Sri Lanka and West Indies have a wealth of young talent to trouble the Indians, but who are they?
An ODI Tri-Series between West Indies, Sri Lanka and India kicks off at Kingston Jamaica today and if it proves to be half as entertaining as the Champions trophy in England and Wales, fans are in for a treat. With all three squads being virtually unchanged, this will be a tough fought series between 3 very strong teams. India romped home as winners in the ICC Champions trophy recently thanks in no small part to a solid nucleus of young players. Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvnesh Kumar, Rohit Sharma, Shikar Dhawan, Umesh Yadav were just a few players who performed heroics and will form the basis for the side defending the world cup in 2015. The Tri-Nation series gives a chance for the emerging young stars of Sri Lanka and West Indies to step up and stamp their authority on the International scene. Here are a few of the players that might make the difference in each side.
Tri-Nation series young guns
Lahiru Thirimanne:A quick glance at his Cricinfo profile, Thirimanne may resemble Frodo Baggins but his stature as a batsmen is anything but diminutive. When someone of Aravinda De Silva's calibre vouches for you, there must be something you're doing right. Despite impressing with a half century against Australia in the Champions trophy, cricket fans have only sporadically seen signs of genius many believe he possesses.
Thisara Perera It may be his namesake Kusal gunning for the wonder kid tag but its Perera that has the explosive talent to change games in this competition. An imposing figure, he bowls at good pace and has enough variations in his arsenal to trouble most batsman. With the bat he can be utterly destructive, but his inconsistency
Shamida Eranga: Made impressive International debuts at ODI and Test level two years ago, but has failed to build on initial promise. The Sri Lankan set up have a lot of faith in him however, and he desperately needs to repay them here.
Dinesh Chandimal: Two years ago when Chandimal scored a match winning hundred at Lords against England, many pundits predicted a very bright future for the young and enterprising wicketkeeper/batsman. Regrettably for him, it remains the highlight of his career. After threatening sparks of genius on numerous occasions he's largely failed to deliver another century his talent demands, since then, that's 46 attempts and counting. If he fails to contribute significantly with the bat here, goodwill from that day in London might just have run out.
Darren Bravo: Due to his uncanny resemblance with Lara's batting style, Bravo gets a lot of stick from cricket folk. But interestingly, his statistics share an uncanny resemblance with Chandimal's. They've both played 56 ODIs, got an average of 32, scored in the region of 1400 runs, scored 9 half centuries each and even have a strike rate that's very similar in the 70-75 region. Like Chandimal Bravo has also only sporadically showed glimpses of his talent. Being slightly older than the Sri Lankan however, Bravo needs to finally convert all that potential into performances.
Johnson Charles: Hard hitting opening partners of Chris Gayle have come and gone over the last decade or so and Charles currently holds the position. In his relatively short career he's made a name for himself in the shorter formats of the game. His performance against India in the Champions trophy where he outshone the Gayleforce raised a few eyebrows as well as his profile on the big stage. If he adds consistency to his fearless nature as an aggressive opener he could be one of the stars of the tournament.
Kemar Roach: Daisy bowlers are oh so frustrating. Roach is fast developing a reputation as a daisy bowler, a reputation, he'll be looking to shed here. At times Roach has the audacity to make 90mph+ bowling look an incredibly easy task. He also has a habit of losing his head and his line and length along with it. On paper he is better than Umesh Yadav and Ishant sharma, but his temperament lets him down more often perhaps. Regardless, west indies have arguably the best quickie in the tournament.
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