World Cup 2019 ended disappointingly for team India. After being a dominant side in the group stages, the Men in Blue suffered a crushing loss against New Zealand in the semi-finals which cost them the ultimate opportunity to lift the trophy at Lord’s.
The Indian side were very strong in the group stages and their loss at the semi-finals came because of brilliant captaincy from Kane Williamson rather than flaws in the Indian team.
Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul did not play well in the semi-final match. But, it is unfair to discredit their impressive group stage performances. The trio might stick around for the next World Cup if they retain the same good form.
After each World Cup edition, a major rebuilding ensures that the team remains strong. Some fresh and young faces break into the scene. These five young players look impressive and could receive more ODI chances in the aftermath of the unsuccessful World Cup.
#5 Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer as a top-order batsman can be vital for team India because of his experience in the domestic circuit and the Indian Premier League. The 24-year-old has notched over 4,000 runs in first-class cricket, including twelve centuries.
During the opening round of the 2018-19 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Iyer scored 147 which is the highest T20 score by an Indian batsman. The impending T20 World Cup will be an excellent platform for expressing his abilities.
Delhi Capitals has forged him into a more matured batsman and a leader by giving him the captaincy responsibility. The underdog franchise ended IPL 11 as wooden spoon holders, but in the following season under his leadership, they entered the semi-final.
The calm batsman showed little promise during his brief stint with the Indian limited-overs side. More opportunities can help India discover the full extent of his ability and talent. He could potentially turn out to be the solution for their number four conundrum.
#4 Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw is the second youngest Indian after Sachin Tendulkar to score a century on Test debut. Besides this, Shaw also scored centuries on his Ranji and Duleep Trophy debuts equalling Tendulkar’s record.
Shaw’s leadership skills were evident in India’s successful U-19 World Cup campaign in 2018. Shikhar Dhawan’s participation in the next World Cup is doubtful as age is not on his side, so the team management could gradually shift the duties to the young opener.
#3 Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill was the vice-captain and the leading run-scorer of the Indian U-19 team when they won the 2018 U-19 World Cup. The young batsman received the Player of the Tournament for the instrumental role he played.
The successful campaign fetched him an ODI opportunity against New Zealand in 2019. There is adequate time for the Indian team before the next World Cup to see how Gill fits into the ODI setup. If he fits, then he is a star in the making.
#2 Sanju Samson
After a mediocre performance in the World Cup semi-final match, it is safe to assume that the ageing Dinesh Karthik may not be part of the ODI setup anymore. As MS Dhoni is also unlikely to be around for the next World Cup, the team needs to focus on their wicket-keeping options.
India already has a promising keeper in Rishabh Pant, but his ODI career has just begun so it is essential to have a strong backup. In that case, Samson will be a good choice, as the 24-year-old has two IPL centuries and nine first-class hundreds to his name.
#1 Mayank Agarwal
Halfway during the 2019 World Cup, India chose Mayank Agarwal as the replacement for the injured Vijay Shankar. Sadly, he didn’t get his ODI debut in the prestigious tournament because of India’s defeat in the semi-final match.
Agarwal is a very talented batsman with plenty of experience in the domestic circuit. If the 28-year-old successfully adapts to ODI cricket, then it will reward India with a matured batsman to use at various positions.