IPL 2022: 10 Homegrown Players To Watch
The Indian Premier League roars back to life this month. Rather than preview the obvious overseas names and local superstars, we cast our eye closer to home. We recruited the very best of Stats Perform’s Opta cricket data editors to break down one homegrown talent for each team.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) made it to the playoffs of the Indian Premier League for a seventh time during the 2021 season and their pacer Harshal Patel played a crucial role in the team’s journey. During that season of the IPL, the dynamic seamer was awarded the purple cap for his 32 wickets, the joint highest tally by a bowler in a single IPL season along with Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings, 2013).
During the IPL 2022 mega auction, a bidding war ensued between RCB and Sunrisers Hyderabad with even Chennai Super Kings interested in the paceman. RCB weren’t willing to back down though, and won his signature for a whopping ₹10.75 crores. It was the highest bid for a RCB player in the auction along with Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga
Of his 32 wickets last season, 19 were in the death overs (overs 17-20), eight more than any other bowler during that period, with his variation in pace making it tough for batters to score boundaries. He gave a boundary away only once every 6.1 balls during the death overs, the second-best rate in the IPL last season behind only Jasprit Bumrah’s rate of 8.3 (min. balls bowled 70).
To cap off his tremendous season, the 31-year-old joined an illustrious list of players to record a hat-trick and a five-wicket haul during the season.
Costing the Mumbai Indians a whopping ₹15.25 crores, Ishan Kishan was the most expensive player at the 2022 IPL Auction. The price tag certainly brings added pressure, but the 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batter is no stranger to such situations. He had a breakthrough campaign in IPL 2020, where he scored 516 runs at an average of 57.3 from 14 innings. Kishan’s average was second only to Wriddhiman Saha (71.3) among Indian batters to face at least 100 balls in IPL 2020. Kishan failed to live up to expectations in IPL 2021 though, scoring 241 runs in 10 innings, and he’ll expect more this season.
Even though Kishan has largely batted at No.4 for Mumbai, it’s in opening that his true potential lies. In IPL 2020, an injury to skipper Rohit Sharma allowed Kishan to open the batting in four games and he scored 202 runs at an average of 101 in this run. In IPL 2021, Kishan notched up scores of 50 and 84 in the only two innings that he opened.
Since 2020, he has averaged a boundary every 3.6 balls in the IPL as an opener, the best such rate for any batter. He’s scored 336 runs at an average of 112 as an opener during this run, which is 50 more than the next batter on the list (KL Rahul – 61.7).
Hitting the big shots has never been an issue for Kishan, who has smashed 40 sixes since the start of IPL 2020, the third-most by any batter behind KL Rahul (53) and Sanju Samson (43). Plus, Kishan has scored 99 runs via slogs during this span, the most by any batter. His ability to score freely and a likely chance to bat at the top of the order could potentially make him a contender for the Orange Cap in IPL 2022.
Big-hitting all-rounder Rahul Tewatia broke onto the scene in IPL 2020 when he smashed six sixes in seven deliveries to help Rajasthan Royals chase down Punjab Kings’ total of 223. Tewatia kicked on from that 53-run innings and finished the season with 255 runs from 11 innings. He was no slouch with the ball either as the leg spinner scalped 10 wickets at an economy of 7.1, the second best among all Rajasthan bowlers behind Jofra Archer. The left-hander was one of only two players that year to score 250 runs and take 10 wickets in the tournament alongside Marcus Stoinis (352 runs, 13 wickets).
Things came crashing down for Rahul Tewatia in IPL 2021. He only managed to score 155 runs at a measly average of 15.5 and finished with eight wickets. This did not prevent teams from entering a bidding war for him at the 2022 IPL auction though, as Tewatia bagged a winning bid of ₹9 crores from newcomers Gujarat Titans.
A big reason behind this is his ability to hit the big shots. Since the beginning of IPL 2020, Tewatia has smashed 23 sixes while batting at No. 4 or below, the third most by any Indian in this period.
Rahul Tewatia may not have form on his side, but he’s about to get a fresh start. More importantly, Tewatia’s set to team up with Hardik Pandya, a player he could do well to emulate. Improved guidance and the license to go for broke could play a huge role in unlocking Tewatia’s potential this upcoming season.
Lucknow Super Giants
After plying his trade in the IPL for the Punjab Kings in 2020 and 2021, Ravi Bishnoi is set to start a new chapter with newcomers Lucknow Super Giants, who drafted him for ₹4 crores. The 21-year-old has a solid track record and should be considered one of the bargain buys heading into the IPL this season.
Bishnoi shot to fame after finishing as the leading wicket taker (17) in the 2020 ICC Under-19 World Cup. From there he transitioned well into the IPL, racking up figures of 3-32 in just his second game in the tournament, before ending up with a total of 12 wickets at an average of 31.3 in IPL 2020.
It was only in the following season, though, that Bishnoi truly found his groove. The wrist-spinner focused on getting his line right in IPL 2021. He pitched 68% of his deliveries outside the off stump, the fourth-highest rate among all spinners that year (20+ overs). That proved fruitful as he scalped 11 wickets while bowling on this line., the second-most among all spinners (Varun Chakravarthy – 13).
It was against the right-handers where Bishnoi was particularly effective in IPL 2021. He bowled at an economy of 6.3 against right-handed batters in the tournament, the second-best rate among all players to have bowled at least 15 overs (beaten only by Harpreet Brar – 6.1).
He also led all spinners with at least 15 overs bowled in bowling average (16.1) and strike rate (15.4) against right-handed batters.
Ravi Bishnoi made his international debut for India in the recent series against West Indies, recording figures of 2-17 in his first T20I. With clear fundamentals and the ability to execute to plans, Bishnoi has the potential to be a mainstay in the shortest format of the game for years to come.
Chennai Super Kings
It was not the kind of debut any player would want in any sport. Chennai Super Kings were 77/3 from 8.5 overs chasing a total of 217 set by the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020. Walking in at number five for CSK was 23-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad who had been handed his debut for one of the most successful franchises in IPL history. A few minutes later Gaikwad found himself back in the dugout after a first-ball duck. Ruturaj finished the season with 204 runs from six matches and CSK for the first time did not make it to the play-offs.
During the 2021 season, Ruturaj was trusted with the opening role for CSK and this time he did not disappoint. The opener was crowned with the Orange Cap at the end of the season with 635 runs to his name and played an instrumental role in his side winning their fourth title.
What stood out about Ruturaj during the 2021 season of the IPL was his technical ability to score runs through cricketing shots, running between the wickets and his fitness levels. The Maharashtra-born cricketer scored the most fours (64) during IPL 2021 and also managed to run 26 twos (third most), showcasing his ability to keep the scoreboard ticking over in the shortest format of the game. Chennai made no mistake in securing his services for 2022: he was the fourth player to be retained before the mega auction.
There was a lot of interest in Washington Sundar during the IPL mega auction was held earlier this year with as many as five teams bidding for the bowling all-rounder. With a base price of ₹1.5 crores, the off-spinner was eventually bagged by Sunrisers Hyderabad for ₹8.75 crores.
It is no secret that Washington can come in handy with the bat as well. His stand coming in at seven with Shardul Thakur during the historic win at the Gabba during India’s tour of Australia in 2020-21 did not go unnoticed. The 22-year-old’s ability with the bat also saw him play as part of the top order for Royal Challengers Bangalore every now and then.
However, Washington’s price tag has more to do with his bowling. His pace variations and height make it difficult for batters to put away his deliveries. These qualities saw him trusted with the new ball during his time with RCB. During IPL 2020, the Chennai-born cricketer bowled 21 overs during the powerplay, the most by a spinner. Among spinners who bowled at least six overs during this period, his economy of 6.05 was the best and his dot ball percentage of 46% in these overs was second best only to Krunal Pandya. Expectations are high for Washington to deliver in 2022 and he’s a safe bet to not let his side down.
Attracting a modest winning bid of ₹50 lakhs, Yash Dhull was among the budget buys for Delhi Capitals at the 2022 IPL Auction. The 19-year-old has already captained India to Under-19 World Cup glory earlier this year. He set the tone for the tournament with a knock of 82 in India’s opener against South Africa, before hitting a brilliant 110 in the semi-final against Australia. Dhull scored a total of 229 runs at an average of 76.3, the third best average among all players at the tournament.
Highest batting averages at ICC Under 19 Men’s World Cup 2022 (min. 100 runs scored):
Player Team Innings Runs Average Strike rate Hundreds Fifties Dewald Brevis South Africa 6 506 84.3 90.2 2 3 Kevin Wickham West Indies 4 243 81 83.5 1 2 Yash Dhull India 4 229 76.3 85.4 1 1 Haseebullah Khan Pakistan 6 380 76 80.9 2 1 Teague Wyllie Australia 6 278 69.5 73.2 1 2
Yash Dhull favours the off-side whilst batting. 154 of his 229 runs in the Under-19 World Cup were scored in this region, the most by any Indian batter at the tournament. He also led India in most runs scored in the third man and point regions (27 and 44 respectively).
In fact, Dhull has a knack of attacking balls outside the off-stump. He scored 183 runs from balls pitched on this line at a strike rate of 90.6, the former stat being second-best among players from the Indian contingent (Angkrish Raghuvanshi – 214).
Yash Dhull carried his momentum from the Under-19 World Cup into the domestic circuit as well by smashing 113 in both innings (113, 113*) of his Ranji Trophy debut game for Delhi against Tamil Nadu. He scored a remarkable 479 runs at an average of 119.8 from his first three games in the tournament.
Considering his relative inexperience, Yash Dhull will be expected to fight for a place in the starting XI of Delhi Capitals and might benefit from the absence of Australian players in the opening weeks of IPL 2022. At the same time, Dhull’s sound technique with the bat, initial successes elsewhere and run of form are indicative of his potential of becoming a household name for years to come.
India have been on the lookout for a fast-bowling all-rounder for a long time. Apart from the great Kapil Dev, India have never had a fast-bowling player who can pose an equal threat with both bat and ball consistently. In recent years, apart from Hardik Pandya, players such as Vijay Shankar, Shivam Dube and most recently Venkatesh Iyer, Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar have all been tried for that position.
However, one player who can certainly fill the void is Raj Bawa. Starring with both bat and ball, he helped the Indian team create history and lift a record-extending fifth ICC U19 World Cup trophy in West Indies earlier this year. The grandson of the late Tarlochan Bawa – a member of the Indian hockey team that won gold at the 1948 London Olympics – has the potential to reach the next level.
Highest Scores for India in U19 World Cup:
Batter Runs Balls 4s 6s Strike Rate Opposition Venue Raj Bawa (2022) 162* 108 14 8 150.0 v Uganda U19 Tarouba Shikhar Dhawan (2004) 155* 138 15 1 112.3 v Scotland U19 Dhaka Shikhar Dhawan (2004) 146 136 19 2 107.6 v Sri Lanka U19 Dhaka Angkrish Raghuvanshi (2022) 144 120 22 4 120.0 v Uganda U19 Tarouba Cheteshwar Pujara (2006) 129* 146 10 1 88.4 v England U19 Colombo (RPS)
Raj had a dream run in the tournament. The son of Sukhwinder Bawa, who had coached the likes of Yuvraj Singh and VRV Singh, picked up a 4-wicket haul in their win over South Africa in India’s first game of the tournament. Raj then hit 162* in just 108 balls in their group-stage match against Uganda. This innings is the highest individual score by any Indian at the U19 World Cup, surpassing Shikhar Dhawan’s previous record of 155* from 2004.
He somehow saved his best for the final against England. He was the destroyer-in-chief for India with fiery figures of 5-31 as he ran through England’s middle order. It was the best bowling performance ever in an U19 World Cup final. In doing so, he also became only the second Indian man to hit a 150-plus score and pick up a 5-wicket haul after Kapil Dev in an ICC tournament.
Having been bought by Punjab Kings for a whopping price of ₹2 crores in the mega auctions held last month, Bawa will be aiming to impress with his all-round skills and book himself a ticket to Australia for the T20 World Cup.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders have in recent years introduced some of the most exciting domestic talent to the Indian Premier League. From batting sensation Shubman Gill to mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy, as well as pace aces Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti, several young cricketers have made a name for themselves at the Knight Riders. Continuing the tradition, it was Venkatesh Iyer who caught everyone’s attention in the second phase of IPL 14 for the Kolkata-based franchise.
The left-handed batter is largely credited with reviving the Knight Rider’s floundering campaign and catapulting them to the final of last season’s IPL. In fact, such was his impact that since his debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore on 20th September, no other batter scored more runs than the 27-year-old (370). Furthermore, only Glenn Maxwell has also registered four scores of 50+ in the tournament since Iyer’s debut and the left-hander was the only batter who registered a fifty in all three UAE venues last term.
Iyer is a true all-rounder, contributing for his side in all three departments of the game. He showed his worth as a sixth-bowling option for his side by taking three wickets at an economy rate of 8.1 in the four matches he bowled. Meanwhile, since his debut, no other fielder (exc. wicketkeepers) has been involved in more dismissals than the Indore-born star (eight – seven catches and one run-out).
Such was his performance that despite buying him for his base price of ₹20 lakhs for IPL 2021, he was retained by the Shahrukh Khan-owned franchise for ₹8 crores ahead of the mega auctions, a huge price hike.
Iyer is going from strength to strength as he looks to stake his claim as one of the most important players for his franchise and ultimately for India. If he does have a strong season with the Knight Riders just like in 2021, then he would surely have booked himself a seat on the flight to Australia for the T20 World Cup.
One of the biggest finds in the Indian Premier League over the last couple of seasons has been opener Devdutt Padikkal. Impressing with his brisk stroke play, Padikkal took IPL by storm when he started featuring for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as an opener.
Padikkal made his IPL debut in 2020 for the then Virat Kohli-led side and immediately made a huge impact by scoring 473 runs and winning the Emerging Player of the Tournament award. As part of this emergence, he became the first player in IPL history to score three 50s in his first four games in the tournament.
Most Runs in IPL (Since 2020):
Player Innings Runs Scored Strike Rate 50+ Scores 100+ Scores Lokesh Rahul 27 1296 133.7 12 1 Shikhar Dhawan 33 1205 134.2 9 2 Faf du Plessis 29 1082 139.3 10 0 Shubman Gill 31 918 118.5 6 0 Devdutt Padikkal 29 884 125.0 7 1 Virat Kohli 30 871 120.5 6 0 Mayank Agarwal 23 865 147.9 7 1
Across the last two seasons of the IPL, Padikkal has notched 884 runs in 29 matches with one 100 and six 50s at a strike rate of 125. In fact, only KL Rahul (1296), Shikhar Dhawan (1205), Faf du Plessis (1082) and Shubman Gill (918) have scored more than the 21-year-old across the last two seasons.
His most impressive knock came against Rajasthan Royals, his new IPL team, at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai last season. Padikkal set up RCB’s chase with a stellar 100 off just 51 deliveries. The elegant left-hander launched six 6s and 11 4s. He reached the century milestone with a pristine drive through extra cover for four and finished unbeaten on 101 as RCB beat RR by 10 wickets. This knock was also the fastest IPL century for an uncapped player, edging out previous record holder Paul Valthaty (52 balls, KXIP vs. CSK in 2011) by one ball.
This knock convinced the Royals to splurge ₹7.75 crores for the dynamic opener in the mega auction last month despite facing stiff competition between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. Padikkal will be one of the key players for the Jaipur-based franchise if they are to win their second IPL title since winning in the debut season.