The Indian T20 League been an exceptional platform when it comes to unearthing hidden gems from the domestic circuit over the years. Each edition of the Indian T20 League has given us at least one standout domestic performer and the upcoming 13th season in the United Arab Emirates is likely to be no different. Players like Paul Valthaty, Pravin Tambe and Sarfaraz Khan have all surprised us with game-defining contributions in past seasons. However, here we look at five Indian players who are expected to put their best foot forward in Indian T20 League2020.
Shubman Gill – Kolkata
One of the most highly-rated young Indian batsmen, Shubman Gill will be hoping that the 2020 edition of the Indian T20 League will be a coming of age season for him. He’s already made his ODI debut for India but hasn’t yet managed to establish himself in the team. The upcoming Indian T20 League season offers him the perfect chance to change that and Gill will be hoping to make the most of his opportunities with Kolkata. His two seasons in the Indian T20 League have seen him accumulate 499 runs in 27 matches at an average of 33.26 and a strike rate of 132.36. A U-19 World Cup winner with India, Gill will be hoping to play to his potential and enjoy a strong season with the two-time champions.
Hardik Pandya – Mumbai
A three-time Indian T20 League champion with Mumbai, Hardik Pandya will be raring to return to action after a lengthy spell away from the game due to injury. The Indian all-rounder has always thrived while competing in the Indian T20 League and he will be hoping to do the same in the 13th edition, whether it’s with bat or ball. He’s scored 1068 runs in 66 Indian T20 League matches at an average of 28.86 and a strike rate of 154.78. His last Indian T20 League campaign was his most prolific season yet, with 402 runs in 16 games at an average of 44.66 and a strike rate of 191.42. Hardik also claimed 14 of his 42 Indian T20 League wickets in the last edition and it will be interesting to see if he can better his numbers with both bat and ball in the UAE.
Prithvi Shaw – Delhi
A U-19 World Cup-winning captain with India and a centurion on his Test debut, Prithvi Shaw has been tipped for a bright future. He gave us a glimpse of his talent in last season’s Indian T20 League when he made 264 runs in 16 games at an average of 22.06 and a strike rate of 133.71. However, Shaw will know that he’s capable of doing much better and will view Indian T20 League 2020 as a chance to showcase how much damage he’s capable of inflicting on bowlers in the shortest format of the game. A top-order batsman who will be entrusted to set the tone for the team, how Shaw plays will have a major say in the foundation that Delhi have to work with this season.
Deepak Chahar – Chennai
Indian T20 League 2019 was Deepak Chahar’s breakthrough season with Chennai. Even though he had competed in the three previous editions prior to Indian T20 League 2019, Chahar’s displays last season made him one of the standout performers for the three-time champions. He took 22 wickets in 17 matches at an average of 21.90 and a strike rate of 17.59 last year. His economy rate of 7.47 wasn’t bad either and it was his performances in the biggest T20 extravaganza in the world that paved the way to the national team for him. However, now no longer a relative unknown, he’ll have more eyes on him in UAE. That said, going merely by his post-Indian T20 League 2019 performances, Chahar can be expected to enjoy another strong season.
Kuldeep Yadav – Kolkata
The left-arm chinaman endured a dismal Indian T20 League 2019, finishing the tournament with abysmal numbers of four wickets in nine games at an average of 71.50 and a strike rate of 49.50. Needless to say, it was Kuldeep Yadav’s worst-ever Indian T20 League and something he will want to put behind him. He will be eager to make amends in the upcoming edition and the spin-friendly tracks in UAE will certainly help in that regard. His wily googlies and ability to make the most of the width of the crease effectively will be a threat even to the strongest batting line-ups. Having gone through a rough phase last season, Indian T20 League 2020 could possibly be Kuldeep’s redemption arc.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar