The Emerging Teams Asia Cup concluded on Sunday, July 23, with Pakistan beating arch-rivals India to lift the trophy. The final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo was a one-sided affair.
Having won the toss, India A skipper Yash Dhull asked Pakistan to bat first, a decision that backfired. Pakistan managed to post a massive total of 352 runs on the board thanks to a sensational century by Tayyab Tahir (108 off 71).
In response, India were bundled out for just 224, conceding the game by a huge margin of 128 runs. It was a disappointing show from the Indian cricketers who were otherwise brilliant in the tournament. However, despite the debacle, India can be proud of their effort in the Asia Cup.
A few players stood out as they announced themselves on the big stage. On that note, let’s take a look at three players from the Indian contingent who had a good run in the tournament and should be fast-tracked into the senior side.
Sai Sudharsan starred with the bat at the top of the order.
Sai Sudharsan is one of the most exciting talents at present. The 21-year-old from Tamil Nadu first grabbed headlines during India’s domestic season last year, putting up some special performances, including a score of 154 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He shared a mammoth opening stand worth 416 with Narayan Jagadeesan.
The left-handed batter then impressed in the IPL, playing for the Gujarat Titans. There was criticism regarding his strike rate but the young man put all that to rest with a magnificent knock of 96 in the IPL 2023 final.
Sudharsan continued his stellar form in the Emerging Teams Asia Cup, scoring 220 runs in five games, including a much-needed ton in the semi-final against Bangladesh, which helped India escape embarrassment.
Sudharsan looks like a player who has the correct temperament to excel in all three formats and so, the BCCI must keep a close watch on him.
Abhishek Sharma has already shown his capabilities in the IPL which is a massive stage
Like Sai Sudharsan, Abhishek Sharma too has earned a lot of fans thanks to his performances in the domestic circuit. An elegant left-handed batter, Abhishek is a special player who has the talent and skills to succeed in all three formats of the game.
The southpaw scored 221 runs in five innings at a healthy average of 44.20, including two half-centuries.
The 22-year-old has done well in all three formats and also performed well in the IPL. Abhishek is someone who can open the batting, bat in the middle order and also finish games, which is a rare attribute. Hence, India should consider drafting him into the senior side in the near future.
3. Yash Dhull, who hails from Delhi has led India to an U-19 World Cup win
Yash Dhull had a great tournament, not only as a batter but as the captain of the side as well. He ended up as the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament with a tall of 234 runs. The right-handed batter made valuable contributions throughout the tournament, including a century against UAE and a vital half-century in the semi-final against Bangladesh.
Dhull led admirably as India dominated the proceedings throughout the tournament except for the final.
He is one such player who has done well with the bat in recent times and also has leadership credentials, having won the ICC U-19 World Cup as a skipper.
Dhull is someone who can be a long-term servant of the national team and hence, India should use his good form at the earliest.