Former India coach Ravi Shastri has identified the young uncapped Indian batters who have impressed him throughout the current IPL 2023 and may have a chance to represent the Indian team in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Shastri thinks the next generation of young batters is ready to take the next step and could replicate their form at the 50-over showcase event should injuries arise to key players, even though India already has several strong top-order performers like skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and the rising Shubman Gill.
In the latest episode of ICC Review, Shastri first picked Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rinku Singh, saying both of them are more than capable of making the transition to international cricket in the future.
"One is (Yashasvi) Jaiswal, simply because of the way he's played this season. And for me it is a marked improvement from what I saw from him last year, which is a very, very positive sign. It shows that there's a young guy prepared to work on his game, sort out things, and get a more all-round game into play and he's done that this season.
Just the power with which he's re-taking shots. Just the pockets he's hitting around the ground as opposed to last year is very good,” Shastri told host Sanjana Ganesan.
"The other bloke is Rinku Singh, which is a great story. The more I see of him, the guy has got a fabulous temperament. He's tough as nails. Both of these guys have come through very hard backgrounds. They've worked very hard initially in their lives and nothing's come easy for them. So you can see that hunger, that passion, that drive that is so needed to make it to the top,” he added.
Shastri thinks there are a group of young batters around the mark that could easily sneak into the final squad with continued good form before the tournament.
"As far as batting goes, there's Tilak Varma, there's Jitesh Sharma from Punjab (Kings) too who is a wicket-keeper-batter who's pretty dangerous and has stood out. There's even Sai Sudarshan, a left-hander (who has also caught the eye).
But I would put Tilak Varma, I would put Jaiswal, I'd put Rinku Singh. (They) are the candidates who can push through along with Ruturaj Gaikwad, who's been around for a while. These are the guys who can push for selection, depending on their form closer to the World Cup. And depending on injuries. If there are injuries to any key players, then these guys can come straight away into the mix,” Shastri added further.
The ODI World Cup 2023 will be played in India from October 5-November 19.