Several young players are pushing for selection in India’s squad for the T20 World Cup later this year. Competing for berths alongside or instead of seasoned veterans, these seven tykes are knocking – heavily – at the proverbial door of the national selectors.
Shaw is no stranger to the Indian national team, having played a handful of Tests and ODIs so far, but he hasn’t been able to make a name for himself in the T20I XI. A fruitful stint alongside the ever-watchful eye of the fellow opener at the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League recently, though, could see Shaw moved into the XI for the shortest format of the international game.
Padikkal is brimming with confidence after striking an IPL century against an imposing Rajasthan Royals bowling attack this year. He spent a prolonged period at the crease with captain Virat Kohli, which bodes well for the young opener. India are the favourites to win the 2021 T20 World Cup at 3.0 with Betway, which is a well-known bookie for offering competitive odds, as this Betway review suggests.
Pant is the most likely player on this list to be included in India’s squad for the T20 showpiece at home later this year. He captained the Delhi Capitals during the IPL 2021 in the absence of the injured Shreyas Iyer and is viewed by some pundits as a long-term successor to Kohli.
There have been plenty of really good leg-spinners in the IPL over the years. From South Africa’s Imran Tahir to India’s Piyush Chawla and more, experienced local leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has had plenty of competition for an extended patch. Chahar is ostensibly Chahal’s latest so-called threat for T20I selection. He has been a relatively permanent fixture in the Mumbai Indians XI and possesses plenty of variations, including intriguing flight and changes of pace.
Singh is only 22 years old but has the traits and characteristics of a seam bowler with plenty more life and cricket experience. With the remarkable consistency and ability to take at least one wicket in a match for most of the IPL 2021, he has impressed Kings XI Punjab seamer Mohammed Shami and teammates. Having to bowl to the big-hitting Chris Gayle at practice has probably helped Khan hone his art, too.
At 24 years old, Gaikwad is one of the older cricketers on this list but still effectively classed as young. He struggled at the start of the 2021 IPL as a fellow opener and former South African captain Faf du Plessis’ class and form took centre stage. But Gaikwad eventually got it together, striking half-centuries against the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders. If not Shaw or Padikkal, Gaikwad could be the man to open the batting alongside Dhawan or Kohli at the 2021 T20 World Cup in India.
India may want to reserve Gill’s talents for the Test match arena, where he has already significantly impacted en route to a slew of half-centuries. However, perhaps India would like to turn him into an all-or two-format player. He has done well enough at the Kolkata Knight Riders to at least enter the frame but probably isn’t ahead of Padikkal, Gaikwad or Shaw in the pecking order.
Khan is another fine, young talent being promoted at the Delhi Capitals. He bowled well in taxing conditions in Chepauk to take five wickets in two matches at that venue in the IPL 2021. India are constantly on the lookout for backup seamers to Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and others. They have a good option in Khan.