The Nidahas Tri-series 2018 in Sri Lanka will give the Indian team a very big chance to test out their bench strength against the hosts and Bangladesh. Indian selectors have decided to give rest to the winning combination of South Africa T20I series and youngsters have been given a chance to prove themselves.
However, the bench strength can only be tested if they receive proper chances to shine. With Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaydev Unadkat and Suresh Raina sure of a place in playing XI, the other spots should be given to youngsters to show what they are made up of.
Here are five young Indian players who should get a proper chance in the tournament:
Tamil Nadu’s limited overs captain Vijay Shankar was picked in the limited overs squad for the Sri Lanka series last year but didn’t get a chance in the playing XI. He has been given another go and with Hardik Pandya being rested, will get chances to play in the tournament.
A handy medium pacer and a very good middle order batsman, Shankar is known to hit balls long and hard. He has a strike rate of 122.45 in T20s and has played in IPL for SRH. Shankar will be replacing Pandya in the team and that means the expectation will be high for him.
Shankar will have a lot to prove in Sri Lanka, a place where teams prefer to play spinners rather than quicks.
Mohd Siraj burst onto the Indian scene thanks to his performances in the IPL 2017 for SRH. He had picked 41 wickets in the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy to impress franchises enough to bid for him. Siraj made his India debut shortly after. So far he has got to play just two T20Is for India and has failed to impress so far, going for runs.
Siraj has the gift of speed and has guile as well, which helps him immensely in the wicket-taking department. Siraj can be used to blast the batsmen out on placid Sri Lanka wickets. It’s just a matter of giving Siraj ample opportunities so that he gets the confidence to perform on the international stage.
18-year-old Washington Sundar is poised to be the future of Indian cricket and Sundar is on the right path. Sundar impressed everyone in the IPL 2017 and the TNPL, where he was in the top three of the most runs table and most wicket takers.
Sundar will be seen playing for RCB in IPL 2018. But he has been given another chance to play for India and impress enough for the upcoming tours of Ireland and England after the IPL. He has also debuted for India in ODIs and T20Is and has picked a wicket each on his debut in international cricket.
A very good batsman and an economical spinner, Sundar can bowl in power play or death overs and can bat anywhere in the batting order, often employed at the top to gain the advantage of the power play overs. Sundar can be extremely impressive if given chances to shine and given backing.
Deepak Hooda is yet to make his India debut, but the hard-hitting Baroda batsman will be looking forward to making a mark in the Nidahas Tri-series 2018. Hooda, who also bowls off-break, will be aiming to grasp the chances he gets in the tournament.
Hooda impressed everyone in the IPL, playing for RR and SRH and showed that he can hit the ball out of the ground with ridiculous ease. He has 1102 runs in 79 T20s at a strike rate of 143.48; a record that qualifies him to be the finisher in the Indian team in the Nidahas Tri-series 2018.
Rishabh Pant was drafted in the Indian squad as a replacement keeper for MS Dhoni for the Nidahas Tri-series 2018, after almost a year of representing India.
Pant scored the second fastest T20 century in 32 balls against Himachal Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy recently. He also led Delhi to the finals of the Ranji Trophy 2017-18. Pant has finally pushed his way back into the Indian team, should be given preference at the top of the order, in order to utilize his full potential.
A fearless striker of the ball and a very good keeper, Rishabh Pant is known for bringing energy in the team and keeping the spirits high when things are not going the team’s way, something that is necessary for the T20 format.