The Indian Premier League (IPL) has emerged as a significant platform for showcasing the talents of rising stars in Indian cricket and catching the attention of the national team selectors.
In the past, domestic tournaments were the primary basis for selecting players for the Indian team.
However, since the inception of the IPL, uncapped cricketers have been able to make their mark and earn a call-up to the national team based on their performances in the league, even for formats like Test cricket.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has placed considerable emphasis on the IPL while identifying new talents for the national team.
Several players have benefitted from their performances in domestic cricket during the IPL era, and here are three such examples.
Mukesh Kumar, a right-arm pacer, caught the selectors’ attention with his impressive performances for Bengal in domestic cricket.
With 26 wickets in 24 List-A matches at an economy rate of 5.10, and a remarkable tally of 149 wickets in just 39 first-class games, Kumar earned a place in the Indian ODI squad for the series against South Africa in late 2022.
Worth noting is the fact that Kumar had not previously received an IPL contract before being selected for the national team. Subsequently, Kumar secured a contract with the Delhi Capitals at the 2023 mini auction.
Following a decent season with the Capitals, he has now been included in the Indian Test and T20I squads for the upcoming tour of the West Indies.
Parvez Rasool, an all-rounder from Jammu and Kashmir, made his IPL debut for the Pune Warriors in 2013.
Although he only played two matches and took one wicket for the franchise, Rasool’s exceptional performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2013/14 season for Jammu and Kashmir earned him a call-up to the Indian ODI squad.
Despite managing just a solitary wicket in three matches of the 2014 IPL season, Rasool’s all-round contribution for his team led to his selection.
Rasool made his ODI debut against Bangladesh in June 2014, but unfortunately, that has been his only appearance for the national team thus far.
Rishi Dhawan, another all-rounder, made his T20I debut for India against Zimbabwe on June 18, 2016. Although Dhawan played only two matches in the 2016 IPL season, where he scored 14 runs and took two wickets, his consistent performances in domestic cricket earned him a place in the Indian T20I squad for the Zimbabwe tour.
Similarly to Parvez Rasool, Dhawan only had a solitary T20I appearance, scoring one run and returning figures of 1/42 in four overs.
From 2017 to 2021, Dhawan did not participate in the IPL, but he made a comeback last year when he was signed by the Punjab Kings.
These three players exemplify how the IPL has provided opportunities for talented cricketers to showcase their skills and earn recognition from the national team selectors.
While their performances in domestic cricket paved the way for their selection, their involvement in the IPL played a crucial role in catching the attention of the BCCI and securing a place in the Indian team.
As the IPL continues to grow in prominence, it is likely that more uncapped players will find a path to international cricket through their performances in the tournament, reshaping the way national teams are selected.