The Indian cricket team is currently enjoying their Australian summer. Under the leadership of Virat Kohli, the men in blue are on a mission to humiliate their Aussie counterparts. After winning two matches in the four-match Test series, a draw in the fourth and final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground will be enough to hand them their first ever Test series victory in Australia.
However, it is not all good news for Ravi Shastri's team. The form of openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay have given both him and the Indian fans a headache. The team management would want to stitch the torn cloth in time to save nine, and selecting consistent Ranji performers might be the answer. Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari, who earned the national team jersey by performing at the first-class level, are doing a great job in the Southern Hemisphere.
Let us have a look at five such consistent domestic performers.
#5 Siddhesh Lad
Siddhesh Lad may not be a very popular name, but those who follow the Indian domestic cricket circuit closely will be aware of what this lad is capable of. The 26-year-old is the most consistent batsman of Mumbai, and one of the most consistent in the first-class circuit. In his year's Ranji Trophy, Lad has accumulated 652 runs in seven matches.
That also includes two centuries and four half-centuries, while one such heroic performance might be enough to take his average beyond 50. In the last Ranji Trophy, he scored the same amount of runs at an average of nearly 60. His career average is 54.
#4 Ricky Bhui
Being just 22-years-old, Ricky Bhui has got time on his side. He has certainly registered his name on the national selectors' notebooks for he has already made his appearance for the India A side. Born in Madhya Pradesh, Bhui represents Andhra in the domestic circuit. In this edition of the Ranji Trophy, he has scored 766 runs in seven games.
Bhui has got four centuries in contrast to just one half-century, which clearly highlights his knack of building long innings. In the last season of Ranji Trophy, he scored 553 runs at an average of 61.
That figure was bettered by eight this season as his average is nearing 70. in 33 first-class games, Bhui has scored over 2200 runs at an average of nearly 50, with eight centuries and ten fifties. His list A average is just a bit behind that figure, but still very impressive.
#3 Abhimanyu Easwaran
Bengal's love affair with classy batsmen continues as Abhimanyu Easwaran hit the headlines with his match-winning ton against Delhi in the last game. But don't think it was a one-off performance as Easwaran has been piling up runs for Manoj Tiwary's team consistently.
Easwaran has scored 653 runs in the current Ranji Trophy at an astonishing average of over 80. Besides the century against Delhi, he also has scored one century and three half-centuries. Like Bhui, he also has rung selectors' doorbells and is now a part of the India B team.
In his 41 matches long first-class career, the Dehradun-born player has scored over 3000 runs at an average of 47. In addition to it, he has also got nine centuries and 16 half-centuries. His unbeaten knock of 183 came in the same month as his 183 against Hyderabad, which speaks volume about the consistency of the player.
#2 Priyank Panchal
Fans have been asking for Priyank Panchal's inclusion in the Indian Test team and they are right to do so. The 28-year-old from Ahmedabad is the third-highest run-getter in this Ranji Trophy with 887 runs in eight games.
Those runs came at an average of nearly 70 and included four centuries and five half-centuries. Last season, his run tally read 542 with an average of over 60. With age, Panchal's performance is getting better. Gujarat's trusted batsman has been in the domestic circuit for a long time and has played 76 first-class games thus far.
He has scored over 5400 runs which also included 19 hundreds and one score half-centuries. Just a few days back, he scored a superb 141 against Maharashtra. Few weeks prior it came two consecutive half-centuries against Railways and Karnataka respectively.
#1 Shubman Gill
Finally, a name probably everyone has heard. If you haven't, you were living under a stone as Shubman Gill impressed everyone with his performance in the ICC U19 World Cup 2018, which consequently earned him a lucrative IPL contract. Playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, he had a commendable debut season against the world's bests.
Talking of domestic performance, his graph has only seen highs. In just four matches, the youngster from Punjab has scored 629 runs, which included two centuries and one more half-century. Talking about average, his figure of 125 has given him a great advantage in the race to the Indian Test squad. Unlike the previous mentions in this list, Gill's first-class career is understandably not long. However, he has showcased his prowess by scoring 990 runs in just eight first-class games, which included three centuries.