Indian Premier League 2015
Five names to watch out for in IPL 8
With the Indian Premier League fast approaching, here are some of the up and coming stars worth keeping an eye on
7 April 2015, 12:23 PM AEST
The eighth edition of the Indian Premier League kicks off from Wednesday so let’s look at some of the lesser known Indian players with the potential to catapult to fame in the big-ticket league over the next few years.
KC Cariappa, Kolkata Knight Riders:
The Knight Riders picked up Sunil Narine some seasons ago and he went on to become instrumental in helping them win two IPL titles in three years. The management seem to be rolling a similar dice with the 20-year-old Konganda Charamanna Cariappa, who is yet to play even at the domestic level. Having played no first class, List A or T20 matches before now the IPL 8 auction itself was the first time Cariappa had entered the public eye.
For a player who had previously only featured in a state-level T20 competition - the Karnataka Premier League - the interest he incited during the auction was mind-boggling. Two teams, the Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders went hammer and tongs in a bid to purchase him and as a result he was finally purchased for a whopping Rs.2.4 crore (AUD 480,000).
Recent reports suggests Cariappa bowls leg-spin but can also change to off-breaks without a perceptible change in grip or action. This should make his battles against the likes of Glenn Maxwell, David Warner and AB de Villiers quite interesting given their ability to switch grips and reverse slog sweep.
Kuldeep Yadav, Kolkata Knight Riders:
He is a left-arm, wrist-spin bowler. He plays for the Knight Riders. No surprises there given Kolkata’s propensity for unconventional spinners – the side also having secured the services of the Perth Scorchers’ Brad Hogg.
Hailing from the small village off Unnao, the signing continues the recent trend of picking players from India’s lesser known corners – further heightening the excitement around the 20-year-old.
Yadav featured in the last edition of the Champions League T20 after being picked by the Knight Riders for the 2014 IPL and not playing a single game. He featured in five matches and picked up six wickets at 25, elevating him to the side’s number two wicket-takers spot the tournament.
He went on to feature in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament for Uttar Pradesh in the lead-up to this year’s IPL and picked up eight wickets at 13.5 in those games. With Sunil Narine struggling with his bowling action, Yadav’s chances of making the playing XI more regularly this season look bright.
Kuldeep Yadav may prove the break-out star of this year's IPL // BCCI
Kedar Jadhav, Delhi Daredevils:
At 30, Kedar Jadhav is no spring chicken, but his domestic record makes for impressive reading. Not only does he average 47 in first-class and List A cricket, but he also strikes at 105 in the 50-over game and almost 140 in T20s.
It comes as no surprise then that Jadhav has been knocking on the door of India team selection for some time now and even played an ODI against Sri Lanka late last year when some of the regulars were resting. While he failed to grab that opportunity by the scruff of its neck - he got out for 20 - another good season in the IPL will keep him in the selection loop.
Where Jadhav could be of immense help to his IPL side is in the middle-order, where the Daredevils are in need of consistent runs. The main focus will be on Yuvraj Singh, but the World Cup-winning stalwart will also need someone to bat around him during the IPL and Jadhav could be one such man.
Jadhav will be relied upon for mid-innings runs in IPL 8 // Getty Images
Naman Ojha, Sunrisers Hyderabad:
MS Dhoni’s retirement from one form of the game opens up a keeper’s slot in the Indian Test match line-up. Over the next few years, Dhoni could also be seen taking more breaks from the limited-overs format to be able to prolong his career, possibly until the next World Cup, and therein lies a chance for an understudy.
While Wriddhiman Saha was his replacement in the first and the final Test of the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia, there was one other wicket-keeper on tour for the opening Test - Naman Ojha.
Ojha was flown in as a back-up for Saha after Dhoni had withdrawn from the opening Test match and his selection was more to do with his batting form than anything else. He hit two centuries and a double ton against Australia A away from home and smashed another double-hundred in the domestic first-class tournament to capture the selectors’ eyes.
Now he gets a bigger stage - in terms of eyeballs - to set the record clear and possibly bat himself into ODI contention for India as he dons the gloves for the Sunrisers.
Naman Ohja has shown skill on wickets around the world // Getty Images
Karanveer Singh, Kings XI Punjab:
He is 27 and has played in just nine first-class matches, having made his debut only in 2012. The Chandigarh-born Karanveer Singh has made up for lost time recently however, going from strength to strength in this format of the game.
The leg-spinner made his Twenty20 debut in a domestic T20 game for Himachal Pradesh in 2014 and conceded 13 from the only over he bowled. Having received an IPL contract, he went on to feature in five games in 2014 and did enough to prove his worth in those encounters.
His 11 wickets at 14.9 won him a berth in the 15-man Kings XI Punjab for the Champions League T20 later that season – despite those wickets coming at a slightly expensive economy-rate of 8.2. He played in all of Punjab’s five games that tournament and ended with six wickets at 19.5 and looks set to play a key role in his side’s IPL 8 chances, alongside fellow spinner Axar Patel.
Coach Sanjay Bangar and captain George Bailey both come from the mould of leadership that nurtures young talent and will encourage players to express themselves rather than curb their natural instincts. As a leg-spinner, having your captain on your side is an important element in your development and Karanveer will go into this year’s IPL with that advantage.
Karanveer Singh was a big surprise for Kings XI Punjab last year // BCCI
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