Future of Indian cricket will depend largely on this Ranji Trophy season which begun today with 13 games across India on opening day. Now why current Ranji Trophy season is so important for Indian cricket? Answer is simple our stalwarts like Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar will retire with in next six months or one year probably and Indian Cricket Team will be in need of the players who can replace these stalwarts and take the Indian Cricket forward. Although it is difficult to replace these stalwarts because till date Indian cricket failed to replace Sourav Ganguly, the most successful captain and great batsman of Indian team. But the way few players are emerging from the domestic scene it looks like Indian cricket is moving forward in good way and selectors are also experimenting with the youth and preparing them to take more responsibilities.
Team selection for the series against West Indies is one such step towards the future of Indian Test Cricket. Now who are the players to watch out this domestic season? There are many talented youngsters who will replace our stalwarts in next one or two years in test team. These cricketers are Manish Pandey and Robin Utthappa(Karnataka), Saurabh Tiwary(Jharkhand), Abhishek Nayar and Rohit Sharma(Mumbai), Ravindra Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara(Saurashtra) who made dream debut in a test match against Australia last year at home. Abhinav Mukund and Murali Vijay(Tamil Nadu), Suresh Raina(Uttar Pradesh) and Manoj Tiwary(West Bengal). Apart from these fairly known faces there are few relatively unknown faces will also be under the eyes of selectors and they are Unkmukt Chand(Delhi), Mandeep Singh(Punjab) and Ashok Menaria(Rajasthan). These are the batsmen to watch out this Ranji Trophy season because these players are considered as future of Indian Cricket as far as batting is concerned.Ajinkya Rahane(Mumbai) and Virat Kohli(Delhi)already selected to play for India against West Indies in coming home series.
Now who are the bowlers and all-rounders who will represent the Indian Test cricket in future. Well options are plenty in bowling as well. We have many potential bowlers who will definitely make a mark, S.Sreesanth(Kerala) is very young and will be watched out closely by selectors this season. There are many fast bowlers who are itching to get into Indian team and they are Praveen Kumar, Sudip Tyagi and R.P Singh(Uttar Pradesh), S.Aravind and Abhimanyu Mithun(Karnataka), Deepak Chahar and Pankaj Singh(Rajasthan) and Abu Nechim(Assam) are the major fast bowlers. Talking about spinners well we have quite a few talented youngsters and they are Iqbal Abdullah-Left-Arm Spin(Mumbai), Bhargav Bhatt-Left Arm Spin(Baroda) and Amit Mishra-Leg Spin(Haryana) . As far as all-rounders are concerned Irfan Pathan is the first name which comes to the mind who has recovered well from his injury and looking forward to make a comeback in this domestic season. Apart from Irfan Pathan there are 3 more potential all-rounders are there and these are Yusuf Pathan(Baroda), Baba Aparajit(Tamil Nadu) and Bhubneshwar Kumar(Uttar Pradesh). Fast bowlers Varun Aaron(Jharkhand) , Umesh Yadav(Vidarbha) and Ishant Sharma(Delhi) already selected to play for India against West Indies in coming series. Spinners R.Ashwin(Tamil Nadu), Rahul Sharma(Punjab) and Pragyan Ojha(Hyderabad) have been selected to play for Indian team in a test series against West Indies.
As far as wicketkeepers are concerned, Parthiv Patel(Gujarat), Dinesh Karthik(Tamil Nadu), Wriddhiman Saha(West Bengal) and Naman Ojha(Madhya Pradesh) will be looking to draw the eyes of selectors this season. Although it is difficult for the wicketkeepers to make it to the Indian team till the time Mahendra Singh Dhoni is there.
So this Ranji Trophy season is going to be important season in the history of Indian cricket as there are plenty of talented player compete hard against each other to get into the Indian Test team and only time will tell how many of them will successfully cement their place in the team after the retirement of our stalwarts.