The Indian team is currently blessed to have one of the most talented crop of youngsters, and former India batsman Suresh Raina is highly impressed with this talent pool in the country. There have been a host of players who have cemented their place in the side. Some of them are in England at present, gearing up for the Test series, while others will be trying to prove their mettle in the series against Sri Lanka.
Around 15 years ago, Raina was in a similar situation. After making his debut in 2005, Raina went on to become a key member of the Indian side, and was the backbone of the Indian middle-order. Talking to News24 Sports, Raina was asked to name three players that impress him the most, Raina went with surprising choices.
“I think Devdutt Padikkal from Karnataka. After him, Ruturaj Gaikwad from Maharashtra. He is a gun player. Axar Patel has worked really hard, and he performed brilliantly well in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja," Raina said.
On being enquired about Rishabh Pant, he said, “See, he has entered the senior category. He’s grown. He is also hitting fours now and not only sixes," he explained.
Not only that, but Raina also complimented Rahul Dravid for his contribution to junior cricket in the country. “Even Mohammed Siraj is bowling so well. And somewhere I feel credit goes to Rahul Dravid who has worked extremely hard with the Under-19 team which is why he is with the senior team now and my best wishes to Shikhar Dhawan, that he does well and return to the Test team because he too is a very big player for India and he must be hoping to perform well in Sri Lanka," Raina added.
Raina also named some fringe players who are putting in the hard yards. “Then definitely Priyam Garg from Uttar Pradesh. Karn Sharma is another player from Uttar Pradesh who has performed really well. From Punjab, there is Abhishek Sharma, who has impressed me a lot. Sachin Baby is also putting in a lot of hard-work," he added.