Time for Team India's young guns to fire in Australia
The young India team is brimming with confidence and it is time they come of age in Australia, writes former captain Sourav Ganguly.cricket Updated: Nov 21, 2014 10:46 IST
It's time for India's GenNext to take charge and the young Turks seem ready to give it a go.
It has been some good three to four months for India in the ODIs and one can take heart from this team's attitude, performance to deliver not only in Indian conditions but also abroad. Time will give us better clarity and I believe it is all set for these youngsters to start with the forthcoming Australia series.
There are very bright spots both in batting and bowling. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina are names which come to mind straightaway. And how does one forget Rohit Sharma! There are two reasons to be happy about Rohit. One, obviously for the fabulous double-hundred he got at Eden. Second, when one scores two double hundreds in two years in ODIs, one has to accept that he is a very, very special talent. Rohit has been a bit circumspect in conditions away from home against attacks which can generate pace and bounce but I do believe that with the way he has shaped up after coming back from a lay-off, Rohit will surely have a measure of this.
Rayudu may not be as classy as a Virat, Rohit or Rahane, but no one can doubt this man's resilience. Be it in Nottingham in the recent past or in the India-Sri Lanka series, whenever he has got the opportunity, he has seized it with both hands to make a statement for himself. He has proved to be steady and that is very important in the progress of a player.
The leader of the pack obviously is Virat. Except for some minor blips in England, this man has scored runs in all conditions around the world. He needs to be a bit careful in Australia as he has to keep in mind about not opening up while batting in those conditions.
The bowling is bolstered by some genuine quicks and players who can move the ball around. The most promising among all has turned out to be Umesh Yadav. He has pace and bounce, which is a very refreshing sight. The biggest plus for Umesh is that he can pick wickets. He might be a bit expensive but he is a wicket-taker in any form of the game.
With the experience of Ravi Shastri and Duncan Fletcher in the dressing room, I am sure he will be encouraged to pitch it full and go for wickets.
I am also impressed with Dhawal Kulkarni. He did impress in the recent series with his perseverance on pitches helpful to batters. He can be an ideal foil to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar as both are of similar nature.
One more youngster to stand out has been Akshar Patel. He shone under pressure both with bat and ball and it came as no surprise to me because he has shown this ability to perform under pressure in the IPL. His fantastic temperament was evident in the India-Sri Lanka series where he did stand tall alongside the experienced R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
The biggest positive for this team is that there are quite a few young, talented players vying for the same spot and that I believe is the best news for Indian cricket.