The Indian Premier League (IPL) has been a gold mine of domestic talent and has helped unearth some of the brightest cricketers since its inception in 2008.
In a season which saw Gujarat Titans become champion in its debut season, here is a look at five uncapped Indians who shone in their first stint of the IPL.
READ | Top five moments of IPL 2022
Mohsin Khan | Lucknow Super Giants
The 23-year-old pacer Mohsin Khan added teeth and a left-arm angle to a well-rounded Lucknow Super Giants bowling attack. After featuring in Super Giants’ debut game against Gujarat Titans, where he went for 0 for 18 in two overs, Khan impressed on his return to the playing XI almost a month later with one for 27 in four overs against Mumbai Indians. He followed it up with three for 24 and four for 16 against Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals, respectively, and took key wickets under pressure to help his side defend totals.
Khan signed off on a high, going at under six runs per over in his final two games combined, despite the opposition scoring 200-plus on both occasions. Khan’s pace and movement with the new ball in the PowerPlay and slower deliveries in the death-overs make him an effective wicket-taking option and enforcer across phases and his 14 scalps in nine matches at an astounding economy rate of 5.96 concur.
Tilak Varma | Mumbai Indians
The silver lining to Mumbai Indians’ horror IPL 2022 campaign was 19-year-old Tilak Varma, who emerged as the glue in the middle-order of an otherwise shaky batting line-up. Varma announced his arrival on the big stage in just his second game with a 33-ball 61 in a losing cause against Rajasthan Royals. The left-hander was particularly severe on Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal and set the tone for the rest of the season, in which he struck at over 145 against spin.
If his first half-century was about flamboyance, his second, a 43-ball unbeaten 51 against Chennai Super Kings, was all about grit on a tricky surface, albeit in yet another losing cause. However, his 32-ball unbeaten 34 against the same opposition in the return leg took his side home by five wickets after Mumbai lost four for 33, chasing 98. Varma was the team’s second-highest run-scorer with 397 runs at a strike rate of 131.02 and established himself as a bright prospect for the future.
Mukesh Choudhary | Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings unearthed an obscure talent in Mukesh Choudhary in an otherwise forgettable season. Stung by the absence of PowerPlay exponent Deepak Chahar, Choudhary filled the medium-pacer's shoes with a wicket-haul of 16 - 11 of those coming in the first six overs at an economy rate of 8.53. The Rajasthan-born pacer went for over 11 runs per over and picked just three wickets in his first four matches before finally finding his feet and ending the season as CSK’s joint-highest wicket-taker.
Choudhary turned heads with three for 19 against Mumbai Indians by dismissing Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Dewald Brevis inside the PowerPlay in a stellar burst of pace bowling. His three for 23 against the same opposition in the return leg briefly raised CSK’s hopes of defending 97. While the 25-year-old's death-overs bowling needs improvement, Choudhary showed glimpses of his ability to delivery under pressure against Sunrisers Hyderabad with two late wickets that sealed the deal for Super Kings.
Jitesh Sharma | Punjab Kings
In a power-hitting heavy Punjab Kings line-up, Jitesh Sharma carved out a place for himself in his debut Indian Premier League season with 234 runs in 12 matches at a stunning strike rate of 163.64. Sharma made his intentions clear by smashing his second ball on debut for six in a 17-ball 26 against Chennai Super Kings and followed it up with a 11-ball 23. He took the tournament by storm with his quickfire cameos in the lower middle-order and clean striking of the ball – almost 70 percent of his runs came off boundaries – against both pace and spin.
While Sharma fell short of his maiden IPL fifty against Delhi Capitals, his valiant 34-ball 44 took Kings deep in the chase after they were tottering 55 for four, chasing 160. In a previous fixture against Capitals, Sharma had top-scored with a quickfire 23-ball 32 while Punjab collapsed for 115. To add to his explosive batting, Sharma impressed with his glovework behind the stumps to emerge as Kings’ first-choice wicketkeeper-batter for the most part of the tournament.
Yash Dayal | Gujarat Titans
After weathering a Jos Buttler storm and going for 33 runs in the first two overs on his Indian Premier League debut, Yash Dayal fought back hard to concede just seven from the following two and end with three for 40 against Rajasthan Royals. In the following couple of matches, Dayal conceded 82 runs in eight overs but picked vital wickets in tense contests that helped Gujarat Titans maintain its dominant run in the tournament.
Dayal’s initial profligacy with the ball was followed by a miserly spell of one for 24 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a high-scoring encounter. With 11 wickets in eight matches at 9.25 runs an over, Dayal has provided able support to pace ace Mohammed Shami with the new ball. The 24-year-old pacer held his nerve in a high stakes final and returned with 1 for 18 in three overs. Along with a penchant for picking wickets inside the PowerPlay, Dayal has been economical in the death-overs, going at under nine runs an over during that phase, and holds the promise of adding to India's brimming pace-bowing reserves.
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