ArticlesIPL 2023

IPL 2023: The Best Five Young Players from the Season

The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League has concluded at the Narendra Modi Stadium, with the Chennai Super Kings emerging victorious as they defeated Gujarat Titans in a cliffhanger of a final, thereby clinching their 5th IPL title. They are now level with Mumbai Indians in terms of the number of titles in IPL.

What makes IPL different from other leagues?

Well, the grandeur and the tournament’s scale are a notch higher than the rest of the leagues, and the quality of cricket played in this league is second to none. IPL also makes players and builds them.

The IPL, time and again, has also given the Indian team some of the best talents you will ever see, and this year has been no different.

Yes, we saw players like Virat Kohli, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzuvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Suryakumar Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Nitish Rana, etc. among others and overseas stars like Faf Du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran, David Warner, Sunil Narine stepped up at crucial junctures for their respective teams throughout the course of the tournament. Also, the comeback of several old horses like Ajinkya Rahane, Mohit Sharma, and Piyush Chawla lit the tournament with some fine performances.

Yes, we did have a stellar and special performance from these above-mentioned players from India and overseas, but what is more heartening is the emergence of Indian youngsters on the big stage. There is no high-pressure situation for a youngster than the IPL, and the league is known to churn out such talents who can handle tough situations rather well. And the IPL 2023 has billed aptly to that tag.

#1 Rinku Singh

A player who has had tremendous growth over the past 2 months throughout this IPL has to be Rinku Singh. Though KKR didn’t do well in the league, Rinku Singh was easily the biggest positive for the Indian team to come out of this IPL. He was arguably KKR’s best player throughout the season because of his ability to finish games in impossible situations.

He single-handedly pulled off a heist by scoring 5 sixes off 5 balls when 29 was required in the last over against the defending champions Gujarat Titans. Once again, in the end, he gave KKR hopes of a win vs LSG, and he has ensured the name Rinku Singh will not be forgotten anytime soon.

The 25-year-old finished the IPL season as the 9th-highest run-getter in the league scoring 474 runs at an incredible average of 59.25 and striking at 149.53 per 100 balls. These numbers are sensational for a batter batting at No.4 or lower.

#2 Tilak Varma

Tilak Varma debuted in IPL for the Mumbai Indians in the 2022 season and was easily their brightest spot in an otherwise disappointing season. Playing his 2nd IPL edition, Tilak Verma had to prove he belonged to this big league, and the youngster did just that.

Given a new task of playing in the middle order, Tilak played a stellar knock in MI’s first game of the season scoring a stunning 84 against RCB. Though MI lost the contest, this knock single-handedly brought the team back into the contest after being in trouble and took them to a decent total of 171.

He played a few more useful knocks on the way but unfortunately had to miss a few games due to illness. Post recovery, he played a stunning match-winning knock of 10-ball 26* against PBKS before playing a stroke-filled cameo of 14-ball 43 in Qualifier 2, albeit in a losing cause.

In 11 innings, Tilak amassed 343 runs at an average of 42.88 and struck at just over 164.

#3 Sai Sudharsan

Another left-hander makes this list: the youngster from Chennai who represents the former champions Gujarat Titans in the IPL. The 21-year-old debuted in the tournament in the 2023 edition and featured in just 5 games, but had a strong domestic season before this IPL.

He was a regular starter for GT at the beginning of IPL 2023, but injury prevented him from consistently featuring in the playing XI. Though he made a couple of good innings, including 2 half-centuries, before his absence due to injury, it was more of an anchor role coming at the top of the order.

He returned to the side in the team’s Qualifier 2 game against MI, where he made 43. Though he was touted as a potential long-term prospect, his brief career lacked an impactful knock, and the left-hander chose to deliver the same during the biggest stage of them all in the IPL final. In Ahmedabad against Chennai Super Kings, Sudharsan stunned everyone with his exhilarating stroke play in his excellent knock of 96 from only 47 balls. This is the 2nd highest score by an uncapped Indian player in the IPL playoffs, including a whopping 6 sixes.

His innings made the whole country recognise his talent, and GT hopes this youngster will shine for them. Sai made 362 runs in only 8 innings at an average of 51.71, striking at over 140.

#4 Prabhsimran Singh

Prabhsimran Singh has been a shining light for the Punjab Kings in an otherwise mediocre season where they failed to reach the playoffs yet again. The young opener from Punjab is known to give a blistering start to his state side in white-ball cricket, but before this season, he had featured only in 6 IPL games despite being part of the PBKS setup since 2019.

The unavailability of regular opener Jonny Bairstow this season meant Prabhsimran consistently got a chance in the Playing XI. This proved to be a great move on the part of PBKS, as the opener was one of the finds of the season. He gave the team rapid starts in many games along with Shikhar Dhawan, but long innings were missing.

But towards the latter part of the league stages, he played one of the innings of the season. In a game against The attacking opener by nature, he curbed his instincts and played a matured knock of 103 out of his sides’ 167 on a tough surface at Delhi against the Capitals. The way he tackled spinners and pacers alike was commendable, and he is someone to look forward to in the coming seasons.

#5 Akash Madhwal

Mumbai Indians are known to unearth many new unknown talents among the other teams, and this year, they have us a pacer in Akash Madhwal. In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Jhye Richardson, coupled with injury concerns to the only lead pacer Jofra Archer, MI lacked that usually existent spark in their bowling department.

And MI struggled to find an Indian pacer and tried a few of them, including Arjun Tendulkar, but it didn’t work out. Their campaign was going downward, so they decided to go with a 29-year-old pacer Akash Madhwal from Roorkee. The Engineer turned cricketer turned out to be MI’s biggest plus this season, as he was one reason they eventually reached playoffs.

He picked 14 wickets in 8 games, including a stunning figure of 5/5 in the eliminator against Lucknow Super Giants. How he bowled at both death and with the new ball was heartening. Madhwal is undoubtedly one of the finds of the season. He may not be a youngster like others, but we can say that India has yet another potential death bowler with them.

Let us hope these players in the initial phase of their careers will remain consistent in the upcoming domestic season and turn out as even better players in the 2024 edition of IPL.

Read Now: The Best Playing XI of IPL 2023

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