How youngsters make Delhi a formidable unit

Top order batsmen Dhruv Shorey and Nitish Rana, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, medium pacer Subodh Bhati and off-spinner Pulkit Narang have impressed when they have got chances. And, Manan Sharma has become a reliable performer for the team.

Manan Sharma (left) has become one of Delhi's key players.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Delhi cricket in going through an exciting phase with a bunch of youngsters grabbing the opportunities coming their way and helping the team maintain its top spot in Group A of the Ranji Trophy.

Delhi has fielded seven debutants so far and most of them seem to be promising.

Top order batsmen Dhruv Shorey and Nitish Rana, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, medium pacer Subodh Bhati and off-spinner Pulkit Narang have impressed when they have got chances. And, Manan Sharma has become a reliable performer for the team.

Manan's contribution with the bat and ball

Manan has tried to bat as long as possible and Manan is contributing at crucial stages with the bat and the ball.

Shorey, who waited a bit to earn his first-class cap, has made an immediate impact by scoring 219 runs— including an unbeaten century—in four innings. His temperament to thrive in difficult conditions is a rare trait among modern day batsmen.

Pant was promising in the two matches he has played so far and has emerged as the undisputed No.1 stumper for Delhi.

Milind Kumar, who has got a series of matches after being on the fringe, has shown a lot of maturity to provide stability to the middle order, while seamer Navdeep Saini, who used to play a supporting role hitherto, has now grown to be an important element of Delhi's attack.

Youngsters supported by captain and coach

Backed by skipper Gautam Gambhir, these youngsters look to serve Delhi long.

“It is about giving them the right platform, the right dressing room ambience and the break at the right time. A youngster must get to play when he is in form and needs to be backed. Trust is the key element when grooming a team. I have done just that I am glad that they have met the expectations in some testing conditions,” said Gambhir.

Surely, the hunger for success has driven these youngsters to perform at their best. However, Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya insists that the dressing room atmosphere has helped the new players. “The happiness is a driving factor. If people are happy, you don't have to ask people to do it. People are settled and there is trust (in the team),” said Dahiya.

Saini, a soft-spoken 22-year-old, testified his captain’s and coach’s support. “When my team and my captain are behind me, I need not bother about anything else and focus is on my performance,” said Saini after his career-best performance of six-for 32 against Maharashtra.

Another positive change is Delhi's catching and swift ground fielding. The newer players are trying hard to save every possible run and take each chance coming their way. This has propelled Delhi into a formidable unit.

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