The tenth season of the IPL is now underway with six whole weeks of action in store. Who will win this time? Who will out-bat the rest?
So many questions the league brings, but with the Champions Trophy in June this time, there is another big one on the horizon.
Which players will play the T20 format best, to make a solid application for the Indian Champions Trophy squad?
It may still be a while before we find out the answer to that one so for now, lets just speculate? Here’s a list of five players who may make a mark in the coming weeks:
Rishabh Pant is one youngster whose performance will be observed closely by the selectors.
The 19-year-old has been in the limelight since the Ranji season, where he scored 308(42 fours and nine sixes) in 326 balls for Delhi against Maharashtra. In his first class career, Pant has played 11 matches and scored 1101 runs at an average of 68.81. In past IPLs as well, Pant has left an impact with his bat; in 12 matches he smashed 268 runs with a best performance of 69. On the basis of his outing in the Ranji season 2016-17, he made a debut in the Indian side for a T20 match against England.
Since the start of April, Pant has made solid updates to his growing CV as well, a 57 runs (three boundaries and four sixes) in just 36 balls against RCB and then 31 runs(one boundary and 2 sixes) in 22 balls.
Dinesh Kartik makes his entry into this list courtesy his performance in the 2017 Deodhar Trophy, specially the 126 he scored in the last match. Kartik has also performed well in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2016-17, having finished the top-scorer of the tournament with 607 runs.
Following the solid domestic performances for Bangalore, Karthik has been one of the few bright lights for Suresh Raina in the Gujarat Lions dugout. He scored 47 runs( six boundaries and two sixes) in just 25 balls against KKR.
He has played 71 ODI matches and scored 1313 runs with the strike rate of 73.22 so far, and this could well be his last chance to represent India in a big-ticket tournament.
Kuldeep Yadav impressed everyone with his bowling ability in his debut in the decider between India and Australia. He took four important wickets while giving 63 runs. And in this season of IPL, in the first match of KKR, he took 2 wickets, giving 25 runs in four overs.
Though in the second match he could not perform well and gave 35 runs in four overs and took one wicket.
In the practice match between India A and England in January 2017 Kuldeep took 5 wickets. In his first-class career, he have 85 wickets in his account in 23 matches. His best bowling performance in the first-class cricket includes 9 wickets in a match.
Experienced Rohit is eagerly waiting for a chance to make a comeback to the Indian Side. He is the only batsman who has scored two double centuries in ODIs.
The 29-year-old right-hand Indian opener was out of action for the first half of this year after getting surgery on his knee and in his last ODI which was against New Zealand, he scored 70 runs in 65 balls at a strike rate of 107.69.
Shikhar Dhwan was in the Indian side when they last played an ODI, against England in January this year but an injury forced him to pull out of the third fixture. However, since then, out of the Test squad, Dhawan racked up runs in the domestic circuit. 120 and 50 for India B in the Deodhar Trophy and the selectors will have an eye on him in the coming weeks.
‘Out-of-form’ Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan has performed well in the first match of this season of IPL. He gave a good start to Sunrisers Hyderabad by scoring 40 runs in 31 balls but could not perform well in the second match.
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