Indian Premier League has given several quality players through the years and the 14th season of the cash-rich league is no different. While there are a few common faces in the circuit, many new faces have also emerged in this edition. They have a big possibility to make their international debut soon after the IPL 2021 ends if they can maintain their impressive performances throughout the season.
Here are the 5 players:
1. Devdutt Padikkal
The young and talented opener of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Devdutt Padikkal certainly tops the list with his amazing batting. The emerging player of IPL 2020, Devdutt went on to score 473 runs in his maiden IPL season, finishing as the highest run-getter for RCB.
However, this was just the beginning as he maintained his sublime form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this year. He smacked a whopping 737 runs from 7 matches and finished as the second-highest run-scorer after Prithvi Shaw. He continued his onslaught in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) too where he smashed his maiden IPL century against Rajasthan Royals on April 22.
Often compared with veteran Yuvraj Singh, the left-handed batsman has surely stamped his authority on the game and is knocking the door of the selectors to get his maiden call-up for Team India.
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad
If Devdutt Padikkal has been a regular face in the domestic circuit, Ruturaj Gaikwad is no less. He has come into the limelight while playing for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. He made his first-class debut for Maharashtra in the Ranji Trophy (2016–17) season and he also made his List A debut in the same season in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
A familiar face in India A squad, Gaikwad smashed an unbeaten 187 while playing for India A against Sri Lanka A in 2019. However, he joined CSK in the 2019 season but was only given a chance in IPL 2020 in the latter part of the competition in UAE. After a slow start, Gaikwad displayed tremendous consistency and has maintained his rich form in the ongoing season as well.
He has so far scored 192 runs in 6 innings, which came at a strike rate of 129.73. His score also included two fifties. With Chennai Super Kings placed at the top of the points table, his contribution at the top order could help his team win more matches and maintain their top spot. And, if he manages to do that, the day is not far when he will be seen donning the blue jersey.
3. Harshal Patel
Before the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League, no one would have thought that Royal Challengers Bangalore would successfully restrict opponents with their disciplined bowling, considering their previous shows. However, they have found two key players in their bowling unit - Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj alongside others. While Siraj is a familiar face in the Indian circuit, Patel has left everyone in awe with his superb spells.
However, the 30-year-old didn't have a smooth domestic career. Despite bagging an IPL contract with Mumbai Indians, he was ignored by the Gujarat selectors for the first-class team which eventually saw him move to Haryana. This has become a milestone for his career as he did exceptionally well in his debut Ranji Trophy season in 2011-12 and made headlines with his consecutive eight-wicket hauls in the quarter-final and semi-final against Karnataka and Rajasthan respectively.
However, he was a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2012 to 2017 and later Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) from 2018 to 2020 but it didn't work for him. This season he has returned to his earlier team - Royal Challengers Bangalore and finally his hard work has paid off.
He claimed the first five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 which helped him claim the third-best bowling figures by an uncapped Indian player in the cash-rich league. Currently, he is leading the wickets chart with 17 wickets from 7 matches. It wouldn't be a surprise for fans if he earns his maiden call-up to Team India soon after IPL 2021 concludes.
4. Avesh Khan:
The familiar face in Delhi Capitals' team, pace bowler Avesh Khan has been doing wonders with his bowling. He was added to India's squad for the 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup and the next year saw his debut for the T20 cricket with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Although Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) bought him in the 2018 IPL auction for ₹75 lakh, he came into the limelight while playing for Madhya Pradesh in the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy. He ended the season as the highest wicket-taker with 35 dismissals in only seven matches.
However, he was one of five net bowlers in India's Test squad for their home series against England a couple of months ago. And, now, his stunning bowling has been troubling the opponents. He has claimed 13 wickets so far in the league from 7 matches at 14.77. He is currently placed at second position after Harshal Patel in the wicket-takers list. Considering his form, it can be said that he might get a chance to play for India soon.
5. Varun Chakravarthy:
Varun Chakravarthy made headlines while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the last IPL season. After having a poor season with Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2019, he had a remarkable journey with KKR which earned him his maiden call up in the Indian T20I squad for their series against Australia last year.
Unfortunately, he had missed the tour Down Under due to his shoulder injury. He had scalped 17 wickets at an economy of 6.84 during the last season in the UAE, which also included a five-wicket haul. Although he has taken only 7 wickets in as many games in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League, his earlier performances could help him donning the blue jersey soon after the IPL ends.