The IPL has gone into the second half of its initial ten-year plan, and it has to be said that the high-profile tournament has passed the test of time with flying colours. The early years included several teething problems, which in a way turned out to be beneficial in that all the parties had to undertake corrective measures to keep the show going on smoothly. On the administration side, the BCCI had its issues with franchises but most of them were resolved in an appropriate manner. As far as the franchises are concerned, they had to constantly revisit their plans in terms of marketing, controlled spending and strategy.
The IPL is known for unearthing talent out of nowhere. This has made IPL into a global event. And as another season of the IPL is going in full steam, we look at a few U-21 players who may get a nod from their franchisees and who could prove to be the difference this time around.
The Mini-Cooper from Kerala as they say, small in stature but excellent in quality, Samson has been a revelation for the Royals. Samson has improved by leaps and bounds since he scored that swash-buckling 62 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Ever since that knock, Samson’s career graph has taken a huge climb. One of the few people in India who can play the rising ball with quite ease, Samson has used that shot to devastating effect against the quickies. He has all the shots in his repertoire and each one of them show us a different reason as to why Samson could be the next big thing if he’s not already.
One of the best players for the triumphant U-19 team of 2012, Baba Aparajith is one of the country’s brightest prospects in cricket. Aparajith has been extremely consistent for his state, Tamil Nadu. He is very good on the front foot and especially against the spinners who he more often than not plummets. And yes, he is another player who can play the short ball with rather ease. His handy off spin is something which offers his game another dimension and his athletic fielding is something to look out for. Consistency is another factor as to why Aparajith is often given the nod ahead of the others.
One of the few to have played two U-19 World Cups, Vijay Zol has proven why he should be seriously considered to be drafted in to the national squad. Although he did receive flak for his defensive technique, Zol has been extremely consistent and he has made his case as to why he should not be brought down. The only problem with Zol and the T20 format is his defensive technique which may rob him the chance of playing for his franchisee-Royal Challengers Bangalore. Zol’s greatest strength is his assertiveness against the spin bowlers. And with the IPL being played in subcontinental conditions which assist the spinners, Zol could be a great asset for the RCB.
The captain of the victorious U-19 World Cup winning team of 2012, Unmukt Chand is filled with talent. A cricketer with aplethora of strokes in his armory, Unmukt has been on the lines of selection to the national squad for a while now. Unmukt’s ability to bat anywhere in the batting order makes him a very versatile and someone who every IPL team would want to have. This time around the Royals have bought this sensation and it would be interesting to see how he performs for them. The fantastic innings he played against the Baggy Greens on their own backyard is something that’ll remain in our memories for a long time. His ability to play pace and spin equally well makes him a very good player and also since he’s an uncapped player, he can be of even more importance for his franchisee.
Last season it was Sanju Samson. Who will it be this time around? If that’s your doubt, then just sit and wait until another season of the IPL gets over.