IPL 2021: 5 Top Picks from Mushtaq Ali Trophy

Indian domestic cricket has often been influential in the prices the young cricketers get in the IPL auctions. This year too, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will have a significant impact on the selection of Indian players in the IPL.

In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the domestic cricketers who have a chance to get picked in the IPL squads on the basis of their performances in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

(Stats as on 27th January 2021)

1. Puneet Bisht

Puneet Bisht is a wicket-keeper batsman who has been playing domestic cricket since 2006 and has played for many domestic teams. He was in the Delhi team, when the likes of Virat Kohli, Sehwag, Ishant and Dhawan played. He then shifted to Jammu & Kashmir and currently is playing for Meghalaya. Puneet doesn’t boast of exceptional records, but he has done well behind done decently in all formats.

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Puneet averages 38 in First Class Cricket at a strike-rate of over 60, in 94 games. He averages 38 at a strike-rate of 99 in List A cricket. In T20s, he averages 21 at a strike-rate of 144 (in 54 games).

In the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he has scored 204 runs in 4 games, averaging 102 at an exceptional SR of 217. His swashbuckling nature can catch the eyes of some franchises who are in need of a backup wicket keeper. He was a part of Delhi Daredevils, but he didn’t get to play a game.

2. Jalaj Saxena

Jalaj Saxena has performed excellently in domestic cricket, if not for Jadeja-Ashwin, he would’ve certainly got a chance to represent India in Tests. In First Class games, he has played as many as 123 matches, and has scored over 5000 runs, and picked over 300 wickets. Surprisingly, he is the only Indian to achieve this feat. He averages 27 with the ball and 36 with the bat in First Class Cricket.

He has been a part of Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore but unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to play. In T20s, though he hasn’t been at his best with the bat, he definitely has performed with the ball, Jalaj has played close to 60 T20 games, and he averages 18 with the ball.

In the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he has picked 10 wickets in 5 games, averaging 12 with the ball, at an economy of 6.2. He’s a multi-dimensional player and has been good recently. He has got strong chances of getting picked by IPL franchises.

3. Monu Kumar

Monu had been a part of CSK earlier but got only 1 game to play. In that game, he returned with figures of 20 for none in 2 overs. He was then released by the team.

Monu has proven to be very good in the shortest format of the game. He has played 27 games and averages 21 with the ball conceding just 7.1 per over. In the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he has picked 8 wickets in 4 games, averaging 14 with the ball.

Monu was also part of the 2014 Under 19 World Cup, and had played with the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Kuldeep Yadav and Sanju Samson.

4. Avi Barot

Avi Barot has been in sensational form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He is currently the 3rd highest run-scorer in the tournament behind Prabhsimran Singh and N Jagadeesan. He has scored 283 runs in 5 innings, averaging 57 at a strike-rate of 185!

Barot has been in domestic cricket since 2011, though he has got limited success in First Class and List A, his performances in T20s have been good. He has played 20 games overall, where he averages 38 at a SR of 146.

5. Mohammed Azharudeen

Having a similar name with India great ‘Azharuddin’, Azharudeen caught everyone eyeballs in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, when he scored 137* off just 53 balls.

He is a young wicket-keeper batsman hailing from Kerala. Although he has limited experience, he has high chances of getting picked due to his recent heroics.

In ongoing SMAT, he has scored 214 runs in 5 innings, averaging 54 at a strike-rate of 195!

Featured Image: Kerala Cricket

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