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IPL 2024: Focused Angkrish Raghuvanshi on the road towards greater glory

IPL 2024: Who is Angkrish Raghuvanshi, the new sensation of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)? All you need to know about Angkrish Raghuvanshi.

IPL 2024: 18-years old Angkrish Raghuvanshi scored fifty on his debut | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
IPL 2024: Angkrish Raghuvanshi scored fifty on his debut (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)

It was the fourth ball of the tenth over during Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) batting against Delhi Capitals (DC) in Visakhapatnam. An 18-year-old right-hander Angkrish Raghuvanshi changed his stance. What he did next turned the world upside down. He slapped the medium pacer, Rasikh Salam over the wicket-keeper’s head for a six. 

Two balls later, the bowler changed his pace. Raghuvanshi was quick to judge it. He let the ball come to him, before using his wrist to hoist it over deep mid-wicket for another six. 

With big dreams in his eyes, young and focused Raghuvanshi portrayed his future road. “To obviously don the India jersey,” he told the Indian Premier League (IPL) website about the first goal. “But also, to wear it like no one has ever done before. Everyone will look at me and say I’m different,” he added. 

From U-19 WC days to IPL- Raghuvanshi looks for new challenges 

Born in Delhi in 2005, Raghuvanshi hails from a pure sports family. His mother Malika used to play basketball, while his father Avneet was connected with Tennis. His uncle, to whom he went to stay when he was 11, used to play cricket. Choosing anything other than sports as a career option would have been largely noticeable for him. 

Raghuvanshi’s desire to be better in the present than the previous day has worked immensely in his favour. Finally, he ended up on the radar of Dineh Lad, who also coached Rohit Sharma and Abhishek Nayar. “It’s his work ethic; his ability to work hard is his strongest suit.” Nayar, who has been with the right-handed batter since his early Mumbai U-16 days, expressed. 

The new batting sensation was the reason behind India’s crown victory in the ICC U-19 World Cup 2022 in the Caribbean. Raghuvanshi was the fourth-highest run-getter of the tournament with 278 runs in six innings at an average of 46.33 and a strike rate of just under 90. His solitary fifty and a century proved his worth at such young age. 

At 18, if he wished, he could have easily been part of another U-19 World Cup. But it’s vital to take the biggest step from age-group cricket early in the career. In the next six months after the WC, Raghuvanshi found a place in Mumbai’s domestic cricket team. In December 2023, his IPL dream became true, when KKR earned his services for INR 20 lakh. 

IPL 2024, DC vs KKR_ Sunil Narine, Angkrish Raghuvanshi added 104 for 2nd wicket _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Sunil Narine, Angkrish Raghuvanshi added 104 for 2nd wicket (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)

X-factor Raghuvanshi on a mission in IPL 2024

With KKR comfortably getting over the line against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), Angkrish Raghuvanshi wasn’t even needed to bat on his debut IPL game. With the highest T20 score of 32* in 31 balls, he walked into the middle against DC. The Knights were already flying high at 60/1 in the fifth over. 

Anrich Nortje bowls with pace. It’s not that easy to get used to his speed on the first look. The 18-year-old swivelled across to time Nortje’s short ball to short fine leg for a boundary. The Protea pacer drew the length back on the next ball. With a back-foot punch through point, Angkrish beat the fielder in the ring for another four. The reverse scoop shots caught the eyes both on the ground and social platforms. 

He also supremely used his height to reach the top of the short ball. “He has been playing reverse scoop in the nets,” Nayar narrated. “It’s something he has worked very hard on, and every player brings power in their game differently.” 

Raghuvanshi, at the age of 18 years and 303 days, joined an elite list of the youngest players to score an IPL fifty. He ended up with 54 in 27 balls, shouldering on five boundaries and three over boundaries. “I just backed my instincts,” he expressed at the end of that cracking knock. 

In his third IPL game, on a slow Chepauk track, he showed a glimpse of his different version. All of the other batters found it tough to even rotate the strike, let alone strike boundaries. In a short 18-ball 24-run knock, Raghuvanshi displayed why he belonged to this level. There was a bit of Shubman Gill flavour in the way he stood tall to launch Maheesh Theekshana over the bowler’s head for a six. 

Bright future awaits the special talent

One thing he proved was that his maiden IPL knock wasn’t just a fluke. Just like Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, and Rishabh Pant, young Raghuvanshi has taken the right step towards the biggest stage. From his U-19 days to the KKR camp, the journey has been exceptional. 

The two-time champions gave him the clarity of role in the top-order. His quick adaptability and the skill of playing shots in all pockets of the ground would make him special in the future. It’s now up to the Mumbai and Knight Riders management how they use the young player. It will also be interesting to see what Angkrish Raghuvanshi does that’s yet to be exhibited by others. 

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