Rohit Sharma has been one of the pillars of India’s white-ball team. The Indian ODI and T20 teams have gone through a visible metamorphosis since 2013 and their playing attitude has changed. A major contributor to that has been Sharma. Dhawan and he as openers have given India flying starts and on the basis of which the middle order has gone and scored big runs. His fluent timing and penchant to score daddy hundreds have made him indispensable for the team.
However, it is imperative to remember that Sharma is 34 years old and has a few years of cricket left in him. Therefore, the BCCI should scout for new talents who can smoothly fit into the line-up once Sharma decided to hang his boots.
Here are 5 players who can fit into the team after Sharma retires.
The 21-year-old has given a decent account of himself in the limited opportunities he has got. The 2020 Australia tour was his break-out moment. The 91 at Gabba in the fourth innings showed that he has the ability and patience to play at the highest level. He has already made a place for himself as an opener in the test set-up. If his IPL and test innings are anything to go by, he could be the next ODI star for India.
Shubman Gill’s under 21 captains, Shaw made a blockbuster debut into the Test squad for India. He has been compared to Sehwag, Sachin and Lara. However, the 2020 Australia tour was harsh on his test prospects and he was dropped. Taking it in his stride, Shaw came back in spectacular fashion in the 2021 Vijay Hazare competition scoring a mammoth 827 runs with a high score of 227*. He carried the same form in the IPL and lit up the tournament for Delhi Capitals. He is a young and explosive opener and could match Sharma in the future.
The 20-year-old was the biggest revelation of 2020 IPL. He ended up being RCB’s highest run-getter and carried that into the Vijay Hazare competition where he got four back-to-back tons. He went into this year’s IPL and brought up an unbeaten 52 ball century against Rajasthan Royals. His batting prowess has grown in the past year and he has been selected for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour. BCCI must have already observed his talent and would have plans of grooming him.
24-year-old Gaikwad also had a similar story to Padikkal. He debuted for CSK last year and scored 204 runs in the 6 innings he got the chance. He got three consecutive half-centuries and was one of the few bright spots in the otherwise dull CSK campaign. Gaikwad continued his exploits in the 2021 IPL and amassed 196 runs with a high score of 75 against SRH. He too would be on the flight to Sri Lanka and his performance would be closely analyzed.
Sharma’s MI teammate, Kishan has become an important cog in the MI setup. He was recently picked for the India vs England T20 series where he opened the batting in the first game and notched a half-century. He was the highest run-getter for MI last season scoring 516 runs at a healthy average of 57.33. He too shall be on the Sri Lanka tour and would want to create a positive impression on the selectors with his performances.