Eight to watch for India
Last August, while Unmukt Chand and Co. celebrated winning the U19 World Cup, Ankit Bawne sat at home, despondent but determined to prove a point. Bawne had been stripped of the India U19 captaincy due to agerelated discrepancies. “It played on my mind but I knew I had to go and perform and show the world I was good enough,” he says. And he did. In a desolate season for Maharashtra, who finished bottom of Group B, Bawne was one of the sole bright sparks. He scored one century and six fifties, often making runs in pressure situations.
At 17, Ishwar Pandey walked into a ground in Rewa for a selection trial. He fancied himself as a batsman, but was selected for his bowling, courtesy coach Aril Anthoni, who was impressed with his physique and pace . Pandey took 31 wickets in his his first two seasons, but raised his game after becoming the leader of MP’s attack, following TP Sudhindra’s life ban. The fast man topped the wicket charts with 48 scalps, leading to callups from India A and Pune Warriors. Despite the wickets, Pandey rues one moment with the bat. At number 11, he had struck three sixes in scoring 24 in a tight chase against Mumbai. Attempting another, he holed out. MP fell short by 7 runs. Even a draw might have kept them in contention for the knockouts.