When the Indian squad for the New Zealand T20I series was announced by the selectors, the emphasis was kept on making a young team that tests its potential in the international arena. The team was to be captained by Hardik Pandya, a skilful leader in T20 cricket. The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Dinesh Karthik, Mohammad Shami and KL Rahul were rested for the tour.
The first match of the three-match T20I series between India and New Zealand was called off due to rain. The second match of the series will be played at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand on Sunday (November 20).
The new team comprised of young talent that has showed its skill in domestic tournaments, especially the Indian Premier League (IPL). After a disappointing T20 World Cup for India, the focus is to revamp the Indian squad.
Among these young players, these are the 3 players you should watch out for:
1. Umran Malik: Umran Malik had a decent domestic season in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy where he took eight wickets in seven games with an economy of 8.08. Malik has a raw pace, with his deliveries clocking 150kmph. And in the recent T20 World Cup, we saw how teams like Pakistan with pacers like Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi or South Africa's Lungi Ngidi or Anrich Nortje rattled the opposition.
Malik so far has played only 3 T20Is for India, two against Ireland and one against England. His performance however was average in all the games. He wasn't included in the Asia Cup squad and went back playing for Jammu and Kashmir
Former Indian Head Coach Ravi Shastri had said that the New Zealand tour is a good opportunity for the pacer and he will learn from this exposure.
2. Shubman Gill: The 23-year-old from Punjab is yet to play a T20I for India. Though he has been included in the Test and ODI side, he has not yet played a T20 international. But Gill has decent strike rate of 128.72 in T20 cricket and we have seen in the IPL how well he can get with the batting.
In the IPL 2022, he scored 483 runs at an average of 34.50 and a strike rate of 132.33.
Gill is also a fine option as an opener for the Indian team as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have been in poor form.
In the New Zealand ODI and T20I series, Gill has a good opportunity to cement his place in the Indian side.
3. Ishan Kishan: Among the young players, Ishan Kishan is one to watch out for. Kishan so far has played only 19 T20I games for India scoring 543 runs at an average of 30.16.
The left-handed batter who plays for Mumbai Indians in IPL is explosive in the power play. With Gill, the team can test Kishan for opening the batting.
The second T20I will be telecast LIVE at 12 pm IST on SUnday. It will broadcast on DD Sports and will be streamed online on Amazon Prime Video.