With the hold of the ageing seniors waning on the Indian team, quite a few youngsters are all set to make a bid for the national team. This is the first in a series of blogs presenting prospective players vouching for a place in the national team.
Rohit has been in the limelight recently for scoring the first hundred in the domestic Twenty20 competition for Mumbai. His 49-ball hundred contained 13 fours and 5 sixes. Rohit Sharma, who has been in the fringe of national selection for a while now, was also picked in the short list of World cup probables.
Although touted as an all rounder, he is more of a batsman and bit-bowler bowling right arm off-break. Rohit’s stand out innings has been a double century against Gujarat on a deteriorating surface.
He has represented India in the under-19s and the A team and in my opinion ready to move into the big league at least for the one dayers. With BCCI laying an emphasis on youngsters for the future, the soon to be 20 year old could be one of the biggest beneficiaries.
Aka Chhota Dada, Manoj plays for Bengal in the Ranji Trophy and has modelled himself on the current top ranking ODI batsman Kevin Peiterson. He has had three stand out innings this season – a 181 against Rajasthan, a double hundred against Mumbai and a 151 not out against Karnataka in the semis while chasing a score of 307.
Although he is an excellent stroke maker, he is also known for his good defence technique – a la Peiterson. He has broken the batting record for highest number of runs in a single season for Bengal this year and although just 21, has been handed over the captaincy of his state team. He is also a useful part time leg break bowler who took 3 for 19 in one of the Twenty20 matches (one of those scalps was MS Dhoni).
The story goes that Manoj’s father couldn’t afford formal coaching for his son on a Rs.4500 salary working as a fitter in Railways and his elder brother had to get a loan to admit him in a club to get formal training. He has repaid their faith with some excellent performances and the question in everyone’s mind is when he will be picked up in the national squad – not If.