“Where Talent Meets Opportunity”: the IPL has made this their tag line since the inception of the tournament and season after season you see a bunch of young players to take the cricketing world by storm. This season is no different. We look at a few impressive uncapped players in this season so far:
Look no further when you have to find the uncapped player of the season than Nitish Rana.
The Mumbai Indians batsman has had a terrific season so far, scoring 263 runs in seven games. His average is an impressive 43.83 at a strike rate of 139.89. To put things into perspective, Rana is second on the Orange Cap list, the award given to the highest run-getter in the tournament and he has the most sixes(16) so far in the tournament.
With three fifties already in the season, the Delhi-born batsman has been crucial in the six-match win stream for Mumbai: they have never lost when he has scored a half century and all have come while chasing. With more than half the season yet to be played, just expect Nitish Rana to keep adding to his reputation.
When Sanju Samson turned out for the now suspended Rajasthan Royals under Rahul Dravid, there was a certain amount of excitement surrounding this Kerala batsman. Since his move to the Delhi Daredevils, consistency has seemed to desert him.
This season though, we are seeing the same Samson who first burst out on the IPL season. The second highest-run scorer amongst the uncapped players this season, the wicket-keeper/batsman is ninth on the highest run-getters list this season with 224 runs in six games @37.33 at a strike rate of 142.67.
He scored the first hundred of the tournament, when he got 102 against the Rising Pune Supergiant and Delhi won the match pretty convincingly, one of their only two wins this season. Can Samson take this season from a good one to a great one?
There was particularly excitement in the Mumbai camp when they bought Krunal Pandya for Rs Two Crores at the 2016 Player auction, and he did not disappoint.
He went on to score 237 runs @39.50 at a strike rate of 191.12 and also picked up seven wickets at an impressive economy rate of 7.57.
This season, the Baroda all-rounder has picked up from where he left off. He first picked up 3/24 against the Kolkata Knight Riders to restrict them to 178/7 before Mumbai won in a thrilling run chase. A couple of games later against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, he would take Mumbai home with a 37* and a 97-run partnership with Kieron Pollard after Mumbai were reduced to 33/5, chasing 143.
While his all-round abilities have become famous in his short IPL career so far, he has been impressive in the field as well. He has 105 runs this season and also five wickets.
The typically aggressive batsman from Punjab, Manan Vohra first caught the eyes of IPL viewers in the 2014 season where he scored 324 runs @ 40.50 at a strike rate of 139.05 in eight games.
The opener, after two lukewarm seasons, is back to his best and it was seen in his last innings against the Sunrisers Hyderabad when he almost won the match for Kings XI Punjab with his 95 while chasing 160, only to be dismissed in the penultimate over and lose by five runs.
Vohra is the second highest run scorer for Punjab this season after Hashim Amla and along with his opening partner, has provided the team with good starts this season. With 174 runs in five games, Vohra is 15th on the run-getters list this season.
Every season, there is one player who comes out of nowhere and impresses. This year, the 26-year-old Pune man is that player.
Bought for a price of 10 lakhs, Tripathi has been key in the Supergiant’s turnaround in the last few games. In his four games, the Maharashtra batsman has 133 runs @ 33.25 and at a strike rate of 154.65 with a half-century in his previous match which helped beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets.
Now, with the Pune team having won two consecutive games and Tripathi contributing in each of those wins, watch out for him for the rest of the season.
Talent truly meets opportunity at the IPL and this season is no different. Uncapped players have grabbed this opportunity to showcase their talent and we have not yet reached the halfway point yet. So keep watching these impressive talents.