IPL IS THE BIG STAGE FOR UNKNOWN TALENTS TO EMERGE
It never fails. Year after year the IPL is the big stage for unknown talents to emerge. Sure the big names, the established stars might walk away with the Purple or Orange Cap at the end of it all but along the way players who are little known outside their state or region suddenly become household names at least for the duration of the tournament as they play significant roles in their franchisees performing admirably. Of course there have been those who have also gone on to achieve bigger things.
Take Devdutt Padikkal for instance. The 20-year-old Kerala born was a relatively unknown name when the tournament started. After five matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore he has become the opening batsman to watch. The left hander has already got three half centuries and his enterprising batting is one of the reasons why RCB is enjoying a rather successful run. Starting off with 56 off 42 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad he then proceeded to hammer 54 off 40 balls against Mumbai Indians. Even better was his 63 off 45 balls against Rajasthan Royals which laid the foundation for an eight-wicket victory. Interestingly RCB won all these three games underlining the value of Padikkal’s contributions.
Padikkal has played for India A and India-under 19 and has represented Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy with modest returns. Right now though he has the spotlight firmly turned on him thanks to his no-holds barred adventurous approach.
Another relatively unknown who has suddenly become a most talked about cricketer is Rahul Tewatia. At 27 he is not exactly a newcomer having made his first class debut for Haryana in 2013 and in fact has played in the IPL for Delhi and Punjab. This year he is representing Rajasthan Royals and while impressing with his leg spinners which brought him three for 37 against Chennai Super Kings it is his naturally aggressive batting that has seen him become the cynosure. He pulled off some breathtaking hits while taking five sixes in an over from Sheldon Cottrell in the game against King’s XI. In all the left hander hit seven sixes in his 31-ball 53 playing no small part in his team overhauling an imposing target of 224 with three balls to spare. Indeed Tewatia seems to specialize in hitting the ball hard, high and handsomely for during his unbeaten 24 off 12 balls against RCB a few days later he hit three sixes. So far he has faced 67 balls in five matches and has hit eleven of them for the maximum.
These are early days yet and more such relatively little known players are bound to make their presence felt in the coming weeks.
Partab Ramchand is a veteran sports journalist, the views expressed here are personal.
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