With this season’s IPL campaign almost done, the thoughts of the country’s cricket fans are already turning towards the future.
The domestic T20 showpiece will draw to a conclusion on Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, where the 2023 winners will be crowned.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a tournament, with some big names failing to shine while other, lesser-known players have well and truly stepped into the spotlight.
As the IPL draws to a close, here we look at which of this year’s uncapped players have staked a claim to eventually be called up to the India national cricket team.
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1. Yashasvi Jaiswal
Although the Rajasthan Royals had a disappointing end to their IPL 2023 campaign, their 21-year-old opener Yashasvi Jaiswal left an indelible mark on the season. The left-hander scored a record 625 runs for an uncapped player, at a strike rate of 163.61, and topped the charts for the highest number of runs (361) in the Powerplay this season.
Jaiswal was unstoppable as he smashed the fastest fifty in the history of the IPL in just 13 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders. In the same match, he took on KKR skipper Nitish Rana and scored 26 runs in what turned out to be the second most expensive first over in IPL history.
2. Rinku Singh
After his outlandish five sixes in the last over in KKR’s chase against the Gujarat Titans, Rinku Singh became a household name in the country. A success story like no other, Singh was bought by KKR in the 2023 auction for just Rs 55 lakh.
His stocks have rocketed after a phenomenal season where he scored 475 runs at a strike rate of 149.52 and almost single-handedly carried KKR’s batting line-up.
3. Tilak Varma
Last year, Tilak Varma was in red-hot form and was Mumbai Indians’ second-highest run-getter (397). He carried that form into IPL 2023 and put up a batting masterclass of 84 not out in MI’s opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore. He followed it up with multiple quickfire innings, but was later out for four games with an injury before returning to help MI’s playoff bid.
4. Jitesh Sharma
With a strike rate of 156.06, Jitesh Sharma scored 309 runs for the Punjab Kings in IPL 2023 in what turned out to be a breakout season for the young batter. A fierce power-hitter, Sharma scored most of these runs while batting number five or lower, which impressed experts and fans alike.
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5. Rahul Tewatia
Who can forget Rahul Tewatia’s chase for RR in 2020, when he hit five sixes in the 18th over against the Punjab Kings and turned the game for Rajasthan? Since then, ‘Iceman’ Tewatia has played the role of a dependable finisher for both RR and Gujarat Titans. His ability to produce with bat and ball makes him a valuable asset to the team.
6. Nehal Wadhera
Who would have believed that MI’s middle-order batsman Nehal Wadhera had not played a single T20 game before IPL 2023? He showed glimpses of his potential when he scored a 21-ball 40 and a 51-ball 64 against the Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings respectively. Although MI lost both games, Wadhera’s innings were just a sign of what was to come.
He announced his arrival with an unbeaten 52 (34) against RCB when he put up a 140-run partnership with Suryakumar Yadav that helped the Indians chase down a 200 total.
7. Yash Thakur
A key bowler in the domestic circuit in India, Yash Thakur came into the IPL 2023 with 15 wickets to his name from the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. In this season of the IPL 2023, he showed his calibre as a death bowler for the Lucknow Super Giants and picked up 13 wickets in nine games with an economy rate of 9.07.
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8. Akash Madhwal
Mumbai Indians were left with a gaping hole in their bowling attack when both Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer were ruled out of this season of the IPL 2023. But Akash Madhwal filled that void in spectacular fashion in the Eliminator against the Lucknow Super Giants. The young fast bowler took five wickets in just 3.3 overs and gave away mere five runs to guide MI to victory. Four years ago, Madhwal hadn’t even played with a red ball and this
year he has picked up 13 wickets in just seven games. Truly phenomenal!
9. Prabhsimran Singh
Want a century on a pitch where no batsman is able to cross the 20-run mark? Bring in the Punjab Kings’ star top-order batter Prabhsimran Singh. The 22-year-old wicket-keeper was a critical member of Punjab’s batting line-up and amassed 358 runs at a strike rate of 150.42. His 103 score against Delhi Capitals helped PBKS cruise to victory.
10. Tushar Deshpande
Tushar Deshpande got the chance to play under MS Dhoni for a successful franchise like Chennai Super Kings and oh boy, did he turn that into gold! Even though he was expensive in some games, Deshpande has picked up 21 wickets in 15 matches heading into the final and also provided several key breakthroughs for CSK.
11. Mohsin Khan
Mohsin Khan staged a scintillating comeback for the Lucknow Super Giants by defending 11 runs in the last over against Mumbai Indians following an unfortunate shoulder injury he suffered last year. His debut season was in 2022 when he picked up 14 wickets at an economy of 5.97. His death bowling tactics make him a huge asset for the Lucknow Super Giants.