Backed up by a high-class infrastructure to nurture young talents and a world class T20 tournament in the form of Indian Premier League, that allows them to showcase their talent in high-pressure environments, it comes as a no-brainer that the Indian domestic set-up is booming with talent in all facets of the game, whether it is bowling, batting or fielding.
Consequently, the competition for places in India’s national team is at an all-time high, and a blip in performance at any stage by a cricketer proceeds to leave him back in the pegging order.
Under Rahul Dravid, the Indian A team is currently in England, where they’ll be involved in a tri-nation series against the hosts and Windies A. India A played their first practice game against ECB XI and romped home by 125 runs, a testimony of the pedigree of their squad.
Having said that, today in this article, we’ll have a look at three players to watch out for from India A tour of England.
Here’s my compilation:-
#1 Shreyas Iyer
With an ability to nail the cover drives and the pulls with equal disdain, 23-year-old Shreyas Iyer has grown with leaps and bounds in the past few years.
Having decimated bowling attacks in his college days, Iyer was given the opportunity to play for the Trent Bridge Cricket team, where he scored 297 runs in 3 innings at an average of 99.
He continued his form in his maiden domestic season as he scored a ridiculous and barely believable 1321 runs at an average of 73.39 in the 2015-16 season. Iyer’s exploits earned him an opportunity to captain the Delhi Daredevils unit in the wake of Gambhir stepping down mid-way through the season.
The pressure of captaincy did not deter Iyer’s form as the Mumbai batsman lead from the front and racked up 411 runs at a strike-rate of 132.58. Iyer, who has represented India in twelve limited-overs internationals, is now leading India A side for a tri-series in England, and consistent string of scores like the 54 that he scored in the practice game against ECB XI would stand him in good stead for a place in the national set-up.
#2 Deepak Chahar
With 17 wickets in 10 List A matches and 39 in 37 T20s, Deepak Chahar, who was once rejected by Greg Chappel, the then Rajasthan Cricket Association director, it’s been a fairytale story for the 25-year-old fast bowler.
After being snubbed in 2008, Chahar made his Ranji debut in 2010 and celebrated it with figures of 8-10 against Hyderabad, finishing as the second highest wicket-taker that season. But it was only in his stint with the Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 season of the IPL, that Chahar rose to fame.
In an attack searching for consistency in the fast bowling department, Chahar became Dhoni’s go-to bowler as he claimed 10 wickets at an average of 27.89 in 12 matches. Chahar’s ability to swing the ball and bamboozle the batsmen with a plethora of his skills, like the ‘Knuckle-ball’, has all the makings of him becoming a potent force for India in white-ball cricket, and it was on full show against ECB XI where he scalped 3-48 in 7.5 overs.
With the Tri-series in England looming large, a string of consistent performances will do a lot of good for the fast-bowler as he aims for a national call-up.
#3 Prithvi Shaw
The current U-19 World Cup winning captain, and the latest batting prodigy from Mumbai, Prithvi Shaw has been making all the right noises in the Indian Cricket circuit, having racked up a volume of runs in the domestic circuit.
Being touted as the next big thing in Indian Cricket after Virat Kohli, Shaw’s stellar stroke-play, pristine defence and immaculate consistency and drive to bat for long hours sets him apart from his contemporaries, 1012 runs in 10 FC matches at an average of 56.22 bore a testimony to it.
In the absence of Gambhir, Shaw was given an opportunity to open the innings for the Delhi Daredevils and the Mumbai batsman did not disappoint as he unleashed a pulsating display of power-hitting and racked up 245 runs at a strike-rate of 153.12. Shaw continued his form with a 61-ball-70 against ECB XI, and a string of performances in the tri-series might just earn him a call-up in the senior team.