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IPL 2022 – The 5 Talents That Have Shone Brightest

Shahbaz Ahmed of Royal Challengers Bangalore
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The motto of the Indian Premier League since its inception has been ‘where talent meets opportunity’, and this tagline could not be more apt in 2022 as numerous youngsters have shone for their various franchises on the biggest stage. The introduction of two new teams has provided more opportunities for domestic talents and players on the fringes of IPL squads in the years gone by, and plenty of rising stars have grabbed their opportunities with both hands.

The emergence of uber-talented newcomers has been one of the highlights of IPL season 15 so far, and here are the top five most impressive youngsters in 2022.

◼ Ayush Badoni – Lucknow Super Giants


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Ayush Badoni has been one of the frontline stories of IPL 2022, with the 22-year-old youngster making a mockery of international bowlers in only his first season in the competition. Badoni has scored 107 runs at a strike rate of 148 in five matches this season and has crucially shown his ability to adapt to different situations.

After Lucknow suffered a top-order collapse against Gujarat, Badoni played the anchors role to perfection – scoring 54 off 41 deliveries – and the youngster has also starred in his role as a finisher at the death, helping the Super Giants win clutch games at the end against CSK, DC and SRH.

◼ Dewald Brevis – Mumbai Indians


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Dewald Brevis entered IPL 2022 with some immense pressure riding on his shoulders, and in the three games he has featured in so far, the 18-year-old has wildly exceeded any expectations. Brevis destroyed bowlers for fun during his record 506-run U-19 World Cup campaign earlier this year, and the South African has provided that same treatment to experienced internationals such as Varun Chakravarthy and Rahul Chahar.

With his incredible golf-like bat-swing, Brevis already might be one of the most destructive players of spin-bowling in the IPL – as seen in the 29-run over against Punjab Kings – and a combination of his explosive ability and maturity indicates that we are witnessing the birth of a star in the IPL this season. 

◼ Jitesh Sharma – Punjab Kings


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Before the season, all the talk surrounding the Punjab Kings batting line-up was around the likes of Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, Odean Smith and Shahrukh Khan, but one man who has stolen some of that thunder is the youngster Jitesh Sharma. Sharma has slotted in perfectly in the Punjab middle-order since coming into the side and has batted per their philosophy of going hard from the word go.

Although Sharma has been more destructive against spin than pace, the right-hander changed the game for Punjab against the Mumbai Indians with his fiery takedown of Basil Thampi and Jaydev Unadkat in the death overs, scoring 30 runs off just 15 deliveries. 

◼ Shahbaz Ahmed – Royal Challengers Bangalore


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Shahbaz Ahmed has been a bit-part player for the Royal Challengers Bangalore over the past two seasons, playing 13 games for the franchise but only batting on eight occasions and bowling an average of 1.5 overs a game.

However, in 2022, the all-rounder has made the leap and is now an integral cog of what is looking like one of the most promising teams in the competition. While his bowling has been mediocre to start the new season, the left-hander has starred with the bat, adding dynamism and high-intent stroke-play through the middle order. Ahmed has scored 113 runs at a strike rate of 154 in the new season – and albeit in a tiny sample size – has looked incredibly secure against both pace and spin.

◼ Tilak Varma – Mumbai Indians


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Another Mumbai Indians starlet who has set the stage on fire since his arrival to the side has been N Tilak Varma. A graduate of the 2020 U-19 World Cup class alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ravi Bishnoi and Kartik Tyagi, Varma has taken to life in the Mumbai Indians batting line-up like a duck to water. Barring a couple of bad run-outs, Varma has been virtually flawless in his opening five games of the season, scoring 157 runs at a strike rate of 160.

The most impressive thing about Varma this season has been his batting tempo, with the left-hander wasting very few deliveries at the crease and keeping the scoreboard ticking while batting first or during 190+ run chases. It looks like the Mumbai talent factory has unearthed another gem with Tilak Varma and considering their success rate in recent years, it will not be a surprise to see him don the India blue in the near future. 


[Featured Image Credit: Shahbaz Ahmed]