Paul Valthaty, Kamran Khan and Swapnil Asnodkar. All three were domestic cricketers who burst onto India's cricketing consciousness thanks to some superlative performances in the IPL. But they turned out to be one-season wonders.
Indian Premier League’s fifth edition has once again brought some unknown cricketers into the spotlight. Whether they can fulfil their potential or not is a question for the future to answer. But for now, as a cricketing nation, we should celebrate their talent and hope they improve with time.
Here are some of the India’s domestic talent unearthed in IPL V:
Not the youngest of the lot, but he forces his way into this list due to his match-winning performance in the IPL final. By not letting a big stage like the IPL final overwhelm him, this 27-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman proved that he has the right temperament. He got limited opportunities this year, but made the most of them. In the seven games he played, Bisla scored 213 runs at an average of 30.42 and a strike rate of 133.12.
Another late bloomer, this 28-year-old off-spinner hasn’t played too many domestic games. He made his first-class debut for Haryana in 2010, but didn’t set the stage on fire. Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid showed faith in him and he repaid it against the Pune Warriors with IPL V only hat-trick, claiming the wickets of Jesse Ryder, Sourav Ganguly and Robin Uthappa. His tally of 5 wickets from 4 matches at an average of 17.20 and an economy rate of 6.14 means he’s still not been really tested. Chandila, like R Ashwin uses his height well and relies on his accuracy more the ability to spin the ball.
This 21-year-old is yet to make his Ranji debut. But when a cricketing brain like former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist picks a player out as a future international, then he must have some potential. He came into the limelight after his match-winning 29 off 12 balls against Deccan Chargers. Gurkeerat got his IPL break on the back of a great season in the U-22 CK Nayudu Trophy where he scored 490 runs in five games.
He may be one to keep an eye on, but for now the youngster is just keen to make his first class debut.
The 25-year-old Kolkata Knight Riders batsman may not have scored too many runs, but what was impressive was his ability to deal with pressure. He usually came to the crease with his team in dire straits and that he still managed an average of 42 and a strike rate of 135 for his 126 runs this season is commendable. Being 25, time may be against him and the next year will determine whether he can graduate to the next level or not.
This Delhi pacer has been in good form. Having taken 57 wickets in the domestic circuit last season, he also finished as Kings XI Punjab’s leading wicket-taker in IPL V with 17 scalps. ‘Lady luck’ has also smiled on him as he has now found his way into the India ‘A’ squad. The experience of bowling in the West Indies will hopefully add to his repertoire.
He’s the ‘Rising star of IPL 2012’. Though this Kings XI Punjab middle-order batsman failed to capitalise on any of his starts to make a big score, he’s shown enough talent to catch the eyes of the powers-that-be. The fact that he outscored the likes of Shaun Marsh and David Hussey should surely count for something. He was the team’s leading scorer with 432 runs at an average of 27 and being 20, he’s sure to improve with time.
One of the many left-arm spinners on display during IPL V, Nadeem stood out due to his control. His haul of eight wickets from the 12 games may not look impressive. But it is put in perspective, once you take into account the fact that he went wicketless in his last four matches. Being 22 years old, he still has time on his side.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar may be only 21 years old, but he’s already a veteran on the domestic circuit. He has played five first class seasons for Uttar Pradesh. Known more for his line and length than pace, Bhuvneshwar didn't have had a breakthrough IPL season. But having taken 8 wickets from 11 innings, he was one of the bright spots for the Pune Warriors team. he is part of the India 'A' squad and with proper groomin could be a good back-up for Team India's pacers.
Of course, the pacer has another claim to fame. During he 2008-09 season, as an 18-year-old playing only his 11th first class game, Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed ‘God of cricket’ Sachin Tendulkar on his very first ball. It was a record since it was Tendulkar's first golden duck in first class cricket.