The IPL II has finally found an answer to the query: Where are the young guns? A few young Indians are now on the move and their advent has been telling.
First, there was Abhishek Raut, who was sent in at number seven against the Deccan Chargers on Saturday. The cause was all but lost as the Royals had lost three of their top order batsmen cheaply. But Raut stayed steadfast and coolly guided his team home. It was a nerve-wracking match but Raut didn't flinch. He has just two first-class games for Maharashtra but more would be heard of him in the future.
There were two untested names who came out of nowhere for the Chennai Super Kings. Sudeep Tyagi picked two of Delhi’s best off successive balls-removing Gautam Gambhir and then bowling AB de Villiers with a peach of a delivery. The two blows had the biggest impact on Delhi.
But Tyagi wasn't the only one. Chennai also had a star in left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati who picked up four wickets, including the key ones of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Robert Warner and Dinesh Karthik. Jakati, the man-of-the-match, changed his pace and length intelligently. Untested youngsters had finally entered the public consciousness.
One is still waiting for Abhishek Nayyar, Swapnil Asnodkar, Wriddhiman Saha and Ashoke Dinda to come good. So it is with the likes of Dhawal Kulkarni and Shikhar Dhawan. Manpreet Gony is another who has fallen by the wayside. Kamran Khan is battling allegations of a dodgy bowling action. Their return is much awaited.
IPL can fast track a few careers so it remains to be seen if these young men are alive to the opportunity. They have the stage and the audience to make an impression. TCM