Cricket in India has now transformed into a factory, and is known as the “production line of players.” India is continuously producing some of the best cricketers in the world of Cricket. Apart from IPL, the Vijay Hazare Trophy is a tournament where young budding cricketers compete with the big guns to make their name and leave their mark on 50 overs cricket.
The 2016-17 Vijay Hazare Trophy saw many young talents showcase their abilities to India and to the World that was watching. Featuring established players like MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Manoj Tiwary and Kedar Jadhav, the 50-over tournament was the perfect stage for the youngsters and up-and-comers to shine and leave their mark on the national selectors.
Here we look at 5 emerging players who showed their exceptional talent in this edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
1. Abhimanyu Easwaran - Abhimanyu R. Easwaran, who played for Bengal, was the most impressive emerging player in the tournament. Just 21 years old, Easwaran was the second-highest run scorer of the tournament. With 472 runs under his belt in nine matches at an average of 59, Easwaran struck 2 centuries and 2 half centuries, including a 101 in the semi final. Easwaran was just behind the established Dinesh Karthik who sat at the top of the tree as the leading run scorer of the tournament. With this performance, the young opening batsman definitely caught the attention of the National Selectors with the upcoming India A tours in mind.
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad - Ruturaj Gaikwad is just 20 years old, and yet played a vital role in taking Maharashtra to the Quarter- Final round of the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy. Gaikwad scored 444 runs in seven matches, becoming third highest in the run tally of the tournament. Coming from the Under-19 arena to compete with the big boys was something Gaikwad always had in mind. He averaged more than 62 in the tournament and collected 1 century and 3 fifties.
3. Shreevats Goswami - Shreevats Goswami is another player whom we saw in the India Under-19 World Cup. Goswami, representing Bengal, came in handy for his team as he helped his team to beat the Dhoni-led Jharkhand in the semi-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Scoring a crucial 101, he showed his mindset and the ability to score runs in pressure situations. Goswami scored 345 runs in nine matches with 1 century to his name and averaged about 39, and also played an important role as the wicket-keeper.
Goswami ended as one of the top three wicket-keepers of the tournament, with 16 dismissals in nine games. He is one of the players who is in the process of becoming a proper wicketkeeper-batsman and stands in queue behind the senior keeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha.
4. A Aswin Crist - Aswin Crist is talented young player who performed well. He is a right arm medium pacer who played for Tamil Nadu and emerged as the leading wicket taker of the tournament. He took 20 wickets in 9 matches with best bowling figures of 5/29 against Tripura. The young 22 year-old showcased his calibre and helped Tamil Nadu lift the title for the fifth time. Aswin Crist is definitely a player to look out for in the future as he will mature and take control of the game in pressure situations.
5. Shardul Thakur - Shardul Thakur has toured with the India team more than two times already and is in the spotlight yet again. He ended up taking 16 wickets, making him the third highest wicket taker of the tournament. And yet Thakur’s bucketful of experience couldn’t take Mumbai over the line. But with performances like these, Thakur is knocking even louder on the doors of the National team.
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