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Zimbabwe vs India: Five Indian players to look out for

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10 23 Jul 2013, 17:16 IST
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Cheteshwar Pujara

India are currently the top-ranked ODI side in the world. The most common quality among top-ranked sides of different eras is the bench strength. After winning back to back tournaments, India has given some of its senior players a well deserved rest.

This in turn has presented an excellent opportunity for the rookies to perform at the international level, and to cement their place in the team. There are four possible debutants and a number of fringe players waiting for one more chance to shine. Out of these, five to look out for are as follows:

1. Cheteshwar Pujara

After establishing himself in the crucial No.3 spot in tests where he averages almost 66, Pujara has taken longer time even by his standards for debut in ODIs. He averages a decent 56 in List-A games. With the new rules of using a new ball at either end, India will definitely use the solidity of him to reach new heights. Moreover the next World cup will be held down under where solid technique is more in demand.

2. Ambati Rayudu

He has been rewarded for his consistent performances in the IPL for Mumbai Indians for the past several seasons. He has been a good finisher for his IPL side, winning matches single-handedly. With Dhoni, he can provide depth to the lower middle order. Moreover, in tense situations, he can take some pressure off from the captain. Although Karthik is the first choice wicket-keeper, if given the chance, he will prove himself.

3. Mohit Sharma

One of the many players who have come into limelight by their stellar performances in the Indian Premier League, he has been rewarded with a place due to his performances with the Chennai Super Kings. He hits the deck hard and bowls an attacking line. He and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will definitely give India a cutting edge at the start.

4. Jaydev Unadkat

After a forgettable debut in South Africa, he has forced himself into the team with some consistent performances in the domestic season, A-team tours and the IPL over a couple of years. He will be extra motivated to cement his place this time around, as he has worked hard to earn this opportunity. Moreover, he will add some much-needed variety in this inexperienced bowling line-up.

5. Parvez Rasool

Last but not the least is the man from the valley.

Being the first player ever from the Kashmir valley to be selected in the national team is in itself an achievement for him. But this is just the beginning for him and all aspiring players from the valley.

Playing as a right-handed batsman and off-break bowler, he will certainly take Ashwin’s No. 8 spot. He has a decent batting average of 39 and bowling average of 31 in first class cricket. It would be great to see him and Ravindra Jadeja bowling in tandem in the middle overs.

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