Sankalp Srivastava picks an XI made up of the best uncapped players in the 2020 Indian Premier League.
Yet another season of the Indian Premier League came to a close and along with the usual suspects, quite a few uncapped Indian stars hogged the limelight too.
Every season of the IPL brings supremely talented Indian uncapped players to the world’s attention and the 13th edition of it wasn’t any different in this aspect. The bowlers, this time, put their hands up, leaving the young contingent of Indian batsmen behind by quite a distance, which is apparent in the following bowling-heavy XI as well.
Every franchise but Delhi Capitals have at least one representative in this team.
Ruturaj Gaikwad (CSK)
6 matches, 204 runs @ 51.00, SR: 120.71, HS: 72
Sidelined after early disappointment, Gaikwad showed his spark after being reinstated into the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) XI, finishing the season with three consecutive half-centuries at the top of the order. While he might have to wait a little longer than some other players on this list for an India call-up might, the 23-year-old has certainly booked his spot in the CSK XI for the next season, at the very least.
Devdutt Padikkal (RCB)
15 matches, 473 runs @ 31.53, SR: 124.80, HS: 74
The emerging player of the tournament, Padikkal finished as Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) top run-getter, ahead of the duo of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. The 20-year-old left-hand opener even attracted praise from Sourav Ganguly, the BCCI president and the greatest left-hand batsman India have ever had. “He’s got talent and time when he plays fast bowling. Let him go through a couple of seasons because the second season will be a lot harder. India want openers so hopefully, he will get his game right at the top level,” Ganguly told India Today. An uncapped player as of now but that India cap might not be too far away for Padikkal.
Devdutt Padikkal has been named the Emerging Player of #IPL2020
In his debut season, he scored 473 runs with five fifties. pic.twitter.com/aAWqh5vQgZ
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) November 10, 2020
Suryakumar Yadav (MI)
16 matches, 480 runs @ 40.00, SR: 145.01, HS: 79*
The Mumbai Indians batsman will not be happy to see himself in this XI and not in the India white-ball teams for the Australia tour. Yadav didn’t put a foot wrong in the tournament, ticking all the boxes and even sacrificing his wicket for captain Rohit Sharma in the final. One of the three MI batsmen to cross the 400-run mark in IPL 2020, he is possibly the uncapped contender closest to breaking into the India side among the batsmen in this XI.
Ishan Kishan (MI)
14 matches, 516 runs @ 57.33, SR: 145.76, HS: 99
The wicketkeeper-batsman’s breakthrough season in the IPL. He finished as the top-scorer of an MI team filled with cricketing superstars to the brim. Kishan’s attacking intent stood out – he hit the most sixes in IPL 2020 with 30 maximums – irrespective of his position in the batting order and didn’t let his side rue the absence of Rohit Sharma. Kishan saved his best for the second half of the tournament, scoring three of his four half-centuries in his last seven matches.
Abdul Samad (SRH)
12 matches, 111 runs @ 22.20, SR: 170.76, HS: 33
Only Kieron Pollard, Jofra Archer, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja scored at a better rate than Samad in IPL 2020. Batting predominantly in the lower middle order, the 18-year-old faced just 65 balls in the tournament but still made his mark. His best performance came in the crunch Qualifier 2, where his 16-ball 33 from No.6 took SRH close to DC’s total, only to ultimately fall short by 17 runs which was largely down to top-order’s failure.
Rahul Tewatia (RR)
14 matches, 10 wickets @ 32.60, Economy: 7.08; 255 runs @ 42.50, SR: 139.34, HS: 53
The star of the first half of IPL 2020, Tewatia helped Rajasthan Royals complete two seemingly impossible chases – first against Kings XI Punjab and then Sunrisers Hyderabad. Though he couldn’t quite carry on in the same vein as the tournament progressed, he finished as one of the only two players with the double of 200 runs and 10 wickets this season alongside Marcus Stoinis.
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) October 17, 2020
Ravi Bishnoi (KXIP)
14 matches, 12 wickets @ 31.33, Economy: 7.37
The 20-year-old leg-spinner impressed in his maiden IPL season, finishing as Kings XI Punjab’s second-highest wicket-taker after Mohammed Shami. His 12 wickets included the prized scalps of Aaron Finch, David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya.
Arshdeep Singh (KXIP)
8 matches, 9 wickets @ 24.22, Economy: 8.77
Though the left-arm fast bowler wasn’t a constant feature in the KXIP XI, he still managed to leave an impression. His best performance came against Sunrisers where he bowled two of the last three overs with SRH needing just 20 runs with six wickets in hand, and conceded just four runs off them while taking three wickets to turn the match on its head. This was the 21-year-old’s second IPL season and the fact that India are short on left-arm quicks might work in his favour in the future.
Varun Chakravarthy (KKR)
13 matches, 17 wickets @ 20.94, Economy: 6.84
A season of mixed emotions for Varun Chakravarthy. The mystery spinner’s superlative IPL 2020 performances, which include a five-wicket haul, earned him a maiden call-up to the India T20I side for the Australia tour, but a shoulder injury shattered his dreams. At 29 years of age, he might still have another shot at India selection with the T20 World Cup coming up next year but he needs to remain consistent with his performances in the next IPL season.
T Natarajan (SRH)
16 matches, 16 wickets @ 31.50, Economy: 8.02
Chakravarthy’s loss was Natarajan’s gain. SRH’s death-over specialist, Natarajan bowled a mind-boggling 71 yorkers in IPL 2020. To put things into perspective, the second-most yorkers were bowled by Kartik Tyagi, 28. The prospect of having him and Jasprit Bumrah bowl in tandem at the death for India is a tasty one. He’ll also hope that this is his last appearance in an ‘uncapped XI’.
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) November 9, 2020
Kartik Tyagi (RR)
10 matches, 9 wickets @ 40.77, Economy: 9.61
Let that economy take nothing away from Kartik Tyagi, who bowled mostly in the death and against the toughest batsmen. Bowling consistently at over 140 kph, hitting the deck with a neat action and with a venomous yorker up his sleeve, he dismissed the likes of Virat Kohli, Jonny Bairstow, Shane Watson, Shreyas Iyer, Shimron Hetmyer, Quinton de Kock, Andre Russell and Ishan Kishan this season. Tyagi is also one of the two additional bowlers who will travel with the Indian contingent to Australia along with Ishan Porel.