Next Gen of Karnataka Cricket !!!
Karnataka has been a state which has contributed immensely to Indian cricket with many players. There was a time when more than 3-4 players in the playing 11 of the Indian team were cricketers from the state. Even though there are not many in Indian cricket team from the state currently, the state team has been doing really well in Ranji and other Inter-State tournaments. And even now Karnataka has good depth of talented cricketers right from the junior most level.
Thus this article aims to throw light on 3 of the most consistent junior cricketers from Karnataka who has been performing very well in Inter state tournaments and even in Karnataka Premier League. These three will definitely make it big in Karnataka and Indian cricket if they continue their current form and learn from their mistakes.
1. NIKIN JOSE
Nikin is just 17 years of age but his game will definitely cause confusions in the minds of spectators as his game is very matured and classy. Nikin has been a popular name in junior level cricket from quite some time. His consistency in junior level also helped him to get selected for Mysuru Warriors , a team which plays in Karnataka Premier League and also made his debut for them in 2015 when he was just 15 years old. By making his debut in KPL at such a young age he also became the youngest cricketer to play in the tournament. It was his performance in the debut season against KPL team Rockstars which increased his popularity. He finished with bowling figures of 6 for 11 in his 4 overs and also scored 25 of 18 balls when he batted. After that he has been part of both KPL editions and played for different teams. In KPL 2017 also Nikin did put up a decent performance although
In the recently concluded Vinoo Mankad Trophy U-19 Inter state tournament Nikin was the skipper of Karnataka and also performed well with the bat. He averaged 46 with the bat in this inter-state tournament.
Nikin's inspiration to start playing cricket has been his dad who is a physical education teacher in Mysore. His parents has always been his greatest support. Nikin's current aim is getting into India U-19 team, and currently that's his biggest dream.
2. DEVDUTT PADIKKAL
Devdutt Padikkal, a 17 year old Bangalorean and a Karnataka Institute of Cricket academy product has been one of the most consistent performers in junior cricket in Karnataka. He infact has couple of 'Double centuries' too in his name. KPL 2017 was a major breakthrough for this Karnataka lad. In 2017 edition he represented Bellary tuskers and was the opener for the team.
This left handed batsman has great power in his shots and sixes in any ground is not so very difficult for this lad. His one particular performance in KPL 2017 against Bengaluru Blasters was worth watching. He hit 72 runs from 53 balls and his innings included couple of boundaries as well as couple of sixes too. He was awarded man of the match for this performance. Interestingly, Nikin Jose too did well in the same match and he too hit a fifty but Devdutt had the last laugh as it was Devdutt's team which won the match.
In the recently concluded Vinoo Mankad Trophy U-19 One day limited overs South Zone League, Karnataka were crowned champions and Devdutt played a major role in it. He was the best performer with the bat for Karnataka as he scored 194 runs in 4 innings with a very impressive average of 65. He also hit a unbeaten century in this limited overs tournament.
3. SHUBHANG HEGDE
Shubhang may be the youngest of the 3 young cricketers in this article as he is just 16, but he is equally impressive too. Shubhang is an allrounder all though he is more known for his spin bowling.
Shubhang is another KIOC product and has been very consistent and impressive right from a very young age. By the age of 15 Shubhang had generated a buzz in Karnataka cricket by scoring over 1000 runs and picking close to 90 wickets in various age-group tournaments.
Shubhang's father Samarth Hegde is also a former cricketer and has been Shubhang's role model in life and cricket. When it comes to International cricket one man who has always inspired this young cricketer has been former New Zealand cricketer Daniel Vettori.
One of Shubhang's landmark moment and something which he will not forget soon was when he was called to bowl in nets against Indian Test team which were practicing in Bangalore prior to a test match between India and Australia in Bangalore. He was fortunate to bowl alongside Indian Internationals Ashwin, Jayant Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav. And bowling under the watchful eyes of a spin wizard, Anil Kumble made it even more special for this young spinner.
Shubhang's popularity highly increased after Karnataka Premier League 2017. Playing for Belgavi Panthers Shubhang was one of the most impressive youngster of the tournament as he bowled some very economical spells and also picked up crucial wickets. His impressive figures of 2-8 against Bijapur Bulls in KPL 2017 finals attracted lot of attention.