102 for Samson, 95 for Vohra, 96 for Iyer, 93 for Tripathi and 97 for Pant. Four young Indian batsmen who should go on and play for the national side in the coming years. If I had to describe the future of Indian cricket in one word, it would be ‘fearlessness’. These young cricketers aren’t programmed to fear failure or the potential consequences of stepping down the wicket against top quality international bowlers. What does this really translate into for the Indian cricket team?
The future of Indian cricket looks as good, if not better, than the current side. The reassuring factor about these young cricketers who have done well in the IPL is that they have been consistently good at the domestic level too. In previous IPL seasons, the young Indian domestic cricketers have played second fiddle to internationally acclaimed stars. This year, it has almost been the other way around. Which bowlers do Raina and Maxwell look at to bowl the last over? Basil Thampi and Sandeep Sharma. Who has played the dominant batting role in the Rising Pune Supergiant lineup? Not Rahane, Smith or even Dhoni – it has been Rahul Tripathi. Nitish Rana has made the number three slot his own in the Mumbai Indians batting order whilst Siddharth Kaul has been Warner’s go-to bowler to break partnerships.
Potentially, all the cricketers named above could be on the flight to England and Wales in 2019 for the World Cup. Indian cricket now needs to keep a close eye on such talent and nurture them by providing them with opportunities to perform at the highest level. A change of guard in the Indian dressing room is not too far and it is time for the next crop of Indian stars to take centre-stage.