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Ranji Trophy 2022-23: Arjun Tendulkar, Sai Sudharsan among top five young players to watch out for

Ranji Trophy 2022-23: Sai Sudharsan, Arjun Tendulkar, Jay Gohil, Rajvardhan Hangardekar and Prabhsimran Singh among the top five young players to watch out for in ongoing Ranji Trophy.

Ranji Trophy 2022-23: Arjun Tendulkar makes his Ranji debut from Goa Cricket Association | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©SLC
Arjun Tendulkar makes his Ranji debut from Goa Cricket Association (Source: ©SLC)

All Indian players who harbour an ambition to earn an India red-ball squad berth, aim to perform at their level best in the premier first-class domestic competition, Ranji Trophy, that offers them a stage to display their talent before the whole world. The 88-year-old famous competition that was modified in 2021-2022, features 38 teams this year who will play 127 games in different groups, followed by eight knockout games amongst the top teams from the group stage.


With several prolific Indian players taking part in the 2022-23 edition, it promises to be such an exciting event. India are stated to play four Test matches in February-March 2023 against Australia, which will be followed by a World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Final in June 2023 provided they qualify for it.


Thus, it goes without saying that Ranji Trophy 2022-23 offers the youngsters and the experienced hands at the first-class circuit enough chances to get a place in the India team.


Read More: Ranji Trophy 2022-23: Mumbai, Vidarbha, MP, Delhi, TN top contenders for coveted silverware


Let’s take a look at the top five players to watch out for during the 2022-23 season.

Sai Sudharsan emerged as third-highest run-scorer (610) in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022-23 _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©EspnCricinfo)
Sai Sudharsan (Images: ©EspnCricinfo)

Sai Sudharsan (Tamil Nadu - 371 runs in 2 matches): Fearless and balanced picking up length with ease

The left hander from Tamil Nadu is such a natural player. The sort of ease with which he picks up the length with his terrific balance and a still head both in offence and defense, the decisive footwork, and the way he cracks the ball through the gaps, reflect his gifted qualities.


The 21-year-old Sai Sudharsan was already part of the white-ball domestic matches for Tamil Nadu besides playing for Gujarat Titans (GT) in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. In this new season, Sudharsan made his first-class debut against Hyderabad at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.


With the opposition putting a huge score of 395 on the board in the first innings, Tamil Nadu needed to show some good display of batting and their openers, Sai Sudharsan and Narayan Jagadeesan, offered them the best stage with a 204-run opening stand.


Even though the latter was dismissed on 116, Sudharsan kept on batting and ended on 179 with the help of 18 boundaries and one six. If the first innings was about temperament and showing patience, Sudharsan displayed the other end of the coin during the second innings when he thumped a 20-ball 42 as Tamil Nadu were chasing a target against the fading light and the clock.


In his second match against Andhra at the SNR College Cricket Ground in Coimbatore, Sudharsan again put up a show with his 113 runs thanks to his 18 boundaries, before managing 37 more in 52 balls in the second innings. Although, Tamil Nadu lost the game, opener Sai Sudharsan has begun his first-class career with a bang, recording 371 runs in two games with two back-to-back centuries at an average of 92.75.


Sai Sudharsan who is now expected to take field against Delhi in his third game at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, will look to carry his golden form forward throughout his first Ranji season.


Read More: Sai Sudharsan emerged as third-highest run-scorer (610) in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022-23

Ranji Trophy 2022-23_ Arjun Tendulkar makes his Ranji debut from Goa Cricket Association _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Twitter)
Arjun shifted base to Goa after not getting enough chances from Mumbai (Source: ©Twitter)

Arjun Tendulkar (Goa - 121 runs and 4 wickets in 2 games): Shifting to Goa with solid ambition

The aspiration of being part of the first-class set-up was so high that the left-arm medium fast bowler, Arjun Tendulkar shifted himself from Mumbai to Goa to get chances in the red ball format. Due to so many players being available in Mumbai, Arjun wasn’t getting chances on a regular basis there and that was why, he went to Goa to get more opportunities.


Just like Sai Sudharsan after playing a few white-ball games in the domestic structure, Arjun made his first-class debut against Rajasthan at the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) Academy Ground in Porvorim and the 23-year-old showed his talent in his very first innings.


Put into bat first, Goa were in a state of bother after a great start when junior Tendulkar made his way in the middle and he showed real temperament just like a batter at the beginning; blocking the balls to get used to the conditions and respecting the bowlers before taking on the bowlers displayed his maturity.


Arjun smashed 120 runs in 207 balls with the help of 16 boundaries and two sixes and in the process, he joined the elite list of batters with a century on Ranji Trophy; coincidentally his father, the ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar too had hit a century on his debut for Mumbai against Gujarat in the 1988-89 season.


Arjun Tendulkar has picked up four wickets as well in the Ranii Trophy this year, and without a shadow of doubt, he will try to continue the process when he faces Karnataka in Goa’s upcoming game.


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Ranji Trophy 2022-23_ Rajvardhan Hangargekar makes his Ranji debut for Maharashtra Cricket Association _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Instagram_CSK)
Hangargekar makes his first-class debut for Maharashtra (Source: ©Instagram/CSK)

Rajvardhan Hangargekar (Maharashtra - 7 wickets in 2 games): Rising high with incredible pace

Since being spotted during the Under-19 World Cup 2022, Maharashtra’s Rajvardhan Hangargekar has been the talk of the town with his gun speed, regularly bowling at a pace of 140+ kmph which is such a rare sign in domestic cricket. Without hard work, he would have ended playing as a tennis-ball cricket hero in his native place Tuljapur.


Hangarkar has been part of the white-ball games in the domestic set-up for Maharashtra from the last year and with his success, he made his first appearance with the red ball in this new season and straightaway, he registered three wickets against Delhi at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Out of these three wickets, first two were the top-order batters - Nitish Rana and opponent captain Yash Dhull.


The 20-year-old right arm medium fast bowler backed this performance with three more wickets in the second innings. He again found the edge of Yash Dhull as the wicketkeeper grabbed an easy catch behind the stumps before sending back set batter Himmat Singh. Hangargekar returned match figures of 6-133 in 35 overs to gift Maharashtra their opening victory of the season.


He didn’t have a great game against Saurashtra picking up just a solitary wicket in 27 overs, but he will try to make a big comeback when he will play against Andhra in their next game.


Read More: Ravi Kumar, Hangargekar, Vicky Ostwal: India’s U-19 bowlers who have lit up the stage in WI

Ranji Trophy 2022-23_ Prabhsimran Singh smashes double hundred in first game of Ranji Trophy 2022 _  Walking Wicket (Source_ ©Prabhsimran_Instagram)
Prabhsimran smashes 202 in first game of Ranji Trophy 2022 (Source: ©Prabhsimran/Instagram)

Prabhsimran Singh (Punjab - 223 runs in 2 games): Developing each day

Prabhsimran Singh began his first-class career for Punjab during the last Ranji season of 2021-22 with an outstanding century against Himachal Pradesh at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi; he shared a century opening partnership with his captain Abhishek Sharma. Prabhsimran played an innings of 123 runs in 138 balls with the help of 21 fours and one six.


But the hardest job is to continue with the same sort of runs in the coming seasons too, and the 22-year-old right hander in his very first game of this season smacked a fabulous 202 runs in just 278 balls with the help of 28 fours and couple of sixes against Chandigarh at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. It just shows how much potential he has to achieve his future goal.


Punjab’s second game against Railways at the Karnail Stadium in Delhi was forced to be stopped due to dangerous condition pf the pitch as wicketkeeper batter, Prabhsimran Singh scored 2 in 11 balls. With his next assignment against Tripura, Prabhsimran Singh who has bagged 375 runs so far in just 5 games with two centuries will look to keep on ticking all the boxes with truckloads of runs.


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Ranji Trophy 2022-23_ Jay Gohil makes his Ranji debut for Saurashtra Cricket Association _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©SCA)
Jay Gohil makes 227 in his debut Ranji Trophy game (Source: ©SCA)

Jay Gohil (Saurashtra - 233 runs in 2 games): Idol of Pujara playing in an un-Pujara way

It is never an easy job to break into the playing eleven of Saurashtra, especially with their most formidable middle-order consisting of Cheteshwar Pujara, Sheldon Jackson and Prerak Mankad; but with Pujara being in Bangladesh, the 22-year-old Jay Gohil who idolises Pujara’s temperament playing in the longest format of the game, earned his chance this season.


In a very un-Pujara way, Gohil smashed a double century in his very first game against Assam in 216 balls, becoming only the 13th Indian to achieve the feat. His 227 runs came with the help of 32 boundaries and two sixes, as he shared a 280-run stand with Harvik Desai for the second wicket to take Saurashtra to a commanding position.


“The feeling I certainly can’t describe; I think I was the first debutant for Saurashtra in the last three-four years,” Gohil expressed to The Indian Express. “When Sheldon Jackson gave me the cap, he told me to make the most of it.”


He didn’t have much fun in the next game against Maharashtra as he could score only 6 runs but he needs to get back amongst the runs when he faces a top side like Mumbai in his next game.


The third round Ranji Trophy games of this season will run from December 27 to December 30, 2022 at various state association grounds across the length and breadth of India.


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