The curtains have been drawn on the T20 and the ODI series and India’s dismal performance in the shorter formats of the game puts serious pressure on the hosts to put up a remarkable display of cricket in the upcoming Test series.
The Test series will be a serious test for the hosts as the Proteas haven’t lost a test series abroad in nine years and the young Indian team needs to prove its mettle. Both teams have a couple of budding talent whose performance in the domestic circuit and the shorter format have earned them the test call. So here we have prepared a list of the players we don’t hear much about in the test arena.
1. Rohit Sharma
Nothing needs to be said about the talent and quality of Rohit Sharma. His statistics and the records attributed to him are proof enough of his potential and calibre. And he will be a key player for India and his performance will be the one to look out for. Though Sharma has established himself as the opener for India in the shorter versions of the game, in the longer format he is still in the starting stages. Rohit Sharma has played a total of 14 Test so far in international cricket scoring a total of 870 runs. He scored his highest runs (177) in test cricket on debut at none other than Eden Gardens against West Indies. Rohit is a fiery batsman and possesses the immense talent and it would be a treat as his talent unravels in the arena of Test cricket and how far it takes the team in this series.
2. K.L. Rahul
With the big giants of Indian cricket announcing retirement, it opened doors for the young talent which has found a stage to grow and flourish. And one such talent is K.L. Rahul. K.L. Rahul has impressive first class record having made 10 hundreds, and recording a high score of 337 runs. Why K.L. Rahul makes this list of players to look out for is because of his numbers in comparison to Wriddhiman Saha! Both are wicketkeeper batsmen but Saha having played 7 matches has scored 284 runs with no big innings to account for in comparison to Rahul’s 256 runs made in 5 matches which include 2 hundreds. In his first home series it will be great to see how he fares.
3. Varun Aaron
Varun Aaron was a speedy find for India. He wowed everyone by knocking up a speed of 153kmph in the Vijay Hazare trophy final against Gujrat and has earned 7 test match caps to his name. In his International Test career so far Varun Aaron has picked up 16 wickets. With the lack of spearhead bowlers in the Indian line up and bowling being the major concern for India, the presence of Varun Aaron in the squad is a sure boost to the line and he will be a key factor in India’s performance.
4. Stiaan Van Zyl
After Kallis and Smith bowed out from international cricket, young talent in the face of Stiaan Van Zyl found a place in the dressing room. His performance in the domestic matches made him a favourite to be picked up for the overseas series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Though he didn’t get to play a game, when it came time to prove his mettle he made a thumping 101 against West Indies at Centurion. Van Zyl has been an instrumental find for South Africa and it will be interesting to see how he fills the shoes of the South African greats.
5. Simon Harmer
Simon Harmer is a right arm off-break bowler who took seven wickets in his debut against the Windies that included the wickets of DS Smith, LR Johnson and Chanderpaul. A find for South Africa, Harmer’s first class career boasts of 242 wickets in 65 matches including 11 five wicket hauls. Harmer along with Tahir gives a boost to South Africa on the sub-continent wicket and leaves us to enjoy a good contest between the bat and the ball.