‘Nama Ooru Nama Gethu’ is not just an anthem that you would hear on your television sets when you were watching the Tamil Nadu Premier League, it is more than that. It is symbolic of how the state has provided the platform for the up and rising talents to perform at the highest level.
The tournament has seen several old faces switch on their television in eagerness to watch the resumption of the tournament, a year after its hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as it has shown us in the past, the tournament’s rich cricketing talents were once again at the forefront of the television, with their dazzling performance. From Sai Sudarshan, who single-handedly turned all tables in the opening game of the tournament, making the world take note of his name to G Periyaswamy continuing his brilliance, this edition, hell, this week of the tournament, has seen it all.
Here are the performers from the top-four teams, with the rest of the four teams being covered in the second part –
Ruby Trichy Warriors – 1st position, 4 points
Having played one game more than most of the sides, Ruby Trichy Warriors stand at the top of the table, with four points in the competition, with two wins and one loss, with an outstanding net run-rate of 1.109.
Best batsman: V Amit Sathvik – 113 runs
He might have failed in Trichy’s last game against the Madurai Panthers but his performance over the last week has certainly turned heads towards his corner. In three games thus far, the right-handed opener for Trichy has scored 113 runs, at an average of 37.50, striking the ball at 131.39. Simply sublime thus far, Amit Sathvik has just begun his TNPL journey this season with the table-toppers.
Best bowler: M Mathivannan – 5 wickets
The left-arm spinner, who has a really uncanny action, has been the pick of the bowlers for the Ruby Trichy Warriors this season. On tracks that have assisted some spin, the left-arm spinner has picked up five wickets for the franchise, at an average of 7.80 while striking every 10.4 deliveries. Not just that, he just concedes runs at 4.50 RPO, which makes him a highly reliable package for the franchise. But seriously, what’s TN’s obsession with left-arm spinners, you ask? This is the reason!
Other notable performer: P Saravana Kumar – 4 wickets
Salem Spartans – 2nd position, 3 points
Just behind the table-toppers Ruby Trichy Warriors, the Salem Spartans have put on a show with the ball this season. Spearheaded by G Periyaswamy, the franchise have won one game while the other got rained out.
Best batsman: Daryl Ferrario – 40 runs
Not the most powerful batsman, Daryl Sundar Ferrario has certainly performed exceptionally well for the franchise, with one of their games being washed out. He cut the bowlers, swooped them over the covers and showed great signs of batsmanship in their clash against Tiruppur. Okay wait, he also got a helicopter shot of his own, and struck 40 runs in his only batting innings. Ferrario has certainly shown great sign of composure.
Best bowler: G Periyaswamy – 4 wickets
Another regular feature in the TNPL, Periyaswamy’s stocks hit an all-time high before the tournament was postponed last year. This season, he not just has picked up four wickets but has averaged just 10 with the ball and at an economy rate of 5.71 RPO. Wait, what? Is he even a pacer if he does those sort of things or is he a magician?
Lyca Kovai Kings – 3rd position, 3 points
The most exciting of batting units, Lyca Kovai Kings have really turned a lot of eyeballs towards them, especially with the way opener Ganga Sridhar Raju and breakthrough star B Sai Sudharshan have been playing. Now, factually, Ganga Sridhar Raju is their best batsman with 197 runs, showing consistency across all facets of his batting game, but Sudharshan’s talents are just unparalleled, mimicking Suresh Raina’s exquisite hitting.
Best batsmen: Ganga Sridhar Raju – 197 runs/ B Sai Sudarshan – 184 runs
As mentioned above, Ganga Sridhar Raju is Lyca Kovai Kings’ best batsman and has certainly shown that his batting isn’t one-dimensional or directional, with most of his runs earlier coming via the cut and pull shots. However now, he has added more facets to his game, especially with his shots down the ground and incredible power to clear the boundaries with ease. He has changed the perception that surrounded him.
But given Sai Sudarshan’s batting display, it has really made it tough for us to select one best batsman from the week. So this week, only for Kovai, we have two names. Sudarshan’s batting display mimicked Suresh Raina and some even went on to term him as the Chinna Thala of TNPL. In the franchise’s opening fixture, the left-hander scored a 43-ball 87, that could have been the best innings of the week, if not for Mani Bharati.
Best bowler: Abhishek Tanwar – 2 wickets
Another known face on the Tamil Nadu cricketing circuit, Abhishek Tanwar last represented the state team in 2020. While he might have been away from the state side, his performance in the TNPL would be crucial for him to make a comeback into the state team. This season, he has thus far played well, with two wickets, but more from the future games would certainly put him back amidst the mix.
Siechem Madurai Panthers – 4th position, 2 points
One loss, one win, Siechem Madurai Panthers have had a decent start to the tournament but all of it has been a one-man army effort from all-rounder J Kousik, who has scored 75 runs and picked up five wickets as they are right on track to qualifying for the knock-out stage of the tournament.
Best batsman: J Kousik – 75 runs
While with the ball he might have been overly aggressive, with the bat Kousik has, in fact, been clinical and has chosen his battles very wisely. 75 runs in two innings, at an average of 37.50, and a strike rate of 129.31, Kousik has easily been the best player in the Madurai Panthers outfit.
Best bowler: J Kousik – 5 wickets
An uber-aggressive bowler by trade, Kousik was at his effervescent best during the first week of the tournament where his performances were as loud and clear as his appeals. Maybe the performances were better than his appeals but whichever way, he has certainly lit up the tournament with five strikes in just two games, conceding a miserly 5.71 RPO, averaging 8 with the ball.
Other notable performers: L Kiran Akash – 4 wickets; R Rohit – 5 wickets