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India vs West Indies: Team India suffered yet another heartbreaking finale to a World Test Championship (WTC) cycle last weekend, defeated by Australia by 209 runs in the final at the Oval.
While India is the only team to have qualified for the final on both occasions, they were defeated for the second time in a row in the summit encounter. Despite the terrible conclusion, Rohit Sharma’s men have been consistently consistent in the longer format in recent years, as proven by their WTC final qualification and number-one status in the ICC Test rankings.
However, several flaws in the Indian Test team have begun to show their ugly heads along the way. The squad’s core does not have age on its side, and several key members were injured at critical times, costing the club dearly in the end.
An example in point would be Jasprit Bumrah’s injury, which resulted in an unprepared Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur being charged with vital duties in the WTC final. The pair struggled to find the boundary in their opening periods, culminating in Australia scoring a match-winning 469 in the first innings.
With the potential of bowler injuries growing due to the punishing cricket calendar and a few players approaching retirement age, it is critical that Team India identify a pool of Test bowlers right at the start of the next WTC cycle.
The importance of continuity and position clarity cannot be overstated, and both have come back to bite the squad at critical periods in ICC events.
India will begin their WTC cycle in 2023-25 with two Tests against the West Indies in the Caribbean, and they should look to develop a strong youthful core, particularly in the bowling area.
India vs West Indies: Three young blowers who should be given an opportunity in the Test series against the West Indies
1. Mukesh Kumar
India vs West Indies: Mukesh Kumar, 29, has been one of Bengal’s most consistent first-class performances. The right-arm bowler has been impressive in the last two Ranji Trophy seasons, earning him a spot in the Indian Test team as a standby for the just ended World Twenty20 final.
Mukesh has also been a member of the Indian One Day International and Twenty20 squads, but has yet to make his international debut in any of the three forms.
Mukesh picked up 22 wickets at an average of 22.27 for Bengal despite only playing five matches in the 2022/23 Ranji Trophy. His heroics enabled the club to win Elite Group A and advance to the final.
Earlier this year, the talented bowler impressed the Rest of India’s squad in the Irani Cup, taking two wickets in each inning to lead them to a stunning 238-run triumph.
His outstanding domestic performance attracted the Delhi Capitals to sign him in the mini-auction last year for a whopping 5.5 crore for the 2023 season. Mukesh picked up seven wickets in ten IPL 2023 matches for the Capitals.
The 29-year-old should make his West Indies debut after being a member of the Indian Test squad and enjoying excellent domestic success. He is one of top youngsters who can get a chance in India vs West Indies.
2. Avesh Khan
India vs West Indies: Avesh Khan of Madhya Pradesh is another domestic talent who could be called up to the Indian Test team for the West Indies series.
Having previously represented India in T20s and ODIs since 2022, the 26-year-old will try to break into the Test team as well. Avesh was a standby player for the 2021 World Tennis Championship final and the subsequent Test series against England.
The right-arm pacer was a key player in Madhya Pradesh’s dominant performance in the 2022/23 Ranji Trophy, helping the team finish first in Elite Group D on the points table.
Avesh took 38 wickets at an average of 20.13 in eight matches, including three five-wicket hauls.
The new seamer has been one of the top performers in first-class cricket, taking 144 wickets in 36 matches at an average of 22.49, including nine four-wicket hauls and seven five-wicket hauls. He is one of top youngsters who can get a chance in India vs West Indies.
Avesh Khan also took part in a number of high-pressure games since joining the IPL in 2017. The 26-year-old has 55 wickets in 47 games for the Delhi Capitals and subsequently the Lucknow Super Giants.
3. Kumar Kartikeya
India vs West Indies: Kumar Kartikeya of Madhya Pradesh has become a household name among Indian fans as a result of his role with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
The 25-year-old, on the other hand, has a fantastic first-class record, with 99 wickets in 23 games, including seven five-wicket hauls.
Despite the fact that Shams Mulani has been the undisputed top spinner in local cricket over the last several years, Kartikeya’s ability to bowl left-arm-chinaman could tip the scales in his favour.
Kumar Kartikeya has 65 wickets in the last two Ranji seasons, including 33 in nine matches this season at an average of 21.27.
Despite the fact that India already has three world-class finger spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel, both are in their mid-30s. In Tests, nurturing a wrist spinner in Kartikeya rather than a slow-left-arm orthodox in Mulani becomes a more plausible choice. He is one of top youngsters who can get a chance in India vs West Indies.
The excellent spinner also took eight wickets in Central Zone’s Duleep Trophy quarterfinal loss to West Zone.
Kartikeya has also been impressive for the Mumbai Indians in limited opportunities, taking ten wickets in 12 matches over the last two seasons.
Here are the top three youngsters who can get a chance in India vs West Indies.