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Five young stars who left Team India too soon

The competition to enter and stay in Team India is fierce. More often than not, emerging young stars end up with unimpressive performances. Eventually, they will have their names replaced by better-performing players.

There are multiple reasons, but most are caused by injury or inconsistent playing form that affects their overall performance. Below are five young Indian cricketers who failed to cement their place on Team India.

Prithvi Shaw

First on the list is a right-handed batsman and right-arm off-break bowler, Prithvi Shaw. Shaw began his career with Mumbai in the 2016-2017 season. Not long after, the young Shaw received an invitation to play for and led Team India’s Under-19 squad in 2018.

Despite being the youngest in the squad, he led the team to win the 2018 Under-19 World Cup. The International Cricket Council (ICC) named him one of five breakout stars in men's cricket in 2018.

Shaw had a rough start in international games, and his series of injuries prevented him from entering the national team. Former fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar said Shaw’s fitness was why he had “fallen" in the sport.

Venkatesh Iyer

All-rounder Venkatesh Iyer is next on the list. Iyer did not require an entire season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to show his talent. After being picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2021, he scored 370 runs in as little as ten games in the first season with the team.

In late 2021, Iyer was invited to play for Team India as a replacement for the injured all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Despite showing a less stellar performance in his first ODI game against South Africa at Boland Park, Iyer was praised for his perfect finisher role in the T20s. There, he posted 133 runs in only nine games and a strike rate of 162.2.

In the following season, Iyer struggled to maintain his playing form. While he was having a rough time returning to his prime, Pandya would make his return with much better playing stats. In addition, Pandya’s powerplay bowl made him an appropriate pick over Iyer.

Shivam Dube

All-rounder Shivam Dube debuted his international career with India in 2019. Compared to the two players above, Dube had a less impressive debut. In his first T20 against Bangladesh, Dube only made three successful bowling attempts and gave away nine runs.

Throughout his 13 games with Team India, he made 105 runs and five wickets. His inconsistent playing form and less-average bowling had the team resort to finding his replacement.

Navdeep Saini

Bowler Navdeep Saini had an extensive career with Team India. The 29-year-old has played in all three formats since his debut with the team in 2019. In his first T20I game against West Indies, Saini was named Man of the Match after taking three wickets for 17.

Following a series of stellar plays, Saini was dropped from the national team due to a shoulder injury, which he sustained in a series against Sri Lanka.

Khaleel Ahmed

The Rajasthan-born Khaleel Ahmed had one of the best debuts so far. Ahmed made his national debut in 2018 after a year stint with Delhi Capitals. In 2019, Ahmed earned his maiden call-up with Sunrisers Hyderabad after taking 19 wickets in only nine games. Despite this, his T20I stats cost him his place with the national team.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.