The upcoming Nidahas T20 Trophy, which is slated to get underway from March 6 in Sri Lanka, would be a platform for India to test its bench strength. With most of the senior-pros rested and a number of young guns coming in, it would be a chance for the youngsters to make a mark on the big stage. We take a look at five young talents who could make a mark in the tournament.
The Tamil Nadu all-rounder has been one of the consistent performers in the domestic circuit. Having played just five matches in a couple of IPL seasons till date, Vijay Shankar's best came in 2017, playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Vijay has also performed well in the 2017-18 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and boasts of an average of 50 in the just-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy, leading to his selection in the Indian team.
He is a familiar name in the Indian cricketing circuit. Although he is yet to establish himself in the international circuit, he has proved himself as a subtle T20 player. Making his IPL debut in 2016 for DD, Pant made a name for himself in the third match of his IPL career, after he scored his maiden IPL half-century off just 25 balls. He continued his good from in his maiden Ranji Trophy season in 2016, where he became the third-youngest Indian to score a first-class triple century. He also scored the fastest century of the tournament off just 48 deliveries. Pant also owns the record of the fastest T20 century by an Indian, off just 32 balls. He also finished as the highest run-scorer for Delhi in the 2017-18 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, leading his team to the title. Owing to his splendid domestic performance, he became the second youngest Indian to make his international debut.
Featuring in the Indian side in the just-concluded series against South Africa, Shardul Thakur claimed 48 wickets from 10 games, including five five-wicket hauls in the 2013-14 Ranji Tophy season to attract eyeballs. Making his international debut in August 2017, Thakur has been an average performer with the ball. He featured in both the ODI and T20I teams in South Africa and returned as the third most economical bowler in the T20Is, leading to his selection in the Nidahas Trophy.
Washington is the youngest Indian T20I player after making his debut at the age of 18 years and 80 days. An all-rounder, he made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in the 2016-17 season of the Ranji Trophy. He made his international debut during India's tour of Sri Lanka in 2017, where he got to play just one ODI and T20I. He managed to claim just one wicket in the entire tour. However, he finished as the joint-highest wicket-taker for Tamil Nadu in the 2017-18 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, with 12 wickets and he recorded the second best economy for Tamil Nadu in the season, including the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Jaydev Unadkat grabbed eyeballs after becoming the most expensive Indian player in the IPL auctions 2018, bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs. 11.5 crores. Although he had made his Test debut in 2010 against South Africa, he failed to make an impact after going wicketless in his first match. Later, he was a part of the second-string Indian side, which toured Zimbabwe and made a good impact there. However, he failed to perform against the big sides. With a good tour of South Africa under his belt, where he was the joint second highest wicket-taker, the selectors have given him another chance in a second-string Indian side.
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