There is no dearth of quality in both teams ahead of what promises to be a blockbuster end to the English summer.
While all eyes of the cricketing world are on the two heavyweights, there are plenty of promising youngsters in both countries who are ready to take on the mantle from the seniors in the near future.
Here, we take a look at 11 such youngsters from India aged 21 and below who could make up the Test squad in the future.
The Mumbai-born opening batsman has been going from strength to strength ever since his record-breaking innings of 546 in the Harris Shield aged just 14. Since then, he scored a century on his Ranji Trophy debut, led the India under-19 team to the World Cup title in 2018, impressed for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL and put in a solid showing during India A’s recently concluded tour of England.
The Delhi-born opening batsman was a member of India under-19’s World Cup-winning squad earlier this year where he scored an unbeaten century in the final against Australia, leading his side’s march to the title. The left-handed batsman can also bowl a bit and his development from the World Cup heroics will be an interesting one to watch in the coming years.
Although Shaw has grabbed the headlines recently, it was Shubman Gill who was the real star of India’s under-19 World Cup triumph. The Punjab-born batsman scored a brilliant century in the semi-final clash against Pakistan before turning heads with his display for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. He also scored a half-century on his Ranji Trophy debut and followed it up with a ton in his next appearance.
Another batsman who impressed in that young Indian side was Himanshu Rana, who is considered as the next big thing to emerge from the state of Haryana. The top-order batsman has scored some decent returns in the World Cup and his transition to senior-team cricket has been just as good. The right-hander has already struck two first-class tons in 15 matches so far and could be set for bigger things to come.
Rishabh Pant is as much a player for the future for India as he is for the present. The swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman has already been named in India’s 18-man senior squad for the first three Tests after his impressive showing during India A’s tour of England. That came after his exhilarating performances for Delhi Daredevils in the 2018 IPL where he notched up 684 runs in 14 innings at an average of 52.61 and at a staggering strike-rate of nearly 174.
Like Pant, Ishan Kishan’s rise in Indian cricket has been equally meteoric. The wicketkeeper-batsman has already developed a fearsome reputation for his ability to strike the ball a long way. At just 20 years of age, the Patna-born man already has four first-class centuries under his belt and he is another one who has impressed on English shores this summer.
The youngest player in the list, Abhishek Sharma is a hard-hitting lower-order batsman who can also bowl a bit of left-arm spin. He led the India under-19 squad to victory in the 2016 Asia Cup before performing an integral role in their World Cup win. His debut in the IPL for Delhi Daredevils saw him score an unbeaten 46 in just 19 balls.
The Jharkhand-born left-arm orthodox spinner has earned comparisons to Ravindra Jadeja due to the similarities in their bowling style. He could follow Jadeja’s footsteps into the India senior team soon if he fulfills the promise he has shown in his young career to date. Roy finished as the joint highest wicket-taker in the under-19 World Cup win with 14 dismissals in just six matches at an outstanding average of just over nine.
One of the highlights in India’s World Cup triumph was the performance of their pacers; Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Mavi, who picked up nine wickets in the tournament, bowled at impressive speeds of over 140kph on a regular basis. He then followed it up with an equally astute debut IPL campaign for Kolkata Knight Riders. His effortless raw pace has seen him earmarked as a potential world-beater already.
The Rajasthan-born fast bowler picked up nine wickets too in the World Cup. He had already been making strides prior to the tournament by becoming the first Rajasthan bowler to claim a List A hat-trick during the 2016-17 edition of the Vijay Hazare trophy. He was unable to play in the IPL this year after sustaining an injury but he is definitely one to keep an eye out for on in a country which has struggled to produce genuine fast bowlers over the years.
While Mavi and Nagarkoti turned heads with their raw pace, Ishan Porel showed he has the ability to seam the ball both ways in the World Cup win. The Bengal-born bowler grabbed headlines in India’s win over Pakistan in the semi-finals with a four-wicket burst. Much more dependent on his line and length, Porel has shown enough promise to be considered as a future senior star.
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