The Indian Premier League has begun! And with it, comes an opportunity for young turks to make a big impact on the big stage.
At Kolkata Knight Riders, we have always believed in nurturing young, rising talent. And it is no different this season. Here is a look at our young Knights to watch out for in IPL 2017
Making his Test debut recently against Australia, the Kanpur boy impressed everyone with his control and variation. Coming into the side, Yadav grabbed headlines with a four-wicket haul in the first innings of the fourth Test at Dharamsala. Kuldeep put up an outstanding show in Ranji Trophy 2016-17, achieving the rare double feat of being the highest run getter (466 runs in 8 games) and highest wicket taker (35 wickets in 8 games) for his side Uttar Pradesh. He was included in the team straightaway this year and picked up the two important wickets of Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch. Apart from that, he was economical as well and went on to trouble the batsmen with his variations.
The Jharkhand vice-captain has been in terrific form throughout the domestic season. His batting was instrumental behind Jharkhand’s maiden appearance in the Ranji Trophy semi final. Jaggi amassed 890 runs from 10 matches at a healthy average of 59.33 in the Ranji Trophy. He continued that sensational form into the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and played an important part in East Zone's triumph with 214 runs in four games at a strike rate of 163.20. Jaggi’s outstanding show continued in the Vijay Hazare Trophy (playing for Jharkhand) as well with 297 runs at an average of 55.80 in 8 games.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has been a part of the Saurashtra team for many years now. While he had his ups and downs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy, Jackson scored 469 runs at an average of 33.50 in 14 Ranji Trophy matches this season. Prior to that, Jackson scored 368 runs in 3 matches in Duleep Trophy at a staggering average of 122.66.
With a sling arm action, Bengal’s Sayan Ghosh is a great asset to the team. After picking 17 wickets in just 4 matches for Bengal in Ranji Trophy, Ghosh went on to pick 6 wickets (4 matches) and 11 wickets (6 wickets) in Syed Mushtaq Ali and Vijay Hazare Trophy respectively. Watch out for those yorkers as they are not easy to pick up!
Hailing from the same state as Kuldeep Yadav, Ankit Rajpoot finished with 21 Ranji wickets (the third highest for his team) in the 2016-17 season. Although Rajpoot failed to impress in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he grabbed 8 wickets in 4 Vijay Hazare Trophy matches. Having represented Chennai Super Kings before, the lanky pacer would look to better his IPL figures.
R Sanjay Yadav grabbed the eyeballs with his allround abilites in the 2016 Tamil Nadu Premier League. He scored 135 runs in 6 matches, smashing 10 sixes and 9 fours. With a strike rate of 139.17, he can be considered more of a batting all-rounder. His TNPL performances helped him earn a spot in the Tamil Nadu T20 squad for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Rishi Dhawan finished the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy season as the highest wicket-taker with 49 scalps. He continued to work hard and that eventually resulted in the all-rounder earning a national call up for the ODI and T20 series in Australia at the beginning of 2016. Dhawan's all-round abilities makes him a valuable asset for us. Previously, Dhawan has represented Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.