New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) The start to this year’s Indian Premier League has been dominated again by young Indian players who are looking to catch the eye of national selectors through their performances.
RCB pace bowler Harshal Patel, who became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul against MI, KKR batsman Nitish Rana, who made 80 off 56 against SRH and DC pacer Avesh Khan, who took two wickets and bowled tightly in the middle overs against CSK, haven’t yet played for India although they have been playing domestic cricket for quite some time.
If they continue performing in this season’s IPL with consistency it won’t come as a surprise if they make the India team very soon.
The national selection committee, in the recent past, hasn’t been reluctant to give opportunities to IPL performers. Washington Sundar, T Natarajan (who debuted in all formats in Australia recently), Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar in recent past and Jasprit Bumrah a few years back all proved their credentials in the Indian Premier League before shining in India colours.
The franchise that has contributed massively in recent times are Mumbai Indians. Apart from Chahar and Bumrah, they recently supplied Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan to the Indian team. Both the batsmen proved successful in the limited-overs series against England, winning games for India.
Both these MI players were picked on the back of their brilliant IPL 2020 in the UAE and did well for India in the limited-overs series against England last month.
All-rounder Krunal Pandya too did well and showed no nerves.
Former India pace bowler Zaheer Khan, who is the director of cricket operations of Mumbai Indians (MI) was on Monday asked about Kishan, Yadav and Krunal.
“I think giving them the freedom to express themselves (is the key behind their performance). They (players) do well when the mind isn’t cluttered,” he said.
A player going through the entire IPL and performing is deemed to be mentally tough enough to handle the pressure of international matches since the pressure in IPL games too is a lot.
At the IPL franchise level, the Indian domestic players will be sharing the dressing room with a lot of top foreign players and coaches and get a chance to evolve themselves.
Zaheer spoke on the responsibility of a franchise to nurture players.
“As a group, we do have healthy, constructive… on how they can add to the game and how they can better themselves. As athletes, as cricketers, you look to evolve yourself and understand the game better. That process we can fast-track,” added Zaheer.
India have a hectic Test season ahead and following that they will have the T20 World Cup. There will be places up for grabs.