We are through 18 matches in the 60-game extravaganza called IPL and we are yet to see a few young Indian players striking a name for themselves or announcing themselves with a big bang.
Except for Mumbai Indians – where Shikhar Dhawan, Saurabh Tiwary, Ambati Rayudu and R Sathish have had modest but consistent contributions at every opportunity – none of the teams matches have seen the fringe guys make an impression beyond the odd match.
Manvinder Bisla got a half century but players like Pradeep Sangwan (Delhi Daredevils bowler) and T Suman and Jaskaran Singh (Deccan Chargers batsman and bowler) have failed to cash in on the numerous chances their captains have given them. Only Praveen Kumar and Virat Kohli have shown the spark but they have already made their mark in the Indian team. R Vinay Kumar, also from Bangalore, made a welcome entry into the top three bowlers pnly late yesterday.
The contribution of the non-international players remains vital and that has kept the Mumbai Indians on top of the table – with the masterly Sachin Tendulkar leading the way.
A look at the table – where the likes of Jacques Kallis, Tendulkar, Chaminda Vaas and Muthiah Muralitharan top the batting and bowling charts – also destroys the myth that the game is not for old hands.
Tendulkar has steadfastly refused once again to accede to the strong wish of millions of fans to be part of the Twenty20 world cup that follows immediately. But the evidence so far makes us itch to ask him, if he is fit, enthusiastic and performing, why not?