Strictly speaking, Iyer has already had a breakout IPL season. The aggressive top-order batsman from Mumbai was picked up by the Delhi Daredevils in 2015 for 2.6 crore, and he repaid the faith with 439 runs in the tournament, picking up the emerging player award. Iyer has continued to display form in domestic cricket, with a first-class average of 54 at a remarkable strike rate of 80 fueling an India call-up last year. Back with the Daredevils, Iyer has the opportunity to stake a claim for a spot in India’s middle order ahead of the World Cup next year.
Another young attacking Mumbai batsman, Prithvi Shaw has been earmarked for greatness from the U-14 level. After dominating age-group and club cricket, Shaw had a spectacular first Ranji season, smashing five hundreds at the top of the order. He captained India at the Under-19 World Cup, and displayed a skill set beyond his years as he led India to the title. Shaw is a free-flowing top-order batsman who can be expected to display the range of his talents during the Powerplay overs. Delhi can expect an immense return from this prodigy.
Gill was the highest run-scorer in the Under-19 World Cup, with commentators describing him as the most complete player they had seen at that level. His power game and ability to pick up length stood out, as he made mincemeat of inexperienced bowling attacks through the tournament. Kolkata Knight Riders have signaled their intentions for him to feature prominently in their lineup this season, and he can be expected to refine his T20 game with six-hitting specialists such as Chris Lynn and Andre Russell around him over the next six weeks.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti was the star bowler of the Under-19 World Cup, displaying a rare ability to hit the 145 kph mark. He shines as a truly complete pace prospect, with impeccable control, the ability to move the ball in the air, an easy action, and cricketing intelligence. Bowling four overs a game will allow him to bowl flat-out, and with the experience of Australian pace legend Mitchell Johnson expected to share the new ball with him, he has a wealth of knowledge to draw upon.
A swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman from the cricketing backwaters of Jharkhand: sound familiar? Ishan Kishan has already played 32 first-class games at the age of 19, and has cracked 54 sixes from those games. For comparison, Gilchrist hit 100 sixes in 96 Test Matches. Kishan was snapped up for Rs. 6.2 crore at the auction, displaying Mumbai Indians’ faith in him and indicating his probable starting place in their power-packed lineup.