In its 15 years existence as World’s best T20 League, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has many youngsters making their mark. It has also seen many one-season wonders, who have shone bright for a few months and then slowly faded away.
Umran Malik, the 22-year-old pacer from Jammu and Kashmir, will be hoping to avoid a similar fate in IPL 2022. Malik was one of the success stories of the UAE leg of IPL 2021 and his superb performance resulted in him being picked as a net bowler for the Indian team for the T20 World Cup. He was also one of the players that two-time IPL winners Sunrisers Hyderabad had retained for IPL 2022.
Malik will be in the spotlight on Tuesday when Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Rajasthan Royals in their first match of the IPL 2022 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium here.
This will be the first chance for Malik to prove that his performance in UAE was no flash in the pan and that he is capable of building on that to put forth his claim for a place in the national team. Though Malik will have to do a lot more than what he did in IPL 2021 (11 wickets in eight matches), the youngster from J&K has shown a lot of promise.
The SRH think tank will also be closely monitoring skipper Kane Williamson, who has been out of action since last year’s T20 World Cup. Having taken over the captaincy midway through last year, Williamson will be looking to play his first full season as captain. Coming into the IPL rested and recuperated, Williamson will bring in some new ideas and experience as international captain to SRH, which the franchise will hope change their fortunes after the indifferent season in 2021.
Apart from Malik and Williamson, focus will also be on the likes of Rahul Tripahty and Kartik Tyagi in the SRH squad. Tripathy also did well in IPL 2021 as a top-order batter while Tyagi, who caught the eye by bowling a sensational final over for Rajasthan Royals to defend four runs against Punjab Kings in UAE last year, will be another one hoping to avoid the tag of one-season wonder.
Now with SRH, Tyagi will be hoping to show the Royals what they have lost by not retaining or picking him in the auction. SRH will be without Rashid Khan, who has joined the Gujarat Titans, for the first time since 2017.
The Rajasthan Royals, winner of the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008, will be looking to make a winning start. They have major changes in their personnel and will be banking on their superb bowling unit that has the likes of Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna, who is likely to partner Boult in the powerplay, R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal.
On the batting front, Rajasthan had retained skipper Sanju Samson, opener Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler and in the auctions picked Devdutt Padikkal, likely to bat at No. 3, and Rassie van der Dussen, who has been in great form for South Africa recently. The side is vastly different from the one they had in 2021 and Samson will be hoping that their fortunes too will change with the new season.
Press Release, Source: IANS