IPL 2022: Top 5 Emerging Players: Sen, Umran potential game-breakers; Sharma, Tilak, Lalit promising
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has a history of finding new sensations every season. And IPL 2022 is no different. Though the big guns have failed, despite occasional bursts of brilliance, but fortunately, franchises have got a great bunch of young lads who are carrying the team on their shoulders.
Here are the top five emerging players of TATA IPL 2022
Abhishek Sharma (Sunrisers Hyderabad) (10 M - 331 Runs, Ave 33.10)
Abhishek Sharma has been part of IPL since 2018, when he was bought by Delhi Daredevils (DD) for the first time but lack of opportunities hasn't allowed the 21-year-old to come into the limelight. Later on, in 2019 he was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) but did not have the best of numbers to his name. However, this season more often than not he is giving solid starts to SRH.
In fact, the southpaw has allowed skipper Kane Williamson to take his time and build the innings early on. In his ten matches this season, Abhishek has smashed 331 runs with a healthy average and decent strike rate of 33.10 and 134.00, respectively.
After getting out cheaply against Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), the youngster smashed 75 in just 50 balls against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and for his brilliant knock, Abhishek was adjudged Player of the Match in that particular game.
Furthermore, his quickfire 42 against Gujarat Titans (GT) led to the foundation of SRH's win. In fact, SRH are the only team who have managed to overcome Gujarat Titans (GT) so far. Abhishek's numbers in the last three matches are 31, 47 and 65, against Punjab Kings (PBKS), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and GT, respectively. Abhishek's scores are speaking volumes for the impact he wields on SRH batting.
In the modern era, where India are blessed with plenty of options for the opening slot, if given a chance the youngster can bat in the middle-order as well.
Tilak Varma (Mumbai Indians) (9 M - 307 Runs, Ave 43.85)
Tilak Varma is probably, the only silver lining in the dark clouds for Mumbai Indians (MI) this season. The elegant left-hand batter from Hyderabad has 307 runs under his belt in nine matches this season; his average and strike are starkly better of MI batters’ average number this season.
Except for the game against RCB where he got out for a duck, Tilak has scored 20+ in other eight games he has played this season. Tilak's knock of 61 off 33 deliveries against RR, when these two sides met for the first time this season, was the only reason why Mumbai smelt victory for a brief period despite the collapse of the top-order. Tilak Varma also stitched a match-winning 81-run partnership with Suryakumar Yadav against RR where Mumbai Indians registered their first win of the IPL 2022.
The left handed-batter has maintained an average of 43.85 and a blistering strike rate of 137.05. In his debut season, he has remained the backbone of MI's middle-order so far.
Great performances by Verma in the Vijay Hazare Trophy (List A tournament) and Syed Mushtaq Ali (SMAT) T20 Trophy for his domestic side Hyderabad in the 2021-22 season prompted MI to buy him for INR 1.7 crores in this year’s mega-auction. This number will surely shoot up in the upcoming seasons courtesy the performances Tilak is producing this year.
Umran Malik (Sunrisers Hyderabad) (10 M - 15 wickets, SR 15.2)
Ladies and gentlemen, the new speed sensation of India is here. What a season Umran Malik is having this year; in ten matches the speedster has scalped 15 wickets including one four-wicket haul and a fifer to boot.
Moreover, his striking ability has remained on another level in IPL 2022. The fast bowler from Jammu and Kashmir has maintained a strike rate of 15.2 in his 10 matches. That means, on average Umran is taking a wicket every 16th ball in his spell. He is delivering thunderbolts to the batters and giving them tough times in the league.
In fact, in the game against GT, four batters were dismissed clean bowled by Malik. He eventually returned figures of 5-25 in that particular game. Not only he is making opponent batters take extra caution when he bowls, but he has also managed to bowl the fastest ball of IPL 2022, clocked around 156.9 kmph.
The world had witnessed a few glimpses of Umran's ability in IPL 2021 itself. Sunrisers Hyderabad had a dismal season in 2021 but they did get to see Umran's prodigy with the ball last year. Hence for IPL 2022, SRH retained Umran over Rashid Khan.
Since then, Umran has never looked back and he is now consistently producing miraculous performances for the Orange Army with his sheer pace and excellent temperament.
As per sources, Umran is likely to make his India debut as the fast bowler might get selected for the upcoming five-match T20I home series against South Africa to be held in June.
Kuldeep Sen (Rajasthan Royals) (5 M - 8 wickets, SR 13.5)
The medium-pacer from Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, made his IPL debut against LSG on April 10, playing for Rajasthan Royals (RR). Rajasthan bought Kuldeep Sen for INR 20 lakhs, considering his scintillating performances in the domestic circuit.
Much like Umran, Sen is also getting recognition for his fast and furious pace. Though the seamer is struggling a bit with his length, the extra pace is working wonders for him.
In his first two IPL matches, Sen didn't look in particularly good rhythm as he conceded 35 and 51 runs in his four overs against LSG and GT, respectively. Importantly, however, he bowled a terrific last over against LSG and defended 15 runs against the might of Marcus Stoinis.
Kuldeep Sen looked a real deal in the game against RCB, where the 25-year-old bagged four big wickets for just 20 runs.
After the match against LSG, RR pacer Trent Boult seemed delighted with Sen's ability.
“He runs in hard though. He executed it well in the end and he is only going to get better. Some quality fast bowling in our side and in the tournament going around," Boult said after the match.
As the season is progressing, the RR pacer seems to gain some more rhythm which is a great sign for the franchise, going forward.
Lalit Yadav (Delhi Capitals) (10 M - 137 Runs, 4 wickets)
Delhi Capitals' love affair for the batting all-rounder continued as they bought him for the third consecutive season. In 2020 and 2021, Lalit Yadav was bought by DC at his base price of INR 20 lakhs, but this time the lower middle-order batter was bought by DC for INR 65 lakhs in the mega auction.
Even though the numbers this season, may not suggest Lalit's significant contribution to the Capitals but he has looked promising on occasions. In eight matches this season, Lalit has scored 137 runs with an average of 22.83 and a strike rate of 109.60. Furthermore, the all-rounder has taken four wickets in 17 overs he has bowled this season.
Lalit Yadav's match-winning knock of 48* against Mumbai Indians (MI) in Delhi's opening encounter is surely his stand out act this season. This performance helped Rishabh Pant's side to register a comfortable four wicket victory over MI with 10 balls to spare.
Apart from that innings, the cameo he played of 37 off 24 deliveries against RR also showed glimpses of Lalit's ability with the bat.
With ball in hand, Lalit’s spell of 2/11 in 2 overs against Punjab Kings (PBKS) helped Delhi bundle them out for a paltry 115. Now, it's up to Delhi and Pant, how they groom and utilise Lalit in the business end of the season.