Cricket

IPL 2018: 5 players who could make the most of their maiden season

The upcoming edition of IPL promises to be an exhilarating extravaganza. With the two franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals making a comeback after facing a two-year suspension, the IPL 2018 have made the draws intriguing this time.

The domestic T20 leagues around the globe have acted as breeding grounds for prodigious talents over the years. As far as the shortest format is concerned, the Indian Premier League is second to none.

In this article, we take a look at a bunch of players who are entering their debut IPL season with strong credentials.

Lungi Ngidi – Chennai Super Kings

If Vernon Philander ruptured the Indian batting line up in the 1st Test, it was the newly added pace sensation Lungi Nidi who denied India a victory in the 2nd Test. The 21-year-old later carried his impressive run in the limited overs format, despite South Africa’s poor run in the ODI series. 

Besides, his incredible 6-for in the 2nd Test against India was good enough for the Chennai-based franchise to sign him for INR 50 Lakh during the mega-auction. Given his sheer pace coupled with modest variations, Ngidi could make the opposition grovel in the upcoming edition of IPL.    

Also read: IPL 2018: Ravichandran Ashwin to lead Kings XI Punjab this season

Prithvi Shaw – Delhi Daredevils 

Prithvi Shaw of India bats during the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup

The left-handed batsman doesn’t need any introduction. Prithvi Shaw led India to a memorable victory against Australia in the ICC Under-19 World Cup. He rose to prominence with a scintillating century in his debut Duleep Trophy game, the youngest player to do so (58 days behind Sachin Tendulkar).

The 18-year-old has so far smashed 961 runs in mere 9 matches at an incredible average of 56.52, which includes 5 centuries and 3 half-centuries. 

Amidst a successful World Cup campaign, Shaw was picked up by the Delhi Daredevils for INR 1.2 crore during the auction. Despite being one of the few youngest players in the squad, the Mumbai opener might be considered for the opening slot as the tournament progresses.

 

Kamlesh Nagarkoti – Kolkata Knight Riders 

Kamlesh Nagarkoti of India U19s appeals during a Youth ODI match

Mere 18 and already clocking 145 KPH!” The talented Jaipur bowler sparked awe-struck reactions on social media following India’s 100-run victory against Australia in the Under-19 World Cup opener.

Having made his debut for Rajasthan during the 2016-17 Vijay Hazare Trophy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti bagged a historic hat-trick in the final against Gujarat, first by a Rajasthan bowler in List A cricket. Furthermore, he scalped a total of 14 wickets in two Youth Tests against England later that year, which earned him the under-19 spot. 

The ferocious fast bowler will join the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Andre Russell and his Indaia U-19 team-mate Shivam Mavi in the Kolkata Knight Riders squad after being roped in by the franchise for INR 3 Crore.

D’Arcy Short – Rajasthan Royals

D’Arcy Short of Australia bats during a T20I

A sound batting technique blended with an effective stroke-playing ability could well make D’Arcy Short a nightmare for bowlers in the impending tournament. The left-handed opener walloped as many as 572 runs in 11 matches at an astronomical average of 57.20, playing for Hobart Hurricanes in the recently concluded Big Bash League.

Moreover, in 5 T20Is so far, the southpaw has managed to score 196 runs including a blistering 76 off 44 against New Zealand. Short was traded to Rajasthan Royals for a hefty INR 4 Crore after a fierce bidding war with Delhi Daredevils in the auction. He will be hoping to replicate what Shaun Marsh did for Kings XI Punjab in the opening edition of IPL.

Moeen Ali – Royal Challengers Bangalore 

Moeen Ali of England bats during a NatWest T20 International match

At his best, the English all-rounder can give the opposition a run for their money! Having started his international career originally as a pure batsman, Moeen Ali developed the art of finger spin later on.

In 109 T20s so far, the 30-year-old has scored 2139 runs backing them 11 half centuries, while he has snapped up 69 wickets at a decent average of 26.79. The RCB owners, having bought the off-spinner for INR 1.70 Crore, will look to deploy him alongside Yuzvendra Chahal in the cash-rich league. 

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