Five best cricketers knocking selection doors for India debut
Prithvi Shaw and co. in Ranji Trophy 2022
Aspiring Indian cricketers often undergo a baptism of fire before earning their first international cap.
Every year, a legion of candidates pass out testing trials at the country’s highly-competitive domestic structure, as laid out by the BCCI.
However, only a chosen graduates elevate themselves to lucrative IPL contracts, and even less make it to India’s international setup.
While a multitude of sparkling domestic talents continue to bang on selection doors, here we take a look at five of the biggest noisemakers awaiting their Team India call-up.
Yashasvi Jaiswal in action [PC: Twitter]
Yashasvi Jaiswal’s astonishing rise through the ranks is what dreams are made up of. The youngster launched his cricketing journey across the dusty turf of Azad Maidan, plundered his way to several school cricket records, and rocketed himself to a ‘Player of the Tournament’ performance at the 2020 Under-19 World Cup.
Jaiswal, who made his first-class debut with Ranji giants Mumbai in 2019, soon became one of the pillars of its star-studded batting line-up.
The lefty reserved his imperial best for the 2021-22 season, where he listed 498 runs from just three matches. The dynamic youngster carried his fine tune in the subsequent Duleep Trophy, hammering another 497 runs across five innings at a Bradman-esque average of 99.40.
Courtesy of his prolonged success, a national call-up seems inevitable for the rising star.
Sarfaraz Khan [PC: Twitter]
Sarfaraz Khan is another Azad Maidan graduate, raised within the suburbs of Mumbai. Hailing from a cricket-enthusiast family, the world found out he was meant for greatness the moment he broke into limelight in a 2009 Harris Shield game.
He has brushed his IPL experience with three franchises over the years, minting big bucks each year but failing to leave a giant seasonal mark with his performance.
Khan’s calibre should be best judged by his first-class career, which is fuelled with an average of nearly 80 and a strike-rate of nearly 70 after 28 matches.
Moreover, this batting barbarian stacked up 982 runs in nine innings for Mumbai at the 2022 Ranji Trophy season, and an additional 161 off two innings in the Duleep Trophy that followed up, all at an unreal average of 127.
Shams Mulani [PC: Twitter]
If Shams Mulani’s Ranji Trophy 2022 recital is any indication, one can safely say this 25-year-old enigma machine eats wickets for breakfast.
The Raigad-born left-arm spinner fed Mumbai’s slip cordon throughout the season, and finished at the top of the wicket-takers list with 45 scalps from 11 innings at just 16.75.
One of the cogent forces to drive Mumbai into the finals, Mulani replicated his Ranji charisma two months later for West Zone, where he added another 11 victims to his 2022 tally.
The cricketer also showed off his all-round skills by listing twin half-centuries against Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji semi-final.
Rajat Patidar in action [PC: Twitter]
Rajat Patidar helped perennial underachievers Madhya Pradesh realise their long-awaited Ranji dream, driving them to title win by upsetting tournament favourites Mumbai in the final this year.
The top-order batter listed 122 in the first innings of the summit clash, and fittingly marked the winning run in the second to cap a remarkable season for himself.
The cricketer was second only to Sarfaraz Khan in terms of number of runs piled up at the annual event. He romped his way to 658 of them at an average of 82.25, with two tons and five fifties to his name.
Patidar also left a footprint for RCB in IPL 2022. He stood tall at the Eliminator in front of a packed Eden Gardens by whacking 112* off just 54 against the Lucknow Super Giants.
Yash Dubey in action during the domestic season (PC: Twitter)
Madhya Pradesh’ 2022 alumnus Yash Dubey slammed 133 at the 2022 Ranji final against Mumbai, thus extending his seasonal run-tally past the 600-run mark. The youngster feasted off his opponents throughout the tournament, and maintained a strong average of 76.75 while doing so.
With a Ranji title and a prolific run-season next to his name already, the cricketer is definitely in the reckoning of making his Team India debut.