There is no doubt that the IPL has produced several star players for the Indian team and international cricket. The platform which IPL provides is no less than a mega-event where young players can come and show their skills. In addition to this, as the IPL has a large viewership across the globe, one good performance can make anyone a household star.
Ahead of the IPL 2021, there were many uncapped and unrecognized players who were picked in the auction. Each of the teams picks young talents after seeing their records in the domestic circuit, where their skills are tested. Then, an IPL contract makes them ready for handling the pressure of crowds, glamour, and high standards of the cash-rich league.
In the IPL 2021, we can surely expect that some of the lesser-known players will come up and show their abilities. In a season, which didn’t have a Ranji Trophy, it has become more important for the lesser-known players to have some performances in the IPL.
Without further to do, here is a list of 5 lesser-known players to watch out for in IPL 2021:
1. Mohammad Azharuddeen
Mohammed Azharuddeen made the news last month when he smashed a brilliant century in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy 2021. While playing against a strong Mumbai side at the Wankhede Stadium, the 26-year-old Kerala player scored 137 runs from just 52 balls. His innings was an absolute spectacle and helped his team chase down a total close to 200.
After this knock, people on social media started praising his efforts and his calibre with the bat. Eventually, Royal Challengers Bangalore bid for the young wicketkeeper-batsman for his base price of INR 20 lakhs. Considering the line-up which RCB have, it seems that Azharuddeen will surely play some matches for the franchise in the upcoming edition.
After his exploits with the bat in the recent domestic T20 matches, Azharuddeen will be one of the players to watch out for in the IPL. He is someone who can bat at almost any position. However, the young player has revealed that he likes opening the innings at least in the shortest format of the game.
2. Shahrukh Khan
The 25-year-old Shahrukh Khan is one of the young players in Indian domestic cricket, who has excited fans and selectors in recent times. Since his debut for Tamil Nadu in 2014, Khan has been an important part of his state team. He is a hard-hitting lower-order batsman with the ability to bowl a little bit as well.
Ahead of the 2021 IPL auction, it was predicted that Shahrukh might get a team but the number of teams who showed interest in the 25-year-old all-rounder was just tremendous to see. He was finally roped in by Punjab Kings for INR 5.25 crores. He will add the crucial lower-order batting which Punjab didn’t have last season, and the balance in the playing XI.
Going by his stats, there is a lot to like about this young player. In 21 List A matches, he has 341 runs with an average of 42.62 and a strike-rate of 120. In T20s, his strike rate goes up to 132, but his experience in the shortest format is greater. He also played an important role in Tamil Nadu winning the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021.
3. Marco Jansen
Marco Jensen was one of the players who wasn’t recognised by many fans when he got picked for the Mumbai Indians franchise in the IPL 2021 auction. The young left-arm pacer has been making a lot of noise in the South African domestic season, after making his debut in 2018. Even though he doesn’t have a great T20 record to show, his first-class numbers are tough to ignore.
In addition to all of this, after the auction, Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani stated that the franchise had been tracking the young pacer for the past two years, under their program which is focused on scouting young international players. One thing which a lot of people will agree on is the fact that Mumbai Indians’ backup team has a tremendous eye for talent.
If Jansen gets his opportunities, which is slightly unlikely considering the number of overseas fast-bowlers which they have, it will be interesting to watch the young talent. He was recently even picked up by the South African national team for their tour to Pakistan.
4. Harishankar Reddy
In the past few years, there are some quality fast-bowlers that have come through the ranks in Indian domestic cricket. Harishankar Reddy is one of them and seems to be a great prospect for the future. The young pacer came to the recognition of the fans when he was delivering yorkers for fun in a local match.
After this, there was slight hype about the 22-year-old pacer from Andhra Pradesh. But, there can be no debate that there is quality in Reddy’s bowling. He can bowl really quick, offers a little bit of swing, and can bowl good yorkers, which can be difficult for any batsman to pick.
After an impressive show in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021, the young bowler will now head to the Chennai camp in the hope of getting some experience. He was picked up by the franchise for his base price of INR 20 lakhs. Under MS Dhoni’s leadership, he might find a way to become a new household name in the IPL 2021.
5. Chetan Sakariya
Chetan Sakariya was one of the most impressive fast bowlers in this year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. Playing for Saurashtra, he picked up 12 wickets in just five matches. During the tournament, he also bowled a spell of 5 for 11 against Vidarbha. With that spell, he gained some attention, which was crucial for him getting in the IPL 2021 auction.
The young left-arm pacer saw a final bid of INR 1.2 crores for him when Rajasthan Royals bought him after a bidding war with Royal Challengers Bangalore. The fact that he is a left-arm pacer adds variety to any line-up and it makes him stand-out to start off. But, his bowling record in T20 cricket so far is tough to ignore.
In 16 matches, he has picked up 28 wickets at an average of 15.10 and a strike rate of 12.7. His economy has been good as well, standing at 7.08. These numbers are enough to describe him as a promising talent but whether or not he will play a crucial role in the Royals’ setup is something that needs to be seen.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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