Nikhil Shankar Naik
November 09, 1994, Savantwadi, Maharashtra
Right hand Bat
An attacking wicketkeeper-batsman, Nikhil Naik was a product of age-group cricket in Maharashtra. Naik's journey to cricket, though, was far from easy. He lost his mother to paralysis in 2010, when still a teenager, and his father, a fish vendor, used to borrow money from his friends to pay for Naik's kits.
After having led the Under-16 and Under-19 state sides to national titles, Naik made his List-A debut at 19 for Maharashtra, against Gujarat in the 2014 Vijay Hazare Trophy. He was one of the finds of the tournament, scoring 234 runs in four matches at 58.50.
His big hitting caught the eyes of Mumbai Indians with whom he trialled, but an IPL contract did not materialise. It did the following year when Kings XI Punjab bought him for INR 30 lakh. He was retained by the franchise in 2015 ahead of the 20-over Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in which he scored 196 runs in five matches at 39.20.
Batting & Fielding