Youngsters push case for Zimbabwe tour

  • Kushal Phatarpekar, Visakhapatnam
  • Updated: May 17, 2016 23:43 IST
Karun Nair will be hoping to find a place in the India squad for the Zimbabwe tour next month. (AFP)

The IPL has given young cricketers a platform to perform, and a lot of new names have cropped up.

With India set to tour Zimbabwe after the IPL, these performances are likely to count as the selectors sit down to choose a side.

As has been the trend when India tour the African nation, a second-string side is expected to be picked this time as well. Youngsters and those on the periphery will be in the spotlight.

Delhi Daredevils’ young batsmen are on top of the list. Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson have produced a fine show, and their match-winning stand of 72 against Sunrisers Hyderabad propelled them into the limelight and vindicated team mentor Rahul Dravid’s faith in youngsters.

The 18-year-old Pant, who played in the under-19 World Cup earlier this year, has continued with his form.

Samson, 21, has manned the Delhi middle order well, and has been their top Indian scorer so far with 271 runs.

Teammate Karun Nair, 24, has been another surprise package, scoring 263 runs. Another player who could find preference with the Sandeep Patil-led selection committee is Shreyas Iyer.

The Mumbai lad was the top scorer in Ranji Trophy this season with 1321 runs. His form in the IPL though has been lacklustre and that could go against him in the shortest format.

With just a few games left, it will be imperative they perform. On Tuesday, as Delhi faced Rising Pune Supergiants, all of them except Nair failed to make a mark.

The competition is intense, and the IPL has seen many out-of-favour Indian players impress. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s KL Rahul and Kings XI Punjab’s Murali Vijay have contributed heavily.

In bowling, Delhi’s Amit Mishra has been impressive. Kings XI pacers Sandeep Sharma and Mohit Sharma too have given a good account of themselves.

Mumbai Indians’ Krunal Pandya has been another surprise performer.

With the senior pros likely to be rested, those on the sidelines will be hoping their IPL performance is counted. Last season, Ashish Nehra had made a comeback to the India side after an impressive show in the IPL.

India play three one-dayers and two Twenty20 internationals in Zimbabwe.

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