India’s domestic T20 tournament Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy ended on a thrilling high. Tamil Nadu has been crowned champions for a record of 3 times as Karnataka found its nemesis in Shahrukh Khan who sealed the match with a six when his team needed 5 runs off the last delivery. Like every Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, scouts of all IPL franchises must have, had their eyes on players who might turn out as their desi matchwinners in the upcoming edition of the mega event. With the IPL 2022 auction round the corner, here is a list of 5 uncapped Indian youngsters to watch out for:
IPL 2022: Players to look out in the next edition
28-year-old Vidarbha wicket-keeper batter Jitesh Sharma is a brute with the bat. Struggling as an opener before, Sharma played as a middle-order batsman this season. The decision turned out as a masterstroke for him and the team, as he ended SMAT 2021 as the batter to hit the most number of sixes (19) and had the best strike rate of 235.16 amongst all.
His monstrous hitting skills, in the end, can be a boon for any team. He was previously picked by Mumbai Indians but could not make his IPL debut. But his staggering form has surely grabbed the attention of a lot of IPL talent scouts who will be eager to have an experienced domestic player be a part of their squad. He will definitely be a player to watch out for, in the IPL 2022 auction.
IPL franchises in general, look for variety in their squads – mystery spinners, bowlers with complex actions, innovative batters have often bagged glamourous contracts in the auction. Akshay Karnewar can be a promising and exciting pick for them. Another Vidarbha cricketer, Karnewar has a rare skill in his kitty – ambidexterity. A right-arm offie and left-arm spinner Karnewar has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit.
The 4th highest wicket-taker (13) of the tournament, Karnewar scripted history by bowling four maidens against Manipur and achieved the most economical figures (4-4-0-2) in a T20 match. Adding to that, he went on to take a hat-trick in their next game versus Sikkim. Karnewar was a part of the RCB squad in 2016 and is ready to create bidding wars in the auction room in 2022.
T20 is much more than just a power game – the last edition of IPL was proof of it. A team needs to have players who can not just clear the ropes with ease but can also carry their bat through the innings maintaining a steady run rate. Left-handed top-order batter Tanmay Agarwal understands that pretty well. The Hyderbad batter scored 334 runs in just 7 games with a strike rate of 148.44, to become the highest run-getter of the tournament. Agarwal also got the most number of fifties and hit the maximum number of boundaries as well.
Agarwal’s ability to score runs at a brisk pace earned him an IPL cap for the SRH in 2016 and he did not fail to impress whenever given an opportunity. A flamboyant domestic batter who had the exposure of the IPL – Agarwal can be a worthy addition to any quality side.
A hat-trick is a dream and 4 scalps in 4 deliveries are just an unbelievable dream. Yet few have achieved it – from the likes of Rashid Khan, Lasith Malinga, Andre Russell to the 23-year-old Vidarbha right-arm medium-fast bowler Darshan Nalkhande in his stellar spell against Karnataka. Nalkhande has been a standout performer for Vidarbha since his T20 debut in 2019.
In the 2021 SMAT, he took 13 wickets in 8 matches and was the 5th highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Nalkhande was a part of the PBKS squad but could not make his IPL debut. Franchises will be desperate to have the services of a young medium-fast bowler like Nalkhande who could prove to be a profitable investment for a long time.
Batters win matches, Bowlers win tournaments. Left-arm pacers are always in high demand across all T20 leagues in the world. One who can be lucky in the auction for the next year’s IPL is the Andhra left-arm medium-pacer CV Stephen. The 2nd highest wicket-taker of SMAT – 2021, Stephen was a star for Andhra Pradesh taking 14 dismissals with an average of 9.07 and a strike rate of 8.50. A bonafide wicket-taker and proven match-winner, CV Stephen can be an asset in the bowling unit. In the upcoming auction, we expect him to hog the limelight and bag his first-ever IPL contract.
IPL 2022 on its way
The 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy saw the emergence of many new heroes. Many will be the center of the upcoming big auction, few might have to wait. Overall with the inclusion of two new teams in the cash-rich league, the players have tried to show their best level, the rest will depend on what happens when the bidding will start. The next IPL is set to be another extraordinary affair with young budding cricketers catapulted to stardom in the world of cricket.
For all sports updates, follow us on Twitter.