Team India have been knocked out of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in a rather disastrous fashion. After going down to Pakistan and New Zealand in their first two games, they needed a miracle to progress to the semis. That did not happen, which means they end up with one of their worst performances in the ICC event. It is not an ideal way for coach Ravi Shastri to walk away. He had a decent record but the Virat Kohli-Shastri combo will be separated without an ICC trophy to their name. A new era is set to begin under new coach Rahul Dravid. There have been many instances in the past when players have been dumped after a few bad performances. In this feature, we take a look at five youngsters who are likely to get more chances to establish themselves in the Indian team under Dravid.
1. Ruturaj Gaikwad
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) star batter made his international debut during the T20I series against Sri Lanka and gave a decent account of himself. He was absolutely brilliant in IPL 2021, finishing with the Orange Cap as CSK lifted their fourth IPL crown. Continuing his great form, Gaikwad has cracked three consecutive fifties in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. There is every chance that the Maharashtra batter will be picked in the team for the series against New Zealand.
2. Devdutt Padikkal:
Like Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal also made his India debut during the tour of Sri Lanka. He struggled to make an impact under tough batting conditions and some decent bowling from Sri Lanka. However, the 21-year-old is considered among the finest bright young talents in the country. While he has made an impression in both IPL seasons he has played so far for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Padikkal also holds the List A record for smashing four consecutive hundreds in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. When in full flow, he is unstoppable.
3. Rahul Chahar
A promising leg-spinner, Rahul Chahar could also flourish under Dravid’s guidance. Having made his international debut in 2019, the 22-year-old has featured in only one ODI and five T20Is to date. Chahar was one of India’s few bright spots during a disappointing T20I series in Sri Lanka, marred by COVID-19 hitting the camp. As a leg-spinner, he has the attributes to be successful. He gives the ball a rip and has the aggression as well, which needs to be channeled. It will be important for India to tap into his potential.
4. Shreyas Iyer
Okay, Shreyas Iyer’s name seems like a bit of a misfit in this list. But the fact is that Iyer was not picked in the final T20 World Cup squad despite proving his fitness in the IPL. In the limited-overs series’ prior to that, he had made a very good impression and was on the verge of establishing himself when disaster struck in the form of a cruel shoulder injury during the England series. The 26-year-old will have to reestablish his credentials all over again. It is important that he is given a decent enough rope to do so.
5. Kuldeep Yadav
You must be wondering how Kuldeep Yadav fits into the list. He doesn’t even feature in the playing XI of his IPL franchise these days. The left-arm spinner made his India debut back in 2017. Briefly, he even established himself in the Indian team across all formats, along with Yuzvendra Chahal. However, poor form, injuries and bad form combined to derail his international career. He is now battling an injury. The fact though is that Yadav is still only 26 and, perhaps, his best days are still ahead of him. But he needs proper guidance and must thus be given the confidence that he is a wanted member of the side. This is something Dravid can do well.