Young talent has always been appreciated in cricket. After the advent of the IPL and other domestic T20 leagues, the number of young players coming into the limelight have increased.
Opportunities are plenty and the young cricketers have been making the most of it.
India would have their eyes on the ICC ODI World Cup in 2019 and they would be banking on its rich young talent to get quality international experience before its onset.
Let us look at 3 young Indian cricketers who can break into the Indian side in the near future:
1) Ishan Kishan
This young lad from Jharkhand desires to follow the footsteps of another local boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Currently a part of the India ‘A’ side that is touring South Africa, Ishan Kishan has delivered impressive performances on a consistent basis in the Ranji Trophy.
The 19-year-old performed really well in this year’s IPL and was one of the key players in the Gujarat Lions franchise.
He started as an opener and a captain of the India Under-19 World Cup team, but the tournament was a disappointing one as he returned home empty-handed. He lifted his career under the guidance of Rahul Dravid and has never looked back since.
Like Dhoni, many players from Jharkhand are famous for their aggressive batting. Dhoni who mentored the team in the last season gave valuable input to the 18-year-old, who grew in confidence by scoring huge runs under pressure.
His scores included an unbeaten 159 against a strong Karnataka bowling attack, 273 against Delhi when Jharkhand was 4 for 80 and 136 against Saurashtra.
“Chhota dynamite hai, dikhta chhota hai, par jab fut-ta hai toh bahut awaaz karta hai,” his team-mate Saurabh Tiwary describing the fearless batting of Ishan Kishan.
A batsman who can score quick runs in pressure situations can prove to be an asset to the Indian cricket team.
With a series of impressive batting performances under his belt in the Ranji Trophy and in the IPL, Ishan Kishan feels he is ready to play for the country but as of now is focussed on proving his worth, both as a batsman and wicketkeeper.
2) Krunal Pandya
The 26-year-old all-rounder from Baroda was the breakout player in this year’s Indian Premier League. He is finally coming out of the shadow of his successful brother, Hardik Pandya and is making rapid strides in the cricketing circuit.
Krunal Pandya has had a great run in the IPL 2017. He scored 243 runs at an average of 34.71 and took 10 wickets in the course of the tournament.
He can bat at various positions as per the need arises and has been quite successful in accomplishing that.
His left-arm-spin is not that special, but he has a great cricketing mind and uses clever variations to confound the batsmen. In last year’s IPL, he dismissed Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers in the same over.
His capability coupled with self-confidence has been doing wonders for him.
When it comes to his batting, he looks extremely determined when he is on the crease. He has been used by the Mumbai Indians in positions from No.3 to 6, in different match situations.
He can be aggressive as well as he can rotate the strike with ease, which are the prime qualities you look for in a middle-order batsman.
Recently Krunal got his maiden call-up in the India ‘A’ side for the tour of South Africa. His playing style is strikingly similar to that of Ravindra Jadeja and the kind of complete player that he is, he can be a real asset to the Indian side for the World Cup.
3) Shreyas Iyer
Mumbai has produced some prolific batsmen over the years. Shreyas Iyer is an impressive young lad from Mumbai who was drafted into the Indian team for the fourth and final test vs Australia at Dharamshala, but was not a part of the playing XI.
Iyer has consistently gone about scoring runs in the domestic circuit, but the Indian cap still remains elusive.
In 2014, Shreyas Iyer ended up as Mumbai’s leading run-getter with 809 runs at an average of 50.56 in his debut Ranji Trophy season.
In IPL 2015, Iyer bagged the award for the emerging player of the season after aggregating 439 runs in 14 matches.
In his second first-class season, he scored a mammoth 1,321 runs at an average of 73.38 and scored a century against Saurashtra in the final to take Mumbai home.
Earlier this year, against the mighty Australians, Iyer scored a double ton consisting of 27 boundaries and seven sixes all over the park.
In this year’s IPL, Iyer was one of the key players of Delhi Daredevils and scored 338 runs at an average of 33.8 with a highest score of 96 in a run chase against Gujarat Lions.
If he continues to score runs at this rate, it might not be long before he gets a much-deserved call-up into the Indian side.
Let us hope that these talented youngsters get enough chances to prove themselves at the international stage