team their first ever IPL win.
With his unique ability to play shots all around the ground, Badoni certainly has a bright future ahead of him, not just for LSG, but also for the Indian cricket team. Coming from a middle-class family, Badoni is a ward of the Sonnet Club, a premier academy in Delhi, which under the peerless late coach Tarak Sinha, had blossomed to produce over a dozen India cricketers.
However, Badoni did not get too many opportunities to play for Delhi in domestic cricket. He owes the opportunity to Gautam Gambhir, the mentor of Super Giants.
“I did not get too many chances for Delhi. Gautam bhaiya, backed me a lot. He asked him to play my natural game. He assured me that I will not just get a one-odd game but will have sufficient opportunities to prove myself. His advice helped me place my natural game,” Badoni had after his dream debut.
Tilak Varma (MI)
Mumbai Indians are known for unearthing raw talent and nurturing them and it seems they have become successful in unearthing yet another gem in Varma after Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.
The 19-year old has scored 83 runs in two matches so far, and while the franchise haven’t won a single game yet, his form has been promising and earning praise from netizens and experts. These are still early days in his career and in IPL 2022, but the batter has already shown glimpses of versatility against both pace and spin.
Varma, who had faced financial difficulties in the past, recently opened up about his struggling days and said his only aim is to get a house for his parents.
“Mumbai Indians has been a very big franchise and my favourite franchise. They have worked with me on my power-hitting and my bowling. They have boosted my confidence by asking me to play freely. They have legends like Sachin [Tendulkar], Rohit [Sharma] bhai, Polly [Kieron Pollard] and [Jasprit] Bumrah as well. Thanks to Mumbai Indians for backing me up from the start of my career,” Varma said.
Vaibhav Arora (PBKS)
The 24-year-old Arora is another budding talent who has impressed everyone with his performance. Making his IPL debut with Punjab Kings, the pacer rattled the Chennai Super Kings camp as he dismissed opener Robin Uthappa in his first over and, in the next round, accounted for Moeen Ali.
The right-arm pacer plays for Himachal Pradesh in Indian domestic cricket. Though he was picked by KKR Rs 20 lakh in the IPL 2021 auction, he made his debut for PBKS, who bought him for Rs 2 crore.
At one stage, Arora thought of quitting cricket owing to his financial turmoil and constant rejections, but things took a U-turn when he was noticed on Ranji debut when he finished with figures of 9/105 against Saurashtra. His debut for Himachal at Dharamshala was memorable because during the match, he went past rock-solid Cheteshwar Pujara’s defence and the middle stump went for a cartwheel.
Abhinav Manohar (GT)
Known for his six-hitting ability, Manohar gave a good account of himself to Gujarat Titans fans in the debut game itself, after smacking a few big hits in the last overs and helping his side chase the target.
He had grabbed eyeballs after Gujarat Titans spent Rs 2.6 crore in the mega auction to acquire his services, and judging by the early signs he’s proving to be worth every penny. Abhinav, who plays for Karnataka in domestic cricket, shot to fame with his exploits in the Karnataka Premier League and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Punjab Kings (PBKS) wicketkeeper-batter
Jitesh Sharma (PBKS)
On his IPL debut, the wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh emerged as one of the key players in the Punjab franchise’s 54-run win against the Chennai Super Kings at Brabourne on April 3. The 28-year-old cricketer first scored a 17-ball 26 three sixes in his team’s 180/8 and then took two catches — including that of Mahendra Singh Dhoni on 23 — as PBKS bundled out CSK for 126 in 18 overs.
Jitesh broke into the Vidarbha senior side in the 2013-14 season on the back of strong performances in the 2012-13 Cooch Behar Trophy, where he scored 537 runs in 12 innings with two centuries and a fifty. He made his List A debut in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2013-14 and for the first two seasons played only limited-overs matches for Vidarbha, batting mostly in the top order.