Who are the most talented young cricketers on the planet?
In sport and particularly cricket, viewers are always intrigued when talented rookies make their mark on the international or domestic stage. This is often because we feel a sense of excitement when watching the best young cricketers in the world go about their business, knowing that they could develop into something special.
In the modern generation, there are lots of talents from all over the globe. The rise of domestic T20 leagues has allowed youngsters to prove themselves against the biggest stars. But, there are some that adapt quicker than others when thrown in the deep end. These are players that have shown consistency and huge talent against top quality opposition.
So, who are the top 5 most talented youngsters in world cricket today?
5. Aiden Markram
Number five on this list is Aiden Markram, one of the most talented batsmen to come out of South Africa in over a decade. He is extremely elegant when he plays the cover drive and is a really good puller of the ball as well. He recently scored a fabulous Test century in Pakistan – his first overseas. His home record is also solid – averaging nearly 47 with the bat in tough conditions.
Ideally, Markram would like to develop into a more consistent ODI player. He has the game for it, as shown by his list A average of 44. He currently only averages 28 in ODI cricket and an improvement could mean that he also takes the captaincy, since he’s thrived at this at Under-19 level. Markram helped South Africa win the U-19 Cricket World Cup in 2014 as captain. He was also player of the tournament.
Aiden Markram is number five on our list of “Best young cricketers in the world.”
4. Ollie Pope
Ollie Pope features at number four on this list. He is probably the brightest batting prospect from England in a number of years. His batting style has been compared to Ian Bell, in the fact that he is graceful, has a lovely cover drive and has a similar stature.
Pope had a breakthrough tour of South Africa in 2019/20, where he helped England win the series, scoring 266 runs in just 3 games, at a batting average of 89. This included his maiden test century at Port Elizabeth. He has the potential to become a brilliant Test match batsman in England’s middle-order, along with Joe Root and Ben Stokes, for the next decade.
Ollie Pope is number four on our list of “Best young cricketers in the world.”
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3. Shaheen Shah Afridi
Coming in at number three is the Pakistani fast bowling sensation, Shaheen Shah Afridi. He is a left-arm fast bowler that can swing the ball both ways. The youngster burst onto the scene during the 2018 Pakistan Super League and has since been excellent for the Lahore Qalandars and the National Team.
He bowls close to 90 miles per hour and is dangerous in all three formats of the game. His ODI record is the most prolific of any format, having picked up 45 wickets in just 22 ODI’s at a bowling average of 22. At the 2019 Cricket World Cup, he picked up 6-35 against Bangladesh. He could lead the Pakistani attack for at least another decade.
Shaheen Shah Afridi is number three on our list of “Best young cricketers in the world.”
2. Rashid Khan
In second place is the young prodigy, Rashid Khan from Afghanistan. He is already a prolific wicket-taker in the limited-overs formats of the game. He had a breakthrough season with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2017, in which his googly caused problems for most batsmen in the tournament. Since, he has followed it up with brilliant performances at the 2018, 2019 and 2020 IPL editions.
Rashid Khan plays in T20 leagues around the world, including the Big Bash, CPL, PSL, Mzansi Super League and the Natwest T20 Blast. Overall, he has played 249 T20s and picked up 344 wickets at a bowling average of 17 and at an economy rate of just 6.
For Afghanistan he has been equally effective, being the key bowler in the middle-overs. 74 ODIs has yielded 140 wickets at a bowling average of 19. He must now replicate such potency in the Test match arena, if he is to be an all-format star in the future.
Rashid Khan is number two on our list of “Best young cricketers in the world.”
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1. Rishabh Pant
In first place is Rishabh Pant. The young Indian wicket-keeper batsman has taken the world by storm, with his counter-attacking batting in all three formats of the game. He helped India win their first test series Down Under in 2018/19, emerging as the second-highest run-scorer behind Cheteshwar Pujara. Pant backed his performances up in the 2020/21 series in Australia, where India won again, thanks to his sublime 89 at Brisbane.
He has not yet hit the same form in ODI cricket and T20I cricket, but there is no doubt that he will come to the party soon. Pant has a superb IPL record for the Delhi Capitals and there is no reason as to why he cannot replicate such performances for India in limited-overs cricket.
Pant is also a fabulous wicket-keeper, who is improving with each game that he plays. Overall, Pant averages over 45 in Test match cricket, at a strike rate of 71. In the Indian Premier League, Pant averages 35 at a strike rate of 152.
Rishabh Pant is the best young cricketer in the world currently.
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