Barinder Sran will look to cement his place in the Indian team with similar performances © AFP
Barinder Sran will look to cement his place in the Indian team with similar performances © AFP

Barinder Sran made a dream Twenty20 International (T20I) debut, finishing with figures of 4 for 10, which are the best figures by an Indian bowler on T20I debut. Sran had a good outing in the One-Day International (ODI) series against Zimbabwe, picking up four wickets at an economy rate of 4.12. After missing out on the first T20I, he finally made his debut in the second one. A full-fledged T20I Indian team is perhaps one of the most well-balanced sides in world cricket. While it would be ridiculous to make any changes, Sran has definitely made a case for himself to be included, in place of the 37-year-old Ashish Nehra, who is very much on the twilight of his career. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs Zimbabwe, 2nd T20I at Harare

One cannot take anything from Nehra for the sort of impressive comeback he has made into international cricket. He certainly raised a few eye brows when he was named in the T20I side for the tour of Australia, but has been one of their consistent bowlers since then. More often than not, he manages to get a breakthrough in the opening six or so overs and also does not give away too many runs. He was impressive in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) as well, where he picked up nine wickets in eight matches, before injury forced him out. Full Cricket Updates: IND vs ZIM 2nd T20I at Harare

Sran was  not far behind in that regard. He picked up 14 wickets in as many matches at an economy rate of 8.34 and strike rate of 21.2. Sran and Nehra play for the same IPL side and the former would have received a lot of advice from his senior pro during their stint together. We have often seen Nehra even in international matches talking to bowlers, calming them down and motivating them. He has certainly been a great influence on the likes of Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and others. But as days pass by, the younger lot will have to put them into use in their game.

One does not know when Nehra will call it quits. But when he does, there are a couple of contenders, who can replace him. But Sran should be given the nod and also a longer run. It will be in the best interest if a left-handed seamer replaces another, which will mean that Team India will still have some variety, especially when it comes to their fast bowlers. There is of course Bhuvneshwar Kumar too waiting in the wings after finishing as the leading wicket-taker in the IPL.

Sran has played just a handful of domestic matches for Punjab across formats and it might be too soon to say that he is a sure shot in the Indian team, but the 23-year-old has a lot of time to transform himself into a lethal bowler. The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is India’s premier T20 tournament and a good show there could pave the way for him to be made a regular in the Indian T20I side as well. If he keeps performing the way he did against Zimbabwe today, he could be a fine bowler for India one day.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)