Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
The white-ball leg of the 2019-20 Indian domestic season ended with a thriller on Sunday night in Surat, with Karnataka beating Tamil Nadu again, in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final. This season, the domestic T20 competition assumed greater significance than usual, with a schedule tweak slotting it before the IPL auction. ESPNcricinfo looks at eight players who could be on the radar of the IPL franchises
Yashasvi Jaiswal (Mumbai)
Quite a few IPL franchises were reportedly interested in the Mumbai teenager in the lead-up to the IPL 2019 auction as well, but they wanted him to expand his range and power-hitting before they could invest in him. Jaiswal has shown the talent scouts this season that he can roll out the big hits, cracking 25 sixes in six Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-overs games. Only Kerala's Vishnu Vinod - who has earlier been a replacement player with Royal Challengers Bangalore - hit more sixes than Jaiswal, but he had the benefit of playing eight matches.
Twelve of Jaiswal's 25 sixes came during his remarkable double-century against a Jharkhand attack comprising Varun Aaron, Shahbaz Nadeem and Anukul Roy in Alur. Before he travels to South Africa for the Under-19 World Cup next year, the 17-year old could well have a fat IPL contract in his kitty.
R Sai Kishore (Tamil Nadu)
Sai, a left-arm fingerspinner who thrives while bowling in the powerplay in the TNPL (Tamil Nadu Premier League), showed he could perform a similar role for his state team in their run to the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final. Sai is six feet three inches tall, and often hits awkward lengths in the powerplay. He finished the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament as the leading wicket-taker, with 20 strikes at an average of 10.40, and an outstanding economy rate of 4.63. And 15 of those 20 wickets came in the Powerplay, when there are just two fielders outside the circle.
While some of the tracks in Surat were helpful to spin, Sai also impressed in the league phase in Thiruvananthapuram, and held his own while bowling in dewy conditions later in the tournament. From Chennai Super Kings net bowler to a member of their squad come December '19?
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Priyam Garg (Uttar Pradesh)
India Under-19 captain. Already a regular for Uttar Pradesh in first-class and List A cricket. And in November he made a counterattacking 77-ball 74 in the Deodhar Trophy final on a slow pitch in Ranchi with his side in tatters around him. Get more acquainted with 19-year old batsman Garg, who is already known for his fluid strokeplay in domestic circles. Garg seems to have the game to dominate attacks as well and while he might not break into an IPL first XI immediately, he provides a good back-up option.
Ishan Porel (Bengal) b>
Fast bowlers who can hit speeds of 140kph and beyond usually pique the interest of IPL sides, and Bengal's Porel might do so too. When Porel had broken into the India Under-19 set-up, he largely bowled at the 125-130kph range, but can now bowl accurate bouncers and yorkers at 140kph. The 21-year old fast bowler has also been an India A regular recently, and bagged 5 for 43, including the wickets of Jaiswal, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar, in the 50-over Deodhar Trophy final in Ranchi in November. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy that preceded the Deodhar Trophy, Porel had picked up 10 wickets in six matches at 25.60, while maintaining an economy rate of 4.68.
Rohan Kadam (Karnataka)
Kadam, the top run-getter in the 2018-19 Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, came good this season as well, helping Karnataka defend their T20 title with 258 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of 131.63, including a busy 35 in the final. Just when Tamil Nadu were threatening a comeback, Kadam absorbed the pressure along with his captain Manish Pandey. But his most impressive knock was his 47-ball 71 against against Mumbai, which helped rescue Karnataka from 19 for 3 and vault them to 171 for 6.
Kadam missed an IPL trial with defending champions Mumbai Indians a day before the Hazare knockouts, but has now given various franchises enough reason to think about bidding for him at the auction.
Ravi Bishnoi (Rajasthan)
A legspinner who can also bat lower down the order, Bishnoi is part of the Garg-led India Under-19 side for the World Cup. Bishnoi, who bowls a skiddy wrong'un, has grabbed 12 wickets in seven youth ODIs at an economy rate of 4.37. He also bowled thrifty spells in the Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali tournaments and could well be on the radar of teams who are on the lookout for a young wristspinner. Last week, he came in as a like-for-like swap for Rahul Chahar in Rajasthan's semi-final clash against Tamil Nadu. Although the left-handed Washington Sundar nullified his threat with the ball, Bishnoi contributed an unbeaten 22 to help Rajasthan post a decent total.
M Shahrukh Khan (Tamil Nadu)
"He's got some special shots and is very promising but more importantly the journey for him is to understand these situations and try and come out doing the best he can. He's training hard, he's on the path, doing everything he can to succeed."
This was Tamil Nadu captain Dinesh Karthik's assessment of batting allrounder Shahrukh during the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Shahrukh was the state side's finisher in the 50-over tournament and made a crucial unbeaten half-century in the semi-final in Bengaluru to lead his team into the final.
Shahrukh floated up the line-up in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament and, although he couldn't make big scores at the top, he got Tamil Nadu off to a few quick starts. While speaking to ESPNcricinfo during the white-ball season, he recalled vague memories of Chennai Super Kings' Faf du Plessis being present when he won the Junior Super Kings tournament in 2012. Will he get to play alongside du Plessis for Super Kings next year? Or will the Shahrukh Khan and Karthik scoop him up for Knight Riders?
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Virat Singh (Jharkhand)
Say hello to Virat, who is a big fan of MS Dhoni and is a former India Under-19 player. The left-hand, top-order batsman from Jharkhand enjoyed a productive Syed Mushtaq Ali season, hitting 343 runs in 10 innings at an average of 57.16 and a strike rate of 142.32. He made three half-centuries, including an unbeaten 76 off 44 balls that threatened to topple eventual champions Karnataka in the Super league. Virat was also at it the Deodhar Trophy, his 76 off 96 balls forming the centerpiece of India C's recovery from 126 for 5 against India B. So, has he done enough to attract the attention of the IPL franchises?
With inputs from Shashank Kishore
Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore