Australia great Ricky Ponting has identified a group of young India batters that can match the exploits of opener Yashavi Jaiswal and prosper at Test level if given the chance during the new ICC World Test Championship cycle. Jaiswal was one of two players given Test debuts for India in the present Test against the West Indies in Dominica, and the 21-year-old quickly proved he was up to the task, becoming only the 17th Indian player to make a century on Test debut.
When speaking on the most recent episode of The ICC Review, Ponting was full of praise for Jaiswal, admitting that he was not surprised to see the left-hander make a strong impression after seeing him amass 625 runs for the Rajasthan Royals during the most recent season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“I mean (Yashasvi) Jaiswal’s IPL was something special. He almost just flicked a switch and turned into a superstar overnight. Everyone knew that he was a talented youngster, but what I saw in this year’s IPL, he’s got all sorts of talent,” Ponting told ICC.
Ponting believes a slew of other uncapped youngsters will be inspired by Jaiswal and perform similarly if given a chance at Test level.
Ponting nominated Ruturaj Gaikwad – who scored 590 runs during this year’s IPL and is also in India’s touring party currently in the Caribbean – as another player who may shine in the coming years and Sarfaraz Khan and Prithvi Shaw as two other batters that could easily adjust quickly to the rigours of Test cricket.
“There’s a lot of those young Indian guys that I can’t wait to see play Test cricket and yet you look at their domestic records as well and you can’t help but be impressed. I’m on record saying that I think (Ruturaj) Gaikwad’s the same (as Jaiswal). I think he could be a very serious Test match player or all-format player really in the next couple of years,” Ponting said.
Shaw is another player who Ponting believes has the potential to flourish for India in the future if he works hard to make a comeback. Shaw made his international debut in 2018, but has not represented his country since 2021.
“So, yeah, I probably do think those two guys would be the standouts. I think just off the top of my head, batting-wise, they’d be the two. And as I said, well Sarfaraz is the other one that’s got all sorts of talent that we might not see for a little while just yet,” said the former Australia captain.
Notably, Gaikwad is in India’s Test squad but didn’t get the chance to play in the first Test.