It was the charge of the young brigade in the first week of IPL 2023. Rituraj Gaikwad, 26, lit the fuse on the opening day for the Chennai Super Kings with a stroke-filled 92, but the Gujarat Titans hit back through another youngster. Shubman Gill, 23, continued his scoring ways to set up the champions’ defence of their title.
It was Yashaswi Jaiswal’s turn on Sunday when he put the Sunrisers Hyderabad’s attack to the sword to pave the way for the Rajasthan Royals’ big win. Jaiswal, 21, is a precocious talent who hasn’t reached his full potential. It could happen this year.
Tilak Varma, 20, had served notice of his talent last year, but the Mumbai Indians didn’t persist with him. His 46-ball 86 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore should persuade skipper Rohit Sharma to make him a permanent fixture this season. For, none of the other Mumbai batters could make an impression.
That mattered little since Bangalore easily chased Mumbai’s target, with former captain Virat Kohli showing the way with a well-crafted unbeaten (49 balls). King Kohli is back as he extended his international form into IPL Season 16. The RCB will also take heart from skipper Faf du Plessis’s 43-ball 73 as they chase their maiden title.
Rajasthan would be pleased to see Jos Buttler pick from where he left off last year when he became the top scorer. Sanju Samson played a responsible knock befitting a captain as Rajasthan look to regain the title.
The bowling honours belonged to Mark Wood. The Englishman nearly clocked 150kmph to return a five-wicket haul in his IPL debut as the Lucknow Super Giants routed the Delhi Capitals.
There’s more in our wrap from last week’s games and the preview for this week. Check out our video chat.