3 Young players India should groom for the middle order in ODIs
The final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is just around the corner, but the cricket crazy nation of India is not excited. One billion heartbeats came to an abrupt halt when their beloved team lost the semi-final against New Zealand and bowed out of the tournament.
The current Indian team is filled with many talented cricketers. The team does not have too many glaring issues, but the one issue it has is causing all the trouble. The Men in Blue are desperately looking for a competent player to stabilize the middle-order. India’s ordinary middle-order does not do justice to the magnificent top-order.
This glaring weakness of the team was exposed by the Kiwi bowlers when they got rid of top-three in no time. Everyone from the trio that formed the Indian middle-order: Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik, failed to deliver.
While the first two still managed to get a start, Karthik hardly looked comfortable. The Indian team management must address this issue as soon as possible. Let us have a look at three players India can groom to strengthen their middle-order in the ODI format:
#3 Shubman Gill
Ever since the last ICC U19 World Cup in 2018, Shubman Gill is considered to be one for the future. Perhaps, the future came sooner than it was expected, and it is time to introduce Gill to the senior setup.
After the Under 19 World Cup, Gill earned himself a lucrative IPL contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders. He has had two great campaigns in IPL so far, scoring runs at an average of over 30 on both the occasions.
That has subsequently earned Gill an India A call-up. In the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka, the teenager from Punjab scored 133 runs in 4 games, at an average of 66. He also maintained an impressive strike rate of over 100.
The 19-year-old was India’s fourth-highest run-scorer in that series, while the three men above him played a match more. Gill is currently a member of the India A side that is facing West Indies A, but stats prove that he is good enough to make the transition to the senior team.