The Indian one-day team for the short tour of Zimbabwe was announced by the Indian selectors on Friday. In spite of numerous news reports over the possible inclusion of some seniors in the team, in particular, Gautam Gambhir, the selection committee went in for the youth brigade. Even the absence of MS Dhoni due to injury did not force the selectors into looking backwards. While a number of senior players who are part of the current set up have given a rest for the unimportant series, a few new faces have got a look in. Here’s more about the new recruits in the Indian team.
Parvez Rasool: The 24-year-old upcoming cricketer has become the first ever cricketer from Jammu & Kashmir to have been picked up for the Indian side. An all-rounder, Rasool is a right hand batsman and off-break bowler and has had an impressive domestic career so far. In 17 first class matches, Rasool has scored over one thousand runs, averaging 39 with three hundreds and two fifties. He has a top score of 171. With his off spin, he has grabbed 46 wickets while averaging 31 with three five-wicket hauls. Rasool came into prominence in February this year when he grabbed seven wickets for Board President’s XI against the visiting Australian side. Rasool made his IPL debut for Pune Warriors versus Kolkata Knight Riders this year.
Mohit Sharma: Hailing from Haryana, the state for which he also plays domestic cricket, Sharma, who is a right arm medium fast bowler, had a wonderful 2012-13 Ranji Trophy season. He worked hard with renowned pace bowling coach Ian Pont, and grabbed as many as 37 wickets in seven Ranji Trophy games, impressing one and all. Sharma played for Chennai Super Kings in this year’s IPL tournament, and surprising was among the more dependable and successful bowlers in the event. Sharma featured in 15 IPL games and ended up grabbing 21 wickets. He was particularly efficient in the Powerplay overs, not allowing the batsmen to go after him very often.
Jaydev Unadkat: A left-arm fast medium bowler, Unadkat has risen through the U-19 ranks like many other promising Indian cricketers. The 21-year-old even made his Test debut for India against South Africa in December 2010 at Centurion when Zaheer Khan was injured. However, he looked very raw, went wicketless and was immediately dropped. In 29 first class games he has picked up 84 wickets averaging 33. While his domestic form has been mixed in the last couple of years, he came up with some impressive performances for RCB during IPL 6 including a five-for against Delhi Daredevils, paving the way for his comeback.
Ambati Rayudu: A veteran of domestic cricket, the 27-year-old from Hyderabad has been on the fringes of national selection for a while now, but is yet to make his international debut. He is currently with Indian side as a replacement for injured skipper Dhoni. A consistent batsman for Hyderabad and, in recent years, Baroda, Rayudu is also a crucial part of the Mumbai Indians IPL side, coming in the middle order and playing cameos. He averages 42 in his first class career with nine hundreds.
--By A Cricket Analyst