Indian cricket is filled with young talented cricketers. The fact that India is now able to send different set of players for two separate series goes to show the quality in depth India possesses right now. The biggest positive for India is that most of these players are under the age of 30 which is a great sign for years to come.
Suresh Raina was one of the brightest talents in India’s ranks around 15 years ago. He went on to play a key role in India’s world cup triumphs and ended his career as one of the best T20 players the country has ever produced.
Raina was asked to name players from the current India set-up that impress him, and the 34-year-old picked up some obvious and some not-so-obvious names.
“I think Devdutt Padikkal from Karnataka. After him, Ruturaj Gaikwad from Maharashtra. He is a gun player. Axar Patel has worked really hard, and he performed brilliantly well in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja,” Raina said.
One of the many youngsters who Raina didn’t mention was Rishabh Pant. Pant has been India’s best player over the last 9 months which made his exclusion a bit surprising. “See, he has entered the senior category. He’s grown. He is also hitting fours now and not only sixes,” he explained.
“Even Mohammed Siraj is bowling so well. And somewhere I feel credit goes to Rahul Dravid who has worked extremely hard with the Under-19 team which is why he is with the senior team now and my best wishes to Shikhar Dhawan, that he does well and return to the Test team because he too is a very big player for India and he must be hoping to perform well in Sri Lanka,” Raina added.
Outside of the Indian team, Raina listed out names of some of the fringe players, who have produced consistent performances in both domestic cricket and the IPL. “Then definitely Priyam Garg from Uttar Pradesh. Karn Sharma is another player from Uttar Pradesh who has performed really well. From Punjab, there is Abhishek Sharma, who has impressed me a lot. Sachin Baby is also putting in a lot of hard-work,” he added.