Under-19 all-rounder Raj Angad Bawa is set to make his debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. One of the top-performers at the Under-19 World Cup 2022, the youngster had scored 252 runs at a staggering average of 63 and also picked up nine wickets, including a five-wicket haul in the final against England.
The 19-year-old cricketer from Punjab was one of the players who sparked a bidding war at the mega auctions last month. Ultimately, Punjab Kings purchased him after spending a whopping sum of Rs 2 crore.
Former India wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim has lavished praise on Raj, stating that the youngster could have huge IPL season ahead of him. Speaking at YouTube podcast ‘Khelneeti’, he said,
“India have always looked for batting or bowling all-rounder as their importance is paramount across formats. We saw the likes of Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur go for a hefty fee for the same reason. Raj Angad Bawa has shown capability in the U19 World Cup and he can be a big player in the future.”
“However, there is a huge gulf of quality between U19 cricket and international cricket. So it is important for the officials and coaches of the Punjab Kings to guide him to perform well and flourish,” he added.
Speaking of youngsters, Karim mentioned about Karnataka batter Devdutt Padikkal. After scoring hundreds of runs for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in past 2 years, the 21-year-old will be seen in action for Rajasthan Royals.
Riding on his IPL exploits, he got a couple of opportunities to play for India but there he couldn’t showcase his class properly. In 2 T20Is, he could only muster 38 runs.
Since the new IPL season is at the doorstep, Padikkal will look to work on his batting and try to improve from the mistakes made in the past. Karim feels that the opposition bowlers will find his weak areas and that is something he needs to work on.
“Devdutt Padikkal will need to work very hard. This is because after having one good season, the video analysts and data analysts help the bowlers to work you out and exploit your weakness. So, I think Padikkal would need to work on his mindset and understand what are his scoring shots. So, I hope that such players who have performed well in IPL before are able to show that consistency,” Karim said YouTube podcast ‘Khelneeti’.