After much speculation, the squad for India’s tour of West Indies was announced some days back. The focus was firmly put on youngsters as the likes of Navdeep Saini, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed were picked by the selectors. Unlike some of the reports, senior members of the team like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma also opted to play in the series against West Indies rather than take rest after a gruelling World Cup schedule.
With MS Dhoni opting out, Rishabh Pant will be the first choice wicket-keeper in all three formats. It is time for India to reboot their team and start looking forward to the 2023 World Cup and the selectors have done the same by keeping faith in the young brigade. It will be a chance for the youngster to show their mettle and grab the chances that have been put in front of them by the team management and the selectors.
Let’s look at the 3 of those young players who could leave their mark and cement their place in the Indian side for the foreseeable future.
His lack of opportunities in the international arena has even infuriated the fans and critics, who have clamoured for his inclusion in the side. Iyer has himself continued to produce the goods in the domestic circuit as well. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he guided Delhi Capitals to the knock-outs after a long gap. Iyer lead the India A side to a 4-1 triumph against the West Indies A recently and scored 210 runs at an average of 42 with a strike-rate of almost 97. He has also been phenomenal in the Ranji Trophy and the Vijay Hazare tournament where he has continued to score bucketloads of runs. So can this precocious talent prove his worth at the international stage? We will find out in West Indies.
This 19-year-old leg spinner from Rajasthan has had a quick rise in stature in his career. Cousin of Deepak Chahar, Rahul was picked in the T20I squad for the tour of West Indies after some spectacular performances for Mumbai Indians in the 2019 IPL where he picked up 13 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 6.55. He then played in two Tests against Sri Lanka for India A and continued his wicket-taking spree. He had 14 wickets in two Tests and followed it up with a good display against the West Indies ‘A’. With Yuzvendra Chahal coming under scrutiny after the World Cup, the ‘younger’ Chahar has a big opportunity at hand to nail down a place in Team India.
Navdeep Saini of Royal Challengers Bangalore appeals during match 1 of the Vivo Indian Premier League Season 12, 2019 between the Chennai Superkings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore held at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on the 23rd March 2019
The speedster from Karnal, Haryana turned heads with his raw pace in the 2019 IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore (under the captaincy of Virat Kohli). Consistently touching the mark of 145 kmph, Saini has even clocked 152 during the IPL. He was selected to be a part of the travelling contingent for the recently-concluded World Cup in England where he must have impressed the likes of Kohli and Rohit with his pace. It is highly likely that he might get his maiden India cap on the tour to West Indies with Bumrah not playing in the limited-overs. Indian team management would hope they are able to unleash another pace sensation on the world during their Caribbean Tour.