After a gruelling one month of 50-over action, Vijay Hazare Trophy is pacing towards the final at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on 27th February. The tournament has seen some excellent performances for the players who are vying for a place in an already packed Indian squad. The relevance of the tournament has always been questioned but given that it gave rise to players like Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli, there is no doubt that it provides a perfect launchpad for young exciting talent. Here, we look at the 5 bowlers who have impressed the most in the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy by bagging wickets and limiting runs.
5 bowlers who have been most impressive in the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy:
Siraj made his international debut in the T20 match against New Zealand last year, however, he failed to impress the selectors enough to be contention for future selections. However, the Hyderabad player didn’t lose hope and worked hard to get back into his prime form. The 23-year-old has picked up an astonishing 23 wickets in the 7 matches of the Vijay Hazare Trophy at an average of 15.65.
Siraj picked up a 5-wicket haul in the quarter-final against Karnataka, however, the brilliant spell by him wasn’t enough to take his team over the line. With the BCCI looking to build a pool of players prior to the 2019 World Cup, Siraj’s performance will definitely put him very close to that selected group of players.
Umar Nazir Mir
Umar Mir made his first-class debut in 2013 and has since then picked a bag full of wickets in the various domestic tournaments. Many cricket pundits have predicted that the 6.2 Jammu and Kashmir player could follow in the footsteps of his J&K team-mate Parvez Rasool and make it to the national team. Even though the 24-year-old only played 5 matches in this year’s Vijay Hazare Trophy, he managed to pick up 15 wickets including a 5-wicket haul against Hyderabad in the group stage.
Given the dearth of specialist fast bowlers in the Indian national team, Umar Mir could still find a way into the national team if he carries on the good form in the upcoming domestic season.
Even though Railways could not manage to qualify for the knock-out round of the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy, Amit Mishra was the brightest spark for the team as he took 15 wickets in 6 matches with his best of 5/21 coming against Assam earlier in the month. In the final group game against Karnataka, the 29-year-old took 3 wickets including crucial wicket of the team captain Karun Nair.
Amit Mishra will be crucial to Railway’s fortunes in the upcoming domestic season, and who knows maybe with a good consistent season he can find his way into the Indian team set-up.
Deepak Behera is a domestic cricket veteran having made his first-class debut back in 2011. The 33-year-old could not propel his team to the knock-out stage but he did manage to pick up 14 wickets in the 6 group matches including a 6-wicket haul against a strong Haryana team. Apart from the wickets what was most impressive about his medium-fast bowler was his economy which finished at 4.34 for the tournament. There no-doubt that he has served Odisha very well over the past few years picking over 100 wickets in first-class wickets.
Having made his List A debut only last year, Prasidh has a bright future ahead of him on the cricket field. The talent is clearly visible in his bowling as the 22-year-old has already picked up 16 wickets in the tournament and has led the Karnataka team to the final of the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy. His best performance came against Assam in the group stage when he finished with the figures of 6/33 in just 8.2 overs.
Prasidh has enjoyed a fairytale ride till now in professional cricket and has trained under the guidance of former Australian great Jeff Thompson at the Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence. There won’t be a lot of time from now till the time we see Prasidh walking out on a cricket field in the Indian blue jersey.