Since the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008, the world of cricket has changed drastically. Prolific international cricketers have shared dressing-room with grassroots players in almost every franchise league in the world. The IPL, the most high-profile of them all, has consistently attracted the best in the world.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 6, 2021
Cricketers, Indian and overseas alike, have benefitted from the IPL alike. However, there is little doubt that the uncapped cricketers have benefitted more than anyone else. Not only are they paid significantly more than before, but they also get to rub shoulders with the best in the business.
Over the years, numerous uncapped cricketers have grabbed the headlines during the IPL. The fans would expect the same in the new campaign, which is set to commence on 9 April. Let us have a look at the top five uncapped batsmen.
1. Devdutt Padikkal
After winning the Emerging Player award last season, left-handed opening batsman Padikkal will once again aim to showcase his class and consistency in IPL 2021. He made his debut for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2020, and finished the edition with 473 runs in 15 matches, the most by an uncapped batsman in a single edition.
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) April 8, 2021
Ahead of the new IPL season, Padikkal had a magnificent run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He scored 737 runs in just 7 games but failed to guide his team for the summit clash. He has resumed training since recovering from Covid-19.
2. Nitish Rana
Another stylish left-hander who has been performing consistently in the past few IPL seasons is Rana, now in Kolkata Knight Riders. Rana, who plays for Delhi in domestic cricket, can open the batting as well as bat at No. 3. In IPL 2020, he scored 352 runs in 14 games with a strike rate nearing 140.
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) April 3, 2021
Rana has been in fine form ahead of IPL 2021. Having got 398 runs (7 games) in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Rana can finish the 14th edition of the IPL as one of the highest-run getter
3. Ruturaj Gaikwad
One of the finds of IPL 2020, Gaikwad will be eyeing to start from where he finished last season. He arrived late during CSK’s disastrous campaign and scored 204 runs (in 6 games) to help his side avoid finishing at the bottom in the league table.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 6, 2021
Since then, 24-year-old Gaikwad has not had impressive numbers in Maharashtra. However, he may find his form under MS Dhoni’s guidance yet again. Gaikwad, who opens batting for CSK, had hit three back-to-back fifties in IPL 2020.
4. Rajat Patidar
Rajat Patidar of RCB is among the most exciting prospects to feature from the domestic circuit in IPL 2021. Patidar has hit 28 sixes in 22 matches for Madhya Pradesh and has scored at a strike rate closing 145.
"The beauty of his batting is that he plays proper cricketing shots". Our batting coach Sanjay Bangar had some words of praise for rising ⭐ Rajat Patidar 🙌#PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2021 pic.twitter.com/KYigLGUBLS
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) April 4, 2021
In the IPL 2021 mini-auction, RCB roped in 27-year-old Patidar at his base price of INR 20 lakhs. He will be eyeing to make his name among the cricket fans at the grandest stage of the game.
5. Shahrukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan, the 25-year-old hard-hitting batsman, was over the moon when the Punjab Kings guaranteed his IPL contract in the 2021 auction at a whopping price of INR 5.25 crores.
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) April 4, 2021
Shahrukh had a breakthrough Syed Mushtaq Ali campaign with Tamil Nadu. With 88 runs at a staggering strike rate of 220, he played a pivotal role in his side lifting the trophy. He has a career strike rate of over 130 in the T20s, scoring 293 runs in 13 games.
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