The IPL is just around the corner and the excitement among the fans is palpable. However, for the players it will be a another opportunity where they can impress the selectors with the bat and the ball. As seen earlier, some brilliant and eye-catching performances can always lead to golden opportunities and sometimes even result in a call up to the national team. Speaking of which one spot which might open up in the near future is that of the wicketkeeper.
MS Dhoni is near the fag-end of his career and after retiring from Tests he might soon call it quits from all formats of the game. The IPL can be the perfect place to stamp a place for Dhoni’s spot.
During his stint with the Rajasthan Royals, Sanju Samson did force people to sit up and take notice of his ability. Under the tutelage of Rahul Dravid he has gone on to improve his game considerably.
Being an attacking wicket-keeper batsman, Samson can fill the void left by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He is young and extremely pleasing in his stroke-play. Added to that are his good skills with the gloves.
However, Samson has recently not been able to score big runs. He has not done well in the last two domestic seasons to impress the selectors. Hopefully his IPL performance will come good this year.
Wriddhiman Saha has not yet nailed the position in the ODI side. But with a good season in the Tests and a better IPL performance might just earn Saha a possible spot for the National Team. He has the ability to play the longer innings in the ODI’s that can be really helpful. He can also tonk the ball at the latter half of the innings which can be really helpful towards the end of the innings.
With 972 runs in the current Ranji Trophy season Rishabh Pant is one of the prime contenders to take Dhoni’s spot. The Delhi lad has already shown his prowess with the bat as he slammed the fastest first-class century off 48 balls. He also went on to score a triple hundred against Maharashtra. Pant like Dhoni loves to hit big sixes and can surely can be seen to take Dhoni’s place in the national team behind the stumps.
Dinesh Karthik is currently in a great form. He has scored runs throughout the season and also led his side (Tamil Nadu) to Vijay Hazare Trophy win and the Deodhar Trophy win. The fact that he is in fine touch was visible as he smashed hundreds to lead his side to victory. To score big runs in the finals and lead his side to victory surely puts his name in top contention.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement from tests had triggered a scramble for many vacancies in India’s cricket squad. Among the many names in contention was Parthiv Patel. At 17 years and 153 days, Parthiv had become Test cricket’s youngest wicketkeeper in 2002. Today at 32 years of age the Gujarat-lad has tons of experience behind him and is quite capable with the bat.
He recently made an impressive comeback to the Test team in Saha’s absence due to injury after eight years with two half-centuries against England and then helped Gujarat win the Ranji Trophy final against Mumbai.
Parthiv also had a fine start to the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy with the bat for Gujarat. He scored 415 runs in his first eight innings at 59.28, with three fifties and a hundred. Now a good performance with the bat will make his case strong.