The 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is in the history books now. Tamil Nadu won the title by defeating Baroda. While one can say that Baroda was not at full strength, the fans also need to credit Tamil Nadu. Dinesh Karthik led his team brilliantly. Several IPL stars like Narayan Jagadeesan and R Sai Kishore performed well for Tamil Nadu.
BCCI planned Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy before IPL Auction. This decision allowed the Indian domestic stars to impress the teams with their performances. Every year, one or the other domestic cricketer gets a massive contract. This year also, it could be the same case. Here are the five Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy stars who could break into the IPL soon.
5. Kedar Devdhar
Kedar Devdhar captained Baroda in Krunal Pandya’s absence. Pandya left the bio-bubble after his father’s death. Devdhar performed brilliantly for Baroda as an opener. He scored 349 runs in eight matches. With this aggregate, he was the highest run-scorer for Baroda.
In Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021, Devdhar was the second-highest run-getter. He had a phenomenal average of 69.80. Besides, he smashed 35 fours and 11 sixes. Devdhar can keep the wickets as well. Hence, many IPL franchises might target him.
4. Avi Barot
Avi Barot was the star for Saurashtra. He opened the innings for his team in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. Barot scored 283 runs in just five innings. He has the ability to punish the bowlers from ball one. Avi’s strike rate of 184.97 shows the same.
Barot slammed 32 fours and 12 sixes. His boundary-scoring ability makes him an attraction. Since he is an attacking player, Chennai Super Kings could sign him. Last year, CSK lacked a player who could pace the innings. Apart from that, even the Rajasthan Royals need a top-order batsman after Steve Smith and Robin Uthappa’s exit.
3. Mohammed Azharuddeen
Kerala opener Mohammed Azharuddeen won everyone’s hearts with his century. He played that knock against Mumbai. With that hundred, Mohammed broke multiple records. He shattered Sanath Jayasuriya’s record for the fastest T20 hundred at Wankhede Stadium. Besides, he destroyed the Mumbai bowling attack at home.
Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina noted his performance as well. Hence, Mohammed could bag his maiden IPL contract soon. He was one of the seven batsmen to score a century in SMAT. His 137 was the second-highest score in the tournament. And as mentioned ahead, many IPL teams need Indian top-order batsmen.
2. Highest wicket-taker of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 – Ashutosh Aman
Ashutosh Aman has consistently done well at the domestic level. He plays domestic cricket for Bihar. Aman is a left-arm spin bowler. He ended SMAT as the highest wicket-taker. The 34-year-old scalped 16 wickets.
Aman’s team played six matches in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Ashutosh featured in all those games. He played a huge role in Bihar’s journey to quarterfinals. He scalped two four-wicket hauls in the tournament. Also, his bowling average was less than 8.
1. Lukman Meriwala
India does not have many left-arm pacers. T Natarajan was the first left-arm pacer after Zaheer Khan to take a Test wicket for India. So, it shows that left-arm pacers are a rare commodity. Lukman Meriwala is a southpaw, who bowls pace. He was the most successful fast bowler in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Lukman finished second on the ‘Most Wickets’ leaderboard. He took 15 wickets in eight matches. His bowling average was less than 14. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals need pace bowlers. Even Mumbai Indians have released multiple pacers. Thus, Lukman Meriwala could likely earn a contract this year.