As the Indian Premier League’s eighth season starts from Thursday, several former India players would want to perform well in order to make a comeback to the Indian ODI and Twenty20 teams respectively. The likes of Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh lead the pack of veteran players who would be desperate to make their mark in the IPL.
The others in the list are Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag. There are plenty of youngsters too and other India outcasts who will look to force their way through and the IPL will serve as a medium for them to showcase their talent.
The Indian team look well settled in both the shorter formats of the game and had a good outing in the recently concluded ICC 2015 World Cup after making it to the semi-finals. With the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup coming up, it provides a slim chance for the former India players to make an entry to the team alongside making their names in ODI frame.
Gautam Gambhir will lead Kolkata Knight Riders and will hope to have a successful outing with the bat and lead the side to their third IPL title. Runs matter for the southpaw and he needs to stand up for the side as a senior member as the Kolkata outfit doesn’t have Jacques Kallis anymore who retired from IPL.
Yuvraj Singh has a more realistic chance of making a comeback to the Indian team given his match-winning abilities. The Delhi Daredevils player who was left out by the Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit, was subjected to a mammoth bid of Rs 16 crore and needs to justify his value.
Yuvraj couldn’t make it to the World Cup squad earlier this year, and will know a series of performances could work in his favour. With Ravindra Jadeja’s unimpressive performances in recent times, Yuvraj can stake a claim to be part of the team.
Irfan Pathan who stated on Sunday of his desire to get back to the Indian team will play for Chennai Super Kings and a lot depends on how many chances he gets to play given CSK’s well balanced squad. Pathan could use his experience into play and be a valuable player.
Same goes for former Indian premier pacer Zaheer Khan who was bought by the Delhi Daredevils. Zaheer will need to stay fit and have a go as this could be his last chance of making a return. The veteran pacer could be part of Indian team in upcoming time but that depends on how well he leads the Delhi attack.
Meanwhile, the road for Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag look very narrow, but the duo will look to still give it all. Harbhajan and Sehwag are playing for Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab and need to notch up performances consistently in order to at least give the selectors something to think about.
For now there is a ray of hope for everybody involved.