@swaris16 6 minute read
India is blessed with a number of talented players who have not yet made it to the national XI courtesy of the huge competition for spots. We make an uncapped T20 team of cricketers from the country, who are highly skilled but have yet to make their debut for one reason or the other.
Abhishek’s strike rate of just over 135 might be a bone of contention, but he can pace the innings brilliantly. Strong against spin, his presence will ensure the tempo never drops in the middle overs. Abhishek has been associated with Sunrisers Hyderabad since 2019 and showed his improvement in the format this year with a number of crucial knocks, including a high score of 75 off 50.
The time to draft Tripathi in the India T20I XI is now. The Madhya Pradesh batter can play anywhere in the order and can take on both pace and spin with ease. He struck at 144 in the powerplay of the 2022 IPL, which increased to 158 in the middle overs. After being overshadowed for a few seasons, he burst onto the scene this year, when averaging 37.55 while striking at of over 158. He has been given a number of India call-ups this year but is yet to make his debut in either format.
Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, the two most successful IPL teams, were embroiled in a bidding war for Varma during this year’s auction. Only 20, Varma eventually went to five-time champions Mumbai, and repaid their trust, scoring 397 runs with two fifties. He has a strike rate of 137 in the format, scoring nine fifties in 35 innings, and the potential that he has is exciting.
Patidar is 29, but his T20 strike rate reads 148 after 44 innings, highlight being a 49-ball hundred in the 2022 IPL Eliminator – the fastest IPL century by an uncapped India player. He has been unstoppable since then, making 272 runs at an average of 54.40 at a strike rate of 179 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and then scoring three fifties in six games in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Jitesh Sharma – wicketkeeper
Also 29, Jitesh can be a quality finisher, although he started off as an attacking batter at the top of the order. He has maintained a strike rate of 148 across 76 T20 matches so far. He played for Punjab Kings this year, his debut season, and immediately left a mark, striking at 164. He was one of the standouts for the franchise.
Young Parag has forced his way into the team on the back of a stupendous domestic white-ball season. Sometimes criticised for his off-field antics, Parag has ensured that his performances became the talk of the town. He smashed 253 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, averaging over 63 with a strike rate of 165. In the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, he has three hundreds in eight innings while also picking up nine wickets. The Indian team is struggling with finding batters who can bowl, and Parag could be more than a handy spin option.
Left-hander Tewatia’s epic knock against Punjab Kings for Rajasthan Royals in 2020 is well remembered. Batting on eight from 19 balls during a chase of 224, he turned it around brilliantly, smashing five sixes in an over from Sheldon Cottrell. He finished with a 31-ball 53 to pull off a remarkable turnaround. Since then, his stocks have only increased. Picked by Gujarat Titans for INR 9 crore, he proved pivotal in his team’s winning run, finishing off games with consistent ease. He is also an effective spinner and adds bowling depth to the side. He was close to making his India debut, having been named in the squad for the England T20Is last year, but failed to pass the yoyo test.
Only 20, Hangargekar was instrumental in guiding India to this year’s Under-19 World Cup. The commentators marked him out as one for the future. He clocked 141.7kph during the competition, picking up five wickets at an economy rate of 3.67. But it is his batting that helps him surge ahead: he struck at 186 during the competition.
The leading wicket-taker in the 2019/20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, left-arm spinner Sai Kishore deceives batters with his canny variations. Picked up by Gujarat Titans for INR 3 crore in the 2022 IPL auction, he was economical in his five games, going for just over 7.5 an over. Overall, he has an economy rate of 4.49 in 40 T20 innings, and can also be groomed into a useful batter.
Sen, a lanky right-arm pacer was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals at his base price of INR 20 lakhs in the 2022 IPL auction, went on to impress the legendary Ian Bishop for his ability to swing the ball both ways and bowl the inswinging yorkers. He is in excellent form, picking up 18 wickets in only six Vijay Hazare Trophy games, including scalping four or more wickets in an innings thrice.
Mohsin uses his left-arm angle to good effect, and also has a lethal bouncer, all of which was on display during this year’s IPL. Picked up at his base price of INR 20 lakh by Lucknow Super Giants, he proved to be one of the stars of the edition. He ended with an economy rate of 5.96 – the best among all quicks – and sent down his fastest delivery of 151kph during the edition. Overall, he has conceded 6.78 an over from 35 T20s.