stiff contest

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 28 Jan 2019 12:31:22

ACe opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan is absolutely right when he says that Indian cricket team’s bench strength is very good and that young players are maturing very fast in taking responsibility that is cast on them by the captain. That the team which can afford to omit bowlers like Umesh Yadav and Ravichandran Aswhin and still show dominant performance in series after series and even on alien soil, means that there is huge pool of talented players in the country who can fill the void in the absence of regular players. It is for this reason that when all-rounder Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were sent back home from the recently concluded Australian tour midway on disciplinary grounds, the Captain did not look perturbed as he had enough bench strength to fall back upon.

Shikhar Dhawan gave the example of youngster Prithvi Shaw, who on debut, had scored a century and 70 runs against the West Indies and also of Shubman Gill who has been called up for the ongoing one-day series in New Zealand. Both the players have shown great maturity at senior level. These young boys are the heroes of the Under-19 World Cup. They are getting international exposure at very young age with a very great former player Rahul Dravid mentoring them. The young, emerging players are fortunate to have such an iconic figure taking care of their careers. The Under-19 squad is packed with talented players like Prithvi Shaw and could be drafted in the senior team any time.

It is for this reason that there is intense competition in the senior team for retaining their places and no one can take his place in the national team for granted. Highest level of performance is the only bench mark for retaining the place in the team. That even a prolific run getter like Cheteshwar Pujara is not considered as made for the shorter versions of the game shows the depth of talent that is now available. When Shikhar Dhawan says that there is intense competition among players to perform well then it really augers well for the team. That is the reason why the Indian team is currently rated as top team in international cricket.
Young players are getting very vital experience at international level as Under-19 series and other events involving senior national players have become part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) annual calender. Hence these young players are getting well versed with conditions abroad and are learning to shape their game accordingly. That is precisely why soon after being drafted in the senior national team they appear to mature quickly. That is also why young players like Prithvi Shaw gel into the team quite easily as veterans even on debut.