5 Indian cricketers who can make it to the full-strength team based on their performances in Zimbabwe
Picking out impressive performers from India's tour of Zimbabwe 2016, and making a case for them in the full-strength Indian side.
As India’s much lampooned, yet critical overseas tour of Zimbabwe drew to a close, we were all greeted to a subtle reality. As the Indian captain, MS Dhoni, revealed at the post-match presentation after his team’s series-clinching win in the 3rd T20I, the butt of all jokes (worthy or frivolous) that were being hurled at the relatively unknown series on the International Cricket Council’s calendar, the hosts, only needed more practice to be better at what they do, the testimony to which was their comparatively competitive performances in the T20I series after a humiliating drubbing in the ODIs.
Much like the Zimbabwean team, their Indian counterparts also need match practice, not to prove their credentials or climb up the cricketing ladders as such, but to cement their place in the full-strength squad, instead of being the second fiddles, asked to play every time India played a relatively weaker Test nation. Here, in this piece, we analyse the performances of different Indian cricketers who were a part of the squad that toured Zimbabwe and pick 5 of them who can feature in the full-strength team.
Note: Players who have already been in contention for the full-strength sides or who have already played a considerable number of games with the senior Indian cricketers have not been included in the list.
#5 Yuzvendra Chahal
After impressive performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well as domestic cricket, Yuzvendra Chahal got his maiden India call-up when the squad for the Zimbabwe tour was announced. The skinny leg spinner who made his debut in the very first game of the series impressed one and all during the three-match ODI series, picking up 6 wickets from 3 games and an excellent economy rate of under 4 runs per over. It must be admitted, however, that these are only early days of Chahal’s career, but that should not take the sheen away from his performances, by the virtue of which he has laid a solid claim for the second spinner’s slot in the Indian team, currently being contested by Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel as well.
Chahal’s stock delivery, the leg break, as well his googly have been well controlled and have been able to disguise the batsmen on a consistent basis. In addition to his wicket taking abilities, his partnership with Axar Patel – with the ball – during the middle overs also proved out to be extremely restrictive as far as the scoring rate was concerned. Hence, on relatively friendlier surfaces of the subcontinent, Chahal can prove out to be a vital cog in the Indian side. The RCB bowler also picked up 3 wickets from the 3 T20I that India played post the 3-0 whitewash of the hosts in the 50-over competition.