Ah, the majestic platform of the Indian Premier League!
Ever since its inception way back in 2008, the IPL has been a star-studded tournament that produces enough eye-widening cricketing action, excitement and thrill to make you jump out of your seats. And the glory of this tournament would be incomplete without the uncapped players who come out all guns blazing to showcase their skills and capabilities, with the sole intention of elevating their careers to whole new heights.
Every year, there are some uncapped players who prove their mettle by competing with some of the biggest names the sport has to offer. Last year, we saw uncapped players like Mayank Markande, Siddarth Kaul and Nitish Rana, to name a few, who rose to the occasion with their self-belief and some exquisite performances.
Some uncapped players created a lot of buzz among franchises wielding heavy wallets at the IPL 2019 auctions. Amidst some heavy price calls and bidding, there were a number of uncapped players who were selected this year, and who are now looking forward to showcase their talents from March 23 onwards.
In this piece, we look at 5 Indian IPL debutants to watch out for.
#1 Prayas Ray Barman (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Sharing the dressing room with Virat Kohli has always been the dream of the 16-year-old leg-spinner hailing from Durgapur, West Bengal. And this IPL season, his dream is about to come true.
The 6'1'' tall leg-spinner attracted plenty of demand in the auctions. With a base price of Rs. 20 lakh, he was purchased at 7.5 times his base price by the RCB management, for a whopping amount of Rs. 1.5 crore.
Barman garnered attention at the Vijay Hazare Trophy last year where emerged as the highest wicket-taker for West Bengal in the tournament, picking up 11 wickets in 9 games at an outstanding economy of 4.45.
#2 Anmolpreet Singh (Mumbai Indians)
Well-known for being a fine technician of the blade, the 20-year-old right-handed batsman was hired by the Mumbai Indians for Rs. 80 lakh. He has delivered some outstanding performances for his domestic team Punjab over the years.
Anmolpreet was named in India's squad for the 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup. He was the leading run-scorer for Punjab in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy, where he registered 753 runs in five matches.
His consistent performances in the Deodhar Trophy 2018-19 resulted in his call-up to the India A limited-overs squad for their tour of New Zealand. Although he doesn't have a lot of T20 exposure so far, he has a fantastic record in both first-class and List A cricket.
With 3 tons, 1 double ton and 4 fifties in 14 first class games and 2 tons in List A cricket, Anmolpreet seems to have a drive to deliver. He has a great opportunity with MI this year to show the world what he has got.
#3 Shivam Dube (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The 25-year-old hailing from Mumbai was highly sought-after in the auctions. A number of franchises had their sights set on acquiring the services of the medium-pace all-rounder but it was RCB who won the battle of bids to hire him for a staggering sum of Rs. 5 crore.
The tall lad from Mumbai has been earning waves of praises for his domestic exploits lately. He had a splendid Ranji Trophy season for Maharashtra where he not only amassed 489 runs but also scalped 17 crucial wickets.
For someone who can hit huge sixes and provide the team with crucial breakthroughs, a handsome IPL contract was always on the cards. The talented lad has garnered a lot of attention and it will be interesting to see how he fares in the IPL this year.
#4 Prabhsimran Singh (Kings XI Punjab)
The wicket-keeper batsman from Patiala, Punjab was the captain of the India U-19 team in the Asia Cup held in Bangladesh last year. The 18-year-old got noticed by the franchises with some terrific innings in the U19 Asia Cup and local U-23 tournament against Amritsar, where he scored 298 runs in 301 deliveries with 29 fours and 13 sixes.
He registered 549 runs for Punjab in the 2017-18 Cooch Behar Trophy too, with 3 centuries.
The auctions saw that the Kings XI Punjab look determined to hire him, and they did so by taking out a whopping sum of Rs. 4.8 crore from their purse.
Known for striking the ball cleanly, the Punjab wicket-keeper was recently named among the top five U-19 wicket-keepers to be a part of National Cricket Academy's wicketkeepeing camp in Bangalore, under the tutelage of Kiran More.
#5 Varun Chakravarty (Kings XI Punjab)
Earning the reputation of being a mystery spinner in the 2018 TNPL while playing for Madurai Panthers, where he bagged 9 wickets at an impressive economy of 4.7, Varun Chakravarty's rise to prominence has been a outstanding story. With a number of variations in his arsenal, Varun has been extremely difficult for batsmen to read and face.
Hired by the KXIP for a eye-popping amount of Rs. 8.4 crore, Varun was the costliest uncapped buy in the 2019 auctions. After a terrific TNPL stint last year, the mystery spinner made his List A debut in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in September 18 where he emerged as the highest wicket-taker for Tamil Nadu with 22 dismissals in only nine matches.
From his base price of Rs. 20 lakh, Varun got hired for 42 times his base value. KXIP have shown a lot of trust in him, and it will be interesting to see if he repays that faith.