Champions League 2013 September 16, 2013

Young and out to prove themselves

Anuj Vignesh
ESPNcricinfo lists five young faces who will look to impress during the Champions League T20

Mohit Sharma - Chennai Super Kings

Mohit Sharma heads into his first CLT20 on the back of a number of impressive statistics. After finishing as the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the 2012-13 Ranji season for Haryana, Mohit led Chennai Super Kings' charge into the IPL final with a series of nerveless bowling displays. He finished the tournament with 20 wickets, and remained economical throughout. He consistently provided vital breakthroughs, and his 15 wickets during Powerplay overs were second only to Mitchell Johnson's 16.

An expected ODI call-up against Zimbabwe materialised, and Mohit capitalised, producing a Man-of-the-Match display on debut to finish with 2 for 26. Mohit's ability to strike early will be key for Super Kings' plans in the tournament.

Ashton Agar - Perth Scorchers

Ashton Agar, 18, shot to immediate stardom after scoring a 101-ball 98 in the first Ashes Test at a time when it was least expected. Agar flattered to deceive in the remaining games, picking up just two wickets and scoring 32 runs in the remaining three innings. But Champions League will present yet another world stage to Agar. This time, the world is watching.

Asad Ali - Faisalabad Wolves

Asad Ali isn't the fastest of bowlers, but his ability to maintain a persistent line and length, and swing the ball either way, makes him a tricky customer. An impressive T20 domestic season saw Asad top the wicket-taking charts with 23 in 14 innings at an average of 15.82. Asad also shone for Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) in the President's Cup, once again finishing as the leading wicket-taker with 14, including a four-wicket haul in the final.

His performances led to a deserved ODI call-up against Ireland, where Asad bowled four maidens and also picked up a wicket. He followed it up by dismissing Alviro Petersen, AB de Villers and Ryan Mclaren in a Champions Trophy warm-up match to finish with figures of 10-1-30-3.

Shannon Gabriel - Trinidad & Tobago

Billed as a "young Ian Bishop", Shannon Gabriel first made headlines with a five-wicket haul for Trinidad & Tobago against Barbados in April 2012. Although Gabriel had an ordinary time at the inaugural Caribbean Premier League, picking up just five wickets from six games, his T20 form for the West Indies A team, as well the seniors, should give T&T fans reasons to be hopeful.

Gabriel produced a spell of 3 for 14 against Sri Lanka A in June that helped secure a 67-run win for West Indies A. He followed it up with an impressive showing for the senior team, picking up three wickets against Pakistan in July. Gabriel has an ability to generate pace and often bowls a fuller length.

Shehan Jayasuriya - Kandurata Maroons

An aggressive left-hand opening batsmen, Shehan Jayasuriya boasts of a strike rate of 76.56 in first-class cricket. But Jayasuriya is handy with his offspin as well; he produced a match-winning spell of 3 for 7 for Kandurata Maroons in a Super Fours Twenty20 Tournament game against Banashira Greens.

Since then, Jayasuriya has been in sublime touch with the bat, emerging as Sri Lanka Under-23s highest run-scorer in the Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore with 219 from three games, including a match-winning 101 against the UAE.

Jayasuriya, 22, also enjoyed a strong Premier League Tournament in 2012-13, once again finishing with the most runs. His eight matches yielded 797 runs at an average of 61.30, which included three centuries and two fifties. Jayasuriya also struck 100 boundaries during the tournament, 15 more than the next-highest batsman. Though he hasn't completely adapted his batting to the T20 format, his all-round ability has more or less assured him a spot in the Kandurata side.

Anuj Vignesh is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ThinkingCricket on September 16, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    I wish you wouldn't impose your preference onto the players. Let them play what they want; that's what makes the young Pakistani players so special (they only have that small window, when they are full of that passion and just want to play).

    As an ODI and T-20 lover, I also wish Test fans wouldn't be so reactionary and dismissive towards the other forms of the game; it's clear both players and boards find other forms more important now.

  • on September 16, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    how i wished Wolves don't play Ahsan adll. He is a test match bowler from what we saw in SA series. Might end up being another Umar gul who started as a fantastic test bowler but too much limited overs cricket wasted his prime aspect of game.

  • ThinkingCricket on September 16, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    I wish you wouldn't impose your preference onto the players. Let them play what they want; that's what makes the young Pakistani players so special (they only have that small window, when they are full of that passion and just want to play).

    As an ODI and T-20 lover, I also wish Test fans wouldn't be so reactionary and dismissive towards the other forms of the game; it's clear both players and boards find other forms more important now.

  • on September 16, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    how i wished Wolves don't play Ahsan adll. He is a test match bowler from what we saw in SA series. Might end up being another Umar gul who started as a fantastic test bowler but too much limited overs cricket wasted his prime aspect of game.

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  • on September 16, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    how i wished Wolves don't play Ahsan adll. He is a test match bowler from what we saw in SA series. Might end up being another Umar gul who started as a fantastic test bowler but too much limited overs cricket wasted his prime aspect of game.

  • ThinkingCricket on September 16, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    I wish you wouldn't impose your preference onto the players. Let them play what they want; that's what makes the young Pakistani players so special (they only have that small window, when they are full of that passion and just want to play).

    As an ODI and T-20 lover, I also wish Test fans wouldn't be so reactionary and dismissive towards the other forms of the game; it's clear both players and boards find other forms more important now.