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5 pacers who deserve a place in the Indian team

These pacers can spearhead into the playing XI of Men in Blue.

Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan of India. (Photo by Pal Pillai/Getty Images for Nissan)

India had a successful outing in the 2019 World Cup and one of the positives was the continued dominance of their pace attack. The fast bowlers accounted for 70 % of the team’s wicket tally. It must have provided great joy to the Indian fans who have always wished for quality pacers representing the Blue team.

In recent times Indian youngsters are willing to bowl fast and it has helped the team produce a troupe of fast bowlers. Even if the premier stars are rested the bowling unit will take care of itself with many of them waiting in the wings. Among them, certain individuals have done their part and now they deserve a crack at the international level.

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Here is the list of 5 pacers who deserve a place in the Indian team

1. Khaleel Ahmed

Khaleel Ahme
Khaleel Ahmed. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Ever since the retirement of Zaheer Khan, the team has been waiting for another left-arm pacer to bolster the Indian pace attack. Though Men in Blue have an efficient pace battery they need a versatile bowling unit and that’s where Khaleel Ahmed can make his mark. With 47 wickets in 30 List-A games, the youngster has been putting hard yards in the domestic circuit for Rajasthan.

Khaleel donned the Blue jersey a year ago in the Asia Cup impressed everybody with his aggression and wicket-taking abilities. The pacer is adept at moving the new ball and recently he has added mean bouncers to his repertoire. In IPL 2019 he took 19 wickets in 9 games and just a couple of days ago he showed his mercurial rise with a 3 wicket haul against the Windies A. Khaleel Ahmed looks a good prospect who can lead the bowling attack of India in the coming years.

2. Navdeep Saini

Navdeep Saini
Navdeep Saini. (Photo Source: Twitter)

One of the youngsters who caught the eye in IPL 2019 is Navdeep Saini. The speedster was troubling the best of the batsmen with his pace and was consistently clocking above 140. His performance was the only bright spot in a rather dull campaign of RCB as he picked up 11 wickets at an economy rate of 8.2. As a result, he was rewarded with a place in the standby list of the 2019 World Cup.

Since the last two years, Saini has been leading the bowling charts in the domestic circuit. He was the architect when the Delhi team reached the finals in 2017-18 Ranji Trophy. The pacer was also the leading wicket-taker for his stateside in the 2018-19 Vijay Hazare trophy with 16 wickets in 8 games. Saini recently scalped a 5 wicket haul against Windies A so he deserves a national call-up soon.

3. Deepak Chahar

India A's Deepak Chahar
India A’s Deepak Chahar. (Photo by David Davies/PA Wire)

Whether it is in the international arena or IPL the former Indian skipper, MS Dhoni has always carved out gems. The latest one being the medium pacer Deepak Chahar who has been sensational for the Chennai franchise. The speedster can move the ball both ways and it makes him a dangerous customer with a new ball in his hand. He is a wicket-taking option as he has already picked up 126 wickets in 45 first-class games.

Formerly Chahar was only reliable in powerplay overs but of late the pacer has added death bowling skills to his armoury. Along with his bowling, he can also play useful cameos down the order. Deepak has played for India on a couple of occasions but he was not able to find his rhythm. He is a cricketer who constantly works on his trade and can be a like for like replacement for Bhuvneshwar Kumar if the selectors decide to rest the later before an important series.

4. Sandeep Warrier

Sandeep Warrier
Sandeep Warrier. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Once in a while, the state of Kerala produces a fast bowling superstar and this time it is none other than Sandeep Warrier. With more than 150 wickets in 48 first-class games, the speedster is already one of the important members of his home team. Especially in the last 12 months, Sandeep has been in the red hot form including a hat trick in the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. As a result, he was snapped up by KKR franchise in IPL 2019 where his first wicket was Chris Gayle.

Warrier has a simple action that allows him to generate pace and bounce on good tracks and his height is an added advantage. Sandeep has the uncanny ability to run through sides and his 9 five-wicket hauls in the domestic arena prove the point. He can bowl with a new ball and as well as with the old one and it makes him a potent weapon in all formats. He has all the ingredients of a quality pacer and that’s why he can be the next big thing in Indian cricket.

5. Avesh Khan

Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan of India. (Photo by Pal Pillai/Getty Images for Nissan)

Avesh Khan was one of the heroes of the side when the Indian team reached the finals of the 2016 U-19 World Cup. The speedster proved his mettle at a very young age as he picked up 12 wickets in the entire tournament. What was more impressive was his ability to crank up the serious pace on the placid tracks of Bangladesh. After his initial success, he has been grinding out for his state team Madhya Pradesh.

He made his first-class debut at the age of 17 which gives an idea of his hunger for success. He has also played a couple of seasons of IPL but has got limited opportunities. Khan is quickly rising through the pecking order as he was the leading wicket-taker for MP in the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy. Avesh Khan is a quick learner and has already added slow ball variations to his arsenal and if he continues to progress at this pace then a national call-up is round the corner.

It is a good sign for the Indian team that their fast bowling reserves have increased exponentially.

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