Top five debutants in IPL 2022
In a league that saw Gujarat Titans become the champions in its debut season, here is a look at five uncapped players who shone in their first run of the Indian Premier League.
#5. Jitesh Sharma | Punjab Kings
In a power-hitting heavy Punjab Kings line-up, Jitesh Sharma sculpted out a place for himself in his debut IPL season with 234 runs in 12 matches at an amazing strike rate of 163.64. Sharma made his intentions clear by smashing his second ball on debut for six in a 17-ball 26 against the Chennai franchise and followed it up with an 11-ball 23. He took the tournament by storm with his prompt cameos in the lower middle-order and clean striking of the ball – almost 70 percent of his runs came off boundaries – interestingly against both pace and spin.
While Sharma fell short of his maiden IPL fifty against Delhi Capitals, his intrepid 34-ball 44 took Kings deep in the chase after they were tottering 55 for four, chasing 160. In a previous fixture against Capitals, Sharma had top-scored with a rapid 23-ball 32 while Punjab collapsed for 115. To add to his stunning batting, Sharma was impressed with his work behind the stumps to emerge as the Kings’ first-choice wicketkeeper-batter for the most part of the tournament.
#4. Yash Dayal | Gujarat Titans
After crumbling a Jos Buttler storm and going for 33 runs in the first two overs in his debut, Yash Dayal fought back hard to yield just 7 from the following two and end with three for 40 against Rajasthan Royals. In the following couple of matches, Dayal earned 82 runs in eight overs but picked vital wickets intense moments that helped Gujarat Titans maintain its dominant run in the tournament.
Dayal’s initial depravity with the ball was followed by a miserly spell of one for 24 against Sunrisers Hyderabad in a high-scoring chase. With 11 wickets in eight matches at 9.25 runs an over, Dayal has provided much-needed support to pace ace Mohammed Shami with the new ball. The 24-year-old pacer held his high in the finals and returned with 1 for 18 in three overs
#3. Mukesh Choudhary | Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings found an obscure talent in Mukesh Choudhary in an otherwise mediocre season. Stung by the absence of PowerPlay supporter Deepak Chahar, Choudhary filled the medium-pacer shoes with a wicket-haul of 16 – 11 of those coming in the first six overs at an economy rate of 8.53. He went for over 11 runs per over and picked three wickets in his first four matches before finally finding his groove and ending the season as CSK’s joint-highest wicket-taker.
He turned heads with three for 19 against Mumbai Indians by dismissing Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and Dewald Brevis inside the PowerPlay is an astronomical burst of pace bowling. While the 25-year-old’s death-overs bowling needs some improvement, Choudhary showed glimpses of his ability to deliver under pressure against Sunrisers Hyderabad with two late wickets that sealed the deal for the Super Kings.
#2. Tilak Varma | Mumbai Indians
He was the silver lining to Mumbai Indians’ horror IPL 2022 campaign, the 19-year-old Tilak Varma, who emerged as the glue in the middle-order of an otherwise shaky batting line-up. Varma announced his arrival on the big stage in just his second game with a 33-ball 61 in a losing cause against the Rajasthan franchise. The left-hander was particularly severe on R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal and set the tone for the rest of the season, in which he struck at over 145 against spin.
If his first half-century was about grandiose, his second, a 43-ball unbeaten 51 against Chennai Super Kings, was all about grit on a difficult surface, albeit in yet another losing cause. Varma was the team’s second-highest run-scorer with 397 runs at a strike rate of 131.02 and established himself as a brilliant prospect for the future.
#1. Mohsin Khan | Lucknow Super Giants
The 23-year-old pacer Mohsin Khan added strength and a left-arm angle to an all-around Lucknow Super Giants bowling attack. After featuring in Lucknow Super Giants’ debut game against the titans, where he went for 0 for 18 in two overs, Khan impressed on his return to the playing XI almost a month later with one for 27 in four overs against Mumbai Indians. He followed it up with 3 for 24 and 4 for 16 against Punjab Kings and Delhi Capitals, respectively, and took crucial wickets under pressure to help his side defend its totals.
Khan went off on a high, going at under six runs per over in his last two games combined, despite the opposition scoring 200-plus on both occasions. Khan’s pace and movement with the new ball in the PowerPlay and slower deliveries in the death-overs make him an effective wicket-taking resource and enforcer across phases and his 14 scalps in nine matches at a stellar economy rate of 5.96.