The first half of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) went on smoothly and 29 games were completed before the COVID-19 virus wreaked havoc. There were multiple cases in various team bubbles and it was inevitably postponed Tuesday morning.
Despite the tournament being suspended mid-way, there were some youngsters who showed some spark early on in the season. Here are the seven rising stars we picked from this IPL season. Be sure to keep an eye on them when the season resumes!
There is absolutely no doubt that Avesh Khan was the most impressive Indian bowler in this season. The 24-year-old fast bowler from Madhya Pradesh bowled at decent pace and was spot on with his execution at every stage of the innings. Overall, he picked up 14 wickets (joint second-highest) at an economy rate of 7.70 and he had a strike-rate of 12.8.
In the 2020 season, Ruturaj Gaikwad didn’t start well but he finished with three successive half-centuries. It wasn’t the best of starts for him this year either. He had scores of 5, 5 and 10 in the first three games. However, CSK stuck with him and backed him to come good and the 24-year-old Maharashtra top-order batsman repaid the faith of the captain and the team management. He returned with scores of 64, 33 and 75 in the next three games.
He might have played just two games in this 2021 edition but Harpreet Brar made a stunning statement. The left-handed all-rounder struck a crucial 25 not out and picked up 3/19 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). He picked up the dream wickets of Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers as his first ones in his IPL career. He did well against the Delhi Capitals as well as he struck off his first ball and returned with figures of 1/19 from his three overs.
Chetan Sakariya blew hot and cold, but he showed a lot of promise. In the first few games, he was the standout bowler for Rajasthan Royals. He had a good 2020-21 domestic season (12 wickets in the SMAT and 8 in the VHT) and he carried that into the IPL as well. He picked up a couple of three-wicket hauls and kept things more or less quiet.
It’s been only a couple of years since Marco Jansen made his debut in domestic cricket across all formats. However, not a lot of people had noticed him and it was only when Mumbai Indians picked him in the IPL auction that he came into the spotlight. The left-handed all-rounder featured in a couple of games and impressed with the ball. He returned with figures of 2/28 from four overs in the opening game against RCB and 0/17 against KKR.
54 runs from three innings and three wickets from 11 overs may not be stand out but Lalit Yadav and his all-round ability has shown a lot of promise. He scored an unbeaten 22 against MI in a run-chase and helped DC get over the line. With the ball, he bowled well and kept things tight. He took three at an economy rate of 6.00.
Mohammed Siraj may have already made an impact in international cricket as a part of the Indian Test side in the 2020-21 season. However, his T20 game wasn’t great and was in doubt more often than not. His economy rate every season was in excess of 8.5. Last season, there were signs of improvement but he was largely tipped as a new-ball bowler as his impact was the best upfront. This season, though, Siraj was magnificent. He was the leader of the RCB attack and bowled magnificently well in all phases of the game. His execution at the death was excellent. Hence, Siraj, the T20 bowler, was definitely one of the rising stars of this season.
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