Tamil Nadu became the first side to make a clean sweep of all the Indian domestic trophies available after they beat India B in the final of the Deodhar Trophy. The tournament which featured several Indian internationals along with the Vijay Hazare Trophy champions saw some incredible performers.
Manish Pandey scored a century in his first game of the tournament. Ambati Rayudu and Mandeep Singh continued their good form but none of these players make it into the top 5 performers from the Deodhar Trophy.
The list features three players from the victorious Tamil Nadu side and three Indian internationals as well. Here are the top 5 performers from the Deodhar Trophy:
#5 Shikhar Dhawan
With the Champions Trophy around the corner, the main area of concern for India is in the opening department. With Rohit Sharma’s fitness still a worry and KL Rahul not flourishing as well as he is in Tests, India are still in a spot of bother as far as their opening combination is concerned.
One look at Shikhar Dhawan's scores in the Deodhar Trophy should alleviate any fears that fans have. The southpaw finished as the second-leading run-scorer in the tournament and scored a hundred, a fifty and just missed out on another in the final for India B against Tamil Nadu.
Scores of 128, 50 and 45 at a strike rate of nearly 110 show that the 31-year-old has his eyes set on a spot in the Champions Trophy squad and has sent out a strong message to the selectors with his bat. After all, you cannot ignore a player who has scored 223 runs at an average of nearly 75 and strike rate of 109.
#4 R Sai Kishore
Another player who came into the limelight courtesy of the inaugural Tamil Nadu Premier League is R Sai Kishore, who had trials with Mumbai Indians but wasn’t picked for IPL 2017. He certainly showed that he can do it in List A cricket as well as he finished as the second-leading wicket-taker in the tournament.
In the first match against India B, he was expensive but picked up four crucial wickets, but was unable to help his side over the line. But in the next two games, his tally of five wickets was incredibly economical and he finished with nine wickets in three matches and as his side’s leading wicket-taker.
The slow left-arm bowler picked up his nine wickets at an average of 15.5 and a strike rate of 17.7 while going for just over 5 runs per over.
#3 Dhawal Kulkarni
Dhawal Kulkarni may not be a regular in the Indian limited-overs side but he has certainly done enough to be not only on the fringes but also get a go on more than just the odd occasion. The latest display of his bowling prowess came in the Deodhar Trophy where he finished as the leading wicket-taker.
Not only did he finish as the leading wicket-taker but he was also the only bowler to pick up more than 10 wickets in the series. Considering that there were three matches played, that is an incredible achievement. As was the fact that he picked up at least three wickets in each match (including one five-wicket haul) and eventually finished with 11 wickets at an economy rate of just over 5.
India may have plenty of options in the pace bowling department but Kulkarni continues to knock on the door and his latest exploits are one that the selectors shouldn’t gloss over.
#2 N Jagadeesan
Narayan Jagadeesan might only be 21, but he is quickly making a name for himself in the domestic circuit. After impressive performances in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, he represented Tamil Nadu across all formats and impressed once again during the Deodhar Trophy.
Jagadeesan was the only player to score a fifty in every match of the tournament. Although he couldn’t go on and get a century, he still managed to score 190 runs at an average of over 63 and a strike rate of 95. Batting at the crucial No. 3 position, he ensured that Tamil Nadu got off to a great start.
Only two players managed to score more runs than Jaggi, who has already got off to a great start to his domestic career. If he continues his good form, there is little doubt that he will find himself with an A-team call-up before too long.
#1 Dinesh Karthik
MS Dhoni may have decided to give up captaincy in the shorter formats but is still around, with the gloves. But Dinesh Karthik seems to be on a mission to ensure that he finds a place in India’s Champions Trophy squad, if not the XI, after another sublime tournament.
Karthik may have last played an ODI for India in 2014 but his incredible domestic form in the shorter formats should have fast-tracked his case as he looks set for a national recall. He finished the Deodhar Trophy as the leading run-getter and one of only two players to have scored more than 200 runs in the tournament.
Karthik scored a century in the final and fell seven short of another in the crucial clash against India A. He ended the tournament with 247 runs at an average of over 80 and strike rate of 115, exactly the sort of numbers India are looking for from a middle-order batsman.