IPL: Tamil Nadu cricketers enter the big league

Chennai: Ever since the TNPL came into prominence, the league has given players from across the state a platform to showcase their abilities in the limited-overs format. Given their impressive performances, the league has also helped them make the next grade to go into the much lucrative Indian Premier League.

While we have seen players like Murugan Ashwin, T Natrajan and Varun Chakravarthy utilising the TNPL to attract bidders and make the leap into IPL, this year too as many as 10 players were in the IPL radar with Sai Kishore, M Siddharth, Shahrukh Khan and G Periyaswamy expected to make the cut.

But in the end four players, Sai Kishore (CSK) M Siddharth (KKR) and Varun Chakravarthy (KKR) attracted the bidders and will be seen in action in the 13th edition of the IPL.

Varun Chakravarthy

One of the most surprising picks among the TN players is Varun Chakravarthy as he was not expected to attract any teams since he is yet to play competitive cricket after making his debut at last year’s IPL.

After being picked by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping 8.4 Crores at the auction last year, Varun, the lesser-known mystery spinner from Tamilnadu gained sudden national attention and life was all set to take off for the then 27-year old, who had given up cricket at one point.

After a stellar performance with the ball first during TNPL 2018 and later for Tamilnadu in Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy he was given IPL debut mid-way through the season last year and it turned out to be a match to forget for the Chennai lad as Sunil Narine came all guns blazing against him.

Then an injury prevented him from taking part in rest of the IPL and he didn’t feature in any cricket match since then. Not even in the radar ahead of this auction, the player, however, became a crorepati for the second time as he was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders this time for 4 crores.

Sai Kishore

The highest wicket-taker at this year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Sai Kishore was seen as the one for whom many teams would wage a bidding war at the auctions. But as one should always expect the unexpected at the auctions, when his name came up for the first time, there were no takers for him leaving many perplexed.

However, he was finally picked during the second time by Chennai Super Kings, for whom he was the net bowler in the previous seasons. Though it would be difficult for Sai Kishore to make it to the final XI in an already spin heavy team like CSK, one can hope that the local lad gets an opportunity to don the yellow jersey.

M Siddharth

M Siddharth another left-arm spinner from Tamilnadu, came in as a replacement for Murali Vijay during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this and grabbed the opportunity with both the hands as he immediately made the mark by grabbing 12 wickets in just five games.

He was also someone utilised by TN skipper Dinesh Karthik to bowl in the powerplay and he shone brightly. He has now been snapped up by KKR and one can expect that he thrives yet again under DK.

Aaditya Anand M