Get, Set and be ready for yet another youngster entering the doorstep of making it to the Indian cricket team! This time it’s a youngster from Punjab who answers to the name, Gagandeep Singh.
Bowlers are always something to be closely watched in the Ranji circuits, and this bowler is amongst the best of them. His Ranji debut was marked on 5th February 2000, at the Punjab Cricket Association in Mohali against Hyderabad. His debut was marked with destiny for 5 wickets, including 3 top order batsmen. His opening innings figures read 19-6-49-5, which for anyone was a great start. His sharp incisive bowling was too good and hostile for the Hyderabadi batsmen, which included the likes of Mohammed Azharuddin and VVS Laxman. Ever since he has been a very consistent performer for Punjab, always keeping the batsmen in check and picking up wickets at regular intervals with his medium fast bowling.
By the end of his first Ranji Season, he had got 18 wickets in just 4 games. If that was good, wait till you hear more about this guy – his next season saw 32 wickets from 8games, which included his best bowling up to date of 6/14 against Services, a dream spell in which he crippled the Services batsmen with some sublime bowling. His figures meant that he was ever stingy with the runs and picked up wickets every second over.
The 2003-04 season saw the best of this Ludhiana born right arm bowler with both bat and ball. He got his 1st First Class fifty with the bat, and also his richest haul with the ball – 45 wickets, with his first ever ten-wicket haul of his career in the same season. His best bowling for the match though came in the current season, very recently in November 2004 against Assam, where his great control over line and length helped him get 12 scalps in the match.
With 155 wickets in just 35 games at an astounding average of just 20, and a strike rate of just around 8 overs per wicket, he was going surely much higher in the cricketing ladder. Good performances never go un-rewarded, and so thanks to the “catch them young” policy of the Indian team selectors, Gagandeep has finally got his reward for some amazing performances in the domestic level.
As much as one loves to go ga-ga over these new youngsters, this new policy by the selectors to induce fresh blood every now and then is really refreshing. If its gourmet for food, it is the spectator for the game of cricket. The spectators pay to see a good game of cricket, and the fans are the massive audience for which any player loves to perform for. It is the applause and the fame of the game for which they play for.
His great performances this year have literally forced the Selectors to select him ahead of some others, which speak a lot for his promise and talent. Therefore it is only fair that this talented youngster be played in the games in Bangladesh as some good performances early on will help this young man leaps and bounds to enter the threshold of international fame to make his name spelt right in every corner of the cricketing world.
We would love to see this cricketer climb the stairs to stardom right before our eyes, after all, the Indian team does require more of these chirpy bowlers that can rattle many an opposition and shatter their stumps before our very eyes!