Cricketer Of The Year
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mumbai, India
You've intentionally picked the youngsters, especially the U-19 players. There are older, yet better and more effective players than some of those mentioned.
For instance, looking East, you can't ignore the Bengal new-ball pair of SS Paul and Ranadeb Bose. Both have been taking wickets consistently for East Zone and Bengal, and both are of different styles. Paul bowls at medium pace without giving much width, and occasionally swings it, keeping a line and length for a long time. Bose, on the other hand, bowls a little faster, and attacks the batsmen often, making them play. There's the U-19 seamer Abu Nachim Ahmed, but there's little known of him, and only some consistent performances by him for Assam will get him noticed. Likewise, SS Das, Arindam Das, Laxmiratan Shukla and Nikhil Haldipur will have a lot of runs to score, and it will be interesting to see how all-rounders Sanjay Raul and Sanjib Sanyal fare.
In Central Zone, you have the best performing all-rounder in India playing for Railways. JP Yadav may only get Tier II action now, but there's nothing to better his all-round record anywhere in India. Moreover, he's no bit player, but an opening bowler (his team's best bowler) and a batting lynchpin, who can hit a few big shots when needed, but he's also got some big hundreds to his credit. He lacks pace, but in India, who's got it? There's TP Singh, who's playing for India A in Australia, so he's definitely one to watch. However, he's no contender for the Indian team in any form.
There's opener Amit Pagnis, who has played for India A in the past, and is still a contender, especially for ODI's. He's one who likes to play a sheet-anchor role and support his partner as much as possible. Fans may remember him as an ex-Mumbai player who often wasted good starts he got, but he's built partnerships at the top quite often. Then there's Sanjay Bangar, the utility man. He can bowl stocks of overs, then stick his neck out to build a partnership when he's batting (often opening), and when needed, suddenly go on an all-out attack. UP is a young side, with several players, prospects or otherwise, doing their bit for the team, if not themselves. If RP Singh doesn't get another India cap, he could be taking wickets in bucketfuls here.
Far North, Punjab seamers Gagandeep and VRV Singh will be worth a watch. Gagandeep is a risky swing bowler, while we've seen VR Singh in action, and we know what he can do. Gagandeep has over 200 FC wickets and has even travelled with the Indian team, but was unlucky to miss even the tour matches in Bangladesh. VR Singh hasa lot of potential, but is simply not refined, and the domestic season will help him sharpen his skills. With former all-rounder Reetinder Sodhi becoming a specialist batsman, new-ball bowler Ishan Malhatra (CricInfo is confused about the spelling) now has the dual role to play. There's also Nehra, on a comeback, and the bowler with the best ever figures in an ODI tournament final, while his partner, the less glamorous Bhandari, will continue doing what he's been doing all along. But who is Ishant Sharma? Looking for youngsters, the Delhi selectors selected this young giant who impressed in the opportunities he got, but we saw less of him as they regressed to picking players with stronger connections than those more talented, and the team suffered. Let's hope they get their act together this time.
"Talent is nothing without opportunity"
"You're not remembered for aiming at the target, but hitting it"
Twenty20 used to be boring.
Last edited by Arjun; 14-07-2006 at 05:54 AM.