Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Future Stars of Indian Cricket

The first thought that was conjured as the fanatical Indian fan base cried a river of tears as they farewelled true icons in Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman was who were the men to replace them in their hearts and minds

Worse might be to come with the unspeakable being mentioned and even called for within the hysterical Indian masses.........

The end of Sachin..........

Ripping the hearts out of all heaving breasts and leaving a void that is impossible to replace

We have already seen Virat Kohli compel young girls to scream in appreciation coupled with old men standing on their feet in a more discreet sign of respect. As well as the Rahul Dravid clone in Cheteshwar Pujara announcing his budding mastery.

So who is the next line of names to help Indians forget Legends while embracing the new generation of Stars?

Here are a few of my favourites


Mandeep Singh

Labelled by Dave Hussey as being a 'very special player' on the basis of his ability to hit good balls to the boundary with ease.

He is a bit different to most Indian players who feast on the slower bowlers and take a while to adapt to the quick men in favourable conditions. With Mandeeps growing reputation is built around his love of dismantling the quick men.

Displaying this quality in a very fluent innings of 193 in the Indian A tour of New Zealand in bowling friendly confines.

Like all players of real calibre he is characterised by his laser like placement and his nice easy power that sees the ball rocket off the bat

Stated that he wants to play for India for 10 years, and you can see it happening

He has a VVS air about him in how he plays and this backed by good judges who rate him as being Very Very Special

Ajinkya Rahane

This Mumbaiite seems to have prayed at the same Temple that  Subramaniam Badrinath with the Gods forsaking his justifiably claim for a play in the Indian top 6. 

He dominates in First Class Cricket and has replicated this on A Tours. Most pertinently in Australia where he has averaged 68, but never has been chosen for India in Tests.

The fact that he can be a player that can open or bat anywhere in the top 6 adds to his appeal. Then the cherry on top of his sweet cake is his very adept back foot play that makes you have real confidence in him being a factor away from India.

You got the impression that his selection in the recent Test squad was an each way bet with him though as a possible replacement as an opener or in the middle order

Manish Pandey

There is a certain bias in me naming Pandey in this article and I must concede that it is very unlikely that he will make the Indian Team. With many going past him in their application and relentless desire to succeed with Pandey just drifting along and frustrating his true believers who are in awe of his 'package'

A complete player that is rarely mentioned, but my word has this lad got talent as embodied in this quote

A solid defence and resolute temperament underpin his flashy stroke-making 

He has that bastion of respect in his play in regards to being seen as his teams Mr Fixit, and a player who will stand against the tide of adversity. As seen by a raft of innings with his 194 against Uttar Pradesh in 2009 being his stand out knock. Even before injury excluded him from the rest of the Ranji this season his parting innings was a breath taking unbeaten double century against Mumbai.

If the boy ever matured into a man you could see him setting the International arena ablaze with his outrageous talent

Manoj Tiwary

A player that has been consistently excellent in First Class Cricket for a long time now.

Sadly fortune has not been kind to him in respect to getting a major injury when selected for the National Team. Testimony to the lad is how well he has fought back with him piling on mountains of runs, and scoring a century in an ODI against the West Indies for India.

He is a dominating style of batsman that might be more preferred for the shorter forms of the game, but his calibre suggests that he could be equally adept in the Test arena.  As 'Dadagiri' states

"Had I been a selector I would have always played Manoj in all the formats of the game. He is a fine batsman, can bowl and field well.

Like many, the main difficulty is being given a chance with him being spoken in the same sentences as Subramaniam Badrinath as India's most under appreciated assets.

This shown in the recent India A game against England with him scoring a very refined 93, but being overlooked in the test squad by Yuvraj Singh. Which seemed a selection more based on Yuvraj's marketability and fan base rather than a real dissection of candidates.

Despite the disappointment, and many talking up the underlying bias this was Tiwary's reaction

"It's a part and parcel of any sportsman's life. I've taken it in a positive way and in the right spirit. I love playing for Bengal. I'm a firm believer that day is not far away when things will fall in place. It would be a dream come true if I get to debut at the Eden."

Unmukt Chand

Indian selectors will be dialling a Delhi number very soon. ( NDTV ) 

"As a whole package, he is excellent. This guy is very special and I hope the Indian selectors are looking at him because Ian Chappell (former Australian captain) has been saying, we have been saying that Chand is ready for India." ( Wasim Akram )

It is not a case of if Unmukt Chand represents India more so when.

Most buy into this reality when you take in the brilliance of his play and his sheer audaciousness which is very much a carbon copy on the Generation Next pin up boy Virat Kohli.

Separating Chand is the fact that he is also a disciple of the old ways and the needs for level headedness, humility and strength in the mind. As well as good old fashioned hard work coupled with a relentless desire to succeed.

Making him a future prospect to drool over is the fact that he is such a natural leader with him having such composure under the fiercest pressure and inspiring men to follow him.

Greatness appears to be his destiny 


Abu Nechim Ahmed

A Agit Agarkar clone in his pencil build and quick arm action that can see the ball fly through at over 145 kmh. He is a good proponent of swing with an ability to make it goes both ways, and is a natural for the shorter forms of the game with a brutal in swinging yorker. He already has put his name up in lights not only due to his pace, but by the fact that he was the first Assam bowler to take a hat trick in the Ranji Trophy

It would be wise to groom this talented youngster by giving him a few ODI games in the many meaningless Limited Overs games India play. Then fully develop his skills on A Tours

Sandeep Sharma 

It will be interesting to see how this beautiful young bowler with the silky smooth action is treated by Selectors.

I say this for he has it all, but the one thing that seduces all in regards to pace. Meaning he will get diminished by the moronic belief 'that he can't get it through at over 130 kms'
You fear this because of how easily a bowler very similar to him in Praveen Kumar has been discarded despite looking to be a very accomplished Test bowler.

I must cynically laugh as I pen this for I am watching Vernon Philander bowl with him barely getting it over 125 but being an absolute wrecking ball in Test Cricket since his debut.

One tends to think that Sandeep with his skill could be similarly effective

Siddharth Kaul.

The new ball partner to Sandeep Sharma in the Punjabi side is this talented young quick

With both trying to out do each other this season in their exceptional exploits with the ball. I really like this boy for he has had to really earn it with him struggling with injury in recent seasons, but coming back with a real bang. He seemed to find inspiration during his time on the sidelines in Yuvraj Singh's remarkable Cancer fight.

He has all the skills with the ball in regards to swing and making the ball talk off the track coupled with decent pace.

It was compelling watching him taking on Retired Master VVS Laxman in a recent game where he exemplified his bowling smarts in his tussle with the Very Very Special one. When initially he tried to take him on with the short stuff, but quickly wised up to a relentless line and length attack that eventually got Laxman with him finishing with 53/5

Great Prospect!
Pankaj Singh

I cannot for the life of me understand why this big hearted quick bowler has not represented India as yet.

With him having all the skills backed up by pace and real stamina. In a sense he is a bowling Ox which is so precious in the Modern game.

Dominated in the Ranji for many a year and even talked up as being a fine Test prospect by the immortal Dennis Lillee

A True Mystery similar to the one involving Subramaniam Badrinath being constantly overlooked!

Wicket Keepers

Sanju Samson

Sometimes in the game you just see a player and they just have something about them that separates them from the rest. A lad from Kerala, and he seems to have the spirit of the Tiger which are so characterised with the area  born into him. This was there for all to see in a backs to the wall century for the 17 year old in a recent Ranji Trophy match against Himachal Pradesh. In bowling friendly conditions with all his team mates falling around him the youngster just guts it out and opened many eyes wide with the immense potential he showed.

Away from his batting he is a very neat and tidy keeper, and to complete his package he has a relentless desire to have the ultimate honour of representing India. His Coach Biju George in stating he is a certainty to represent India in time gave this summation

"Sanju is a very disciplined and committed cricketer. Even at practice sessions, he comes out with an aggressive style of cricket and that's what makes him different.


Harmeet Singh

The tantalising talents of Indian left-arm orthodox spinner Harmeet Singh. He bowls like Bishen Bedi, with that same natural flight and guile that would right now place him as the best spin bowler in any Test side bar England. ( Ian Chappell )

A bit of a over reaction by Chappell, but it certainly tells the tale of this youngsters precocious talent as a spinner.

For those who do not understand the reference to Bishen Bedi, its meaning is found in that great spinner traditional mastery of the art. This youngster has brought into that as well with his homage of flight, guile and a real attenpt to give the ball a good rip to get the most spin he can.

Promisingly for his development he has stated a preference to become a mainstay in a Ranji Team before he goes anywhere near the IPL

My Sincere thanks to Arjun Asjok ji in the research for this article- anything you want to know on Indian Cricket, he is indeed a true Guru!


  1. I do agree - I work with the coaches at my local cricket ball, and the hard ball is always a challenge for the youngsters. We use soft ball games to get them used to hitting and catching.

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