Hyderabad, Mumbai, Karnataka, Tami Nadu, Gujarat, Odisha, Haryana and Jharkhand are the eight teams to make it to the semi-final for Ranji Trophy 2016-17. This season has been a turnaround for Hyderabad, who had been dismal in the last few seasons and have now finally made it to the final eight. Hyderbad’s own VVS Laxman was elated at this stupendous show by the team. He also went on to speak about Ranji Trophy and the new talent on the horizon. In this video, CricketCountry’s Chief Cricket Mentor Laxman speaks about what the future for two young Indian starts Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant holds in the years to come.

Shreyas showed phenomenal form, finished with 1,321 runs at 73.88 in the Ranji Trophy 2015-16, incidentally falling just 94 runs short of Laxman’s 1,414 runs for Hyderabad in 1999-00 season, which is the most runs in a single Ranji Trophy season. Pant on the other hand scored 972 runs at 81 at a staggering strike rate of 107.28. He however will not be able to add to it this season as his side Delhi have not qualified for the quarter-final of the Ranji Trophy 2016-17 season.

When India’s first choice wicketkeeper was ruled out of the series against England, one thought Pant would be selected given his excellent form in the domestic circuit. But India decided go for the experience of Parthiv Patel. Laxman believes, while Pant is a good batsman, his wicketkeeping skills are not up to the mark. However, when quizzed if Ranji Trophy holds any relevance, Laxman said, “The tournament [Ranji Trophy] has been reformatted considerably this year and I don’t think anything else has to be done. Suggestion of Sachin [Tendulkar] is something worth looking at – playing at 2 different wickets in the same match. I think that is a very proactive suggestion from Sachin, which will help the players play in different conditions in the same match itself.”

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Coming to Shreyas, Laxman feels that he need to continue scoring tons for runs for Mumbai and believes at some point the Mumbai lad will get a chance to dawn the Indian colours. “Phenomenal Ranji Trophy performance in 2015-16 season. I am sure that he will get his opportunity. It’s very important that you keep continuing to perform consistently and at some stage you will get an opportunity, just like the way Parthiv Patel got.”

Coming to Pant Laxman says, “[Pant is] a very talented player, who has the potential to dawn the Indian colours and do well for India. But as his ‘keeping is concerned, it is still work-in-progress. I’ve talked to Kiram More, who has worked with Pant at the National Cricket Academy. He mentions that his ‘keeping is not up to the mark. We also have to accept the fact that his is young. We are talking about someone, who is just 19 years old, who has got a great potential, also a great future for Indian cricket.”

Laxman also lauds the selectors for bringing back Gautam Gambhir and Parthiv Patel after their impressive performances at the domestic level. “I believe the selectors have done a fantastic job because they got back Gautam Gambhir, rewarding him for his performances in the Duleep Trophy. Parthiv Patel has been rewarded for his performance in Ranji Trophy. And I think it is more about getting the right players at the right time,” Laxman said.

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“This selection committee so far have taken the decision. But someone like Shreyas Iyer should not lose hope because it is important if you have to break into the national side, the only way of doing that is by scoring tons of runs. By scoring hundreds just like he did in the previous year. Rishabh Pant also has a very bright future,” he added.