Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim believes established international players should be performing exceedingly well on their return to the domestic circuit.
The performances of senior Indian players like Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the ongoing Ranji Trophy have been inconsistent, leading to doubts over their future in the team.
Pujara and Rahane began the competition brightly for Saurashtra and Mumbai respectively, but have struggled to put up runs since then. Sharma, meanwhile, bowled only 13 overs in Delhi's defeat to Jharkhand in their second group game.
Heaping praise on the performances of the emerging states in the Ranji Trophy, Karim said on the Khelneeti podcast:
"The emerging teams are working harder, and I see more hunger in them in the Ranji Trophy. Teams like Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh have all improved. If you have played international cricket and then you are returning to domestic cricket, then I believe you should be able to dominate the league. "
"You have to show that you're being benefitted from playing at the international level, and I'm not seeing it at the moment, and that is a concern."
The management has indicated their desire to blood younger players in the team following poor form of the senior players. Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill and KS Bharat are likely to be in the scheme of things in the longest format of the game.
"If you wish to come back into the International team, what matters the most is your drive and hunger" - Nikhil Chopra
Several players have been dropped from the Indian team over the years due to poor form, irrespective of their stature.
Most of these players regained their form in the domestic circuit to earn recalls to the national team. Former India player Nikhil Chopra believes international experience helps the players a lot as they seek their way back to the top. He said:
"If you wish to come back into the team, what matters the most is your drive and hunger. You have played International cricket for so long, have been part of an International team for so long, so you know how to prepare with a professional approach. Players will have to use the international experience they have while preparing."
Chopra cited the example of VVS Laxman, who worked his way back into the team after performing well in domestic cricket. Chopra said in this regard:
"The drive and the hunger to get back into the team is also a huge factor. When VVS Laxman was dropped from the side, he piled runs in the domestic circuit and forced the selectors to recall him into the squad. You have the experience and the environment; how you use it is upto you."
Younger players have made headlines in the Ranji Trophy so far. Sarfaraz Khan, Yash Dhull and Sakibul Gani are among the top run-getters in the two rounds of matches played out so far in the Ranji Trophy.