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With the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League rolling on like a bulldozer that it is, we thought let’s take a look at some extravagant performances by players who are exclusive to the world stage, only through the IPL!

IPL 2021 is the second season being conducted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a harrowing turn of events where people have to stay at home and not be in the stadiums supporting their favorite teams. But on the flip side, IPL is the only thing keeping cricket lovers sane, giving them high action cricket everyday when life has become so bland otherwise.

Like every year, we get to see seasoned pros and superstars of the game, (both home-grown and foreign) do what they do best and create moments that we cherish forever. On the other end of the spectrum, we have complete newbies of the cricket world from the Indian local circuit who never shy away from amazing the audiences, year after year.

IPL has become a platform for youngsters to arrive, play fearless cricket, and then make it to the Indian team to repeat their magic on the biggest stage of them all. The direct impact of the temperament training the IPL provides was seen very recently in the legendary Australian series, where a lot of young Indian players showed fearless approach in the most high–pressure test cricket scenarios.

So today, we’re having a look at some of the greatest, most memorable IPL performances by uncapped Indian players. Please note, that this is not in any order and the players listed may have played for India after the specific performance. They were just uncapped during the mentioned game.

1. Devdutt Padikkal – 101* (52) | RCB vs RR, IPL 2021

Our first entry on the list is just a few weeks old. Devdutt Padikkal is an impressive young man who turned heads in the last season making his debut. He is turning into quite a local legend, and is sure to play for India soon in the future. The 20 year old impressed everyone in the 2020 season held in the UAE, smashing a half-century on debut and 5 in total across the season.

His best effort however, came in the 16th match of the latest, 2021 season where Padikkal’s 101 of just 52 balls helped RCB smash Rajasthan Royals by 10 wickets. It was a dominating display of high class batting with 11 fours and 6 maximums. It is also the fastest century by an uncapped Indian player EVER.

2. Manish Pandey – 114* (73) | RCB vs DC, IPL 2009

It took 115 games for the ‘Indian’ Premier League to have its first Indian centurion. During the initial years, the concept of a hundred in a T20 game was fascinating as the format was still young. But those ideas were smashed in the face with the very first IPL game where Brendon McCullum played a historic knock of 150+. Then the season saw more centuries by overseas superstars like Michael Hussey, Adam Gilchrist, and Sanath Jayasuriya; still no hundred from an Indian.

Then came the second season, and more than half of it had passed. Nobody could’ve seen it coming from a 19 year old player nobody knows about. Manish Pandey against Deccan Chargers in the second season held in South Africa, made history by scoring the first century by an Indian in an IPL game. His unbeaten 114 off 73 balls helped RCB to a comfortable victory.

3. Paul Valthaty – 120* (63) | KXIP vs CSK, IPL 2011

This inning comes from a time when CSK used to be perceived as indestructible. Paul Valthaty is a lost legend who couldn’t rise to the level of his fellow peers, but April 13, 2011 was his day. This is the day where he made his own place in the history books. Chasing a steep 189, Paul Valthaty opened the batting with Adam Gilchrist.

Not as explosive by IPL standards, Valthaty’s innings contained only 2 sixes. But he made up for that with a staggering 19 fours. His was the fastest IPL hundred by an Indian uncapped player till Padikkal broke his record just recently.  

4. Ankit Rajpoot – 5/14 | KXIP vs SRH, IPL 2018

This Indian fast bowler created history in the 11th edition of the IPL by picking up the first fifer by an uncapped Indian player. His are also the best figures by any Indian uncapped bowler till date! The right arm pacer picked up high-quality top order batsman Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, and Wriddhiman Saha in his first 3 overs.

He then later came back in the last over to pick up a well set Manish Pandey and Md. Nabi. He was on fire this day as he kept coming hard at the batters and hit the deck with all he had. Unfortunately, regardless of his heroics, KXIP lost the match by 13 runs, but his performance was etched in IPL history.

5. Varun Chakrawarty – 5/20 | KKR vs DC, IPL 2020

The term ‘mystery spinner’ has been used loosely for any off-spinner with tricks. The whole tradition started when Sri Lankan offie, Ajantha Mendis was unreadable on the International scene. Then came the likes of Sunil Narine, and the growing success of this kind of spinner made them high in demand for the T20 format, especially for franchise cricket.

India found their own mystery spinner when Varun Chakrawarty and his unorthodox bowling technique made some noise on the scene. IPL 2020 was when he finally came good, and showcased why he was sold so expensive. His fifer against Delhi Capital was an example of exactly why these mystery spinners work so well. Batsmen kept skying him trying to hit, and kept getting caught in the deep. This earned Chakrawarty an instant addition into the Indian T20I setup. Unfortunately because of injuries he’s yet to make his debut.   

By Divyanshu Gupta

Writer | Cricket Enthusiast | Musician| Welcome to my mind! I relate most regular hardships with Test Cricket. The irregular ones, I write about in my Death Metal band KillKount. You're welcome to stay! @mickount

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