IPL: Youngsters seize the chance to shine

Youngsters like Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Mayank Markande and Abhishek Sharma have proved their worth by staging some dazzling performance in the Indian Premier League.

Mayank Markande has enjoyed a dream start to his IPL career with Mumbai Indians, having scalped seven wickets from his first two games.   -  Vivek Bendre

The other day, Brad Hodge made a valid point while explaining why he felt the Indian Premier League was the best of its kind in the world. The Kings XI Punjab coach, in an earlier interview to Sportstar, said the quality of the local talent was a major reason.

Over the past few weeks, youngsters like Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Mayank Markande and Abhishek Sharma have proved that point emphatically. They have performed admirably, showing few signs of nerve. Between them, they have played only 16 First-Class matches, and ten of those, featured Shaw.

“The way they have adapted themselves so quickly to such a big stage, in front of massive crowds, is commendable,” World-Cup winning coach Dav Whatmore, who trained Kolkata Knight Riders for three years, told Sportstar on Monday. “It is great to see so many young Indian batsmen, like Shaw, doing so well. In my days at the IPL, it wasn’t easy to find such talented local batsmen.”

He isn’t the only former Australian Test batsman who is impressed with the prodigious opener from Mumbai. Mark Waugh has said that Shaw reminds him of Sachin Tendulkar. The youngster notched up a half-century, 62 off 44 balls, in his second outing for Delhi Daredevils. He followed it up with another crucial knock, 65 off 36 balls, in his fifth game.

Gill was the deputy to Shaw in India’s U-19 World Cup triumph. The 18-year-old Punjab opener’s best of the season came against Chennai Super Kings, as he blasted an unbeaten 57 off 36 balls to take KKR home at the Eden Gardens.

His U-19 team-mate, Abhishek, who also plays for Punjab, had to wait longer to make his IPL debut. But, the 17-year-old all-rounder arrived in style, hammering 46 off 19 balls for DD against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Mavi, who along with Kamlesh Nagarkoti — who had to pull out of the IPL due to an injury — caught the attention in the World Cup with their sheer pace. Markande, the 20-year-old leggie from Punjab, is rated highly by the likes of Ventakatapathy Raju and V. V. Kumar. He had a dream start to his IPL career with Mumbai Indians, with seven wickets from his first two games.

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