On Sunday at the Chinnaswamy, batting at No.6, 22-year-old Nehal Wadhera smashed an eye-catching 13-ball 21 for the Mumbai Indians on his IPL debut. In his short yet impressive stay, the left-hander smashed two humongous sixes, including a 101-meter monster off Karn Sharma.
Here’s everything you need to know about the youngster
A left-handed middle-order batter who has represented India at the Under-19 level, 22-year-old Nehal Wadhera was purchased by five-time champions Mumbai Indians for INR 20 lakh at the mini-auction in December.
And it was a curious purchase indeed, given Wadhera hadn’t played a single professional T20 in his career prior to Mumbai snapping him up. In fact, when Mumbai secured the services of Wadhera at the auction, the youngster hadn’t played a single match at the senior level (across formats).
But he’s since played five matches for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy and has impressed — big time.
An outstanding 2022/23 Ranji campaign
Wadhera was handed his senior debut for Punjab in the Ranji clash against Gujarat in Valsad and his career got off to the perfect start imaginable as he smashed a ton in his first ever knock at the senior level.
And it was some knock as on a day in which Chintan Gaja ran through the Punjab batting line-up, Wadhera stood tall and struck a resilient 123 when no other batter passed fifty. The maiden ton eventually proved to be a match-winning knock as Punjab secured a 380-run victory.
But there was more to come as just two games later, in just his third first-class game, Wadhera smashed a stunning double ton batting at No.6.
And it came under the most extreme situation imaginable, with Punjab reeling at 47/4 on the morning of Day 1 after being inserted into bat. Wadhera, with his side’s back truly against the wall, would go on to first stitch a 250-run stand with Anmolpreet Singh and then bat with the tail en route to a masterful 214.
Wadhera ended his maiden first-class season with 376 runs in seven innings at an average of 53.71.
He’s a holder of an outrageous record……
Believe it or not, a year ago, Wadhera smashed 578 runs IN A SINGLE INNINGS in a U-23 tournament in Punjab.
Representing Ludhiana, the 22-year-old smashed 578 against Bathinda U-23 in the semifinals of the Punjab State Inter-district tournament at the GRD Cricket Ground in Ludhiana.
The knock saw Wadhera smash 42 fours and 37 sixes.
He also bowls…..
Not only is Wadhera an accomplished middle-order batter, he also bowls. The 22-year-old is a handy part-time leg-spinner.
But in his young career so far, Wadhera has not done anything noteworthy with the ball in hand — he’s sent down 7 wicketless overs in his senior career.
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