Legendary all-rounder and former Indian coach, Ravi Shastri has named young cricketers who have impressed him during the current Indian Premier League season and said that they may have a shot at making it into the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup team.
According to Shastri, the next generation of young batters are prepared to take the next step and could replicate their form at the 50-over showcase event, should injuries arise to key players, despite the fact that India already has a number of strong top-order performers in the likes of captain Rohit Sharma, former captain Virat Kohli, and the rising Shubman Gill.
Young left-hander Yashasvi Jaiswal has been a standout performer so far in the IPL with a total of 575 runs for the Rajasthan Royals, including a century and four fifties. Southpaw Rinku Singh has also caught Shastri's attention thanks to his heroics in the final over for the Kolkata Knight Riders against the Gujarat Titans early in the competition (407 runs in 13 games, with three fifties and an average above 50).
Shastri feels that both players are more than capable of taking the next step to international cricket. “Both of these guys have come through very hard backgrounds. They have worked very hard initially in their lives and nothing has come easy for them. So you can see that hunger, that passion, that drive that is so needed to make it to the top,” the former Indian all-rounder said in a statement.
“As far as batting goes, there’s Tilak Varma (274 runs in nine matches at an average of 45.66 with a fifty), there’s Jitesh Sharma (265 runs at an average of 22.08 and a strike rate of over 155) from Punjab (Kings) too who is a wicket-keeper-batter who’s pretty dangerous and has stood out. There’s even Sai Sudarshan (223 runs in six matches at an average of 44.60 with two fifties), a left-hander (who has also caught the eye). But I would put Tilak Varma, I would put Jaiswal, I would put Rinku Singh. (They) are the candidates who can really push through along with Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been around for a while.”
“These are the guys who can push for selection, depending on their form closer to the World Cup. Depending on injuries to any of the key players, these guys can come straight away into the mix,” concluded Shastri.