On November 15, 2000 Jharkhand became the 28th state of India. At that time, the state was known only for its vast natural resources and minerals.
Four years later- one man will emerge and build another identity for the state.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni played his first ODI match on December 23, 2004. On April 5, 2005 he scored a hundred against Pakistan that will make him a star. And Jharkhand will become the state of Dhoni.
Dhoni’s rise to the top position in Team India started a new trend in the Indian cricket. Players from smaller towns such as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami became important fixtures in the national team.
It also gave belief to the players of his own state. Jharkhand won the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2010-11 to become national ODI champs. They reached Ranji Trophy semifinals last season for the first time.
However, the success has not exactly translated in international caps. Not many have followed Dhoni to the national side. Only three Jharkhand players have played for India team so far- Dhoni, Saurabh Tiwary and Varun Aaron.
Several younger players have showed promise but are still to break through.
Shahbaz Nadeem has been the highest wicket-taker since last two Ranji season. Nadeem has also been a consistent performer for Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan, the captain of India U-19 team at 2016 Under-19 World Cup has also had success in the IPL. He was a consistent hand for the Gujarat Lions last season. Known for his agressive style of batting, he could be Dhoni’s natural successor in the Indian set up.
Left-arm pacer Jaskaran is also part of the IPL. He has the great ability to swing the ball both ways. However, at 26 time is running out for the Jamshedpur lad.
Virat Singh is a dynamic batsman who has made his name in the last few seasons. The left hander, like his nameshake Kohli, bats at number three and has impressed with some good performances.