Who is Abhishek Sharma?
Short answer: India Under-19 allrounder from Punjab who smashed an unbeaten 46 off 19 balls on T20 debut for Delhi Daredevils.
Abhishek first came into the limelight with a century on Under-19 debut for Punjab in the Vinoo Mankad Trophy, before which he was the leading run-getter with 1200 runs at an average of 109.09 in the 2015-16 VIjay Merchant Trophy, India's domestic U-16 tournament. Acquired by Daredevils for INR 55 lakh ($85,000) at the IPL auction in January, he is among three players in their squad from India's U-19 World Cup-winning side, apart from Prithvi Shaw and opener Manjot Kalra.
Still only 17, he was part of Daredevils' trials and training squad as early as 2016, before being denied a chance due to his state side Punjab's reluctance to expose their young players to T20s too early.
What does he do?
He is a hard-hitting lower-order batsman who also bowls fast and accurate left-arm spin. He had led India to victory in the U-19 Asia Cup in 2016, before being replaced as captain by Shaw months before the 2018 U-19 World Cup, where he remained an integral member of the squad.
How did his Under-19 World Cup go?
With India's top order consistently firing through the tournament, his batting abilities weren't needed for the best part. Instead, it was his bowling that shone through, as he picked up six wickets at a miserly economy rate of 3.91 from six games. When his side desperately needed him with the bat in the quarterfinal against Bangladesh, his fifty carried India to a match-winning 265 despite a lower-order collapse.
Has he played any other senior cricket yet?
He has already played four first-class games for Punjab during the 2017-18 season, scoring 202 runs from six innings, including a 94 against Himachal Pradesh in a league game in Dharamsala. While he has also played 10 List A games at senior level, the game against Royal Challengers was his debut in the T20 format.