“India ka tyohar”, TATA IPL is coming back to life this month. The fifteenth season of the most popular cricket league is going to be held from March 26 to May 29, 2022. The matches will be played in Maharashtra in venues like Wankhede, Brabourne, etc. Following last year’s covid disrupted tournament, 2 new teams have been included with a little change in the format in this year’s edition. Instead of previewing obvious names, let’s take a closer look at a few players to watch out for.
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Chennai Super Kings)
Last season’s orange cap winner, Gaikwad from Maharashtra scored 635 runs including a hundred as his side lifted the IPL trophy for the fourth time. With Du Plessis gone, Ruturaj will anchor the top order along with new recruit Devon Conway. In the recently concluded West Indies series, Ruturaj had scored just 4 runs. With several other youngsters lining up for a place in the T2o World Cup squad later this year, it is gonna be an exciting year for the 25 years old right-handed batsman.
Harshal Patel (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
From getting hit for 37 runs in the last over by Jadeja or bagging a hattrick against Mumbai Indians, Harshal Patel has seen it all in last year’s IPL. Last year’s purple cap winner, Patel was sold to RCB for a whopping 10.75 crores at the auction this year. “Purple” Patel will have the responsibility to spearhead the pace attack for the Bangalore-based franchise along with Josh Hazlewood. Patel also had a successful t2o series against West Indies, with an impressive death-over performance at the IPL, it is gonna be a litmus test for the Haryana-born bowler as he will look to cement his place in the Indian team with a solid performance this year.
Venkatesh Iyer (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Kolkata Knight Riders have introduced some of the most exciting domestic talents to the Indian Premier League in recent years. Continuing the tradition, Venkatesh Iyer is the one who caught everyone’s attention during the second phase of IPL 14 for the Kolkata-based franchise. The left-handed batsman took charge of the abysmal batting lineup of KKR last season which eventually took his team to the finals. Iyer is also honing up his skills as an All-Rounder as he is a reliable sixth bowling option. In the t2o series against West Indies, Iyer played as a floater and was known for hitting all over the park. The unseen fight with Hardik Pandya to reserve the place as the batting all-rounder for this year’s t20 world cup will keep cricket fans glued to their seats.
Devdutt Padikkal (Rajasthan Royals)
Last season’s one of the biggest finds, Devdutt Padikkal will look to recreate his form in this year’s IPL. He had finished last season with 473 runs including a hundred, thus winning the emerging player of the year award. At this year’s auction, Padikkal fetched 7.75 crores as Royals bought him. With star batters like Jos Butler, Sanju Samson in the batting lineup of the Royals, Devdutt is expected to hit some big scores as he will be in a three-head battle with Ruturaj and Ishan Kishan to be the backup opener at the t20 world cup.
Rahul Tripathi (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Rahul Tripathi’s resume will most likely include an eclectic mix of details such as math whiz, son of an army man, and the distinction of hitting six sixes in an over twice in local cricket. Known for his technical batting skills, Rahul can solve all of Sunrisers’ batting woes this year. Tripathi can play in a lot of positions, be it as an opener, in the middle order, or as the finisher. However his best comes out when he opens the innings, he has an impressive strike rate of 146 as an opener and averages a little above 28. With David Warner gone, Tripathi can look for open the innings with Kane Williamson. It is just a matter of time to see how the 2016 IPL champions utilize the services of the 31-year batsman.
Yash Dhull (Delhi Capitals)
Yash Dhull had captained his side to the U-19 World Cup win earlier this year was bought by Delhi Capitals at this year’s auction. The 19-year-old from Delhi was the highest scorer for India and also had the third-best average at the tournament. The Delhi-based franchise is known for providing platforms to youngsters, is the most suitable IPL team to nourish this young talent. In the absence of Dhawan, Dhull might even get the chance to play in the starting 11.
Devon Conway (Chennai Super Kings)
CSK fans were in tears after their beloved Faf was bought by RCB at this year’s IPL auction. The South-African was a fan favorite because of his consistent performance over the years. Netizens believe that Devon Conway, who was bought by CSK at his base price has the potential to be Faf’s replacement at the top order. Conway holds the record of averaging more than 50 in all three formats of the game. A fierce power hitter of the ball, Conway will partner Gaikwad at the top as CSK will look to defend their IPL title.
Dewald Brevis (Mumbai Indians)
Baby AB, as Brevis is known, was the highest run-getter in this year’s U19 World Cup. The South African batter, whose batting style matches that of Mr 360, was bought by the 5 times IPL champions at his base price. The supremely talented, Brevis broke the record for scoring the most runs in the above-mentioned tournament. He smashed 506 runs including 2 tons and 3 fifties and also picked up 7 wickets. Needless to say, he is surely a great addition to the batting lineup of MI that already includes the likes of, Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Pollard, etc.
Liam Livingstone (Punjab Kings)
The English all-rounder has a t20 strike rate of 158. Liam Livingstone was bought by the Punjab Kings for a whopping 11.50 crores following an intense bidding war. And the number speaks for themselves. Liam had hit a record 27 sixes in The Hundred, with 10 in one, as he ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer. The 28 years old is also a handy spinner who can bowl both right-arm leg and off-spin, with an economy of 7.12, he can bowl out a few overs in the middle overs.
Tim David (Mumbai Indians)
The Singapore-born, David boasts a blistering strike rate of 160 across all the t20 leagues he has played, PSL, BBL to name a few. Over the last year, the big-hitting Singapore-born middle-order hitter has risen to prominence at one of the fastest rates in the T20 circuit. David was the crisis man for both the Lahore Qalandars and the St. Lucia Kings in the PSL and CPL, respectively, after a great Big Bash season with the Hobart Hurricanes. In his last few PSL innings, David has bolstered his value by bowling some swashbuckling innings for Multan Sultans.
Wanindu Hasaranga (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The World’s No1 t20 bowler, the Srilankan leg spinner was picked up by RCB at this year’s IPL auction. Hasaranga is a great addition to the two times finalist, RCB. Following Chahal’s release, Hsaranga will spearhead the spin attack of the franchise. The highest wicket-taker at last year’s t2o World Cup, Hasaranga has an economy of 6.39, one of the best in the tournament.
The Indian Premier League has always been a stage for major upsets and comebacks, it is almost an unpredictable phenomenon. This tournament has witnessed some all-time greats failing to perform while the big buys succumbing to their price tag. The most awaited t20 league in the world has its season opener on March 27, with the defending champions Chennai Super Kings locking horns with 2 times champion, Kolkata Knight Riders, an exact replica of last year’s IPL final.