The Top 10 Young Players in IPL 2021
10. Finn Allen – Royal Challengers Bangalore
Finn Allen, who was signed by RCB after opening batsman Josh Phillipe opted out of the IPL 2021, has become the talk of the town for his big hitting abilities and potential to smash bowlers in the powerplay overs. Allen, an attacking right-hander, stamped his dominance in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup, slamming 338 runs at a batting average of nearly 68 and a strike rate of 119.01.
Allen has only played 15 T20s in his career, all of which have been in New Zealand, but he may be the team's surprise. Although Virat Kohli takes his time getting his eye in and going, Allen, on the other hand, could play his shots, laying a stable base for the likes of AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell.
9. Lalit Yadav – Delhi Capitals
Lalit Yadav could be a handy all-round option for Delhi Capitals, joining the ranks of Axar Patel and Ravi Ashwin. The 24-year-old could be the X-factor in the Delhi Capitals lineup, providing batting depth at the bottom of the order. Yadav has a batting strike rate of 149.33 at an average of 37.33, demonstrating his versatility and accuracy.
The all-rounder finished the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign for Delhi with 152 runs in 5 innings and a strike rate of 197.40, the best among cricketers who batted in at least five innings in the tournament. He has already had a run of games this season, and has been consistent with the bat, with 3 20+ scores already. He is also a brilliant fielder and one of the top 10 young players in IPL 2021.
8. Ishan Kishan – Mumbai Indians
Ishan Kishan made headlines in the cricket world when he captained the Indian Under 19 team to the 2016 Under 19 World Cup final. An attacking batsman from Jharkhand who also happens to be a wicket keeper, no, not MS Dhoni, but his prodigy Ishan Kishan, who has managed to somewhat secure his spot in a star-studded Mumbai Indians lineup, immediately establishing himself as one of the most influential and upbeat young sports personalities in India.
Ishan, who cost a whopping Rs. 5.5 crores when he joined MI in 2017, scored over 550 runs in his first two seasons, consistently contributing with the bat in the middle order and being equally adept behind the stumps. His match-winning 62 off just 21 balls against the Kolkata Knight Riders is best known for his four consecutive sixes off seasoned bowler Kuldeep Yadav. The 23-year-old led MI to their record 5th title, with some inspirational knocks along the way.
7. Ravi Bishnoi – Punjab Kings
One of Indian cricket's most promising young spinners, Ravi Bishnoi has been a revelation ever since Punjab Kings pulled off a big coup by defeating Mumbai Indians in a bidding war to procure his services for Rs. 2 crores. With 17 wickets in just six matches and an alarmingly impressive economy rate of 3.48, the teenager finished as the Under 19 World Cup's leading wicket-taker.
The leg spinner is now well-known for his variants and is thought to be very difficult to score against. Bishnoi, more than any other uncapped player on this list, could get the most game time this time around due to Punjab's lack of quality spinners.
The departure of Ravi Ashwin leaves them short in that department, and playing Mujeeb Rahman may have an effect on their overseas player combination. Bishnoi was pivotal for the Kings last season as well as this season. He has taken 16 wickets in 18 matches for Punjab over 2 seasons, and was in great form before the the league got suspended.
6. Shahrukh Khan – Punjab Kings
In IPL 2020, Punjab Kings were let down by an almost non-existent middle order, which meant that the momentum they gathered in the first half of the innings was often snuffed out by the end of the 20th over. In order to compensate for this shortcoming, the franchise signed a host of middle-order big-hitters in the 2021 auctions, the most entertaining of which is Shahrukh Khan.
Named after the legendary “King Of Bollywood”, Shahrukh gained automatic hype before even playing his first ball in this season’s IPL. While he hasn’t got a lot of opportunities to bat, he has still been a firework for PK every time he has come out to bat, with a strike rate above 130 and a highest score of 47. Thus, Shahrukh brings much-needed aggression lower down the order in every team, and he may be the answer to Punjab's batting woes at the end of the season in 2021. Shahrukh Khan is, for sure, one of the top 10 young players In IPL 2021.
5. Shubman Gill – Kolkata Knight Riders
Gill burst onto the scene after being named player of the tournament at the 2018 Under 19 Cricket World Cup, where he smashed 418 runs at a mind-boggling score of 104.50, leading India to a record 4th title. This result made him a favourite in the 2018 IPL auction, and he was acquired by Kolkata Knight Riders for a fee of Rs 1.8 crores.
Despite playing out of place as a lower order batsman, he had a respectable first season with the Knight Riders, scoring more than 200 runs at an average of 33.83. His form, however, did not go unnoticed, and he soon made his senior Indian debut. He batted at his chosen number 3 position in the 2019 season, and the difference was obvious, as he clocked nearly 300 runs and is now considered a vital part of KKR's top order. He followed that up with another brilliant season in 2020, and then his claim to real fame when he played some magnificent innings in the India Test Tour Of Australia, as the country won the series in historic fashion.
4. Riley Meredith – Punjab Kings
Riley Meredith is the next big thing to come out of Australia in the pace bowling department. He joins fellow Aussie Jhaye Richardson in the Punjab Kings setup. Meredith, who can regularly bowl at 150 clicks per hour, has been named a bowler to watch by the legendary Shane Warne.
He is a joy to watch while he is swinging the new ball at high speeds. The youngster, who made his T20I debut for Australia last month, got the dream wicket of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson in his first game, catching him LBW for nine after shuffled across to hit to leg.
Meredith, who was bought for INR 8 crore, up from his base price of INR 40 lakhs, has been described by Glenn Maxwell as a "horrible bowler to face," and he will be keen to leave his mark in conditions that are supposed to test him. He made headlines in 2019 after taking the wicket of Steve Smith twice in four days and then breaking Tasmanian teammate Jordan Silk's wrist during a practise session only a week later.
3. Prithvi Shaw – Delhi Capitals
It is possible that Prithvi Shaw's tale and growth parallels that of the great Sachin Tendulkar in more ways than one. At the age of 20, Prithvi Shaw has the distinction of scoring a century on his Ranji debut, his Duleep Trophy debut, and now his test debut in 2018, making him the youngest Indian to do so.
He has already clocked 600 runs as Delhi's opener in the last two seasons, including a top score of 99 as he narrowly missed out on a maiden century last season. Shaw, who has a strike rate of 141, is predicted to open the Delhi Capitals' batting for many years to come, and is an important part of their renowned Indian batting core. Delhi finished as the runners-up last season, however, they were top of the table when the 2021 IPL was halted, and Shaw was in impeccable form, with 308 runs in just 8 innings.
2. Washington Sundar – Royal Challengers Bangalore
21-year-old young all-rounder Washington Sundar is one of the few Indian youngsters who has really used the IPL forum to launch his senior team international career. Surprisingly, at such a young age, he has already played more T20 international matches for India than he has in the IPL.
In his debut campaign, he replaced the legendary Ashwin for Rising Pune Super Giants, and took 8 wickets in the last 11 matches of the season, while also proving to be handy with the bat. Sundar was one of the few bright sparks for RCB last season, and his all-round capabilities saw him get his maiden call-up to the Indian team for the test series in Australia, where he played some match winning knocks as India historically won the series against all odds. Though his IPL record doesn’t match up, this could be the season he well and truly emerges on top and is definitely one of the top 10 young players in IPL 2021.
1. Rishabh Pant – Delhi Capitals
Despite being just 18 at the time, Rishabh Pant fetched a price of Rs. 1.9 crores in 2016, which would undoubtedly go down as the greatest 1.9 crores paid by the Delhi Capitals. Pant has produced some of the most memorable innings in IPL history, including a 97-run knock against the Gujarat Lions. But it was one innings in particular that made the world sit up and take note of this devastating young batsman and it was the 128 against SRH at the Kotla.
Pant is widely regarded as MS Dhoni’s long term successor as India’s wicket keeper in all 3 formats of the game, and is well on course to do exactly that. A major step towards that was his appointment as Delhi’s new captain, after Shreyas Iyer pulled out of the tournament due to a broken shoulder. Pant has earned cult-hero status with his exploits as well as his antics in the two tours that India have had in Australia, in 18/19 and 20/21.