MUMBAI: The 2022 edition of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) has thrown up some exciting youngsters who are now slated to get selected for India’s national team. Let’s look at three most promising and exuberant stars of this season:
1) Umran Malik: The 22-year-old pacer has made everyone sit up and take stock of his explosive potential. In 12 matches so far, he has snaffled 18 wickets and is one of the highest wicket-takers of the tournament. But what has impressed one and all is not just his impressive statistics but his knack of consistently bowling over 150 kmph.
In all the 12 matches he has played for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Malik has bagged the award for the fastest ball in the game. More than 90 per cent of his deliveries have been over 140 kmph and he also holds the record for sending down the fastest ball (157 kmph) in the IPL 2022.
In an exclusive interview with The New Indian, his father, a resident of Jammu, told this correspondent that he wants his son to break the record of former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar.
His ability to reel off searing yorkers at a rollicking pace, coupled with his wicket-taking abilities, has created ripples in the cricketing corridors. It is being speculated that he will be a part of the Indian team for the T20I series against South Africa.
2) Tilak Varma: Mumbai Indians copped an unwarranted record in the IPL 2022 by becoming the first team to lose their first eight matches. In an abysmally dismal season, Tilk Varma has been their only bright spot. The 19-year-old has showcased amazing maturity and sangfroid, and at present, he’s the highest scorer of the tournament for Mumbai.
The left-hander has scored 368 runs in 12 matches at an impressive average of 40.89. More than runs, he has looked completely unruffled by the pressure and has batted with exquisite aplomb. Varma looks equally comfortable against both spinners and pacers, and has a wide range of shots. He mostly plays conventional shots such as drives and pulls, but can also unfurl avant-garde strokes sometimes like he did against Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Pat Cummins. Varma launched Cummins for a six by whipping out a stirring ramp shot.
His sterling timing and unflappable temperament has won adulation from all quarters. Mumbai coach Mahela Jayawardene remarked that he’s extremely happy to have picked him in the auction.
3) Mukesh Choudhary: MS Dhoni is known for masterfully grooming young talents. This season, Mukesh Choudhary, under his tutelage at Chennai Super Kings has emerged as a promising talent.
Though the 25-year-old Choudhary doesn’t have the pace of Umran Malik, he deploys slow-balls and deceptive bouncers to outfox batsmen. In the match against Mumbai, he ripped out their captain Rohit Sharma with a well-disguised slow ball and then cleaned up Ishan Kishan with a roaring yorker in the first over of the match. At times, on conducive surfaces, he extracts good bounce and surprise batsmen. Though, he has the tendency to leak runs at times and must work on attaining more control.
In the IPL 2022, he has snapped up 16 wickets in 12 matches.