How different strands of Indian cricket are being woven together to produce results


Parthiv Patel, who debuted as a test cricketer for India in 2002 even before he turned 18, announced his retirement this week. His unusual journey as a cricketer provides an entry point into the diversity of ways by which Indian cricket unearths talent to represent the country.

Patel was a product of the organised system of junior cricket in India which provided the space to fast-track him into the national senior side. Extraordinarily, he represented his country before he played a match for his state, Gujarat, in Ranji Trophy, the premier domestic tournament. His international career fizzled by the time he turned 20. However, he showed admirable spirit and played a stellar role in the subsequent decade, transforming Gujarat into a cricket powerhouse and a cradle of potential India players. Jasprit Bumrah is the most impactful player to emerge from Gujarat in the Patel era.

Also read: Parthiv Patel retires from competitive cricket

At the other end of the spectrum, is the story of the fast bowler Thangarasu Natarajan, an oddity in a professional sport, who has emerged from the backwaters of Tamil Nadu’s cricket ecosystem. His rise, rather late for a fast bowler by Indian standards, is a tribute to the vast network of unheralded coaches who spot and nurture talent outside the formal structure. The recent rise of young players from underprivileged backgrounds can be partially attributed to these coaches.

Indian cricket is now at a stage where the different strands are being woven together to produce a level of bench strength for the national team that we have perhaps never had before. It’s something to be celebrated.




Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button