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Gill India's new no. 3 and Kishan to keep? What about next breed of bowlers?

WI vs India Test series 2023: Shubman Gill India's new no. 3 and Ishan Kishan to keep? What about next breed of pace bowlers?

Ishan Kishan debuts in Test and replaces KS Bharat as a wicket-keeper on West Indies tour _Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Kishan debuts in Test and replaces Bharat as wicket-keeper (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Following India’s dismal exit from the 2023 WTC Final, it is time for them to revamp their existing squad which is gradually ageing with each passing year. The current crop of cricketers are either injured, unavailable for selection or not at their prime best. For instance, India’s premium pacer Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t played international cricket for over a year now while with Rishabh Pant, we still can’t really ascertain when we may see in him action.

The team management needs to try some viable alternatives whom they can rely on when the chips are down. And with the 2023-25 WTC cycle up and running, BCCI has the full license to explore and try out some new faces who could potentially go on to script history.

Ishan Kishan comes in place of Bharat as the wicketkeeper

KS Bharat was given a chance in place of Rishabh Pant based on his performance in the domestic arena. But the 29-year-old has not been able to live up to the expectations. Although he has been fairly sharp with his glovework behind the stumps, he has failed to deliver those match-winning knocks which the team management would have hoped for. In his last 5 Test matches against Australia, Bharat averages just 18.42 with no half-century scores to his name. In this day and age, it is a prerequisite for any keeper not only to be good with glovework but also to be exceptionally capable with the bat.

Ishan Kishan seems like an ideal replacement for him. Ishan is a highly experienced limited-over specialist wicketkeeper-batter who plays with the same aggressive intent as Pant. Kishan has an explosive strike rate of well over 100 in both T20 and ODI cricket and is fairly capable behind the stumps. Besides his average in limited overs cricket is also on the higher side with his ODI average hovering well beyond 40. He is someone who could be leveraged as a potential wicketkeeper option in the long run.

Bangladesh vs India, 1st Test, Day 3, Top Performances_ Shubman Gill scores his maiden Test Century (110); India set 512 runs target in Chattogram Test _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Shubman Gill moved to number 3 position in Tests (Source: ©BCCI/Twitter)
Shubman Gill for Cheteshwar Pujara at No. 3

Having Shubman Gill at number 3 is certainly a very bold decision. The bloke is young and loaded with talent. He has shattered some long-standing records in limited overs cricket which includes one T20I century and one swashbuckling double century against New Zealand earlier this year. Gill averages around 65.5 in ODI cricket while his average in T20I cricket is also at an impressive high of 40.4. Besides, he has a knack for scoring runs briskly and has a scintillating strike rate of 107.10 and 165.57 in ODI and T20I cricket respectively.

Gill was in sensational form in this year’s IPL edition and emerged as the highest run-getter of the 2023 IPL season with 890 runs to his name at a jaw-dropping average of 59.33. He could be someone who could potentially fill the shoes of Cheteshwar Pujara who has somehow lost his spark in recent times. Despite enduring a very rewarding county season with Sussex prior to the 2023 WTC Final, Pujara floundered badly when his team needed him the most. And with age gradually catching up, Pujara’s days may be numbered. Gill could also be tried as an opener for Team India in Tests. With Yashasvi Jaiswal firing on all cylinders, the left-right combination can do wonders for India at the top of the order.

Fast Bowling combination

India’s star pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been absent from the international stage for a prolonged period of time. There is still no certainty as to when would see him in action. Umesh Yadav has done wonders for Team India in Test cricket but has lost some spark in recent times. He too is in his mid 30s and it may not be long before we see him hang his boots.

Jaydev Unadkat is back in India’s Test squad but can’t be a long-term solution. Unlike the likes of Bumrah and Shami, Unadkat lacks the X-factor which India so desperately needs especially in away conditions. At present, India is overly reliant on Siraj and Shami who have bowled stupendously well in overseas conditions. But the management will need to unearth pacers who can successfully share the responsibility with Shami and Siraj.

A few quicks have emerged recently and already made headlines in the ongoing edition of the Duleep Trophy Cup which is being held in Bangalore. Vidwath Kaverappa has stunned all with his exceptional bowling performance. He has already claimed two 5-wicket hauls in this competition and averages just around 9 with 14 wickets to his name. Arzan Nagwaswalla is also amongst the leading wicket-takers in the tournament picking 10 wickets at an impressive average of 20.9 which includes his best figures of 6/95. Shivam Mavi has also been quite active and has picked up 9 wickets in this tournament which includes his best bowling figures of 6/101. Vijaykumar Vyshak is another talent to watch out for as this bloke has a bright future ahead of him. Vyshak has a formidable track record in domestic cricket and has also fared decently in some of the IPL games that he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore. In the current edition of the Duleep Trophy, he has grabbed 8 wickets at a jaw-dropping average of 16.87 while having a robust strike rate of 30.

These are some names who could spearhead India’s pace attack in the longer format of the game. The idea behind searching for the next crop of crickets is not to replace the current set of cricketers but to groom them further who could one day take India to new heights.


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