Indian cricket, it seems, is moving in the right direction, notwithstanding some unfavourable outcomes of late. The future of the game is in the hands of youngsters and this is exactly where the country’s favourite sport is blessed with talent in abundance. There are some players at the junior level who are blessed with immense potential to make India an envious outfit in the world of cricket. So, let us unearth some promising future talents from the domestic scene who can set the cricket fields across the continents on fire in the future.
Mohammed Azharuddin (Kerala)
No, he has no ties whatsoever with the stylish Hyderabadi batsman of yore, as the Thalangara-born cricketer only shares his name with the former Indian captain. The similarity ends with the name as the right-handed wicket-keeper batsman is more in the mould of the modern-day fast-paced cricket than the old world classical one. Azharuddin has to his credit the second-fastest hundred in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy when he slammed a ton in just 37 balls last year. The domestic exploits earned him a spot in the RCB team in the 2021 IPL season as well. If the new-age Azhar maintains similar form and fitness then the 27-year-old can easily seal a berth in Senior Men’s team going forward.
Shah Rukh Khan (Tamil Nadu)
Just like the King Khan of Bollywood with whom he shares his name, the Tamil Nadu player can also rule the world of cricket in the years to come. After making his first-class debut in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy, the 27-year-old has not taken a step backwards. The youngster’s unbeaten 40 off 19 balls against Himachal in the Quarter Final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 was clearly an indication that the cricketing version of SRK is set for big things going forward. Well, his exhilarating performance in the domestic circuit has already fetched him a place in the current Senior Men’s T-20 squad, which will be taking on the visiting Windies shortly. Hence, let us keep our fingers crossed for the time being.
Umran Malik (J&K)
It is a rarity to watch an Indian bowler firing in 150-plus deliveries consistently but this Jammu and Kashmir-born cricketer did exactly the same. Malik playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL last season not once, twice, thrice but five times clocked 150 KMPH against RCB. Such a stupendous feat got the 23-year-old a place in the India-A team touring South Africa recently and he was also the net bowler for Team India in the recently concluded 2021 T-20 World Cup in the UAE. Hope he preserves the speed as well as consistency in future games also to emerge as a force to reckon with in the international arena as well.
Shaik Rasheed (AP)
This Guntur-born lad has been creating waves with match-defining contributions at the Under-19 level for India. Rasheed’s timely knock of 94 against Australia in the Semi-Final had recently helped India make it to the final for the fourth time in the Under-19 World Cup. Currently, the 17-year-old is the vice-captain of the India Under-19 team and his success can easily be attributed to the superlative cricket infrastructure in Andhra. The impecunious cricketer’s successful sojourn so far in the cricketing circles yet again proves that real talent will always find a way to the top, come hell or high water.