While the last winter was full of gloom for the team, this year promises a lot, with the emergence of new players.
There are quite a few slots which are up for grabs in the Indian cricket team. With Dravid and Laxman already retired, it may not take too long for the Master to end his legendary career as well. Our two openers Gambhir and Sehwag are living on borrowed time, and we all have seen that our pace spearhead Zaheer is going through the twilight phase of his career.
This makes the Indian domestic season 2012-13 very interesting, with opportunities to gain a place in the Indian team. Batsmen like Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhwan will be closely watched, while Baba Aparajith and Unmukt Chand, the U-19 World Cup team’s stars will also remain under the selectors’ spotlight. Unmukt Chand, who has already shown his batting skills on tough wickets, will have a lot to prove when he takes the field for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy from November 2.
Tamil Nadu opener Murali Vijay will also be feeling the heat, as he has a lot to prove in order to make a comeback in the Indian squad. He has already shown that a resurgence in form, hitting a double century in the Irani Trophy, and his form will be critical for the Indian team, as he will provide a great solidity to the top order.
The Indian batting is however of the least concern, as we have the world’s best batting line-up, and even if two or three get set in the middle, then they have enough potential to destroy any bowling line-up. The main concern for the Indian side lies in its bowling department, because to win big matches we need our bowlers to perform as well as our batsmen.
Apart from Zaherr Khan, no other bowler has performed consistently for India. Ishant Sharma has not played international cricket for a long time, and remains injured more often than not. Umesh Yadav is still in his learning days. We dont know where Sreesanth has disappeared. Now the hope lies on Ashok Dinda, who performed quite brilliantly in the semis of the Duleep Trophy against South Zone, claiming figures of 26-7. In my opinion, Varun Aaron is also a serious contender for a spot in the Indian side. Another player who will remain under the spotlight throughout the domestic season will be veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. His form will prove crucial for the team in their upcoming eight test matches against England and Australia.
The last winter was terrible for Indian cricket, but it promises a lot this time. Now, as cricket fans, we have to sit back and watch whether the BCCI goes with its senior players, or tries a few new faces, because the coming two series against Australia and England will be of the utmost important for Indian cricket.