India are schedule to play 5 ODI's and 2 T20I's against Zimbabwe © Getty Images
India are scheduled to play 3 ODI’s and 2 T20I’s against Zimbabwe © Getty Images

India’s upcoming ODI and T20 series against Zimbabwe provides fringe players a chance to shine as the big names are expected to be given rest. There are many, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin are expected to be rested, this series will provide a perfect opportunity for the others who will get a chance to show their potential and stake a claim. Particularly, Gautam Gambhir Yusuf Pathan — the success stories in IPL 2016 — as well as Irfan Pathan should be given a chance. ALSO READ: India to pick ODI, T20I squads for tours of Zimbabwe, Test squad for West Indies on May 23

Starting with Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) skipper Gambhir, he is one of the most unfortunate players in recent past. Despite being the vital cog in India’s T20 World Cup in 2007 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. he was somehow unfairly treated. He is one of the few players to have regularly performed in IPL, which is backed by 3,606 runs in 131 games. This season, especially has seen him play brilliantly, in which he has scored 473 in 14 matches. These numbers do not lie, and he will be backed by millions of supporters for his inclusion in the Indian team. ALSO READ: Thakur: Selectors to take final call on IND squad for ZIM

Yusuf’s hitting abilities remain as brutal as they were 5 years ago, when India won the 2011 World Cup. Like many, he has been inconsistent, but that too seems to have been taken care of. In IPL 2016, he has shown how good he can be. In his 14 games, he has scored 359 runs at an astonishing average of 89.75 and a strike rate of 148. The numbers suggest it has been quite a remarkable comeback. His records in national colors also is not that bad, having scored 810 at 27.33 wickets in 57 games. Knowing he can score a quickfire 30-40 and bowl a few decent overs, India should take their chances on him, which can reap huge benefits if he succeeds.

And finally, there is Irfan Pathan, who certainly did not get enough chances with Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) under MS Dhoni. He has played only 4 games in past two years in IPL. And it’s not like that he wasn’t in form. He came into this IPL on the back of an outstanding Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2015-16, scalping 17 wickets and scoring 200 runs. A player whose record with India has also been really good, the tour to Zimbabwe should be another opportunity.

While players like KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Ajinkya Rahane have all impressed in IPL, the above 3 players too have been in really good form. Having past experience with the national team, Gambhir and the Pathan brothers have done decently, and deserve another chance to show they still have the fire within them.

(R Narayan is a reporter with CricketCountry, and is an ardent cricket and football enthusiast (big Manchester United fan). Having followed cricket since 2003, he likes high scoring matches as well as good fast bowling. His Twitter handle is @RNarayan24nov)