There was Dhoni. There was Kohli, there was Jadeja, the four hitter off the final delivery of the much-awaited finals.
And forget not, there were tons of gritty performers and massive franchises that kept the die hard cricket lover on the tenterhooks all throughout.
But the Indian Premier League’s 2023 edition would always be remembered for some inspirational young batsmen who fought fire with fire and succeeded already in carving a niche of their own.
So which young and promising batsmen made the IPL in 2023 their own courtesy the fireworks from the bat?
Shubman Gill (Gujarat Titans)
He’s already dubbed the Prince of cricket. And can anyone be blamed calling him that?
Though, truth be told, the stylish bowing down to the crowd to acknowledge their love upon reaching a milestone and the taking off the helmet to soak in all the love happens much later; what happens first and foremost is the smattering of the bowlers and the sending of the white ball to different parts of the ground.
As a batsman, Shubman Gill has grown accustomed to producing big numbers from the bat and as a cricketer, he’s grown in stature; the enviable comparisons with none other than Virat Kohli have already impressed fans and at the same time, given them a tantalising picture of the imminent future wherein the two would together smash records.
But while Kohli is the absolute legend, Gill, at 23 and approaching 2,500 runs already i intentional cricket is already turning out to be an inspiration for the next generation of uncapped talent desirous of the India national cap.
In this edition of the IPL, Gill combined awe inspiring stroke-making and that touch of timing to produce a mountain of runs: smashing bowlers from all possible teams as he made his intent clear.
And he had only one intent as far as this IPL was concerned, which was to be the premier stroke maker and the one they’d go ga-ga over.
A Titan who played like one for the Gujarat Titans, Shubman Gill nearly single handedly carried the big hopes of his successful runner’s up outfit, out scoring profusely talented batters like David Miller and Hardik Pandya.
As a matter of fact, he’d also emerge as the man who put a dagger through the heart of the much loved Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit, courtesy a mega ton that came at a blindingly fast rate. It would end the campaign in for a team that once again met with bitter disappointment.
With the way he is batting, it appears that Gill has several great years of glorious run making ahead of him and it’s certainly what the Indian Cricket devotee would hope for.
From 17 games this season, the right hander scored 890 runs at a strike rate of 158 and a batting average of almost 60.
Moreover, the Punjab boy emerged as the only batsman with three centuries against his name.
Rinku Singh (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Most cricket fans will for time immemorial stay hooked on to the highlights of the much -awaited and closely-watched finals of the recently completed season.
But then there’ll always be those among us who will never quite forget the events of April 9, 2023 and what transpired in match#13 of the season.
Never before had a cricketer struck five sixes and that too in the final over of a steep run chase.
Then, that Rinku Singh, back then not the most popular cricketer, fired five on the trot was unarguably the most sensational moment of the 2023 IPL.
A brave, mighty and utterly unprecedented effort, the young 25-year-old Rinku became a household name for a mighty exploit that perhaps none saw coming.
In the context of achievement, Rinku’s unbeaten and matchwining effort against the mighty Gujarat Titans side was a feat that was perhaps as valuable as that of the entire mighty victorious Chennai SuperKings.
A powerful big hitting bat, perhaps what’s rather impressive about Rinku Singh’s achievement is how he’s able to pull off tricky match situations despite not being the tallest athlete on the ground.
Alas, what takes to succeed in the great game of cricket is huge appetite for success, over and above anything else.
From 14 matches this season, Rinku made 474 runs at a strike rate touching 150.
Yashasvi Jaiswal (Rajasthan Royals)
One of those success stories that see a cricketer that really had nothing much to fall
back on if success didn’t come his way to ultimately succeeding with immense passion and pride, albeit no loudness, Yashasvi Jaiswal was one of the finest joys of watching the Indian Premier League in 2023.
Back in the day, he had scored 400 runs in the Under-19 World Cup in 2020. He’d then prove his class again by becoming the youngest Indian at the time he hit a double century in List-A cricket.
But thanks to his immense talent and the ability to put both good and balls away, that Jaiswal scored over 600 runs in the recent IPL was an event that was seen live by much of the cricket doting world.
It was as if witnessing a talent take the centre stage with nothing held back. That Yashasvi, perhaps one the finest left handers in the game in India, out performed
several big names in that star-studded Rajasthan Royals side including Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson was the real sight to behold.
Though one of the finest moments on the whole was seeing the very boy score a century at the Wankhede in Mumbai who, in the recent past, would often walk past the very stadium imaging the day he would do so.
Nothing could possibly come better than Yashasvi Jaiswal coming of age and the IPL 2023 will always be remembered for that.
Now that many are saying that the future opening cauldron of the Indian team is secure with Gill and Jaiswal, one can’t blame them for that should ideally come true and, soon!
From 14 games this season, he scored 625 runs with that famous century against Mumbai Indians at a strike rate north of 163.
Sai Sudharsan (Gujarat Titans)
The sheer beauty of the IPL is just how many young talents it almost always produces nearly every single time thus humbling all those misconceptions and correcting misnomers that real talent only exists in the form of the big or established players, whether a Dhoni, Kohli, Jadeja, Dhawan, Russell, Buttler and the likes.
One of the most important if also a bit underrated and beautiful success stories of the IPL in 2023 was that of Sai Sudharsan.
The young 21-year-old left hander proved himself to be worth his salt having been picked by such a huge outfit as the Gujarat Titans.
And while throughout the tournament he showed instances of his batting talent and ability to score with much intent; he’d reserve the final and big flourish for the massive IPL finals against the Chennai SuperKings.
Scoring a majestic, powerful and timely 96 and taking just 47 odd deliveries to do so, Sudharsan was a class act in such a tense and closely contested game.
His ability to hit inside the line of the ball and to score runs on either side of the wicket whilst changing gears quickly made him a fantastic success.
But what was pivotal to Gujarat’s huge first inning total at the back of which they were, at the very least, able to put pressure on Chennai was that, their young gun stepped up when perhaps he may not have been expected to produce an outpouring of runs at the back of Gill’s dismissal.
A batsman who’s as graceful as he’s attacking, Sudharsan has begun well but he must keep going and getting better in the next seasons of the famous T20 franchise based league.
From 8 games, he made 362 runs including a personal best of 96 and at a strike rate of 141.