IPL 2020: Four young Indian pacers set to take season 13 by storm
Will IPL 2020 be the launchpad for India's next generation of pacers like Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Ishan Porel, Khaleel Ahmed and Shivam Mavi?
The biggest Twenty 20 domestic tournament is almost back in town, and the heat is slowly rising. So it's only fair that we talk about some up and coming speedsters, who can set any pitch on fire.
For the first time in almost an eternity, the Indian pace battery has become strong enough to dismantle the strongest of batting line ups and win matches on their own. And that has to do with Indian pacers finally stepping into that 'express speed' league and improving their fitness.
Be it Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, or even newcomers like Navdeep Saini - all regularly clock upwards of the 140 kmph-mark and can take apart any opposition, even those who are having good days at the crease.
This change in the stature of Indian pacers also means that the youngsters now understand the need for speed to break into the national team.
Here are four talented young Indian fast bowlers who are all set to become the neighbour's nightmares and the owner’s pride:
1. Ishan Porel - Kings XI Punjab
Bengal are on the verge of winning their first Ranji Trophy title since 1989-90 and the management will have their pace bowling attack to thank for the remarkable run.. Ishan Porel has perhaps been the most lethal option in bowling for the Bengal side and the 21-year-old will now be keen to take forward that good form to the IPL. After a successful run with the India Under-19 team, Ishan is now a regular member of India A team and will certainly be knocking on the doors of the senior team selectors with his dominating performances in the Ranji Trophy.
The new ball bowler will play for the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in IPL 2020 after being procured for his base price of INR 20L. Porel is expected to get a decent number of games as KXIP don't boast of another quality Indian fast-bowler in their line-up apart from Mohammed Shami.
Porel may not be the quickest of the bowlers but his solid rhythm and deadly swingers can undo the defence of most batsmen in IPL.
2. Kamlesh Nagarkoti - Kolkata Knight Riders
Porel's former U19 teammate Kamlesh Nagarkoti on the other hand bowls above 140 kmh consistently. Nagarkoti started with a lot of promise and even more pace in the 2018 Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand, but soon fell prey to injuries, which led to the young speedster missing two consecutive IPL seasons for Kolkata Knight Riders.
This season it seems like Nagakoti will finally be able to don the purple and gold consistently and be part of a young attack which can scare any batting line-up with sheer pace. If Nagarkoti is able to work in sync with the likes of Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna and Pat Cummins, then KKR might just have a winning bowling attack in their hand.
Nagarkorti consistently touched the 140 kmph in the recent DY Patil t20 cup, and if he carries forward that form for the two-time champions, then 'Korbo, Lorbo, Jitbo' squad will benefit immensely.
3. Khaleel Ahmed - SunRisers Hyderabad
The 22-year old from Rajasthan is amongst the bowlers Team India have really focused on in recent years. Despite middling performances in recent times for the Men in Blue, Khaleel Ahmed remains one pacer who has received praise from legends of fast bowling. From local legend Zaheer Khan to Brett Lee, maestros of the art have opined that if Ahmed is nurtured properly, he can be team India's future.
Ahmed has impressed people with his pace since 2018 by maintaining his average of over 140 kmph which led to Sunrisers Hyderabad picking up the pacer for a massive price-tag of INR 3 crores that season.
Khaleel will be the second most important pacer for SRH after Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who is set to return from an injury. So with added responsibility and with some new swinging deliveries in the arsenal, IPL 2020 will be crucial for young Khaleel.
4. Shivam Mavi - Kolkata Knight Riders
There's a reason ICC had released a special video featuring the Indian pace attack of 2018 Indian U19 team and called it 'India U19s- the need for speed!' - the Indian team not only had Ishan Porel and Kamlesh Nagarkoti in their ranks but also a certain speedster called Shivam Mavi.
As stated earlier, KKR possibly have the freshest and fiercest pace attack in the tournament and Shivam Mavi forms an important cog in that. Mavi was a regular for KKR in the 2018 season, but was ruled out of the 2019 season due to injury.
In 2020, Mavi is expected to take the field for KKR regularly and once again baffle the speed gun!