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IPL 2022: From Tilak Varma To Ayush Badoni - Six New Indian Youngsters To Keep An Eye On

IPL 2022: From Tilak Varma To Ayush Badoni - Six New Indian Youngsters To Keep An Eye On

IPL is known to unearth young Indian talents and this edition has been no exception. Check out the new players who have impressed in IPL 2022 so far.

LSG’s Ayush Badoni and MI’s Tilak Varma impressed everyone with their batting prowess in IPL 2022.
LSG’s Ayush Badoni and MI’s Tilak Varma impressed everyone with their batting prowess in IPL 2022. BCCI-IPL

The Indian Premier League is a stage where cricketing talents meet opportunities. For over 14 years, the tournament has tried to bridge the gap between overseas internationals, the national players and the domestic stars. The improvement of various Indian players is a testimony to how successful has been the vision of the BCCI with the introduction of IPL in 2008.

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Every year, new players arrive at the cash-rich T20 league, some with reputation while some with no baggage of pressure. Many fail, many surprise and many live up to the expectations. IPL 2022 has already seen a clutch of youngsters who have shown the potential to strike it big. 

This story comes with a disclaimer. IPL has seen several youngsters who started with a bang to fade out completely. Since IPL has helped produce a stream of talented players for Indian cricket, we think that the following will serve Indian cricket well in the future.

Tilak Varma (Mumbai Indians, INR 1.7 crore)

The 19-year-old southpaw scored just 22 off 15 balls in his maiden IPL game for Mumbai Indians, but his knock hinted a lot about his strokeplay skills. Son of an electrician, Tilak Varma meant only business as he scored a handsome 61 off 33 in just his second match. The innings was laced with three fours and five sixes. Later, Varma also scored 36 off 20 balls against Punjab Kings.

Tilak Varma impressed everyone with his 33-ball 61 against Rajasthan Royals in an IPL 2022 match.
Tilak Varma impressed everyone with his 33-ball 61 against Rajasthan Royals in an IPL 2022 match. PTI

Given that Tilak Varma’s father could not manage his expenses, his coach Salam Bayash took care of the needs of the boy. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tilak’s family was among the many in India that suffered financial problems. However, the boy kept fighting against all odds and the final results saw him getting picked by Mumbai Indians for a whopping sum of INR 1.7 crore.

Tilak made his First-Class debut for Hyderabad in 2018. He was also a part of India's U-19 squad that ended as runner-up in the 2020 ICC U-19 World Cup. Varma has played 16 List A matches scoring 784 runs and 20 T20s scoring 538 runs.

Abhinav Manohar (Gujarat Titans, INR 2.6 crore)

In the Lucknow Super Giants vs Gujarat Titans match, GT needed 20 off the final 12 balls when 27-year-old Abhinav Manohar hit Dushmantha Chameera for a four. Later, GT needed 11 off 6 balls and Manohar, cool as a cucumber, killed the game with two back-to-back fours at the start of the over as if it was a daily affair for him.

If word-of-mouth can be trusted, Abhinav Manohar is a ‘beast’ in slog overs. His fledgling T20 career boasts of a strike rate of over 150. He had finished the 2021-22 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with 162 runs across four innings at a strike rate of 150.

Gujarat Titans' Abhinav Manohar hits a six against Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2022.
Gujarat Titans' Abhinav Manohar hits a six against Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2022. BCCI-IPL

"Manohar is someone to look at with the talent he has. He is someone who you are going to hear about in the future," said Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya after the game. In his most recent innings for GT, Manohar contributed with a 21-ball 35.

Manohar, who hails from Karnataka, is the second player from his family to play professional cricket. His cousin Sharanya Sadarangani represents the German women’s national team.

The Karnataka batsman wasn’t serious with his cricket at the beginning until his father suffered financial loss in business. This saw the teenager turning his hobby of playing cricket into passion.

Vaibhav Arora (Punjab Kings, INR 2 crore)

The 24-year-old pacer duly impressed in his maiden IPL game for Punjab Kings on April 3 against Chennai Super Kings with figures of 2/21 in four overs. Vaibhav Arora bowled 14 dot balls and his wickets included Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali. What makes him special is the ability to swing the ball both ways.

“Wherever we’ve played, I’ve always bowled well with the new ball, swung it both ways. So there was confidence. I reaped the result of that confidence," said Arora after the match that PBKS won by 54 runs.

Punjab Kings' Vaibhav Arora celebrates after dismissing CSK's Robin Uthappa in an IPL 2022 game.
Punjab Kings' Vaibhav Arora celebrates after dismissing CSK's Robin Uthappa in an IPL 2022 game. BCCI-IPL

Playing for Himachal Pradesh, Vaibhav made his First-Class debut in 2019. Meanwhile, he played his maiden T20 game two years later. Vaibhav, who was also a part of Kolkata Knight Riders camp in IPL 2021, had once decided to quit cricket after his father suffered a huge loss in his dairy business in Ambala, Haryana. However, it was coach Ravi Verma who provided Vaibhav financial help to keep playing cricket and the result is for everyone to see.

Suyash Prabhudessai (RCB, INR 30 Lakh)

The batting all-rounder from Goa is a proper 360-degree player. Suyash Prabhudessai showcased his range of shots in his maiden IPL game on April 12 for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Against Chennai Super Kings, Prabhudessai scored 34 runs off 18 balls with the help of five fours and a six. He displayed an array of strokes -- reverse-sweep, slog-sweep, scoop shot -- and scored runs from almost every nook and cranny of Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium on Tuesday night.

Suyash Prabhudessai's 18-ball 34 against Chennai Super Kings was studded with five fours and a six.
Suyash Prabhudessai's 18-ball 34 against Chennai Super Kings was studded with five fours and a six. PTI

Suyash Prabhudessai's strike rate in T20s is over 150 and he lived up to the expectations in his first IPL game. Notably, Prabhudessai was also picked by RCB back in 2021 IPL auction but he didn’t get to play any match.

Meanwhile, Suyash Prabhudessai also impressed with his fielding ability when he ran out Moeen Ali after a brilliant show at backward square leg.

Prabhudessai has been a consistent performer for Goa in domestic circuit. He has played 19 First-Class games scoring 1,158 runs at an average of almost 43. He has also featured in 34 List A matches and scored 787 runs. Apart from contributing with the bat, Prabhudessai is a right-arm medium-fast bowler.

Kuldeep Sen (Rajasthan Royals, INR 20 lakh)

The 25-year-old right-arm pacer from Madhya Pradesh returned 1/35 in his maiden IPL game. But, ladies and gentlemen, this is cricket and it is well beyond the arena of stats. Sen was playing only his first IPL game against Lucknow Super Giants, but Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson didn’t think twice before handing the ball to him to defend 15 runs in the final over against a batsman of Marcus Stoinis’ stature.

Rajasthan Royals pacer Kuldeep Sen impressed everyone in final over against LSG in an IPL 2022 tie.
Rajasthan Royals pacer Kuldeep Sen impressed everyone in the final over against LSG in an IPL 2022 tie. Twitter (IPL)

The fast bowler bowled three consecutive dot balls to Stoinis and later produced one edge off the Aussie's bat to show what he was capable of. Given that the edge flew for a boundary, Sen conceded 11 off the over but even this was enough for him to help his side win the game.

Kuldeep Sen is the son of a barber, who not only takes pride of his work but now has more to cheer about. The pacer, who made his domestic debut for Madhya Pradesh in 2018, picked up four wickets across five games at an economy rate of 7.75 in the 2021-22 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He has played 16 First-Class games and claimed 44 wickets, while in 19 T20s he has taken 13 wickets.

Ayush Badoni (Lucknow Super Giants, INR 30 Lakh)

The unheralded 22-year-old set the IPL stage on fire with his 54 off 41 balls in Lucknow Super Giants’ maiden IPL game. It was also Badoni's first game at the marquee event. Hailing from Delhi, Ayush Badoni got limited chances at the domestic and Under-19 level, but his talent was clear when he batted LSG out of hot water in the game vs Gujarat Titans on March 28.

Ayush Badoni set the IPL 2022 stage on fire with an unbeaten 50 on his Lucknow Super Giants debut.
Ayush Badoni (R) set the IPL 2022 stage on fire with an unbeaten fifty on his Lucknow Super Giants debut. BCCI-IPL

Badoni displayed a superb range of shots and despite his lean build, found the boundaries quite easily. He carried on his form scoring 19 not out off 9 and 19 off 12 in the following games.

"I am grateful as Lucknow picked me, and now I need to perform and make my team win, I will try my best," said the right-handed batsman after his IPL debut.

"Gautam (Gambhir) Bhaiya has backed me a lot and he just advised me one thing, to play my natural game and play the ball, not the bowler," Badoni, who can also bowl off-spin, added.

Badoni comes from a middle-class family. His father is a documentary filmmaker and mother a teacher. He doesn’t have a fascinating domestic record as he barely got chances to play for his home side Delhi. Ayush Badoni made his debut for Delhi in January 2021 in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and scored just 8 runs in his only game.

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