Indian Cricket Team Seniors: What the future has in store for them
This is the best time to be an Indian cricket team fan. Nine consecutive victories on the trot, including three convincing wins against the reigning world champions, are glittering proof that the team's preparations for the World Cup, just under two years from now, are on track.
The team seem to have found solutions for all of their problems: the dearth of a genuine all-rounder, the death bowling conundrum, and the lack of attacking spinners, to name a few. Team India also boast of a subtle blend of stalwarts and young turks who have staked their claims on the back of some consistent performances, shunting aside some experienced campaigners whose chances of making it into the side seem quite bleak.
But it is not impossible: the best example being the prince of Kolkata, Sourav Ganguly, roaring back and scoring an elusive double century in his reincarnation. In this article, we analyze the possibilities of the old-timers returning to the limited-overs circuit.
Ishant Sharma burst onto the scene over a decade ago, with those long curly locks and impressive pace. The 2007-08 CB Series Down Under unearthed many young gems of Indian cricket, and Ishant was one of them.
He was immensely successful in Tests as well: a lanky 18-year-old pacer troubling a legend like Ricky Ponting was like the Biblical David-Goliath battle. Though he was lacklustre during India's away whitewashes in England and Australia, his seven-wicket haul at Lord's in 2014 saw him being touted as the leader of the Indian bowling attack after Zaheer Khan's retirement.
However, he couldn't come close to replicating his Lord's heroics, and after a series of indifferent performances and injury-related issues, he was dropped. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami made the most of his absence with some commendable efforts. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has established a niche with his prodigious swing and handy batting lower down the order. The emergence of a certain all-rounder Hardik Pandya has not helped Ishant's cause.
Ishant has always been an impact bowler, capable of turning a match on its head when on song, but lacking the consistency to churn out such performances regularly. For the time being, he has a chance of making the lineup only when India decide to go in with three quick bowlers, and one of the three mentioned above is injured.