New Delhi: The race to secure a spot in the Indian team will once again start when country's young players participate in the Emerging Players Tournament starting in Australia from August 6.
The 15-day tournament, together with the domestic season, will be an opportunity for this bunch of players to claim their positions in the side for the World Cup scheduled in the sub-continent early next year.
Some of the selected players have already impressed selectors and have been in the reckoning for a long time now, while the remaining will try to prove a point as well.
Some of the selected players have already impressed selectors and have been in the reckoning for a long time now.
The situation has become interesting in the battle to fill Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s shoes as selectors are trying various options from time to time. Dinesh Karthik is still the committtee's first choice if a situation comes to replace MS Dhoni, while Wriddhiman Saha, Parthiv Patel and Naman Ojha all have been given chances in the recent past to prove their worth.
Though, Patel is more experienced (20 Tests and 14 ODIs) of the three, but his inability to grab the given opportunities, can go against him. Saha and Ojha have shined for their home sides - Bengal and Madhya Pradesh respectively - but could not contribute much when it came to a bigger stage. Consistency with both bat and gloves will be the key for these players.
Cheteshwar Pujara, who has been touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket for quite sometime now, could catch the selectors' eye, especially after his brilliant show both in the domestic season last year and in the recent India A tour to England, where he also led the side.
Saurabh Tiwary is another player who impressed everyone in IPL 3. A lot is expected from the youngster, who is known for his hard hitting. The upcoming season will be a test for the Jharkhand batsman to fit in the scheme of things for the Indian side.
Though, batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav and Abhinav Mukund have played well for their respective home states in domestic tournaments, they will still have to score consistently throughout the next season.
Recurrent injuries to strike bowlers will give enough chances to other seam bowlers to make their way into the side. Vinay Kumar, the highest wicket taker in domestic season last year, played a vital role in Bangalore Royal Challengers' good show in IPL season 3. Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni and Jaskaran Singh too had decent IPL outings, while Jaydev Unadkat could be a good future prospect with his left arm swing and the bounce that he generates.
There is also a tussle between Ravichandran Ashwin, Piyush Chawla and Amit Mishra to show their class, as spinners will definitely play a major role in the World Cup.