Dinesh Karthik names 3 uncapped domestic players for India's next WTC cycle
As the painstaking loss in the World Test Championship (WTC) final brought closure to India's rather unconvincing campaign, featuring notable losses in South Africa and England and a brittle and inconsistent playing unit ultimately exposed against Australia, experts believe the time to hit the transition button is here.
With the team's ageing middle order enduring a sustained decline and the pace arsenal being woefully neutralised in absence of Jasprit Bumrah, the growing consensus is that the team management and selectors must focus on rebuilding the core with the influx of youth in the playing XI.
Dinesh Karthik, the team's out-of-favour wicketkeeper-batter turned commentator, named three such players who could be part of the set-up for the next cycle of the WTC spanning 2023-25. Three players who may help rejuvenate the side's fortunes and bolster its ascent towards the next WTC final at Lord's.
Karthik's picks are three of the finest young performers from the Ranji Trophy 2022-23 season, who dominated the scene in the first-class arena in respective skills and could potentially iron out the flaws in the current Indian team with their presence over the coming two years.
Karthik picks 3 Indian domestic players for next WTC cycle
Speaking on Cricbuzz, Karthik picked out Mumbai's prolific opening batter Yashasvi Jaiswal, Karnataka's blistering middle-order maverick Sarfaraz Khan and Bengal's steady swing bowler Mukesh Kumar as the trio which the selectors should consider for the next cycle of the Test championship.
Dinesh Karthik names 3 players who deserve a long rope in Tests in the coming WTC cycle: [Cricbuzz]— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) June 13, 2023
1) Yashasvi Jaiswal
2) Sarfaraz Khan
3) Mukesh Kumar pic.twitter.com/PRS5t17Xdd
Karthik's word in favour of Jaiswal came as he replaced an injured KL Rahul as the backup opener for the WTC final at The Oval. While skipper Rohit Sharma's opening duo with childhood prodigy Shubman Gill is likely to be persisted with times to come, Jaiswal could be a great immediate backup to the two and maybe Rohit's replacement when the captain and experienced head approaches his sunset.
Jaiswal has a humoungous first-class average of 80.21 over 15 matches. A technically correct player with a solid base and range against pace and spin, the 21-year-old is expected to serve Indian cricket for a long time at the top. The young gun had an impressive Ranji season and backed it up with a century for India 'A' when the team travelled to Bangladesh late last year.
Speaking of the averages, Sarfaraz's fell below 80 only after couple of failures at the back end of the recent Ranji season. The Mumbaikar has enjoyed unprecedented dominance over the past three editions of India's premier first-class tournament. He has struck 13 centuries in his tally of 3,505 runs.
Last but certainly not the least is Bengal's disciplined medium-fast bowler, who has been a prodigious swing bowler at the first-class level with 149 scalps bagged in 39 matches at an eye-catching average of 21.55 with six five-wicket hauls to his name.