Every season of the Indian Premier League introduces cricket fans in India and across the world to some amazing talents that they might never have heard of before, either because it was their first time playing on such a big stage, or because they hadn’t played in India just yet. The 13th edition of the tournament is no different, with teams increasingly willing to take a chance on as-yet-unproven players and give them regular game time. On that note, here are five potentially amazing IPL debutants that you should be keeping an eye out for in this year’s tournament:
1. Tom Banton: Kolkata Knightriders
Having first made a name for himself playing for Somerset in the T20 Blast in England, and is now replicating his fine performances for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash in Australia. A destructive opening batsman and a wicket-keeper to boot, the 21-year-old’s batting style has been likened to that of Kevin Pietersen in his prime. Banton has the ability to strike the ling ball right from the word go and could form a truly devastating opening partnership with the equally dangerous Sunil Narine at the top of the order for KKR.
2. Joshua Philippe: Royal Challengers Bangalore
Josh Philippe might not be a household name in India, but the 22-year-old has been making waves in Australia thanks to a series of excellent performances for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League. An opening batsman who’s adept against both spin and pace, he’s still untested in Indian conditions, but one can see him featuring for RCB at some stage during the tournament, and will definitely provide stiff competition to Parthiv Patel at the top of the order as well as behind the stumps!
3. Yashasvi Jaiswal: Rajasthan Royals
Ever since Sachin Tendulkar made his India debut as a teenager, Indian cricket fans have been somewhat obsessed with finding “the next big thing” who will take the world of cricket by storm. As of now, 18-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal seems to have taken over that mantle, thanks in no small measure to the amazing innings of 203 that he played as a 17-year-old for Mumbai against Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. It will be interesting to see exactly how much game time he get for the Rajasthan Royals, but it’s fairly certain that we will see the dynamic left-hander feature for them at some point during the tournament. From selling pani puris and sleeping in a tent for almost three years to potentially breaking into the Indian cricket team one day, this is one success story we can all get behind!
4. Fabian Allen: Sunrisers Hyderabad
All-rounders play a very important role in most T20 sides and in Fabian Allen, the Sunrisers Hyderabad seems to have acquired a particularly promising one. Having made his debut for the West Indies as recently as 2018, it was his performance in the most recent edition of the CPL that prompted SRH to go for him. He scored 218 runs in 11 outings at a commendable strike rate of 177.23, which might prove to be handy down the order. A tidy bowler and an electric fielder, there are many facets to his game that could make him a firm favorite among SRH fans.
5. Sheldon Cottrell: Kings XI Punjab
The most well-known player out of this list of IPL debutants, West Indian pacer Sheldon Cottrell will be looking to carry his excellent form from 2019 into IPL 2020. Picked up by Kings XI Punjab, he is likely to spearhead the bowling attack with Mohammad Shami, providing a left-arm bowling option for newly-appointed Kings XI captain KL Rahul. His march past-and-salute celebration has become quite famous over the past year, and Kings XI fans (and cricket fans in general) will hope to see it on their screens much more this year too.