Following up on the earlier post, I decided to look up the number of players blooded by India in the last four years who can potentially step up to the test arena (numbers looked up are from 2007 Jan)
- Shikhar Dhawan is the only other opener who has played in ODIs (apart from the usual suspects - Sehwag, Gambhir, Murali Vijay). He captained India in the recent Emerging Series tournament, performing decently. Though he was given ample chances in the Windies ODI, Dhawan did not justify his selection, often falling early to the quicks. Considering the record so far, it does not look like Dhawan's career will go anywhere until he shows a brilliant knock somewhere.
- In the middle-order department, again the familiar names of Yuvraj, Raina, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Badrinath appear. Those who have only played ODIs so far include Yusuf Pathan, Robin Uthappa, Ravinder Jadeja (can one call him as an all-rounder - not likely), Manoj Tiwary. Uthappa does not seem to be in the contention for any slot in the ODIs, forget test matches. Similarly, Jadeja has utilized all the opportunities he has given without cementing his place in the playing eleven - he is in a direct fight with Yusuf Pathan for the all-rounder slot (even though both of them are not present in the current squad chosen). Pathan has the potential to be a big game-changer for India and it might be a good gamble to bring him in the squad. Just imagine the impact he can make to the opposition if he gets his eye in. For a player who hit the Proteans for a century in their own backyard, he should be considered seriously.
- Ashwin is the only spinner who has not played test matches so far. Ex-players like Sanjay Manjrekar and Ajit Wadekar suggest that he should be tried out as soon as possible in the test arena, avoiding the (short-form specialist) label that everyone has in mind. Iqbal Abdulla did a good job in the Emerging Tournament - will he be given the next chance to make an impact? A spot in the tour-game against visiting West Indies will be worthwhile. Rahul Sharma and Bhargav Bhatt are the others to keep an eye on.
- The pace bowling department sees the usual names once again. The ones who have been given a chance in the ODIs are Asok Dinda, Sudeep Tyagi, Abhishek Nayyar, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Manpreet Gony, Joginder Sharma, Pankaj Singh. A long list of bowlers on display where only Vinay Kumar is in the current squad. Vinay with his variations and ability to move the ball will help him in England ODIs. Yadav with his pace will be observed for a longer period just like Varun Aaron who has been selected as Ishant's replacement. Dinda played in Zimbabwe but could not make any impact with the ball. Nayyar was in the limelight as the Mumbai all-rounder but once again his performances did not match the hype. Will we see the younger bowlers like Tyagi, Gony and Pankaj Singh once again? Obviously they are not in the contention now but one never knows in the future how they will turn out to be.
- Naman Ojha is the only other wicket-keeper who has played for India in the ODIs. His exploits as an opener for Rajasthan Royals ensured that he was given an opportunity - obviously he has not exploited it to make a name for himself.
Will the selectors try out any other youngster in the forthcoming series? Let us see.