Exclusive: IPL's Youngest Champ Angkrish Raghuvanshi Reveals His Toughest Rival

Exclusive interview with IPL's youngest champion Angkrish Raghuvanshi: He shares his journey, toughest rivals, inspirations like AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, and future aspirations.

Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya
W. Bhattacharyy

Last Updated: 2024-06-07

Louis Hobbs

4 minutes read

Angkrish Raghuvanshi

Raghuvanshi, the new sensation among Indian youngsters and the youngest to win an IPL at 18 years and 356 days, talks about idolising AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill.

It’s been almost two weeks since Kolkata Knight Riders were crowned champions in the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League. Angkrish Raghuvanshi — the youngest cricketer to win the tournament at 18 years and 356 days — chose to cut the celebrations short and return to the gym. The right-hander has realised that the bigger goal of representing the country is possible if he stays disciplined.

Raghuvanshi is currently in Delhi with his family. After tasting success in the IPL, his goal is to improve as a batter and be a fitter athlete. 

KKR recruited the batter for Rs 20 lakh. He impressed in his maiden season with a fifty on debut — youngest to do so at 18 years and 303 days — and registered a couple of crucial 30s.

Image Credits: Cric Tacker

Image Credits: Cric Tacker

A mix of AB, Kohli, and Gill

A mix of Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, and AB de Villiers, Raghuvanshi is the next big thing from the Indian junior cricket supply line. He acquired a lot of knowledge from the IPL, and he can't wait to execute them in his game.

"I learnt small things from different people. Sharing a dressing room with big names and big coaches is a lesson in itself. I observed their behaviour, approach, and match preparations. It will help me going forward," he told

Raghuvanshi turned heads with his wristy pickup shot and reverse-sweep against the fast bowlers. He is among the new-age batters who believe in excelling as a 360-degree player.

Meeting the legendary Kohli and watching Gill from close quarters further boosted his confidence. "AB is my favourite cricketer besides Kohli and Gill. I was fortunate to meet Kohli in the IPL. I look up to Gill a lot. Kohli's cover drive is my favourite shot, and Gill can smash the ball anywhere on the ground," added Raghuvanshi, who had smashed 278 runs in six innings in India U-19's victorious campaign in the World Cup in 2022.

Facing tough bowlers in the IPL

Raghuvanshi found Jasprit Bumrah to be the toughest among all bowlers he faced in the IPL. He only got to face two balls, out of which one was an inside edge. "But I got a fair idea. He is a complete mix of pace, swing, and everything," he said.

Mitchell Starc already prepared him with toe-crushers at the nets. "Initially facing bowlers like Starc and Russell was tough at the nets, but I gradually got accustomed. Russell gave me a few tips in batting as well," said Raghuvanshi, who expressed himself freely by batting at a strike-rate of 155.24.

quote icon

I think all the practice paid off. The team was clear that the players should go out and express themselves. If the team gives you the belief, it is easy to be fearless.

Angkrish Raghuvanshi

Sports in the blood

Raghuvanshi comes from a sports family. His father, Avneesh, is a former tennis player, the sport that his younger brother Krishang picked up. Malika, his mother, is an erstwhile basketball player. "I played a mix of all sports as a kid. I found cricket the best as is the culture in India," he revealed. 

Life has not changed for Raghuvanshi after the IPL triumph. "I don't go out at all. So, there has been no instance of people recognising me on the streets," said the cricketer, who took 25 balls for his maiden fifty.

Batting and fitness training aside, Raghuvanshi is keen for an Indo-Pak final in the T20 World Cup in the United States and the West Indies. "I think India will win the World Cup. I want to see an India-Pakistan final," he signed off.

Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya is a cricket journalist based in India who takes a keen interest in stories that unfold on and off the field. His expertise lies in news writing, features and profiles, interviews, stats, and numbers-driven stories. He has also worked as a podcaster and talk show host on cricket-related shows on YouTube and Spotify.