As the 2019 World Cup expedition has come to end now the teams will be preparing themselves for the next sojourn in India. During this span of four years, many stars will bid goodbye to the cricketing fraternity which will open the doors for budding cricketers. With their talent and hard work, they will be trying to make their mark at the international stage.
The Blue team will be eyeing for their third 50-over the title on their home turf. It will be exciting times for the Indian fans as they will witness the baton getting passed on from one generation to another. Some of the youngsters have already shown their hunger for success and it is important to get them ready for the greater challenges.
Here is the list of 5 players India should groom for 2023 World Cup
1. Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill. (Photo Source: Twitter)
The Punjab teenager is touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket. His bat swing and shot-making have been compared to the Indian legend, Yuvraj Singh. Shubman Gill has all the attributes to carry the batting mantle of Blue team in the coming years. He scored more than 350 runs in the 2018 U19 World Cup and raised hell with his bat for the opposition bowing attacks.
The right-hander has stroked three half-centuries while opening the innings for the Kolkata franchise in IPL. Gill has also piled a double century in the Ranji Trophy when he got his opportunity at top of the order. He is a batsman who has a solid technique against the new ball and can score big hundreds with ease.
He can serve the role of an opener in the next edition of the 50 overs World Cup if either Rohit Sharma or Shikhar Dhawan run out of steam in white-ball cricket.
2. Rijuraj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad. (Photo Source: Twitter)
The 22-year-old Maharashtra batsman, Rituraj Gaikwad has been a star in the last couple of months. He was in scorching form against the visiting Sri Lanka A side with a total of 470 runs in 4 innings. In one of the games, the youngster was belting the opposition bowling attack with his boundary hitting prowess as he hit 26 fours and 2 maximums in his innings of 187. He continued his good show in white-ball cricket with a graceful 80 and 99 against West Indies A.
In his List-A career, Gaekwad has gathered close to 2000 runs in 38 games while batting at top of the order. He was fished by the Chennai franchise in IPL 2019 but unfortunately, he warmed the benches because of the presence of proven internationals stars in the side.
He can score runs all around the park and particularly his front foot pull shots are delightful. Currently, the Indian team is too dependent on their top 3 and Rituraj looks the perfect candidate to carry some of their burdens before the dawn of next 50 over the carnival.
3. Khaleel Ahmed
Khaleel Ahmed. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
The left-arm pacer is the latest addition to India’s fast bowling reserves. Khaleel Ahmed can generate pace and movement on the best of the surfaces and his wicket-taking ability makes him a lethal weapon. He made his international debut in last year’s Asia Cup where he picked up a three-wicket haul against Hong Kong. Since then the youngster has not looked back and has taken giant strides in his cricketing sojourn.
Earlier in the year, Khaleel was on fire against Windies as he snapped up seven wickets in three ODIs. The speedster continued his good show in the IPL 2019 where he scaled 19 wickets in nine games. Though he is relatively new to the scene he never backs down from challenges and it is visible from his aggression on the field.
Four years down the line couple of Indian pacers will be on the other side of the 30s and that’s why Khaleel can be the fresh pair of legs in the squad for the next ODI championship.
4. Rahul Chahar
(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
One of the heroes who helped the Mumbai Indians win their fourth IPL title was the 19-year-old wrist-spinner, Rahul Chahar. The Rajasthan cricketer was outfoxing the established stars with his wit and street smartness. Chahar looked a class apart whenever the ball was handed to him. In IPL 2019 he picked up 13 wickets in as many games and his economy rate of 6.55 was the icing on the cake.
The youngster has already picked six five-wicket hauls in his short first-class career of 14 games. He was the highest wicket-taker for his stateside in 2018-19 Vijay Hazare trophy. The most striking thing is the control over his art as he rarely gives the batsmen breathing space.
Along with his bowling, Chahar has also the necessary batting skills which are important in the modern-day cricket. Men In Blue must keep its spin options ready as the 2023 World Cup is going to be played on the slow surfaces of India.
5. Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan of India. (Photo by Pal Pillai/Getty Images for Nissan)
In the current scenario, many of the Indian fast bowlers are waiting in the wings to get their chance in the senior team. Avesh Khan is one of them who is putting hard yards for Madhya Pradesh in the domestic circuit. The speedster caught the eye of cricketing fraternity with his 12 wickets in the 2016 U19 World Cup. Since then he has been a regular in India A squad and has shown immense potential.
With 35 wickets in 7 games, Khan was the highest wicket-taker for his home team in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy. Though he has played three seasons of IPL, he has got limited opportunities and the trend might change in the upcoming seasons.
He can bowl with searing pace coupled with his slow ball variations which makes him a well-rounded bowler. His height is an added advantage which gives him the edge over the current crop of pacers. India needs their pace bowling stocks in good condition and Avesh Khan can be a good option if the current set of fast bowlers suffer a dip in form before the next 50 over World Cup.
All these youngsters have found initial success in their cricketing journey and now it is time to prepare them for the bigger platforms.
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