Babasish Nanda

Exuberant yet prudent, a young core is raising Indian Cricket Team’s limited over stocks.

If you can find an answer that manifests itself in multiple historically detached disciplines simultaneously, then there is some evidence that the idea is valid. We are only 18 years into T20 cricket, hence the knowledge of the modern day skills is still fairly new. Unlike baseball, which is also a bat VS ball sport, cricket, and especially T20 cricket, has very little authority over having proven trends backed by sufficient statistical analysis.

Take the case of left-handed batters, for example, in all T20s. Ask anyone who follows the match-up madness and they will tell you that you might still find some right handed batters who are good against the ball turning away, but it is almost impossible to find left-handers who are good against quality off-spin.

Thus, in the modern game, lefties have a significant advantage over righties because fewer and fewer bowlers are spinning the ball away from them. Nobody bowls right-arm off-break these days. The ones that do are either mystery spinners or just batsmen who bowl occasionally.

The rise of Ishan Kishan and Venkatesh Iyer is the product of this natural progression in the game where the skill of batting as a southpaw has become less challenging. And the idea that has repeatedly reappeared is that the shortest form of the game is made for its youngest connoisseurs. India can, if they want, have all of Kishan, Iyer, and Rishabh Pant bat in their top six. In fact, for the all-rounder’s role, they also have the option of Wasinghton Sundar and Axar Patel.

This influx of youth in the Indian T20 side is prominent in another skillset, and that is fast bowling. Pace bowling in T20s is about more than just bowling fast; it is also about the role you play as a pacer. A broader classification of those roles involves swing bowlers, change-up bowlers, and good old fashioned enforcers.

Although these roles are intertwined, they are still distinct enough with respect to the demands of each role. To swing the new ball, India has Deepak Chahar and Mohammed Siraj. For change-ups, there is Harshal Patel and Shardul Thakur. And when it comes to hitting the hard-length and delivering the yorkers at a faster pace, India has Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, and Avesh Khan at their disposal.

No other time in recent history could India have slotted in that many left-handers in the same T20I side before. They have never had such a wealth of fast bowling talent for each role either.

In terms of wrist spin, Ravi Bishnoi’s inclusion in this talent pool is not only another youthful addition, but it is a smart and effective way to keep Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav on their toes.

Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav are providing India with intent and solidarity in the middle-order. Both are young and both are from the same Mumbai school of khadoos batsmanship that keeps on churning out strokemakers. If they continue to stay fit and play their natural game, then there is a good chance that they will dominate all kinds of bowlers in all types of conditions.

Leading these young men is another Mumbaikar who has a unique way of ruling the side. His style of communication is peculiar to Mumbai and Mumbai locals, to be specific. Wherein a rough tone is often masked with an intention of care. Everyday, thousands of strangers are rude to each other in a jam packed steel compartment, all because they want everyone to be safe and reach their destinations on time.

Rohit Sharma’s antics on the field have the exact same energy. His way of passing the information comes with a layer of comfort that often puts his players in a safe space. A space where they are free to go wrong while following their instincts, but with just the right amount of clarity that presents a clear roadmap to success. Under Rohit’s rule, India’s youngsters have the best chance to conquer the world.

(DISCLAIMER: This is an opinion piece. The views expressed are the author’s own and have nothing to do with OTV’s charter or views. OTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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