Domestic cricket’s new season in India gets under way with NKP Salve Challenger Trophy on 26th September. Hundreds of first class cricketers will kick-start their long six month journey (without even considering IPL, which will start sometime in April’14), crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country.
So how important is Indian Domestic Cricket? For the keen followers of the Indian cricket, it holds immense significance. Going by the current senior selection committee’s approach it seems that gone are the days’ when hard toil on domestic circuit held no importance. One look at the India “A”squads selected for the unofficial Tests against South Africa in July or more recently the home series against New Zealand A & West Indies and your belief becomes stronger that domestic performers are surely rewarded.
An astonishing, 43 players have been selected for seven “A” team Tests against these three teams, in a span of last three months which goes to show that not only India has young hopefuls knocking on the doors of the Indian Test team, but also those who have done well in domestic season last year have got their opportunities. Out of these 43, how many graduate to the senior team or how many stars on the decline make a comeback is a different matter but for all of them this domestic season is hugely important to stay in the radar of the selection committee.
Here’s a look at some of the players for whom this domestic season holds great importance:
Dropped from the Test side late last year and ODI’s subsequently, Gambhir did the right thing to fly to UK and play for Essex in the closing stages of County Championship. He’s got a shot in the arm after being selected for India A to play West Indies. If he is able to get back in form, Gambhir certainly has a good 3-4 years of cricket left in him at international level and in the immediate future, might just get the ticket to South Africa (if that tour happens) and/or to New Zealand.