2022 witnessed a lot of new faces in the Indian team. The selectors continued to apply their rotational policy of resting the senior players against weaker opposition to keep them fresh for bigger matches. As a result, a lot of domestic players realized their dream of donning an Indian jersey. Despite stellar performances, there were a few players who couldn't make the cut.
These players have been waiting on the fringes of selection for a long time now and their wait could finally come to an end next year. Let's take a look at five Indian players who could make their international debut in 2023.
#5 Rahul Tripathi
Rahul Tripathi is a domestic gem who has not got a well-deserved chance despite his groundbreaking performances. He has been a solid performer in the IPL for quite some time now and his List-A figures too are impressive.
In 53 List-A matches, he has scored 1782 runs averaging close to 38 with four centuries. Tripathi was picked in India's second-string squad that toured Ireland and Zimbabwe when the seniors were rested.
As India try a few combinations in ODI cricket as a part of their 2023 World Cup preparations, Tripathi is very much in the reckoning of making his much-awaited international debut.
#4 Abhimanyu Easwaran
India have been struggling for openers in overseas tests for quite a while now. While KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma showed some glimpses of solidity during the last England tour, they have had their fair share of fitness issues and have not played together a lot in test matches.
With questions surrounding Rohit Sharma's test spot after the WTC 2021-23 cycle due to his age factor, India may want to look at Abhimanyu Easwaran as an option. Easwaran has always been a part of the India 'A' and has been waiting a long time for his turn.
Easwaran has been a stalwart performer in first-class cricket, scoring 5278 runs from 76 games at an average of 43.61. The 27-year-old might get his well-deserved chance next year.
#3 KS Bharat
The Andhra wicket-keeper has been in the selection fray for quite some time now but has not had a chance to feature in the Indian XI. He once replaced an injured Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps as a substitute keeper in a test match against New Zealand in November 2021 but that's the closest he has gotten so far.
Being the designated second wicket-keeper in the Indian squad, chances are bound to come soon. Bharat's first-class numbers make for a decent reading of 4425 runs from 82 games at an average of 37 with nine centuries. He has also taken 282 catches and affected 82 stumpings in his career.
#2 Yashasvi Jaiswal
Yashasvi Jaiswal is an outstanding prodigy in Indian domestic cricket right now. Being only 20 years of age, he has a very bright international career ahead of him and is certainly in line for an international debut soon.
Jaiswal has played 7 first-class games with an aggregate of 1015 runs at an average of 84.58. His List-A stats read 1511 runs from 32 games at an average of 53.96.
As India look for an opener to replace Rohit Sharma going forward, the answer might be his younger Mumbai teammate. With Jaiswal, it is not just his consistency but his ability to score runs at a quick pace in the red-ball format is something which has stood out so far.
#1 Sarfaraz Khan
Sarfaraz Khan has not just been knocking but pounding on the selection door for the last two years. Only Sir Donald Bradman has a better batting average than Sarfaraz Khan for anyone who has scored 2000 runs in first-class cricket. He averages 81.33 after 29 first-class matches having an aggregate of 2928 runs and 10 tons and eight fifties to his credit.
India need a reliable middle-order batsman in test cricket after Chestewar Pujara's up-and-down form and Ajinkya Rahane's omission. Considering his stellar performances, Sarfaraz could be the best bet as India head into the World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle.