The Tamil Nadu Premier League of 2017 has set huge standards for performance. Centuries, Half centuries, last ball victories, rain washed games and a lot more, this season has all the elements. And just as is custom, the season also produced fine heroes who shone with their brilliant performances. After IPL 2017 saw young domestic batsmen the likes of Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi working wonders, all eyes are on TNPL for more such stars. We have a look at a handful of these players who are knocking on the doors of the cash strapped IPL.
R SAI KISHORE- CHEPAUK’S SPIN WIZARD
Sai Kishore is one player who stood tall at the pitch, literally and metaphorically. The leading wicket taker of TNPL 2017 with 17 scalps against his name in 10 games and an economy of 5.7, Sai Kishore was vital to CSG’s maiden victory run. Using his height to great advantage, Sai Kishore chokes the opposition with a dotball percentage of 45.42% creating ample opportunities and also has a 5 wicket haul. Having performed well for Tamil Nadu as well, Sai Kishore might already be in the scheme of things of sides like Kings XI Punjab that currently require a strong spin attack or may even walk out with his idol Ashwin donning home colors!
M SHAHJAHAN – KARAIKUDI KAALAI’S REAR GUARD
This all rounder from Karaikudi Kaalai has put in impressive performances with the bat. Though he couldn’t bowl a whole lot due to injury, his batting average of 41.8 at a strike rate of 145.14 has been decisive for his side. Furthermore he had won the praise of the commentators and fans alike for stabilizing an innings and also doing it at a fast pace with 17 sixes to show for . Add to that some useful left arm spin and it is a matter of time we see him in IPL colors.
KAUSHIK GANDHI – TUTI PATRIOTS ROBIN
While Washington Sundar set the tournament on fire, Kaushik had piled on runs silently. 297 runs at an average of 42.43 and two half centuries have definitely made scouts sit up and take notice.His run tally is bettered only by his opening partner Washington. His stint with the Tamil Nadu side has also been praiseworthy and hence is without doubt in the reckoning for an IPL call up. Kaushik Gandhi brings stability to the batting attack which is crucial to any side, especially when his opening partner fired on all cylinders.
KB ARUN KARTHIK- VETERAN OF MADURAI SUPERGIANT
The Madurai Supergiant side had no reason to celebrate this year whatsoever. However for the 31 year old skipper; it was a good season with the willow as he amassed 250 runs at an average of 50 and an impressive strike rate 182.48 comprising of three half centuries. With IPL sides likely to be rejigged, the experience this seasoned campaigner brings to the side is also to be taken into account.
BHARATH SHANKAR – HITMAN OF RUBY TRICHY WARRIORS
Walking out of the tournament with 265 runs with an average of 44.17 which included a century and a half century, Bharath completes this list for having been a reliable batsman who contributed handsomely. Scouts across the country have taken note of his capability to play the match winning innings with his 112 not out against Karaikudi kaalai. This 23 year old swashbuckler has shown great promise and might turn a few heads during the IPL auction.
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ANTONY DHAS – CHEPAUK SUPER GILLIES
The medium pace all rounder had everything in him to make it big, and he did contribute well with the bat with an average of 35.4 and strike rate of 166.98 along with 15 sixes. However he had misfired with the ball managing only 5 wickets of 10 innings at an economy of 9.72. No doubt that he is a champ in the making and IPL sides might look to snare him early simply because of the pedigree he belongs to – pace allrounder.
R ROHIT – LYCA KOVAI KINGS
After smashing the fastest century in TNPL Rohit has definitely earned a lot of recognition. 186 runs at a strike rate of 151.22 is too good to ignore for any side. However the wicket keeper has remained not out on 3 out of 6 innings and barring the century has not made any significant contribution. Another prospect who may be in the radar of IPL franchisees.
For all we know the IPL auction table may spring up a surprise as it goes beyond just numbers and names, as we saw with Karnataka spinner KC Cariappa in 2015.
The list strongly reflects on how the tournament has been a batsmen’s game. Also toss in the likes of Abhinav Mukund and Aswin Crist who have performed well in the domestic games, exciting times are round the corner for these players and for Tamil Nadu Cricket as well.
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