While India’s selectors didn’t take any drastic calls while announcing, there were a few fresh faces in the three squads for the upcoming tour of the West Indies.
One of the biggest takeaways from the squad selections was the rise of Rishabh Pant as India’s wicketkeeper for all three formats. The selectors have placed their faith in the 21-year-old and the left-hander is set to get an extended run. Here, we take a look at five other next gen India players who can seize their opportunity in West Indies.
The 24-year-old has long been seen as then next big thing and he now has another chance to establish himself in the ODI middle order.
The right-hander has already played six ODIs and as many T20s for India with his last appearance coming at the start of last year. Despite doing reasonably well and maintaining an average of 42 in the 50-over format, Iyer wasn’t given an extended run in the lead up the 2019 World Cup.
The Delhi Capitals skipper can be India’s long-term answer to the No4 problem with his calm approach at the crease. However, he will need to make the playing XI first and it remains to be seen how many chances he gets in the Caribbean.
The left-arm pacer was given a run in the ODI and T20 sides in the lead up to the World Cup but failed to grab the chance.
The 21-year-old was decent in his ODI outings but was wayward in the T20s, finishing on the expensive side. The left-arm quick was good in patches and there is talent there which can be polished.
Since being axed from the India squad, Khaleel had an excellent IPL with Sunrisers Hyderabad and he will be confident of putting in a much better show in India colours this time around.
India lack a left-arm pace variation and Khaleel could provide them with that if he comes good.
The 19-year-old finished as the man-of-the-series in India’s Nidahas T20 tri-series triumph last year but has found chances hard to come by ever since due to injuries and fluctuations in form.
The youngster has shown plenty of promise since making his IPL debut as a 17-year-old for Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017 and can be a handy batsman lower-down the order while bowling economical off-spin.
He had a poor IPL in 2019 but it is important to remember he is still a teenager. He will have, however, have his work cut out in making the T20 playing XI in the Caribbean with Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Rahul Chahar all competing for similar roles.
The 19-year-old leg-spinner left quite the mark in IPL 2019 for Mumbai Indians with 13 wickets in as many matches in his debut campaign.
The Rajasthan-born teenager’s most impressive attribute is his calmness under pressure. He showed great maturity against star batsmen and was able to maintain an excellent economy-rate of 6.5. He has been impressive for India ‘A’ as well since his breakout IPL campaign.
Chahar has all the variations in the book including a sharp googly and he has a chance to make his claim for a place in the T20 squad. India have not picked the wrist-spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav for the T20 format and it is an excellent opportunity for Chahar to make a lasting impression.
While he might be the oldest of the bunch at 26, Navdeep Saini is still a rookie at international cricket and has just earned his maiden India call up.
The pacer has been a consistent performer for Delhi at the first-class level for some time now and grabbed eyeballs with his maiden IPL debut campaign with Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier this year.
Saini picked up 11 wickets for RCB while also breaching the 150 kmph barrier. The right-arm pacer did well for India A in their recent one-day series in West Indies where he claimed a five-wicket haul in the second game.
Having been picked in both the ODI and T20 squads, Saini definitely should get plenty of chances in the upcoming tour and he will now be hoping to translate his domestic success to international glory.
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