The 2022 Vijay Hazare Trophy ended on Friday, and five relatively unknown players stood out in the edition.
N Jagadeesan – Tamil Nadu
8 matches, 830 runs @ 138.33, SR: 125.37, HS: 277
Jagadeesan had a record-breaking Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he became only the first player to score five List A hundreds in successive matches. He also broke Ali Brown’s long-standing record of 268 – the highest score by a men’s player in domestic 50-over games – when he smashed 277 against Arunachal Pradesh. The wicketkeeper had been released by his IPL team Chennai Super Kings earlier this month after five years – a period where he played only seven games for the side – and answered back in style, with knocks of 114*, 107, 168, 128 and the double ton.
Vidwath Kaverappa – Karnataka
8 matches, 17 wickets @ 13.17, ER: 3.53, BBI: 4-40
The 23-year-old made his List A debut during the tournament and ended as one of the stars for his side. The third-highest wicket-taker in the competition, Kaverappa picked up at least a wicket in all his outings, including taking two or more scalps on five occasions. He formed a lethal new-ball bowling pair with Vasuki Koushik and picked up a wicket every 22.3 deliveries.
Sai Sudharsan – Tamil Nadu
8 matches, 610 runs @ 76.25, SR: 111.92, HS: 154
Jagadeesan’s batting partner during most of his knock en route to his 277, Sudharsan had a memorable tournament of his own even though he was overshadowed by his teammate. Sudharsan, who had shown glimpses of his talent during the 2022 IPL for Gujarat Titans scored five successive fifty-plus scores along with a 49 during the Vijay Hazare Trophy to strongly emerge as a player for the future.
Kuldeep Sen – Madhya Pradesh
6 matches, 18 wickets @ 12.72, ER: 5.34, BBI: 5-36
Sen was picked in the India team for the ODI series against New Zealand, rewarded for his ability to swing the ball both ways and to bowl in-searing inswinging yorkers. Prior to flying for the series, he displayed his skills in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he picked up two four-wicket hauls along with a career-best 5-36 against Punjab. Sen picked up a wicket every 14.2 deliveries, the best among all bowlers who got more than five scalps through the tournament.
Rohan Kunnummal – Kerala
7 matches, 414 runs @ 103.50, SR: 131.84, HS: 134
If reports are to be believed, Kunnummal was asked to attend trials by IPL teams ahead of the 2023 edition because of his ability to send the ball a long way. Kunnummal lived up to his potential with a fine showing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he hit 414 runs along with two hundreds and one fifty. However, his strike rate is what stands out. No other player with more than 200 runs in the tournament had a better strike rate than his. Though the opener started off with an unbeaten 48-ball 28, he picked up pace thereafter, with the highlight being a knock of 77* off just 28 deliveries. Both his hundreds were recorded with a strike rate in excess of 130 as well.
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