Mumbai: The Indian Premier League (IPL) has not only changed the lives of young cricketers in terms of money, but has also provided a chance for them to prove themselves on the big stage and stake a claim for entry into Team India.
The tournament has been the platform for the little-known cricketers to rise and shine and impress the Indian cricket team selectors with their performances.
The likes of Washington Sundar, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson and many more players have gone on to represent the national side after performing well in the tournament.
This year, when the players will go under the hammer on 27 and 28 January in Bengaluru, few young cricketers will look to rake in big money and then, as the tournament kicks off in April, put on a show where the world will take notice.
Here is a list of few young Indian players who will attract a huge interest from the IPL teams during the auction:
1) Krunal Pandya
This player needs no introduction, brother of star India all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Krunal has made a name for himself while playing for Mumbai Indians.
In last year’s IPL, the all-rounder scored 243 runs at an average of 34.71 and a good strike rate of 135. Krunal, who bowls left-arm spin as well took 10 wickets with an economy of 6.85 to help Mumbai win the title. The Baroda player was adjudged man-of-the-match in the final for his important knock of 47 runs of 38 balls against Rising Pune Supergiant .
With Krunal in the auction pool, franchises will go on bidding war to buy the all-round, unless Mumbai uses RTM and pays heavy price to buy him in the auction.
2) Basil Thampi
The young pacer was the find of the tournament last year. The Kerala speedster is known to bowl accurate yorkers during the death overs and this makes him an asset to any team.
He played for Gujarat Lions in the last edition and picked up 11 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 38.54.
Thampi was signed for Rs 85 lakh (a high figure for an uncapped player) in the auction last year and was called up into the Indian team for T20 match against Sri Lanka. The seamer will once again look to catch the attention of franchises.
3) Rajneesh Gurbani
The young pacer grabbed the headlines with his exploits in Vidarbha's title-winning 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season. Gurbani finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the season with 39 wickets.
The 24-year-old pacer took a hat-trick against Delhi in the first innings of the Ranji Trophy final. The Nagpur-born right-arm pacer may not have express pace, but his ability to move the ball in both the ways can be handy for any batsman. He had also appeared for a trial for the defending champions Mumbai Indians and it won't be surprising if he earns a moolah during the auction.
4) Navdeep Saini
The Delhi pacer was the standout performer for Delhi side, which reached the final of India's premier domestic competition, Ranji Trophy, after a gap of 10 years.
While he was called-up to join the Indian team as a net-bowler in South Africa, he decided to play for Delhi on bade bhaiya Gautam Gambhir's advice and wrecked havoc in the Ranji Trophy semifinal. The 25-year-old picked up 34 wickets and his match figures of 7/90 against Bengal in the semifinal helped Delhi to march into the finals.
Saini was brought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs10 lakhs in 2017 season. While he did not play a single game, the experience of training alongside the likes of Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Pat Cummins and Kagiso Rabada proved to be more than handful for the fast bowler.
5) Rahul Tripathi
The 26-year-old batsman from Maharashtra already has one season of IPL under his belt when he played for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) last season. The youngster was picked for his base price of Rs 10 lakh, which proved out to be a bargain buy for the Steve Smith-led side last season.
Tripathi was asked to open the batting for RPS and he justified his selection by scoring a total of 391 runs in 14 matches. His highest score of the season was 93 runs which he scored against Gautam Gambhir-led Kolkata Knight Riders.
Tripathi did not fall to ' only IPL wonder' phenomena and did well in the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy season, scoring 450 runs, at an average of 50 and strike rate, of 96.98, with the help of two centuries and two half-centuries.
The Baroda skipper is a right-handed middle-order batsman, who also bowls off-spin. Hooda has represented Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL and recently earned a call-up for Team India during the Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka following his impressive showings in the domestic cricket.
In his two seasons at the RR, Hooda scored 151 runs. After the team was banned for two years due to spot-fixing, SRH signed the big-hitting youngster for Rs 4.2 crores in 2016.
In the two seasons for Sunrisers, he played 27 matches and scored 222 runs, with a highest score of 54 runs,
In 41 IPL matches he has played for past four seasons, he has taken six wickets and has mostly played as a middle-order batsman....